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‘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 written by David Sprague, an Ohio State University Mahoning County Extension Master Gardener volunteer.

The story headed a page and a half of other interesting stories about gardening, growing and other environmental topics in the returning “Valley Grows,” section of The Vindicator. After a hiatus of several months, “Valley Grows” now is slated for publication each Monday.

Many, many times since September I have heard from readers about their wish for the return of this very popular weekly gardening and environmental page that ran previously in The Vindicator. Content was (and will be again) provided by Master Gardeners, educators and other environmental experts who work with the Ohio State Extension office in Mahoning County.

We are very excited to be able to work with the Ohio State Extension office to bring it to you.

A few examples of upcoming features might include looks at proper watering, poison ivy, horse flies or early season apples. Fall might bring some stories on mums; yellow jackets; or fall foliage.

The stories won’t stop with winter, when these experts might discuss winterizing your plants; bird feeding; or Poinsettia care.

Like you, I’m looking forward to reading the page each week and learning new planting and gardening tips. Trust me, I’ve never been accused of having a green thumb, but that doesn’t mean I don’t try. And reading the Valley Grows content just might help!

Readers also soon will be seeing collaborative content in The Vindicator from journalists all across Ohio about the approaching November election.

The collaboration, known as “Your Voice Ohio,” or YVO, will research and share content for readers all across Ohio.

The Vindicator has been part of past YVO collaborative efforts that previously focused on state-wide analyses of the opioid addiction crisis and Ohio’s economy. This year’s project will involve some 40 news organizations statewide working together to provide relevant, important information regarding the 2020 presidential election.

The COVID-19 pandemic that has triggered an economic downturn, coupled by ongoing protests for racial justice, not to mention the already existing divisive political climate, will make this election unlike any other. Voters, stressed by inaccurate, misleading or unbalanced information they find on social media, need election reporting from credible news sources that they can trust.

The Vindicator and its media partners will engage with the public to produce a series of stories focusing on the issues that matter most to Ohioans and present the platforms of presidential candidates so voters can determine whom they believe provides the best path forward for our country.

Here, in northeast Ohio, volunteers like you are being sought for a two-hour online engagement session set for 2 to 4 p.m. July 7.

Online discussion will help to ensure our electoral coverage is shaped by Ohio residents. Participants will be selected from volunteers to reflect state demographics. Participants will be compensated $125. To volunteer, visit YourVoiceOhio.org/election2020.

More digital conversations will be held in coming weeks focusing on other parts of Ohio, as well.

YVO also will sponsor a statewide poll, to be conducted in July by the Center for Opinion and Marketing Research and co-authored with the Bliss Institute of Applied Politics at the University of Akron.

We are excited to participate in this year’s project and hope you will benefit from our stories.

YVO is the largest sustained, statewide media collaborative in the nation. The Democracy Fund, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and Facebook are primary funders of YVO projects.

To learn more, visit www.yourvoiceohio.org.

blinert@tribtoday.com

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