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Your Morning Matters: Your themes are due!

Mahoning Matters has reviewed some recent data on local bed and ventilator availability, and we share details today.

Good morning and welcome to your Morning Matters.

It's Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2020, and today I have a quick reminder about your deadline for your Thanksgiving themes!

You might recall last Wednesday I said I want you to write a theme: “What makes me thankful on Thanksgiving this year (despite all logic to the contrary).” I would like to publish some of these during our upcoming long holiday weekend to help buoy the spirits of folks who need a lift. I got this idea, of course, from the mighty Mahoning Matters audience when a reader shared her “Gratitude Journal” with me. 

Her story is remarkable, and I figured that others might have stories they’d like to share, too.

So I’m looking for themes that are A+++++++ quality, about 500 words (more or less). You should also include a picture and a brief, one- or two-sentence biography. Send them to And thanks to those of you who have already reached out.

As this is a holiday week, there will be no morning newsletter Thursday. We also take a newsletter holiday on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day, in case you are scoring along at home. Most of the team is taking a long, well-deserved holiday weekend for Thanksgiving, and I hope you, too, can do the same.

And whether you write to me or just think good thoughts, I hope you can find time to reflect on something in your life that is thanks-worthy. Author Shauna Niequist once said, “When life is sweet, say thank you and celebrate. And when life is bitter, say thank you and grow.” Fellow author Stephen King said, “Don't let the sun go down without saying thank you to someone, and without admitting to yourself that absolutely no one gets this far alone.”

And let’s mask up and be careful out there.

Here's what you need to know about the Mahoning Valley today:

Gov. Mike DeWine, during a special briefing on the state's coronavirus response Monday, said 4,358 people were in an Ohio hospital for COVID-19 as of Monday, a 59 percent increase from just two weeks ago.

Sixty days ago, there were only about 600 people hospitalized in the state, according to Dr. Robert Wyllie of the Cleveland Clinic, who represented the health care response region that includes the Mahoning Valley. Mahoning Matters has reviewed some recent data on local bed and ventilator availability, and we share details today.

Pandemic facts

  • In the U.S.: 12,126,651 confirmed cases; 256,905 deaths, according to at 10 p.m. Nov. 23.
  • In Ohio: 363,304 confirmed and suspected cases; 6,020 deaths.
  • In Pennsylvania: 314,401 confirmed cases; 9,870 deaths.
  • In the Mahoning Valley: 7,068 confirmed and suspected cases in Mahoning County; 5,159 in Trumbull; and 3,395 in Columbiana.
  • Dow Jones Industrial Average: Closed at  29,591.27, up 327.79 points, or 1.12 percent.

Other matters

After a COVID-19 scare that left it operating for an extended period with less than half of its crew, Boardman Fire Department is back to full capacity. While the department had temporarily stopped responding to medical calls because of staffing issues, it began responding to them again Friday, said fire Chief Mark Pitzer. Mahoning Matters

GOP dissatisfaction with Gov. Mike DeWine is leading to plenty of talk about who might run in a Republican primary against him. However, he's been elected to almost every position in Ohio during a 40-year career and could rightly be considered the state's most successful politician in decades. Mahoning Matters

A Starbucks in Niles is temporarily closed after a person came into close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19. A spokesperson said the person who tested positive doesn’t work for Starbucks and there have been no positive cases among employees at the location. WKBN

Even though only two events were held at the Youngstown Foundation Amphitheatre and one at the Covelli Centre during the third quarter, the city-owned facilities’ loss for July to September was a mere $3,565 thanks to the federal Paycheck Protection Program. Tribune Chronicle

While a celebration was originally going to take place this fall to mark the 100th anniversary of the Girard Free Library, library officials have marked the special occasion the best they can this year with plans for recognizing the milestone in 2021. The Vindicator [May encounter paywall.]

The largest retailer of musical instruments in the United States has filed for bankruptcy protection. Guitar Center, with locations in Boardman and New Castle, Pa., entered Chapter 11 restructuring proceedings in U.S. Bankruptcy Court. WFMJ

Difference Makers

Sarah Lowry sees the Healthy Community Partnership’s role as a force to improve health outcomes in the region, as well as to shrink documented health disparities. Lowry, who grew up in Hubbard, spent almost six years working for U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown as a Northeast Ohio regional representative after graduating from Youngstown State University. She took on the partnership role in 2018. Mahoning Matters

This story was made possible by Eastwood Mall.

In case you missed it

Suzanne’s fashion boutique will celebrate its 45th anniversary during the upcoming Thanksgiving weekend. Suzanne Kessler and her late sister, Kathy Kane, originally opened The Tennis Connection in Niles on Black Friday in 1975. Now named Suzanne’s, the store eventually moved to Boardman and is now located at 813 Boardman-Poland Road. Mahoning Matters

This story was made possible by Farmers National Bank.

Your comments matter

“What a beautiful legacy for him and his family.”

Debbie Horvath, on Patrick Kulewsky of Boardman who, two months before his death Wednesday, called the city of Youngstown and offered the overgrown pine tree in his front yard to be used for the city's annual Christmas tree. The tree was lit Friday in his memory.

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.

Event of the day

The John J. McDonough Museum of Art, 525 Wick Ave., Youngstown, is highlighting work from two programs in Youngstown State University’s Cliffe College of Creative Arts and the Department of Art with the Fall Graduating BFA Exhibition and MFA Thesis Exhibition. The exhibits will be on view in the McDonough galleries through Dec. 12. The Fall Graduating BFA Exhibition celebrates the work of 12 students in the areas of photography, graphic+ interactive design and interdisciplinary studio art. Also in the museum galleries is Venise Abell’s MFA Thesis Exhibition, titled “Black Still.”

To see what else is going on around the Mahoning Valley, check out Mahoning Matters’ event calendar here, or click the Events tab on the top menu at

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