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Good morning, Mahoning County!

Welcome to the first edition of your new Vindicator.

No community, especially one the size of Youngstown and Mahoning County, should ever go without a regular newspaper. Upon hearing the concern and outcry of this community that came when The Vindicator announced its closure, we knew you felt the same way. Now we enthusiastically embrace filling as much as possible the void created with the closing of The Vindicator. That 150-year body of work in the Mahoning Valley closed Saturday with an outstanding commemorative edition.

Today, a new chapter begins as the Tribune Chronicle, itself with a 207-year legacy, produces the first new Vindicator as an edition of the Tribune Chronicle. You have our sincere promise to consistently strive to produce this newspaper with good journalism, interesting articles, complete local sports coverage and entertaining features, and over time, we hope we will gain your complete trust.

Inside today’s first edition you will find many of the features Vindicator readers have become accustomed to over the years, and some new ones we hope you will enjoy.

Here are just a few:

Interesting and in-depth news stories about your local government in Mahoning County; community news about your neighborhood, township or municipality; local sports including high school sports teams during all seasons; and so much more.

Going forward, you will see the bylines of some trusted Vindicator reporters, including longtime politics writer and government reporter David Skolnick. We welcome to the newsroom Ed Runyan as a crime and local government reporter. We also have brought on The Vindicator’s longtime regional editor Tom Wills, along with several page designers and sports writers.

Vindicator readers will continue to be entertained and informed with interesting feature stories and community news by well-known correspondent Sean Barron. Many other correspondents with familiar names will provide great local content as they have for The Vindicator.

The veteran, award-winning staff of Tribune Chronicle reporters also will contribute to The Vindicator edition’s content.

Longtime Tribune Chronicle staff member Guy Vogrin is being reassigned to cover Mahoning County courts and crime. Investigative reporter Renee Fox will add Mahoning County government coverage to her beat, and Tribune Chronicle reporter Raymond Smith will take on the education beat to keep Mahoning County readers up-to-date on happenings at Youngstown State University, Youngstown City Schools and other local and city school districts in Mahoning County.

Veteran community reporter for the Town Crier newspapers, J.T. Whitehouse, will also contribute meeting coverage in several communities for The Vindicator edition. Other beat reporters are being assigned to cover areas like Austintown, Boardman, Canfield, Poland, Campbell, Struthers and more.

Readers of The Vindicator edition also will benefit from several regular features that have been very popular in the Tribune Chronicle. Each Monday between Memorial Day and Veterans Day we feature a profile of a veteran on the front page. We are excited to be able now to include the stories of Mahoning County veterans in this project. Saturdays, we also will feature the profile of a Mahoning County resident with an interesting story to tell.

Features Editor Burton Cole has a tremendous following in the Tribune Chronicle with his humor column that is a really fun read. It now also will appear in The Vindicator edition on Sundays.

LOCAL SPORTS AND MORE

Local sports have been a staple in both The Vindicator and Tribune Chronicle. We realize the importance of reporting on Youngstown State and area high school teams. Both newspapers have produced award-winning coverage of the area sports scene, and this new edition will strive to continue that.

Youngstown and Warren are increasingly becoming hot beds for entertainment. Two wonderful amphitheaters, the Covelli Centre, Packard Music Hall, Stambaugh Auditorium, DeYor Performing Arts Center and other great venues have tremendous programming scheduled. Andy Gray, the Tribune Chronicle’s veteran entertainment writer, is ready to keep you abreast of all you need to know about local and regional entertainment events.

For years, TICKET, a special section produced by the Tribune Chronicle and led by Gray each Thursday has provided award-winning coverage of the local entertainment scene. TICKET now will be published in The Vindicator edition as well.

We also will be adding other new features we hope you will enjoy, including a “recommended reads” column from The Public Library of Youngstown & Mahoning County and a “This Week in History” column, being generously provided by the Mahoning Valley Historical Society, based in downtown Youngstown.

The weekly fishing column by Jack Wollitz will continue here on Saturday mornings. Local Vindicator columnist Adam Earnheardt’s column about technology in today’s world also will be published here.

More than ever, we hope our readers will join the effort to provide a robust voice for the community by contributing content in the form of press releases, religion news, society news, letters to the editor, participation in our “Sound Off” column and news tips. We have provided information inside today’s edition on how to submit items for The Vindicator edition. Look for the “How To” pages inside.

Our team of editors, under the direction of Brenda J. Linert, have been planning a new edition for Mahoning County since The Vindicator announced its closure on June 28. Still, we may not have thought of everything or we may not have been able to include every feature of The Vindicator you may have followed.

DELIVERY

If you are reading this on Sunday, Sept. 1, we must have been successful in delivering it to you, either a new subscriber or one who was an active subscriber of The Vindicator.

More than 2,000 of you subscribed to receive the planned Mahoning County edition of the Tribune Chronicle before the deal was consummated August 16 for the Tribune Chronicle to fulfill the Vindicator’s paid-in-advance subscriptions. Your subscription payments will extend the expiration date you had with the former company.

In the past two weeks we have integrated more than 26,000 subscribers into our circulation system; located, rented and furnished a 5,000-square-foot distribution center in Boardman; contracted with a high percentage of Vindicator carriers and haulers — more than 100, planned and executed delivery to over 300 stores and other locations that sell the newspaper.

Last night our press and mailroom team printed and bundled 30,000 editions more than they did a week ago.

Considering the magnitude of this task, we are certain everyone’s newspaper was not perfectly delivered. For those of you who received less-than-perfect service, please bear with us as we take on this added responsibility. Please know we are taking this challenge very seriously. We hope you understand we are doing our best to work through some expected bumps in the road which we may not have expected.

ADVERTISING

The one area we are most disappointed in is our inability to obtain advertising inserts for today’s Sunday edition.

The Vindicator, with no assurance that anyone would be able to pick up their distribution network, canceled advertising with all of their major advertisers who provided preprinted advertising, like Kohl’s, Target, CVS, Walgreens, JCPenney, Macy’s, Home Depot, Menards, News America Coupons, Valassis Coupons, P&G Coupons, Big Lots, Dollar General Market, Rulli Brothers, Gander Outdoors, Harbor Freight, Michaels, Mattress Firm, Bed, Bath and Beyond and others. When the agreement was reached in mid-August, it was too late to get these advertisements on the printing schedules, which are planned and printed several weeks in advance.

Therefore, it will take several weeks to get back on advertisers’ schedules. We ask our readers who depend on these advertisements for money-saving opportunities to mention to the store managers and employees that they would like to see the advertisements back in The Vindicator edition as soon as possible.

Many of these advertisements are available in the regular Tribune Chronicle, which is for sale at most of the store outlets in the Youngstown area.

News America coupons will be back in this edition next week and Parade magazine will return then as well.

Overall, we hope you are pleased with what you see today. However, if we have missed something that you view as important, we’d like to hear from you.

editorial@tribtoday.com