Good morning and welcome to your Morning Matters.
It’s Thursday, Feb. 18, 2021, and a story on WFMJ.com yesterday really got my attention because I experienced a strange phenomenon Tuesday night in Boardman.
About 10:45 p.m. I was winding down and unwinding a cat from around my neck when suddenly I was startled by an odd banging noise at the front of our house.
Our main floor is open concept, and the noise — almost like someone had whacked our garage door — was substantial enough to even get a cat’s attention. We both headed toward the door leading to the garage. I heard nothing. I opened the door to peer out into the garage. Cold and quiet. I went to the front door. All quiet. I went out on the very cold front porch, and there were no signs of life, people or even footprints in the snow.
I then checked our cams. Nothing. I chalked it up to one of those annoying homeowner mysteries. Then I saw the story on WFMJ: “Freezing trees blamed for ‘gunshot’ sounds in Hubbard, Liberty” yesterday morning.
Hmmm … “Police in Hubbard and Liberty townships early Wednesday investigated reports of gunfire or the sounds of someone kicking in doors that may have been caused by a weather-related phenomenon …” Really? “According to Arbor Experts of Dayton, Ohio, when temperatures drop to below freezing like they did early Wednesday when the mercury fell to near zero, a natural occurrence that is known as ‘frost cracking’ can take place.”
I forgot to mention — we have 22 trees on our property. And it absolutely sounded like someone had kicked the garage door. Elementary, my dear Watson!
Let’s hope you solve your mysteries, too.
Now, here’s what you need to know about the Mahoning Valley today:
Lordstown Motors Corp. is trying to do what Tesla couldn’t eight years ago in the Ohio Legislature.
The electric vehicle startup wants an exemption to be able to sell its all-electric Endurance pickup truck directly to customers. Currently, state law prohibits all vehicle manufacturers from making direct sales and setting up their own dealerships — except for Tesla Motors Inc. Reporter Justin Dennis details how the Tesla deal might impact the LMC effort.
- In the U.S.: 27,412,674 confirmed cases; 483,359 deaths, according to infection2020.com at 8 p.m. Feb. 17.
- In Ohio: 945,107 confirmed or suspected cases; 16,513 deaths.
- In Pennsylvania: 902,650 confirmed cases; 23,319 deaths.
- In the Mahoning Valley: 18,987 confirmed or suspected cases in Mahoning County; 13,934 in Trumbull; and 7,942 in Columbiana.
- Dow Jones Industrial Average: Closed at 31,613.02, up 90.27 points, or 0.29 percent.
City Health Commissioner Erin Bishop said about 900 people are expected to be given the coronavirus vaccine by the Youngstown City Health District next week. The department has a waiting list of about 800 people, and the goal is to reduce the list to zero. Mahoning Matters
The Ohio General Assembly keeps taking swing after swing in an attempt to knock out House Bill 6, a billion-dollar nuclear energy bill passed more than a year ago that led to what federal prosecutors have called the largest corruption scandal in state history. Mahoning Matters
As part of its ongoing celebration of Black History Month, 88.5 WYSU-FM will air the NPR “Throughline” special episode “Billie Holiday and Shirley Chisholm” at 4 p.m. Sunday. Mahoning Matters
Businesses and homes in parts of East Liverpool should prepare for no water or low water pressure Friday as the city embarks on the final tie-in for the 4th Street project. WFMJ
With Phase 1B of the state’s vaccination plan gearing up for its sixth week, Valley health departments say demand is far outpacing vaccine supply — and that likely won’t change for a while. The Business Journal [May require registration.]
While more in-person learning is coming to Lakeview High School this week, there is still disagreement between the administration and a group of parents about how to reopen. WYTV
While chicken coops were a hot topic during the Youngstown Zoning Board’s monthly meeting Tuesday, few decisions were made. WKBN
In case you missed it
Youngstown City Schools has yet to release its plan for students to return to the classroom despite pledging to return by March 1 in order to receive prioritized eligibility for the coronavirus vaccine. Gov. Mike DeWine on Tuesday urged school districts to hold up their end of the bargain. Mahoning Matters
Your comments matter
“Chick-fil-A had 27 cars in line at their drive through. McDonald’s had two. I don’t know who owns either one, but I can see popular opinion.”
— Mark Kirby, on McDonald’s franchisee and Youngstown resident Herb Washington, who filed a discrimination lawsuit against McDonald’s. “The corporate entitled knee has been on my neck, my throat for 40 years,” Washington said. “When I see racism and injustice I have to speak up.”
Event of the day
Ever wonder how wildlife copes with the cold winter weather? OSU Extension Mahoning County will present “Naturalist Series: How do animals survive the cold?” at 6:30 p.m. The virtual presentation, with speaker Marne Titchenell, OSU Wildlife Program specialist, will explore various strategies animals use to survive the cold and options to give them a helping hand. To register, click here.
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