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WRITER: Brenda J. Linert

John Lewis inspired youth from Valley

The congressional website hosted by recently departed humanitarian and civil rights icon U.S. Rep. John Lewis remains active. Near the top of the site is a press release dated July 17, the same day he died, in which the Democratic congressman from Georgia explains a letter that he and fellow Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-California, and other bipartisan members sent to Education Secretary Betsy DeVos supporting two ...

Let the kids play in sporting events this fall

My youngest son has been training since January for his senior cross country season that should be starting in coming weeks. Thanks to COVID-19, he already sacrificed his junior baseball season, even missing out on the high school team’s planned spring break trip to Myrtle Beach for a tournament in April. Who could have ever expected this past spring season to be a total wash? It’s been challenging as a ...

Mug shots are vital parts of news stories

The San Francisco Police Department announced last week it will stop releasing mug shots of people arrested unless those people pose a threat to the public. The decision comes in an effort to stop perpetuating racial stereotypes, police Chief Bill Scott announced. He said the department no longer will release booking photos of suspects to the media or allow officers to post them online. Booking photos, of ...

‘Valley Grows’ returns to Vindy on Mondays

“It’s a murder hornet,” the headline in Monday’s Vindicator warned. Sure, that might sound frightening, but “only if you’re a bee,” it continued. The story detailed the recent arrival of native Asian “murder hornets” to America’s northern Pacific coast and what it could mean to already struggling colonies of honey bees, if and when the giant hornets make their way to Ohio. It was ...

Despite past outcomes, keep on planning

Little did we know when my eldest son, a senior at Youngstown State University, headed off in March to Fort Lauderdale for a last hurrah during spring break with his college friends that it REALLY would be a last hurrah for college. I recall my mother asking in the early days of the coronavirus leading up to his trip if her grandson still was planning to travel. Believe me, there was little chance my son, like ...

Safety must never cost us our freedoms

Scotch-taped to the computer monitor in my very messy newsroom office are a few things critical to my daily routine that I have collected through the years. There’s a list of the telephone extension numbers for members of my staff. There is a photocopy of the AP Stylebook page delineating the difference between “lay” and “lie” — because I have been known to confuse the two. There is a Bible verse, ...

Debate, dissent are essential in society

I noticed on Facebook last week a longtime friend’s post linking to a national news story discussing censorship in America. According to the Fox News report and host Tucker Carlson, YouTube, a worldwide online video sharing site owned by Google, recently removed a video posted by two California doctors that was gaining heavy traction with more than 5 million views. The video apparently outlined some ...

Child abuse continues even in pandemic

Each April, gardens of hundreds of twirling blue pinwheels are planted in different areas of the Mahoning Valley. They aren’t there as a source of entertainment or to mark the onset of spring. Rather, they exist to draw attention to a dark truth that many of us don’t regularly think about. Each pinwheel is placed to represent a local case of reported child abuse and neglect. Known as “Pinwheels for ...

Letter to our readers on coronavirus pandemic

Dear readers, The last few weeks have been full of uncertainty for all of us when it comes to the COVID-19 health crisis. We take seriously our responsibility and the trust you place in us as your local news source, so we believe it’s important that we update you on how The Vindicator is covering the crisis so you and your loved ones can remain up-to-date and prepared in the coming weeks. Internally, most ...

Virus can’t affect open public business

National Sunshine Week, intended to showcase the importance of access to meetings involving our public officials and to all sorts of public records, wrapped up Saturday. Typically, during this week I write about why we all should care about this stuff because an open government is key to a strong democracy. I usually write about how we shouldn’t forget that every discussion or decision made by government is ...