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Brenda J. Linert

I’m not tougher than the flu, after all

It was one month ago today that I sat on the exam table in my family physician’s office for my annual checkup. Clacking away on the computer keyboard, the doc entered her notes, then paused and glanced up at me. “Do you want a flu shot, today?” she asked. :No,” I responded. “I ...

Context, balance key in good reporting

“Context is key.” I’ve shared those words with young college journalism students when I taught basic reporting classes several years ago. I also shared those words in a column almost exactly one year ago when I wrote about the viral video of young Covington, Ky., high school student ...

High-tech safety comes with controversy

An upstate New York school district now is using new technology to keep students safe from intruders. On the surface, it sounds good, but the idea has triggered much outrage and controversy from parents and civil rights advocates who fear it will compromise student privacy. That’s ...

Trip down memory lane and glance at future

As I wrap up the final week of 2019, like most folks, I’m reflecting on the ups and downs of the past year here and looking forward to what 2020 will bring in the world of news. In keeping with tradition, our newsroom this year has picked what we view as the biggest local news stories of ...

The strange happenings, history of Dec. 19

I meet weekly with Rick Muccio, the freelance artist who creates local editorial page cartoons for this newspaper. He drops by about once a week to pitch cartoon ideas he has for possible use on these pages. While we don’t always agree on political topics of the day, I enjoy chatting with ...

Big money and big egos equally problematic

Presidential candidates spent a combined $2,495,740,931 in the 2016 race to the White House, according to OpenSecrets.org, a non-partisan, independent, non-profit research group that tracks money spent in U.S. politics. It sounds like a ridiculous amount of money, but incredibly, that’s ...

Ohio not stellar among ‘smart states’ study

Well, here’s some bad news, fellow Ohioans. A new study has ranked Ohio as the 43rd smartest state in the nation. I think that’s supposed to be a nice way of saying we are the eighth dumbest state. (I know what you’re thinking, and no, I’m not really that dumb at math. The ...

Ohio auditor creates ratings for openness

“Central to the founding principle of self-governance is the ability of the public to participate; to create a partnership among the citizens of a community, some of whom have come forward in elective roles,” Ohio Auditor of State Keith Faber started out a bulletin he released in recent ...

Happy holiday from Cranberry to Turkey Town

Several times each year I pass by Cranberry Township, Pa., usually as I’m exiting the Pennsylvania Turnpike heading to Pittsburgh, clad in black and gold, “Terrible Towel” in tow. It’s a silly name for a township, I often have thought. So I chuckled last week at its mention on a media ...

Officers’ legacies are helping area students

A dozen or so college students gathered last week for a lovely luncheon in a room inside Kilcawley Center on the campus of Youngstown State University. Most were accompanied by their parents. Also attending were university officials, including President Jim Tressel, along with other special ...