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Odds and Ends
January 12, 2010 - Joe Gorman
The city of Youngstown is not starting off 2010 on the right foot.
Two homicides the first two weekends of the year, coupled with a shooting where officers were forced to kill a man running amok at an East Side housing complex who shot at tenants, officers and anyone else around wipes out the memory of recording just one homicide in the last three months of 2009.
No matter how many awards or magazine articles or business stories are written about the city, until this chronic crime problem is nipped in the bud, the city's negative stereotype will not go away.
There was not to much in the 2010 plan about ``negativity' or ``bad vibes.' But trust me, that mindset needs to be addressed as much as the nuts and bolts of attracting businesses and keeping residents. And one of the prime feeders of that mindset is the city's crime.
We were supposed to know by now when V&M would be deciding the fate of their expansion project in Youngstown, but it looks like nothing will come soon. How do I know, you may ask? No, I am not Karnac, but with Mayor Williams in Israel this week, I think it's safe to say there will be no announcement.
No politician in his right mind would want to be out of town and miss the photo op that would take place for such a groundbreaking announcement. Although I think Jay is different than most politicians, I would not blame him for wanting to be there when the decision is made. That is, if the decision is to go ahead with the project.
* * * Don't think that the hiring of former Mooney D-coordinator Ron Stoops Jr. by new YSU football coach Eric Wolford as Director of High School Relations is an attempt to win back some of the love for YSU when the Sweater Vest himself was at the helm of the Penguins' grid program.
One complaint I have heard from several high school coaches the last several years as I did the football previews for the city schools is they felt the past regime headed up Jon Heacock ignored local talent.
As to whether or not that was true -- and I had heard Heacock vehemently deny that allegation more than once -- the perception was there, at least. Look for Stoops to not so much as woo players during recruiting, but woo their coaches and soothe any hurt feelings -- although a guy who was part of the brain trust for one of the greatest high school football dynasties in the state may have had a hand in bruising some feelings thanks to the Cardinals dominance on the local gridiron.
The word on the street is that Wolford is an excellent recruiter. If that is true, expect some talent that may left before for D-1 schools in a lower tier conference like the MAC to stay closer to home.
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