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Your Morning Matters: Today we salute Difference Makers

In The Earnheardts this week, Mary Beth weighs into generational warfare, launched when her 12-year-old responded to her order with "OK, boomer."

Good morning and welcome to Your Morning Matters.

It's Monday, April 13, 2020, and despite our stay-at-home situation, Mahoning Matters is expanding to launch a new feature today. And there is a backstory.

When we sat down to plan the rollout of Mahoning Matters last September, we conceptualized a section devoted to those who made a difference in our community. The working title was “Difference Makers.”

We focused on building out other areas of MahoningMatters.com as our Business Executive Mark Eckert set out to find partners to help fuel our ideas. We also evolved the original Difference Makers idea to tell the stories of the unsung heroes of the pandemic. On Friday before he was hospitalized, Mark broke the news: Eastwood Mall was going to partner with us to launch Difference Makers.

Then we lost Mark. We were still deep in our grief when the folks at Eastwood Mall asked if they could dedicate the series to Mark. So each week you’ll see this editor’s note: “Difference Makers articles share stories of the local heroes making a difference during the extraordinary times of the COVID-19 pandemic. This section is made possible by Eastwood Mall and named in honor of Mark Eckert, who made a difference in the Mahoning Valley.”

The first story is today, and it is a wonderful Jess Hardin feature of a generous soul who is helping to make the pandemic more bearable for others one bread loaf at a time.

Stay healthy! Let’s be careful out there!

And now, more of the things you need to know about what's happening in the Mahoning Valley:

Gen Xers, rejoice! In The Earnheardts this week, Mary Beth weighs into generational warfare, launched when her 12-year-old began responding to her order with "OK, boomer."

"I’m not a boomer,” Mary Beth writes. “I’m also not a millennial. I am a Gen Xer, and it’s time the kids learn what my generation is capable of."

Other matters

The Buckeye Institute said it has identified nearly $3 billion in Ohio’s state budget that could be repurposed to fight the COVID-19 pandemic and help the state recover. Mahoning Matters

Youngstown State University’s John J. McDonough Museum of Art is challenging the Mahoning Valley. Inspired by the Getty Museum and Tussen Kunst & Quarantaine, people are invited to recreate a work of art using household items. Mahoning Matters

A bride in Boardman didn’t let social distancing ruin her big day. Danielle Beaumier did not want her grandma to miss her wedding ceremony, so she got married outside her window at the Beeghly Oaks assisted-living facility. WKBN

After a deadly shooting in Warren just days ago, police had to break up a group of about 100 people Saturday night that was allegedly hosting a candlelight vigil for the victim. WFMJ

Companies that offer disinfection services for offices, factories and homes are reporting a surge in business because of the COVID-19 outbreak. The Business Journal

AT&T is suing Youngstown, saying it inadvertently sent the city a $50,834.80 check more than three years ago and hasn’t been refunded. The lawsuit states the company has “requested on multiple occasions” that the money be returned, and the city has refused. The Vindicator

Movers and Makers

The West Coast-style burger joint Sespe Burger is donating free meals daily to help alleviate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Valley restaurant workers. Jeff and Christina Porter say their Boardman business is prospering, and they want to give back to the community. Mahoning Matters

This story was made possible by Farmers National Bank.

Difference Makers

Courtney Poullas' first batch of quarantine-inspired bread yielded a bit more than she expected. The Youngstown resident posted to Facebook when her baking yielded an extra loaf. She now makes about five loaves of bread every day and delivers them for free. Mahoning Matters

This story was made possible by Eastwood Mall.

Your comments matter

“No! We simply aren't ready.”

Sue Loucks, on state senators pushing for Ohio to reopen businesses in rural counties.

Registered readers can comment on a selection of our stories, and all readers can comment on stories on our Facebook page. Opinions published here do not reflect the views of Mahoning Matters.

Story tips

Is there a story you think we should know about? Please tell us at news@mahoningmatters.com.

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