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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 year. We have been revisiting and updating those big stories and sharing them with our readers as the clock ticks down on 2019. The series of stories began last Sunday and will wrap up New Year’s Eve.

In today’s newspaper, we also recap the “stories of the year” in local sports and business news, along with some favorite local photographs from the past year.

It’s no secret that some of this past year’s biggest news events originated in the world of business. Of course, we saw the final Lordstown-built Chevy Cruze roll off the assembly line and, later, got official word that the “unallocated” plant indeed would close permanently after more than 50 years in the Mahoning Valley. Ultimately, the former General Motors plant was sold, creating some hope for new jobs building electric vehicle pickup trucks. Only time will tell the success of that venture.

In an unrelated story, following the contentious battle over development plans for a HomeGoods warehouse in Lordstown, ground finally was broken this year, and construction is well underway. The facility is expected to bring more than 1,000 jobs to the Valley.

In the world of entertainment, 2019 saw the opening of the beautiful Youngstown Foundation Amphitheatre in downtown Youngstown that brought a summer full of big-name acts. The year also saw the rejuvenation of Warren’s Robins Theatre. That theater officially will open next month after millions of dollars in renovations on the venue that few expected could ever return to life. Among those few, however, was visionary Warren businessman Mark Marvin whose investment made it all possible.

Now, we look forward to attempting to predict what will come. Our nation will again face a hearty election season pitting polarizing figures, including President Donald Trump and more than half a dozen Democratic candidates, against one another. That will come only after a controversial and divisive Senate trial of our recently impeached president.

There will be local elections as well, and many incumbents, especially Trumbull countywide leaders, will face challengers.

And 2020 will bring news that no one ever will see coming.

Last year at this time, few ever would have predicted that the Tribune Chronicle would have taken over publication of The Vindicator, our fiercest competitor for more than a hundred years. The announced closing of the 150-year-old Youngstown publication surely was a shock to all of us, but we are so proud to have played an important role in preserving the printed word for our new readers and friends in Mahoning County.

The gratitude I have for our many new co-workers brought on to make this publication possible is beyond words. That gratitude is rivaled only by the appreciation I have for existing colleagues who already had been here, working hard every day to bring you the news.

As we head into the new year, we will continue to work extremely hard to cover the news accurately and fairly. We are human, and unfortunately, we will make mistakes. When that happens, I hope you will bear with us, and I promise we will move swiftly to make it right.

If you have a news tip, we hope you will tell us so we can do our job to investigate and share it with our readers in 2020. Share news tips via email at ISawNews@tribtoday.com or call the newsroom at 330-841-1738.

I hope you had a very happy holiday season. And now, as we look forward to 2020, I wish you blessings for good health and happiness in the coming new year.

blinert@tribtoday.com

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