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WRITER: David Skolnick

Council considers contract for planning consultant

YOUNGSTOWN — City council will consider legislation Wednesday to retain its planning consultant for another year at a rate of up to $75,000. Based on discussion at Monday’s council finance committee meeting, the contract is expected to be approved Wednesday. The professional services contract is with Hunter Morrison, who has served as the city’s planning consultant since August 2019. The contract ...

State expands vaccine eligibility

With an increase in COVID-19 vaccines coming into the state, Gov. Mike DeWine announced a significant expansion to those eligible to receive the inoculations. Effective Thursday, that will include those at least 60 years of age, those with certain medical conditions and those working in certain professions. “This is the time to do this because of the great increase of vaccines coming into Ohio,” DeWine ...

City official warns against comparisons after one strong month of income tax collections

YOUNGSTOWN — The city’s latest monthly income tax collection is its best since mid-2019, but its top financial official said not to put too much faith in an economic rebound on a single month. “It’s great to look at one month, but we need to look at the big picture,” said Kyle Miasek, interim finance director. “One month doesn’t mean anything. If I get two more months of that, then we’re ...

Ohio COVID-19 cases drop to 4-month low

The state had the fewest new COVID-19 cases reported for a week in more than four months. The week ending Saturday had 13,848 new cases reported and has seen a decline in COVID-19 cases for the past seven straight weeks. It’s the fewest number of new COVID-19 cases in a week in Ohio since the week of Oct. 11 to 17, when 12,767 cases were reported. Reported COVID-19 cases have declined every week for ...

Statues destroyed at Youngstown church

YOUNGSTOWN — An East Palestine man is jailed in connection with more than a dozen religious statues vandalized at the Basilica of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church, in what Diocese of Youngstown Bishop David Bonnar described as a senseless act. Police on Friday afternoon arrested the 20-year-old in connection with a felony count of vandalism for the early morning incident. After the damage was reported, two ...

Youngstown plans to reopen parks, pool

YOUNGSTOWN — The city plans to reopen its parks, pavilions, pool, golf course and summer camp program with COVID-19 pandemic safety guidelines in place. All of the city’s recreational facilities, except walking trails, were closed in mid-March last year because of the pandemic with the North Side Pool, splash pads and the Henry Stambaugh Golf Course not opening at all. But the parks and their ...

New virus cases on the decline

With just two days left in February, this will be the month with the least reported COVID-19 cases in Ohio since October. The state had 68,588 cases reported for the month as of Friday, an average of 2,638 daily cases. If that average remains for today and Sunday, Ohio could end February with 73,864 cases. The monthly number hasn’t been that low since October with 61,710 reported cases. Since then, ...

Ryan: Riot response 'a failure in leadership' by police

Leading a congressional hearing into the Jan. 6 Capitol riot response, U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan called the incident “a complete failure of leadership” by Capitol police. “I, for one, am at a loss to understand how your intelligence report — and then later as the mob walked 16 blocks, growing in size and aggressive demeanor — failed to impact the Capitol police force security posture,” Ryan, ...

DeWine loosens limits on sports, entertainment venues

By DAVID SKOLNICK Staff writer Sporting and entertainment events in the state are now permitted to increase the number of spectators, but the amounts are still greatly limited because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Gov. Mike DeWine said Thursday that 30 percent is the maximum outdoor capacity, and it’s 25 percent for indoor facilities. “This is a start,” he said. “If the situation improves in the ...

GOP candidates embrace Trump

The Republican race for the U.S. Senate nomination can be summed up like this: Donald Trump is great; John Kasich is bad. With Republicans controlling Ohio government and Trump’s strong 2016 and 2020 Ohio victories, it’s a sound strategy. When ex-state Treasurer Josh Mandel and former Ohio Republican Party Chairwoman Jane Timken announced their candidacies for Senate, they did so as strong pro-Trump ...