A world of changes has passed before the eyes of Valentina Williams. She’s lived through two world wars, seen the development of the automobile industry and the space program. She’s seen world leaders rise and fall, and she’s lived through the administrations of nearly 20 U.S. presidents.

Williams, a mother of six, will turn 110 years old on Aug. 26, and is believed to be the oldest living resident of Youngstown. She was one of nine people honored Sunday during a ceremony at the Mahoning Valley Historical Society’s Tyler Historical Center downtown.

Like Williams, some are thought to be among the oldest living black Mahoning Valley natives, honored for their longevity and their contributions to making life better for generations that followed. Others were leaders in the business and civic communities.

Food, music,

chatting with friends and renewing acquaintances ranked among the top draws for the thousands of people who flocked to Our Lady of Sorrows Parish’s 14th annual Mahoning Valley Slovak Fest. The event took place Sunday at the Byzantine Center at the Grove, known as “the Grove,” off Shady Run Road on the South Side. That area is what one festival-goer, Dave Kuzma, of Youngstown said is known colloquially as the Lansingville area. Father John Jerek, pastor of Our Lady of Sorrows, estimated more than 2,500 had attended by midafternoon Sunday.

Also in Youngstown, change is happening through collaboration. When it comes to improving the region, there is a sizable gulf between what issues Youngstown city government can effectively accomplish within its budget and what problems private industry can address while still generating a profit.

Within that gulf, problems are left either unaddressed or become the focus of community and nonprofit organizations.

Groups such as the Youngstown Neighborhood Development Corp., the Mahoning County Land Bank and Youngstown CityScape emerged to address some of those issues.

In sports, after watching their All-Star closer lose a two-run lead in the bottom of the ninth inning, the Cleveland Indians bounced right back to win their four-game series in Minnesota and forge another tie for the AL Central lead.

The three-time defending division champions have made a remarkable summer rebound, setting up a tense race with the Twins for the final stretch.

Carlos Santana hit a grand slam in the 10th, after Tyler Naquin and Francisco Lindor teamed up to throw out what would have been the winning run for the Twins in the ninth, and Cleveland beat Minnesota 7-3 on Sunday.