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WRITER: Liz Anastasiadis

Sides take stabs at needle exchange

WARREN — The idea of safe syringe exchanges in Trumbull and Mahoning counties to help people in active drug use is again being suggested, this time from an advocate outside the Valley. Dennis Cauchon, founder of Harm Reduction Ohio, based in Granville, thinks Mahoning and Trumbull, despite good intentions, need to “involve regular people more, those with shared experience or families who have lost a loved ...

Sharing toys, joy

WARREN — With holiday spirits high, the community continues to give to kids in need. Warren-based Covelli Enterprises partnered with the Marines to raise money for the Toys for Tots program. Out of the proceeds, Covelli Enterprises presented a check for $15,000 to the program. The primary goal of the Marines Toys for Tots is to help bring joy and send a message of hope to America’s less-fortunate ...

Local artist colorfully revives Valley historic landmarks

McKINLEY HEIGHTS — Places lost to history have been revived on the canvas by local artist David Birskovich. Born and raised in McKinley Heights, Birskovich, 75, has been drawing and painting since junior high school. He started by just painting what was interesting to him, which includes local history. His art consists of watercolors and colored pencil sketchings. The Niles Historical Society’s ...

Fitch Irish dancer steps into the global arena

AUSTINTOWN — Being local doesn’t mean you can’t have worldwide dreams. For Jocelyn Mehle, 14, a freshman at Austintown Fitch High School, her dream is to become a professional Irish step dancer. After ranking 10th out of 87 at a national competition in Chicago on Nov. 26, and with a recent invitation to perform in Ireland in April 2022, her goal may be within reach. Fewer than 1 percent of ...

City man arrested on assault warrant

AUSTINTOWN — A Youngstown man is at the Mahoning County jail on a warrant filed from an August incident in which he is accused of throwing a punch at a township officer trying to arrest him outside a pub, according to a police report. William R. McConnell, 27, of New Road, was arrested Friday, but the report was not made available until Tuesday. When McConnell was pulled over at Mahoning Avenue and Meridian ...

McDonald rolls out new turf

McDONALD — Out with the grass, in with the turf. A new stadium for the McDonald Local Schools has been in the works since 2018. McDonald’s new turf field and track will replace the old grass field that sits adjacent to the school. The turf is finished, although construction of the locker rooms, restrooms and concessions hasn’t begun. The field has had two home football games this fall despite being ...

Many drivers stay frustrated as Biden acts to cut gas prices

AUSTINTOWN — With gas prices now at a national average of $3.40 a gallon, more than 50 percent higher than a year ago, local residents are feeling the financial pressure for staying on the road. President Joe Biden on Tuesday ordered 50 million barrels of oil released from America’s strategic reserve to help bring down energy costs, in coordination with other major energy consuming nations, including ...

McDonald awaits its latest dose of pandemic relief

McDONALD — Patching up issues from the COVID-19 pandemic has become a harder feat than expected, the McDonald Board of Education heard Monday. McDonald and other local public schools await the approval and disbursal of the Ohio Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) funds, previously approved by the CARES Act in March 2021. The U.S. Department of Education’s $489.2 million can be ...

Report shouts out Niles Intermediate

NILES — Education is more than just data: it’s about community. U.S. News and World Report ranked Niles Intermediate School (grades 3-5) as one of Ohio’s best elementary schools for 2021. This year was the publication’s first time ranking elementary schools and with the Niles school ranked No. 371 out of 1,637 Ohio schools, it made the top 30 percent. The schools are ranked based on student data ...