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WRITER: Allie Vugrincic

ODOT crews in Valley get ready for snow job

CANFIELD — The Ohio Department of Transportation District 4, which encompasses Mahoning and Trumbull counties, joined the ranks of organizations preparing for winter with its annual equipment inspections this week. “Winter is ODOT’s most important time of year because it keeps the public safe,” said Rick O’Neil, ODOT District 4 fleet equipment manager. “This inspection is probably one of the ...

ODOT considers removing bridge

AUSTINTOWN — The Ohio Department of Transportation is considering tearing down the Lanterman Road bridge spanning Interstate 680, but township officials say it may play an important role in safety service response times. The 52-year-old bridge is nearing the end of its lifespan, according to ODOT public information officer Ray Marsch. “We like to get 50 to 75 years out of a bridge. This bridge was built ...

Township seeks help with nuisance chickens

AUSTINTOWN — Township trustees and the zoning department are asking residents for help identifying the homes of nuisance chickens who are wandering beyond their yards and causing messes in neighbor’s yards. “You can’t call the dog catcher to catch chickens,” Trustee Jim Davis said. Davis said the township is having a problem with undomesticated chickens roaming free. As the weather gets colder, the ...

Ready for winter: Turnpike inspects fleet of snowplows

CANFIELD — With winter just around the corner, Ohio Turnpike employees are busy this week completing annual equipment inspections to get a fleet of approximately 100 snowplows ready. Tuesday morning the Canfield plows underwent a 136-point inspection, checking the functionality of the truck as well as the specialized plow, salt and liquid-spraying equipment. Crews begin preparing the plows for the winter ...

Tobacco 21 goes into effect

WARREN — Ohio’s “Tobacco 21” law takes effect today, raising the age to purchase cigarettes and other tobbaco and alternative nicotine products from 18 to 21. “Tobacco 21 — it’s a huge victory for Ohio,” said Dr. Amy Acton, Ohio’s director of health. She said research has shown 95 percent of people who develop addictions do so before the age of 21. The law requires retailers to post a sign ...

3 face write-in for Niles at-Large

NILES — Incumbents Michael Lastic, Ryan McNaughton and Barry Profato will face George Kuriatnyk, running as a write-in candidate, for three Niles council-at-large seats in next month’s election. In April, Kuriatnyk, 57, dropped out of the Democratic Niles mayoral primary in a move he said was meant to support then-candidate Jimmy DePas-quale, who lost to incumbent Mayor Steve Mientkiewicz. Kuriatnyk ...

Valley walkers step up to fight hunger in US

By ALLIE VUGRINCIC Staff writer YOUNGSTOWN — Participants in the Youngstown CROP Hunger Walk took to the sidewalks around Wick Park and along Fifth Avenue on Sunday afternoon with a goal of creating a world where no one must go hungry. The walk, aimed at raising money to “end hunger one step at a time” this year celebrates its 50th year nationally. The movement began in the communities of York, Pa., ...

Ukrainian heritage celebrated in Austintown

By ALLIE VUGRINCIC Staff writer AUSTINTOWN — In an area where ethnic festivals are fairly common, the Rev. Lubomir Zhybak said the St. Anne Ukrainian Catholic Church Ukrainian Festival is as much about bringing different people together as it is about celebrating a heritage. “I know we all belong to various ethnic backgrounds and we all profess different faiths and we even have different political ...

Agencies warn against vaping THC

By ALLIE VUGRINCIC Staff writer YOUNGSTOWN — Multiple national and state health agencies have strengthened warnings against using vapes, or electronic cigarettes, as more illnesses have been connected to the devices. In Ohio, 28 cases of vaping-related illness have been confirmed — including one in Mahoning County — with 30 more still under investigation, according to the Ohio Department of ...

New direction for downtown

YOUNGSTOWN — Sixty signs scattered in 30 locations downtown provide directions to local attractions, government buildings and historical sites. All aim to show how Youngstown is easily walkable. Lisa Resnik said the “Walk Youngstown” campaign is designed to change the mindset that driving is the best way to get around — an idea she said has been passed down through generations. “The biggest ...