Mahoning Valley Podcast Episode 13

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Poverty Awareness Month, Western Reserve Scourge Radio Sports Brief, Youngstown Flag Football Teams Heading to Championships, Annies Law signed by Governor Kasich, Red Cross Blood Drives, Go Wild in the Park

According to the Diocese of Youngstown January is Poverty Awareness Month. Poverty is the state of being extremely poor.  Poverty is about not having enough money to meet basic needs including food, clothing and shelter.  However, poverty is more, much more than just not having enough money.  It is hunger, it is being sick and not being able to see a doctor, and it is not knowing how to read or having a job.  Poverty has many faces and changes all the time.

The World Bank Organization describes poverty in this way:

“Poverty is hunger. Poverty is lack of shelter. Poverty is being sick and not being able to see a doctor. Poverty is not having access to school and not knowing how to read. Poverty is not having a job, is fear for the future, living one day at a time.

Poverty has many faces, changing from place to place and across time, and has been described in many ways.  Most often, poverty is a situation people want to escape. So poverty is a call to action — for the poor and the wealthy alike — a call to change the world so that many more may have enough to eat, adequate shelter, access to education and health, protection from violence, and a voice in what happens in their communities.”

In addition to a lack of money, poverty is about not being able to participate in recreational activities; not being able to send children on a day trip with their schoolmates or to a birthday party; not being able to pay for medications for an illness.  These are all costs of being poor.

What can you do to help alleviate poverty in your neighborhood or community?  How can you help the poor among us?

  • Visit our updated Dollar Days Wish List at to purchase products that our clients need most;
  • Donate non-perishable food to Catholic Charities to help fill our pantries so that we are able to feed the hungry among us;
  • Pray for those who face poverty on a daily basis;
  • Contact a Catholic Charities Agency near you and volunteer your time to help;
  • Donate your gently used coats, hats, scarves, gloves and blankets to Catholic Charities;
  • Be kind to those you meet, you don’t know what people are dealing with.

Each January, and every month after that, the Catholic community takes a stand against poverty.  Won’t you please join us?

Western Reserve Scourge Radio Brief with Jim Craven

According to WKBN Congratulations are due to the YYFFA. Because YSU isn’t the only local team playing for a national championship. Three flag football teams are also competing later this month. WKBN caught up with the Youngstown Youth Flag Football Association while they practiced at the Watts Center at YSU. The championships are in Orlando this year. The NFL sponsors the tournament and picks up the tab for the kids. “The kids get free apparel, free gloves, free shoes, a trip to the Pro Bowl, a trip to the Disney parks. It’s something that you read about, but these kids get to live it,” said Coach Elliott Giles. Three teams of different age groups will represent Youngstown: The Browns, Steelers and Bengals. This is the seventh year that Giles has teams competing in nationals. They’ve never finished lower than third place. The teams leave January 26 for Florida. And speaking of Football Leagues here in the Mahoning Valley:

Western Reserve Scourge PSA

Make sure you head on over to their facebook page and give them a like and keep up with their activities. And Follow them on Twitter.

Annie’s Law was signed by Governor Kasich yesterday making it possible for Drunk Driving Offenders to cut their required Dirving Suspension in half if they use an ignition interlock device.

According to TV10 out of Columbus, House Bill 388, which is designed to protect people from repeat drunk drivers was signed into law Wednesday. Governor John Kasich signed the bill, also known as “Annie’s Law,” to increase the use of ignition interlock systems to prevent drunk driving fatalities and crashes.

The law will take effect April 4 and will reduce a 12-month license suspension period by half for first offenders if they use the system. The systems are breathalyzers that prevent a car from starting if the driver is over the limit. The law is named after Annie Rooney, who was hit and killed by a repeat drunk driving offender in Ross County in 2013. Mothers Against Drunk Driving National President Colleen Sheehey-Church issued the following statement:

MADD is grateful to Governor Kasich and the dedicated legislators who share our mission to eliminate this 100 percent preventable crime. Many lives will be saved as Ohio increases the number ignition interlocks used by drunk driving offenders.

According to their website, Anna Louise Rooney, always known as Annie, of Chillicothe, Ohio was killed by a drunk driver on on July 4, 2013, at around 9pm. Annie was traveling home after borrowing a bike for an upcoming race when an oncoming driver crossed into her lane on US Rte 50, just outside of Chillicothe. Annie’s bikes had been stolen the previous weekend in Columbus, Ohio, outside German Village.

Annie was born in Chillicothe, Ohio on April 14, 1977 to Dr. Richard C. Rooney and Carole Mayer Rooney of Chillicothe, Ohio; Annie was 36 years old. She graduated from Western Reserve Academy in Hudson, Ohio in 1995, where she was a star athlete. Annie graduated from Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island in 1999 and the Law School of Lewis and Clark in Portland, Oregon in 2007.

Prior to returning home to Chillicothe, Annie was a prosecuting attorney in Bozeman, Montana, where she served her community by aggressively prosecuting domestic violence and DUI cases. She recently opened her own law practice in Chillicothe, Ohio. A separate Montana memorial service was held for Annie which can be read about below.

Annie was passionate about adventure and recently began a mountain bike racing career. She traveled and lived all over the world, including every continent except Antarctica, which was on her list. She also lived and worked in New York City and San Francisco on various start-up ventures.

Annie was beloved by many for her charm, her sense of humor, her courage, her unique ability to make others feel loved, and her generous smile. Her most memorable characteristic was her boundless energy with unending optimism. Professionally Annie was a tireless advocate for crime victims and a very successful prosecutor.

Annie was an inspiration to all who knew her. A recent quote captures her essence: “You wanted to be like her, but you couldn’t figure out how”.

She is survived by her parents, Dr. Richard and Carole Rooney of Chillicothe, Ohio, her sister Kate (Rooney) Lyaker (Dr. Michael Lyaker) of Columbus, Ohio, and her brothers Dr. Craig Rooney (Dr. Angie Song) and Dr. Walt Rooney (Adrienne) of Seattle, Washington, and many aunts, uncles, and cousins.

On a personal note, I can tell you that you do not want one of these things in your car. I worked with an Ignition Interlock Company for over 8 years and was responsible for managing over 700 accounts for people who lived in Pennsylvania and needed to use one of these to have their driving privilege restored. First off, think of this. That is standard practice. One account manager for over 700 individual accounts. Do you think some of the people got locked out from starting their cars had to wait in order to get their car started again?

I did not have to work weekends either so if one of these devices failed or locked a customer out on Friday night, they were waiting until Monday morning or even afternoon to get their car started again. And the cost of these devices is also a consideration. The customers had to pay an installation fee, a monthly lease and a removal fee. It usually ran into about 1200-1500 dollars by the time they were done with it.

And guess what, that is not all. If you locked out your device due to either blowing failed tests that were registering an alcohol level or because you were unable to for whatever reason not able to follow the protocol to get the device to accept the sample, there are reset fees that for this company were 50.00 to reset. If a device failed to operate properly, the customer would be required to pay to have their vehicle towed to a service center or pay to have a technician come out to repair or replace it. If the device was damaged in any way while in the possession of the customer, the customer had to pay the repair and replacement costs. Although it was rare, I had some customers who were having their device reset every two weeks and paying an extra hundred or so dollars a month for that. I also had customers who somehow lost part of the device and were billed over $800.00 dollars for that. Bottom Line, you do not want one of these things in your car. So Do not ever, ever drink and drive.

Red Cross is in dire need of Blood. According to the Vindicator, The American Red Cross of the Mahoning Valley has a critical need for blood donors after donations slowed during the holidays.

Christina Gargas, the local account manager for the Red Cross of the Mahoning Valley, said the decrease in blood donations during the holiday season is not uncommon. “During the holidays we see the hustle and bustle; people are busy or they’re planning for time off and traveling, and they just don’t make it in to donate,” Gargas said.

Along with the busy that comes with the holidays, the winter season offers its own hurdles for those considering giving blood. Inclement weather conditions and seasonal illnesses also contribute to the annual decline in donors participating in Red Cross blood drives. Christy Peters, communications manager for ARC Mahoning Valley, said the organization attempts to combat the slowdown by increasing its outreach to regular donors around the holiday season and by offering incentives to attract new participants.

“Over the holidays we have more event drives where we offer more incentives,” Peters said. “During our normal blood drives, we try to keep extended hours to give people a broader opportunity to come out and donate.” Click here to find locations and times.

According to the Vindicator, You can take your youngins to go wild in the park in Salem. Learn skills that could help you survive if you find yourself in dangerous winter conditions at a Go Wild in the Park program presented by Boy Scouts Troop 3 of Salem. It will take place at 10 a.m. Jan. 21 at the Salem Memorial Building gymnasium, 785 E. State St. Registration is required online at The Salem Public Library Website or by calling the library at 330-332-0042 or by calling Shane at the Salem Memorial Building at 330-332-5512.

Explore the world of wolves beginning with the lives of wolf pups during this family friendly, interactive video-conferencing program from the International Wolf Center in Ely, Minn. The program will take place in the Quaker Room at Salem Public Library, 821 E. State St., at 2 p.m. Jan. 28. It will include real-time observations of the International Wolf Center’s resident wolves. Online registration is required at the above library website or by calling the library or the Salem Memorial Building at the above numbers.

The programs are free and open to the public through a partnership of Salem Parks and Recreation Department and Salem Public Library.