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WRITER: David Skolnick

Ryan seeks earmarks for Valley

With the return of earmarks, also known as pork barrel spending, U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan is asking for money for projects for various Mahoning Valley organizations, including Mercy Health-Youngstown, Mahoning County High School, Gleaners Food Bank as well as road improvement work and bike trails. House Democrats announced they would bring back earmarks that were banned in 2011 when Republicans took control of the ...

State anticipates 7-month low in virus cases

This week is on pace to have the fewest new COVID-19 cases in the state in more than seven months. For the first six days of this week, not including today, Ohio had 7,499 reported COVID-19 cases, an average of slightly fewer than 1,250 per day. If it averages that today, the week will end with about 8,750 cases. Even if it exceeds that average by 500 cases, it still will have a lower number than any ...

Senator urges vaccinations during visit to Youngstown clinic

YOUNGSTOWN — With the number of people in the state getting COVID-19 vaccines slowing down, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown urged Ohioans to get inoculated. “Most people I know that haven’t gotten vaccines have some fear about it, and there’s no real evidence out there that people should be afraid of this vaccine,” Brown said Thursday after a visit to the Covelli Centre, where the Youngstown City Health ...

Voter turnout shows disinterest

Democracy in the Mahoning Valley didn’t die during the primary election, but it sustained a nasty wound. Election officials in Mahoning and Trumbull counties predicted typically poor turnout for an odd-numbered primary. That was expected for a few reasons. First, among the candidates, there were only contested Democratic primaries so there was no reason for Republicans to vote, though there are very few ...

Write-in effort paves way for Hetrick win

YOUNGSTOWN — Nothing is going to change the outcome of the write-in Democratic primary for Youngstown council president: Tom Hetrick is the winner, election officials say. Hetrick had 1,347 votes to 1,092 for incumbent council President DeMaine Kitchen and 92 for Lee David Pupio. All three ran as write-in candidates. The 255-vote lead is too great for Kitchen to overcome, said Director Joyce Kale-Pesta and ...

Over one-third of Ohioans fully vaccinated

More than one out of every three Ohioans have completed the COVID-19 vaccination process. The number of people in the state getting COVID-19 inoculations has slowed in the past three to four weeks, but Ohio surpassed a milestone Wednesday as 33.71 percent of the population was fully vaccinated. Also, 4,757,887 people, 40.7 percent of the state’s population, had at least started getting inoculated as of 6 ...

City’s firefighter union rejects fact finder’s report

YOUNGSTOWN — The city’s firefighter union also rejected a fact finder’s report on a three-year contract. The rejection is moot, as city council voted 6-0 Tuesday not to approve the report from fact finder James E. Rimmel. Even if the union had supported the findings, the report is tossed if either side rejects it. Rimmel proposed 1 percent annual raises over the three years with 1.25 percent ...

Brown glides to victory in Youngstown mayor's race

YOUNGSTOWN – Mayor Jamael Tito Brown had it much easier this time in the Democratic primary for his re-election than in the past. Meanwhile, Tom Hetrick defeated incumbent DeMaine Kitchen in a write-in race for the Democratic nominee for city council president. Brown won Tuesday’s primary with about 58 percent of the vote to some 28 percent for Ryan Kelly, a restaurant owner running for office for ...

COVID-19 vaccination rates in Ohio sink to new lows

With the number of Ohioans starting the COVID-19 vaccination process at a low point, Gov. Mike DeWine said he was concerned that those not getting inoculated are being lulled into a “false sense of security.” “We have seen the number of vaccines go down dramatically,” DeWine said Monday. The Ohio Department of Health reported that as of 6 a.m. Monday, only 5,564 Ohioans had at least started the ...

Three independents file for Youngstown mayor's fall race

YOUNGSTOWN — The winner of today’s Democratic primary for Youngstown mayor and Republican nominee Tracey Winbush have three independent candidates and a write-in wanting to challenge them during the Nov. 2 general election. John White of 107 N. Belle Vista Ave., a retired businessman; Richard V. Hill of 1020 Genessee Drive, the supervisor in the Youngstown clerk of courts’ criminal traffic division, ...