Episode 15 Transcript for the Mahoning Valley Podcast

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Meet the New Police Dog. Sports with Western Reserve Radio. Honoring the Memory of Martin.

According to the Vindicator, A newly-acquired police dog will be introduced to the community at Saturday’s 7:05 p.m. Youngstown Phantoms hockey game at the Covelli Centre against the Sioux City Musketeers. The Youngstown Phantoms are assisting the Mahoning County Sheriff’s Office in raising money for the training and care of the 2 1/2-year-old Dutch Shepherd named Phantom.

The Fraternal Order of Police will be selling raffle tickets for various prizes at the game, with proceeds to be used toward the costs associated with the dog. Phantom and his handler will be introduced to the community between periods of the game. Saturday is Free Youth Jersey Night for the first 750 young people attending the game.

So used to be afraid of Police Dogs. Well, German Shepherds anyway. When I was growing up in Pittsburgh; I had a morning paper route. I walked about 3 miles every morning no matter the weather and delivered papers. It was the Pittsburgh Post Gazette. Most days, it was pretty light duty; but back then they also had the Sunday Paper. So 7 days a week, I was out there usually before sunrise delivering the News for my neighbors.

There was one house that had a German Shepherd. And most days it was in the house. But it did not like me walking up to the porch and dropping off that paper. Not at all. In fact, I think it was able to smell me. Sometimes, it would start making a ruckus before I even got there. And it was scary. It was a big dog and it barked loud. And it barked at me.

One morning for whatever reason, the owners left it out on the porch and it was untied. I started coming down the road towards the house and it started barking. And I saw it on the porch. I start thinking, there aint no way they are getting their paper today. As I got closer to the house, with the full intent on walking right by, it started coming off the porch and down the yard at me.

I nearly fouled my jeans. It was running up to me and I was scared. Seriously scared, thinking I was about to become dog chow. I stood there. Cause I knew there was no way I was outrunning this thing. So I start thinking, if I survive this; I am going to sue the pants off these people. It keeps coming, and I stand there frozen. Getting ready to try to beat it off me with my paper carrying sack.

It runs up to me and sniffs. It starts sniffing at my junk and legs. I am standing there waiting for it to take a chunk out of me. It keeps sniffing and then I slowly put my hand out palm up so it can smell my hand. He/she keeps sniffing and I start to pet it a little under the neck. I keep scratching and it starts to wag its tail a little. I start patting it on the head and it starts rubbing up against me a little. As it turns out, it was nice big dog who just wanted some attention.

Moral of the story. Sometimes the thing we are afraid of is the best thing for us. Sometimes we have to stand still and face our fears and hope for the best. That big ole dog was out a few more mornings, but those people always got their paper. Because I had a job to do. And their dog was a big puppy at heart. And now I was his friend.

WesternReserveRadio.com Sports with Jim Craven

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On Monday, we as a community and nation honor the memory of one of our great civil rights leaders. A man who was assassinated for his beliefs and commitment to equality. A man who was honored during his life and also after his death. And is still considered to be a beacon of light in a dark time in American History. When people refused to allow the fundamental values that our Constitution espoused. A time when for whatever reason, men and women had yet to see the fact that our Bill of Rights applied equally to all members of our society and citizens of these United States of America.

I will get to naming him momentarily, but not before I rant about the grievous evil that many people held so fast to. By now most of us know who I am talking about anyway. But this man had cajones and conviction. I think he had an understanding that his mission would likely lead to his demise. We never know when any of us are out of time, and he may not have been expecting to die on that fateful day when evil finally had it’s moment. What evil never knows in the moment is that it all works together for a greater good. That is why good always triumphs over evil. Because the greater good can use evil’s work to bring a greater good about. And that without evil never knowing it is coming.

This man though; I think he knew it may come someday. His assassination that is. He knew that he was causing narrow minded and selfishly blinded people to feel as if they were being encroached upon. He surely knew that in speaking out against wickedness, it would look for some way to get him back.

Yet, he was unafraid. He was stalwart. He was bold and spoke the truth that he knew. Because someone had to do it. Someone had to speak for those who had no voice. And this man that I speak of did exactly this. He took to the streets and told the truth. He took to the airwaves and told the truth. He would speak the truth whenever given the opportunity knowing full well that eventually it would be the reason that some sad lost soul would use to justify killing him.

So Monday January 16, we honor this man of courage and faith. Martin Luther King Jr. We are still honoring his memory despite the fact that he was killed nearly 40 years ago. And not only will we honor his memory but people will go out and do good things in his memory. That is a legacy. When people remember what you did and are still inspired to go out and do good.

The YNDC, one of my favorite non profits here in the Mahoning Valley will be working with one of our local communities of faith to get out into the streets of Youngstown and do some work. And I for one applaud the good work that these nice people are doing. Because in many ways, the YNDC and Family Life Ministries are exemplifying what I consider to be a good thing. Following the example of Mr King. Getting out into the streets and cleaning things up.

It is easy for me to sit in this nice comfortable makeshift recording studio and talk ab0ut doing things to help our community. I admit it. It is easy for me to do it. Don’t get me wrong, there is a bunch of work that goes into podcasting. But for me it is pleasant and easy work. Enjoyable even. Part of that may be because as most people who know me would tell you, I love to hear myself talk. I admit that too. I love the sound of my own voice.

But there is one thing that many people may not understand about a project like this. Not everyone likes what I have to say all the time. Sometimes, I am boring and preachy. Sometimes I may point my finger at someone I think is a sucky waste of space as a means of showing all of us what a bad example is or to show that to do wrong has consequences. Like in one of my earlier episodes I referred to some local officials as excrement. I was wrong. Even the most wretched sinners are still people too. And although I am glad they finally decided to give up and go home when their ringleader was indicted; I still could have been less derogatory and more respectful of their humanity. For that I am sorry and want to assure my listeners that it will never happen again.

So I am not going to cry about how much hard work it is to do these podcasts Because I do them by choice. But I am going to ask you to help me to continue to showcase the good things here in this Valley. For much the same reason that MLK Jr spoke out in his day. Because someone has to do it. Someone needs to focus on the good around here. We all know that this valley has a lot of good stuff going on all the time. Yes, we have problems. I have problems. But one thing that many of us can agree characterizes the Mahoning Valley and most of our citizens here is that just because there is a problem we don’t just tuck our tails between our legs and scamper off. We stand up for what is right and do what is right in many cases.

You, if you have been following this project have a heart to do what is good. And you want to hear about what is good here. And you know the value of telling people what is good here. And that it is important work that someone has to do. So partner with me and sponsor this project. It will be worth your while. I will make sure of it. Click on this link and make a commitment. If you have a non profit, I will make it worth your while. If you are an individual, I will give you credit if you want. If you want to remain anonymous and just do something to help our Valley; I will keep discretion and make it our secret. If you are a business owner or someone who is responsible for digital communications, take the idea to your boss if need be and get the money to keep these coming.

I am going to keep at it either way. I am not going anywhere. I am in it for the long run so join me and send some money to participate. Invest in our Valley and our community and we will make it better together. Thanks.