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Brenda J. Linert

Newsman showcased fairness, balance

Frequently I have used this space to protest what I perceive as a growing divide and increasing lack of balance in news reporting by the national media today. Sadly, consumers of news lost one of the great ones in journalism last week — one who always could be counted on to report with ...

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. ...

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 nonpartisan, independent, nonprofit research group that tracks money spent in U.S. politics. It sounds like a ridiculous amount of money, but incredibly, that’s not ...

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 ...

Mark Veterans Day with respect, reverence

I was perusing syndicated editorial cartoons late last week in search of one to publish Monday to mark Veterans Day. I needed one that depicted the importance and reverence of the holiday — one that showed respect and heartfelt appreciation for those who served our nation selflessly. As I ...

High court case answers some questions

I sometimes hear from readers wanting our newspaper to get involved in their attempts to obtain public records, especially when they believe a public agency is unresponsive to their request. Indeed, journalists generally have more experience at seeking public records. However, I’m not an ...

Fall brings thoughts of offering thanks

Leaves are turning, folks are stocking up on their trick-or-treat candy and the nights are getting more brisk. That has become increasingly clear each night when I take my beagle out for his regular stroll. We go well after dark because, well, my husband would tell you that’s usually when ...

Truth, inclusiveness focus of Sheen lecture

I wasn’t sure what to expect. Like many Hollywood actors Martin Sheen has been known to speak his mind on political issues of the day. Honestly, it’s just not something I usually want to hear from people I look to for simple entertainment. Let’s face it, I spend all day, every day ...

Education can combat plague of fake news

I had the opportunity to participate in a panel discussion last week about the future of local news coverage in the Mahoning Valley. This important discussion was coordinated by the Youngstown Press Club and the Public Library of Youngstown and Mahoning County and included this newspaper, ...

Democrats’ race for White House getting interesting

When even liberal and left-leaning columnists start criticizing Democrats and their shaky promises of free stuff, you know there’s trouble. Syndicated political columnist Froma Harrop’s piece published in this newspaper Sept. 22 did just that. In that column, Harrop pointed out that ...

Mike DeWine wants answers on chemicals in Ohio’s water

My family and I try to do our part to protect the environment. We recycle our cans, bottles and newspapers without fail every week. I drive a Chevy Malibu gasoline / battery-operated hybrid that saves fossil fuel every time I back out of the garage. My husband even has taken a great interest ...

Journalist recounts path to citizenship

In his mind, Luis Sanchez Saturno has been an American since he was a teenager. After moving to Warren from Venezuela at age 13, he learned to speak broken English as an eighth-grader at Warren’s Western Reserve High School. Later, he attended Howland Local Schools, where he settled into ...

Don’t take local military value for granted

Michael Dustman, director of constituent services for U.S. Sen. Rob Portman, was adamant last week that the Mahoning Valley should not “give up the fight” on the possibility that a local military installation still could be chosen as home for a proposed East Coast Missile Defense site. If ...