Wednesday, November 02, 2005

The Campbell Works, Youngstown Sheet and Tube

In November 1900, a group of 55 Youngstown citizens, led by James A. Campbell, raised $600,000 in capital to create the Youngstown Iron Sheet and Tube Company. Land was purchased along the Mahoning River approximately three miles east of downtown. In 1902, the mill opened for production.

Spectacular growth marked the company's second decade, some of it spurred by the demand for steel caused by World War I. In 1923, YS&T purchased the Brier Hill Steel Company of Youngstown and the Steel and Tube Company of America of East Chicago. During the 1930s the company survived the Great Depression and the 1937 "Little Steel" strike to emerge as a leading steel producer. In the 1960s, YS&T began to experience a decline. The company merged with the Lykes Corporation in 1969 and LTV Corporation in 1979, at which time all Youngstown operations were phased out.

Youngstown Sheet and Tube workers pouring steel into molds (circa 1915).

Brier Hill

No neighborhood in Youngstown has more history behind it than Brier Hill. This Brier Hill image comes from the turn of the 20th Century, and features none other than the Brier Hill Meat Market, which I'm sure was a required stop for immigrants leaving the mills before making the evening's dinner.

St. John's Episcopal Church

St. John's Episcopal Church was constructed in 1862. A great oral history of the church was compiled by YSU, as part of its ongoing oral history project. A link can be found here:

First National Bank on West Federal Street

This historic image of West Federal Street includes the First National Bank. It was probably taken around 1900.

Historic Banks of Youngstown

These two photos represent two very historic banks in Youngstown. The first is the Second National Bank and the second is the Dollar Bank. Both buildings were downtown on Federal Plaza.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Youngstown Convocation Center Grand Opening Today!

Today I had the opportunity to tour the newly opened convocation center in downtown Youngstown! It is a fabulous building, and I think will create a lot of new entertainment options for the people of the area. Some large name music groups (Three Doors Down and Tomy Bennett, for example) are already signed up to play there within the nexy month or so. The Youngstown Steelhounds, a minor league hockey team, will also make the convocation center their home. They won their season opener today 3-2!

Thursday, September 29, 2005

It's time to go out and enjoy the nightlife in Youngstown

The Jambar - ae
Issue: 9/29/05


It's time to go out and enjoy the nightlife in Youngstown
By Eric Grosso

Just a few years ago, not very many people in Youngstown mentioned 'fun' and 'downtown' in the same sentence. Over the last few months, the words have become a common phrase to describe a weekend here.

With the opening of new clubs, restaurants, stores and lounges, downtown Youngstown is in an area of growth: something that seemed impossible a short time ago.

The new spotlight of downtown is the $41-million-Youngstown Convocation Center. The center already has top acts booked, including 3 Doors Down, Tony Bennett, Barenaked Ladies and the Trans Siberian Orchestra. The 5,700-seat venue will also house Youngstown Steelhounds hockey starting in November and a possible Arena Football League team in the future.

Countless forms of entertainment are just a short distance away. Classic bars and restaurants combined with big city style dance clubs make for an interesting mix for Youngstown residents.

Cedar's Lounge one of the most notable venues, housing a restaurant serving Lebanese and American cuisine. Cedars also hosts local and national performers. Pittsburgh heavy rockers The Motorpsychos bring their rhythmic punk with The Blastoffs this Friday. Acclaimed artist BJ O'Malley will perform her unique style of alternative county rock on Saturday.

It's also home base for local musicians The Zou, who held the latest Nouveau Rock Festival at Cedars a few weeks ago, will hold their 4th annual Rocky Horror Halloween Party on Oct. 29.

Cedar's also houses DJ Martini on Sundays, spinning new and underground cult classics. Every Tuesday is jazz and blues night with Teddy Pantelas and swing dancing is held every Thursday.

Two of Youngstown's newest clubs, The Bad Apple and Skeeter's Jazz Bar and Grill, add to the variety of Federal Plaza. The Bad Apple offers the best selection of martinis and also offers live entertainment, while Skeeter's has numerous jazz events throughout the week.

The Core and the Cell are two of the area's best dance clubs, bringing big-city décor and styles to Youngstown. Sports fans can visit Buffalo Wild Wings, which shows numerous sporting events in screens throughout the facility in addition to serving some of the area's best wings.

The re-opening of Federal Street in December started the movement, allowing for traffic to pass conveniently through downtown and generating interest for the first time since 1973. The street's re-opening also saw a number of other additions, including the Bean Counter Café in 2003 and B and B's Unique Ladies Boutique in 2004.

Federal Street isn't the only place to be entertained. The Nyabinghi on Salt Springs Road is usually the center of underground music and entertainment. The venue has hosted groups from Columbus natives Red Wanting Blue to synth-pop brother duo Gil Mantera's Party Dream and numerous local acts.

Thursday at the Nyabinghi will see the Rebreather farewell show, while Friday the 'Binghi will host rock acts Posture Coach, Dramatic Ending and Sam Goodwill. You Are The War That I Want and Soiler will perform on Saturday.

Along with music, perhaps the most entertaining event in the valley in "Crapaoke" held every Wednesday at the Nyabinghi. This off-tune karaoke features a wider-variety song list and encourages performers to let it all hang out on stage: in short, it's not your normal karaoke, and that's a good thing. It also offers some of the best drink selection and prices in town and there's no cover charge for the fun on Wednesdays.

The former Jay Jay's, now known as Shenanigans, hosts a foam party every Monday just a few minutes away from YSU on Market Street.

For the sports fan, YSU Penguin Football starts its Gateway Conference schedule on Saturday at 6 p.m. against Illinois State. In addition to the food and drinks offered in the tailgate lot, Inner Circle Pizza and B&O Station are usually packed on game day. The Penguins are currently 3-1.

Youngstown, at least in the entertainment aspect, is going through a renaissance. Go out and enjoy it.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

N.E. Ohio is "haven" for wedding cookie tables!

The Mahoning Valley Historical Society has just opened a new exhibit entitled 'Mahoning Valley Weddings: Romance, Ritual and the Cookie Table.' My favorite aspect of the exhibit was this tidbit: The Mahoning Valley is a "haven" for the cookie table. Unknown to many areas throughout the country, this wedding tradition appears to be most popular in Northeast Ohio and Western Pennsylvania.

Check out for more information.

YSU made right decision for the Wick Pollock Inn

By The Jambar Editorial Board
Published: Thursday, June 16, 2005
Article Tools: Page 1 of 1

It may take a while longer for the Wick Pollock Inn to reopen, but Youngstown State University officials made the right decision to pull out of contract talks with Paran Management, the inn's potential developer.

From the start, the new plan to reopen the inn, which is located on the corner of Spring Street and Wick Avenue, didn't seem much better than the old plan that resulted in failure.

YSU first attempted to break into the hotel business in 1986. That year, the university leased the property for a period of 25 years to a partnership called the Pollock Inn Restoration Association. The partnership then took out a loan with First National Bank and converted the 14-room mansion into a 76-room inn.

Business wasn't exactly booming. In 1998, FNB foreclosed on the partnership, the inn shut its doors and the property has gone unused ever since. In September 2004, after a lengthy legal battle, FNB turned the remainder of the 25-year lease over to YSU in exchange for $500,000.

YSU, eager to reopen and renovate the fast deteriorating inn, solicited 22 companies for bids, but only Paran responded. The proposal Paran initially submitted to YSU bordered on insulting.

Paran asked for a 50-year lease, with YSU paying $250,000 up front to the company. After the inn was operational, Paran would pay the $250,000 back to YSU as well as a symbolic $1 per year rent for the property. Essentially, Paran was asking the university to give the property away for nothing.

University officials apparently were not able to negotiate a better deal, so they walked away - a smart decision.

Still, with every passing day, the inn falls deeper into disrepair. The building is a historic treasure and should not be subjected to such neglect. If university officials can't find a developer to overhaul the crumbling edifice, they should take the initiative and begin to renovate the building themselves.

In fact, YSU may ultimately be the best entity to run the Wick Pollock Inn. A former partner in the failed 1986 venture, Robert J. O'Malley, told the Jambar in October 2004 that for it to be a viable project, YSU needs to operate the inn itself.

"You don't need a major firm to come in and run it," O'Malley said. "You need to run it yourselves."

If the inn is capable of becoming profitable, why not reap the financial benefits? If the inn isn't capable of making money, no developer is going to want to come in and operate the place anyway.

It is questionable whether Youngstown's economy can even support a full service hotel again. However, if YSU uses the building as a learning tool for students in the hospitality management program, as has been mentioned in the past, with students staffing the inn, the venture could prove both financially and educationally profitable.

But time is money and the university needs to act fast before the historic Wick Pollock Inn deteriorates further.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Youngstown's artist underground...

After the recent loss of the Youngstown Mattress Company Art Center due to a fire, I started to look into art galleries in Youngstown and found this one. Check out the site. I think you'll like it!

Tip Top Gallery

Friday, May 13, 2005

Youngstown Air Base Dodges BRAC List

Youngstown Air Base Dodges BRAC List
May 13, 2005 10:00 a.m.

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio -- After holding their breaths for months, officials in the Mahoning Valley can now breathe a collective sigh of relief: The Youngstown Air Reserve Station is not among the names of military installations across the country the Pentagon plans to close, it was announced this morning.

U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan of Niles, D-17, made the announcement at a news conference downtown a few minutes ago. Now, the campaign begins to make sure the facility stays off the list and to explore ways to maintain or even expand the base.

“Ladies and gentlemen of the Mahoning Valley, we did it,” Ryan told an ethusiastic crowd, “we are not on the list.”

Ryan also said the air base is actually earmarked by the Pentagon to gain capacity. “We’re not eaxtly sure how many, whether that means planes or personnel, but the bottom line is we are not on the list,” he said.

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld released the recommendation list this morning. The BRAC Commission will now review the list and submit its findings to President Bush by Sept. 8. During a Pentagon briefing yesterday, Rumsfeld had said the commission would close between 5% and 11% of excess infrastructure, for a cost savings $48.8 billion over the next 20 years.

Shortly after taking office in early 2003, Ryan formed Operation: Save Our Airbase Reservists, a public-private sector partnership dedicated to preserving the air base, which has a projected local economic impact in excess of $100 million. More than 1,400 Air Force reservists are based at the Vienna Township, which also employs more than 300 Air Force Reserve technicians and 190 civilian Defense Department employees. Nearly 300 Navy and Marine Corps reservists also are stationed there.

The Vienna Township base is home to the 910th Airlift Wing, which in wartime employs Lockheed C-130 Hercules aircraft in tactical airlift combat missions. Currently, 12 C-130s are stationed at the base. With the recommendations announced, SOAR’s efforts now turn to keeping the base off the final BRAC list.

The Business Journal Online will continue to follow this story throughout the day.

Monday, May 02, 2005

Going Once, Going Twice... Idora on the Auction Block

On October 20, 1984, after the turnstile had turned for the last time, Idora was put on the auction block. These photos were taken when the park was open to the public to view before they bid - a wake for a dead park.

The World Famous Idora Park Carousel. This building was home to the P.T.C Carousel #61 installed at the park in 1922. The carousel building was one of the oldest structures at the park when it was demolished in September 1998. The Carousel itself was sold to a couple in New York City.

Who wants to buy Kiddie Land? It was up for auction when this photo was taken...

The Back Wabbit... aka The Jack Rabbit, depending on the direction of travel.
The Pittsburgh and Lake Erie (P&LE) Railroad Company yard in Youngstown.
Republic Steel, Youngstown Works (Photo 4)
Republic Steel, Youngstown Works (Photo 3)
Republic Steel, Youngstown Works (Photo 2)
Republic Steel, Youngstown Works (Photo 1)
The Pollack Estate caretaker's house is on the right while the carriage house is on the left. These homes have been demolished.
The Lower Road of the Mahoning Ave. Bridge in this 1984 picture. The Upper Road went down Mahoning while the lower road entered Mill Creek Park. This bridge was removed and replaced in the mid-1990's.

The Eagles Hall

According to the all-knowing Pat Lowry, the Eagles Hall was at the corner of Rayen Avenue and 5th Avenue and was torn down in the late 1980's.
The "Little Steel" strike in Youngstown left this police cruiser burned and upside down. These were some of the worst riots Youngstown and North East Ohio would ever see.
Downtown - The Consolidated Warehouse is now the Mahoning County jail.
The B&O Railroad Depot has seen better days in this photo. Luckily, this building has been beautifully restored and is not quite as dead as it used to be - it just lacks rail service.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

83-year-old patient charged for taking extra newspapers from box

By Harold Gwin, The Valley Voice

On his way to the hospital for cancer treatment March 16, Andy Fusco stopped at a Mahoning Avenue newspaper box to buy a copy of The Vindicator.

Fusco, who is 83-years old with failing hearing and sight, says he intended to take only a single copy of the 35-cent newspaper.

But The Vindicator claims Fusco actually took four newspapers and filed theft charges against the retired trucker. The charges carry a maximum fine of $1,000 and six months in jail.

Fusco, of Winchester Avenue, pleaded innocent of the charge before Youngstown Municipal Court Judge Elizabeth A. Kobly.

The retired trucker said the March 16 Vindicator edition was very thin and he didn’t realize he had taken more than a single copy from the box in front of the Brite & White Laundromat at 3212 Mahoning Ave.

He said it turned out that he had taken three papers after putting his money into the machine, not four as The Vindicator complaint against him claims.

“It was an honest mistake,” said Fusco’s younger brother, Frank, who accompanied him to court.

Whoever filed the charges against him “should be ashamed of themselves,” Frank Fusco said.

The police complaint against Fusco was signed by Amy Grant, transportation and single copy manager for The Vindicator. She was contacted about the alleged theft by Chris Thompson, a Brite & White employee, who collected a $200 reward.

Chris Thompson, who has worked at the laundry for eight years, said she first noticed Fusco appeared to be taking more than a single newspaper copy from the box right outside her office window about eight months ago.

She said she saw him stop and take papers from the box nearly every day she worked. Thompson said she finally decided to intervene because the laundry customers like to read the newspaper while doing their laundry and the box sold out too quickly.

She said she even took pictures of Fusco taking papers on more than one occasion.

Thompson said she alerted a Vindicator deliveryman and The Vindicator sent someone out to stake out the box and catch Fusco.

Fusco said a man from The Vindicator apparently followed him from the Mahoning Avenue Laundry to a store on Meridian Road where he stopped to buy two Cleveland Plain Dealers to take with him to the hospital.

The man demanded the newspapers and, not fully comprehending what the man wanted, Fusco said he tried to give him all of the papers he had, including the Plain Dealers.

The Vindicator filed a criminal complaint against Fusco the next day.

Frank Fusco said his older brother wasn’t trying to steal anything.

“He’s on borrowed time,” Frank Fusco said, explaining that his older brother is dying of cancer and lives on $700 a month in Social Security benefits.

Thompson said she didn’t know that she would be eligible for a reward from The Vindicator when she reported Fusco for theft.

“I do feel bad, because of his age and everything,” Thompson said.

Still, she wondered, what does it teach children if an older person gets away with theft?

Frank Fusco denied her allegation of repeated thefts by his brother.

“That isn’t true,” he said. “I know my brother. He’s not that type of guy.”

Calls to the city prosecutor’s office seeking comment on the case were not returned by press time.

New Downtown Candy Store Aims for Sweet Memories

Apr 20, 2005 8:00 a.m.

By George Nelson

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio -- The sweet taste of nostalgia is for sale at a new downtown candy store operated by a nonprofit corporation that employs disabled adults.

The Touch The Moon Candy Saloon opened a week ago on Phelps Street next to City Hall. It is operated by Iron and String Life Enhancement Inc., which provides residential and respite services for mentally retarded and developmentally disabled children and adults.

“We decided we wanted to go with something fun and what's more fun than candy?” asks James F. Sutman Jr., ISLE owner and director.

Sutman said he wanted to start a business that primarily employs people with disabilities but would receive no government funding. The business would financially stand on its own, he continued, but at the same time “keep things lighthearted.”

ISLE also operates the Purple Cat downtown, a day program on Commerce Street where adults with disabilities produce unique crafts and art items.

The Candy Saloon stocks the kinds of confections typically found in any grocery store, but it specializes in offering selections familiar to baby boomers from their youth -- “what they call retro candies … that were really popular back in the '50s or '60s,” Sutman said.

The candy counter's nostalgic features include Beemans, Clove and Black Jack chewing gums, Swedish fish, candy necklaces, marshmallow candy cones, licorice pipes and Wack-O-Wax lips -- even BB Bats.

The Candy Saloon also sells Starbucks coffee as well as its own store blend, Velvet ice cream products, candy gift sets and sodas.

“We want to fill a niche,“ Sutman remarked. “It's going to take us several months to figure out what exactly the businessmen and women of Youngstown are looking for.”

The store fills special orders on request, he said, and places special emphasis on working with regional candy suppliers.

The Candy Saloon has 12 employees, including eight of whom who have some form of disability. Sutman said he always tries to have one non-disabled person working with a disabled person or, depending on the disability, sometimes two.

Sutman is encouraged by response from both employees and the community. “It has been a 100% success as far as my disabled clients are concerned, my disabled employees,” he said.

The store enjoys good foot traffic from workers at downtown employers such as InfoCision, the Mahoning County Department of Children Services and the Youngstown Police Department.

“The mayor's been in there five or six times,“ Sutman added.

Sunday, March 27, 2005

U-Haul Self-Storage

The Isaly Dairy Building today - currently a U-Haul self-storage and truck rental facility.

Isaly's Dairy Building

Rescue Mission of the Mahoning Valley

Rescue Mission of Mahoning Valley - formerly known as the West Federal Street YMCA building Sully Johnson operated the Booker T. Washington Settlement at West Federal Street and West Madison Avenue. In 1926, the center moved to a new location on West Federal Street and became the West Federal Street YMCA for the black community. In 1931, a new building was erected where the West Federal Branch operated for 43 years before merging with the main YMCA branch downtown. The area that housed the Belmont Branch YMCA was a slum area, and the YMCA wanted to reach out to the people there. Inside, they had all the facilities that were in the Central Branch, and a really nice gym and pool. It was in it's day a beautiful facility. Now that the Rescue Mission owns the building, the gym is gone, but the pool is still used, and many of the smaller churches use it for baptisms. The building now serves as the Rescue Mission of Mahoning Valley. The apartments are still used.

Ursuline Academy

At the beginning of the twentieth century, the Mahoning Valley in northeast Ohio was clearly emerging as a major center of industry in the United States. Smokey steel mills rose along the Mahoning River for miles through the heart of Youngstown, beckoning tens of thousands of men and boys to the harsh work within them. Many of the laborers were Catholic immigrants from Europe who brought little with them to this country except their hunger for a better life and a strong faith to sustain their dreams. From humble beginnings similar to the city that welcomed them in 1874, the Ursuline Nuns of Youngstown were also at work, creating an opportunity for education in the valley which conveyed an optimism as unfailing as that of their adopted community.

Under the direction of Mother M. Joseph Hopkins, the simple "pay school" for girls attached to St. Columba Church in downtown Youngstown was expanded to include grades 9-12 in September 1905. With an initial enrollment of twenty-five students, the Ursuline Academy of the Holy name of Jesus was founded, the forerunner of today's Ursuline High School. Thus began an Ursuline tradation of quality secondary education in Youngstown which reaches 96 years at this writing. Classes for the girls were held initially in an imposing four- story brick structure located at 217 West Rayen Avenue that also served as the sister's convent.

Mother Vincent O'Connell was appointed first principal of the Academy. The original curriculum stressed classical studies and language skills. Doctrinal religion was emphasized in a setting of strict discipline. Four years after its opening on June 16, 1908, the high school celebrated its first commencement in Youngstown's Park Theater. Two graduates were honored--Miss Eunice Marie Lawlor and Miss Mary Agnes Maloney. The winds of war that blew over the nation and world during this century's second decade also swept the Youngstown area to an unparalleled period of development and prosperity. It was a time for growth, and the Ursuline Order responded to the influx of population by extending its work to other parishes that were being established in the city.

Meanwhile, the Academy was also expanding, soon outgrowing it Rayen Avenue facilities. Mother Joseph, general superior of the Order, proposed that the community acquire the Chaucey Andrews estate on Wick Avenue for the Academy. Mrs. John Logan, Andrew's daughter and owner of the house, agreed to a sale in February of 1919. The high school enrollment of forty settled into their new location late that winter. Mother Bernard McCann presided over the beginning of the "Wick Avenue Era" as Principal.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

West Federal Street - Update

For the information of those who might no know yet, in downtown
Youngstown as of now, there are only two empty west end buildings --
the old Paramount Theater and the Lerner Shop building next to the

The row of empty buildings are to be torn down soon; the Wells
Building and Armed Services are being restored, the State Theater is
coming down as part of the Wells Building project, and the Masters
Block is being demolished.

The whole project will put a whole new face on West Federal Street.

When it's finished there will be five brand new buildings on West

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Airbus in Youngstown... we can only dream!

Regional Airport to Be Pitched for Airbus Plant
Mar 10, 2005 8:00 a.m.

By Dan O’Brien

VIENNA, Ohio -- The Youngstown-Warren Regional Airport is one of three sites the state of Ohio will submit as a location for a proposed $600 million conversion plant for aerospace giant Airbus, sources confirmed this week.

The other sites under consideration are Columbus and Toledo, sources said. They spoke on condition of anonymity.

However, Ohio Department of Development spokesman Bill Teets would neither confirm nor deny that Youngstown-Warren is among the three sites. The packages, getting their finishing touches, will be submitted to Airbus officials by the end of March.

“Our philosophy is that Ohio meets a good number of requirements and that we’re worth looking at,” Teets said.

While the Mahoning Valley will be pitched for the project, sources said the odds of success are very, very long.

The European Aeronautic Defence and Space Co., Airbus’ parent, is looking for a site within the United States to construct a plant that would convert Airbus A330 commercial airliners into aerial tankers that refuel U.S. military aircraft.

Leading the search is EADS North America, the holding company for EADS’s North American operations.

According to a company statement, EADS North America, based in Arlington, Va., is seeking a site where its new KC-330 advanced tanker aircraft could be assembled and produced or modified for U.S. military use. The site would also be home to a new Airbus long range aircraft engineering center.

The conversion plant is expected to employ some 500 at first, but that figure could reach 1,200 by 2012 depending on the delivery rates of the KC-330, said Guy Hicks, spokesman. “If we go toward a final assembly center, it would cost upwards of $600 million to build and directly employ 1,200 people,” he said. The engineering center would employ 150 aerospace engineers and is scheduled to go forward without the conversion and assembly plant.

Also, the plant would attract additional manufacturers and jobs needed to support conversion operations, he said.

The site should be selected by Dec. 31 and the engineering facility open by early 2006.

Ohio is one of 37 states vying for the project, Hicks said. In February, about 130 development officials from 35 states attended an information session EADS North America hosted in Washington, D.C. Qualifying states will be issued a request for proposal sometime in the second quarter.

With such intense competition, sources concede the Mahoning Valley faces an uphill battle. Among the criteria EADS on which is basing its site selection:

- An airport with a runway at least 9,000 feet long.

- An area that can accommodate 1.5 million square feet of production, hangar and office space.

- Transportation infrastructure that includes good access to rail, road and a deep-water seaport that can handle large volumes.

- An employment base that can meet the demands of world-class aircraft manufacturing.

- The location’s ability to establish a cooperative relationship with a nearby university or other institution with a strong aerospace department and research facility.

The Youngstown-Warren airport meets several of the criteria, including a 9,000-foot runway and the capacity to handle the proposed manufacturing space. Access to a deep-water seaport, however, may pose a problem, since the nearest port is Ashtabula on Lake Erie, 45 miles north. Also, the airport as yet lacks rail access.

“We have a lot of states responding that have inland locations,” EADS’ Hicks noted, which on paper places them at a disadvantage. However, inland communities have won similar projects in the past by adapting and addressing these logisitics issues, he added. Youngstown, he continued, is fairly close to Lake Erie, which could be a consideration.

Still, the Department of Development’s Teets said he’s unsure whether Ohio will even be considered for the project or issued a request for proposal.

“We’d like to think we have a realistic opportunity,” Teets said, citing important aerospace research institutions such as the NASA Glenn Center near Cleveland and the Wright Center near Dayton. “There’s merit in the fact that Ohio has a history of aerospace activity.”

He also noted the number of companies throughout the state that work with the advanced materials needed in aerospace construction. “Locating here gives you a large base of potential suppliers,” he said.

EADS North America was formed two years ago to secure new business in the United States and North America, Hicks said. The company employs 1,800 in the U.S. at 39 different locations in 11 states. Last year, EADS North America earned about $650 million and expects to do about $1 billion in revenues for 2006. Its parent, EADS, earned $40 billion in Euro dollars last year, he reported.

Last year, the Youngstown-Warren Regional Airport submitted a proposal to compete for the new Boeing 7E7 production facility. That project, however, was awarded to Everett, Wash., after that state compiled an incentives package that included approximately $3.2 billion in tax breaks.

Contact Dan O'Brien at

Monday, March 07, 2005

Youngstown couple joins "Amzing Race"

Ohio lovebirds, family join `Amazing Race'

From the Akron Beacon Journal

Although the big national attraction for the next Amazing Race will be the return to prime time of some Survivor lovebirds, the series will also have a strong Ohio flavor.

Two teams on the show -- which begins March 1 -- are from Ohio, including Ray Housteau, 44, of Canfield and Deana Shane, 27, of Youngstown, who are described as ``dating on and off.''

Here's CBS' summary of them:

``Ray is a stockbroker and Deana is a marketing and promotions executive. Their primary motivation for participating in this Race is to put their on-again/off-again relationship to the test and see how they fare.

``Ray, who is 17 years older than Deana, has worked as a stockbroker for 18 years. A former college and semi-professional football player, Ray describes himself as cocky and admits that he's never wrong about anything. He enjoys weightlifting, singing and karate.

``Deana is admittedly just as determined and competitive as her teammate. She grew up camping in the backwoods of Ohio and has never traveled outside the United States. Deana's favorite hobbies include lifting weights, karate, hunting and fishing. Both admit they are looking for some answers to what the future holds for their relationship and are hoping the Race will provide some.''

Letson named Youngstown CityScape leader

YOUNGSTOWN — Sharon M. Letson of Warren, former director of Youth Leadership Mahoning Valley, has been named executive director of Youngstown CityScape.

"Sharon will bring an energetic, creative and positive focus to CityScape, and our efforts to revitalize downtown Youngstown and the city's gateways," said David C. Sweet, president of Youngstown State University and CityScape chair.

Youngstown CityScape, an outgrowth of the Youngstown Streetscape program, is a nonprofit organization created in November to help revitalize Youngstown through downtown and corridor beautification, education and historic preservation.

The organization will rally volunteers and city residents to take action to improve the appearance of the city, including landscaping, litter cleanup and fostering community awareness of the importance of historic preservation. A major goal will be to build on the successful track record of Streetscape in the beautification of downtown Youngstown and extend these efforts along major transportation corridors leading into the city.

Letson, who has a bachelor's degree in communication arts from Grove City College, was director of Youth Leadership Mahoning Valley from 1994 to 2003. She previously was a manager at Famous Telephone Supply in Akron, a patient account representative at Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh and assistant general manager of KWTQ-AM Radio in Pittsburgh.

From the Vindicator

Supermax may house Death Row

According to Cleveland News 5, Youngstown's Super Max prison may soon hold the 194 Ohio inmates on Death Row. The state is considering the move from the Mansfield Correctional Institution to the supermax and Attorney General Jim Petro seemed receptive to the idea.

Six convicted killers already are confined at Youngstown, including four inmates involved in the deadly 1993 riot at the Lucasville prison.

The lone female under a death sentence is incarcerated at the Ohio Reformatory for Women at Marysville.

The Youngstown facility was opened in 1998. It houses 465 inmates described by state officials as the "worst of the worst" in Ohio prisons.

Amtrak Service Comes To A Hault in Youngstown


Amtrak rail service in Youngstown has ended, but some city leaders say they plan to fight to bring it back.

Amtrak says it can no longer afford to serve Youngstown on the line connecting New York and Chicago. Councilwoman Carol Rimedio-Righetti of the 4th Ward, says, she hopes with the valley's congressmen, and petitions signed recently by a local group, they can lobby amtrak to bring service to the city in around a year.

Almost 4500 people used the Amtrak Service every year in Youngstown.


From the Toledo Blade

... Dominic Liberatore, the executive director of the Ohio Association of Railroad Passengers, conceded that the train's absence will be felt more in Youngstown and Akron than it will in Fostoria. The eastern Ohio cities averaged 10 and 19 passengers per night, respectively, and like Fostoria will lose their only Amtrak train service.

"The cities of Akron and Youngstown are losing a significant transportation choice," Mr. Liberatore said. Youngstown will be especially bereft, he said, because it lacks commercial air service and Greyhound has reduced its bus operations there.

Youngstown C-130 Aircrew Flies U.S. Senators From Iraq

Youngstown C-130 Aircrew Flies U.S. Senators From Iraq
Mar 6, 2005 2:00 p.m.
The Business Journal

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Military officials announced Sunday that a C-130 aircrew stationed with the 910th Airlift Wing at the Air Reserve Station in Vienna Township flew five U.S. senators – including John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Hillary Rodham Clinton (R-N.Y.) -- out of Baghdad, Iraq, at the conclusion of their fact-finding mission last month.

Joining McCain and Clinton on the fact-finding mission were Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., Sen. Russell Feingold, D-Wis. The senators traveled to Baghdad to meet with interim Prime Minister Ayad Allawi, Deputy Prime Minister Barham Saleh and Lt. Gen. David Petraeus, who is leading the push to train Iraqi security forces.

The C-130 aircraft commander was Maj. John Boccierri, who represents the 61st district in Ohio’s General Assembly. “It was a real treat to have both Senator McCain and Senator Clinton on our flight deck during the take-off out of Baghdad,” Boccieri said. “It was a special flight.”

Co-pilot Capt. Rodger Sharp, a teacher at West Branch High School in Mahoning County, said it was “an honor to meet a real American hero like Senator McCain. He gave so much to our country and when he thanked me for serving, I said, ‘Oh, no sir. We need to thank you!’ ”

Reservist Master Sgt. Chris Marino was the loadmaster on the flight and in civilian life works for Lencyk Masonry in Howland. “In 20 years of service, I’ve never had this many important people on my airplane,” Marino said. “They were gracious and respectful of the job we’re doing here. They said we’re making a difference in Iraq.”

Reserve Tech. Sgt. Charles Walker, the C-130 flight engineer, is also fireman for the city of Akron. “It was great to show the senators what we do every day here in Iraq. They experienced our mission firsthand and they will take this experience with them to Washington.”

The C-130 aircrew is deployed with the 379th Air Expeditionary Wing at an air base in Southwest Asia, its precise location not identified due to "host-nation sensitivities," the Air Force says.

Major Boccierri and his 910th Airlift Wing crew are completing their third rotation to Southwest Asia.

Saturday, March 05, 2005

Youngstown Sheet and Tube Company 0-6-0 Baldwin Steam Locomotive number 301. Built in 1916 and donated in 1963. Currently on display at the Mahoning County Fairgrounds in Canfield, Ohio. Check out for more information on this and other Youngstown steel related equipment.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Letter to the Editor - 2010 is important for us all

This is a Letter to the Editor from the 3/1/05 issue of The Jambar.


2010 is an important part of history here in Youngstown, Ohio, and also for Youngstown State University. Although we all are not part of the 2010 campaign, that does not mean we can sit idly by and look at this city and not lend a helping hand. We are all apart of this community whether we like it or not. Whether we commute to class or live on campus, this is still our environment. As a community and a university we should seek to make this town a better place than when we first arrived.

Whether this is to volunteer our time, donate our money, or lobby political leaders or businesses to pay attention makes no difference. The fact remains that we need to open our minds to the prospects of doing something besides running to our classes and then running to our cars. Without an understanding of our environment, we can not have an understanding of each other, and without that we first do not get a true view of what college can be, and second, we do not experience what is called humanity.

Get involved, get informed and stay intrigued. To the credit of the Jambar, we as students need a paper institution in order to keep us informed of the processes around us, yet we also have to go beyond printed information and make that information relevant by our actions. Get online, read the Vindicator and the Jambar. But by all means, get out, get involved and give of your time, money or skills. We are all smart and intelligent people, so why do we not show this town, state and nation what we are made of and what we are all about? If we do that, then we will feel better about ourselves and we will have accomplished much more in our lives.

-Joe Iesue

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Mayor's race primary set

Well, they're off! Nine Democrats and one Republican have filed to run in the March primary.

The nine Democratic candidates are: state Sen. Robert Hagan (D-33), state Rep. Sylvester Patton (D-60), city council President James Fortune, Youngstown Police Chief Robert Bush, Councilman Michael Rapovy, former council President John Swierz, Bill Flickenger, Patricia O'Connell and Diane Murphy. The lone Republican candidate is Robert Korchnak.

Jay Williams, the city's Community Development Agency director and moderator for the Youngstown 2010 public forums, is expected to bypass the primaries and run as an independent in November. Independent candidates have until May 2 to file. One other independent candidate, Joe Louis Teague, has already filed to run in the general election.

Check out The Jambar for an article about the candidates.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

There are few in Youngstown who don't recognize the Home Savings and Loan tower in downtown. It is always one of my favorite things to look at while on I-680S near downtown.
Youngstown's Central Square (Public Square and Central Square seem to be used interchangeably) is very well lit in this nightime postcard view.
Lanterman's Mill and Falls is always fun place to visit in the summer and early fall. Youngstown's metropark is one of the finest in the country.
The Youngstown Sheet and Tube Blast Furnace silenced. 1985.
The WRTA Bus Terminal was merely a contruction lot in 1985 when this picture was taken. It is located on the corner of Fifth Ave. and West Federal Street in downtown.
St. Columba School and Ursuline Convent. Both are long gone.
The Immaculate Conception School is the last of the truly inner city Catholic schools. It is located at the bottom of Oak Street, across the street from the parish.
Fifth Ave. in downtown Youngstown used to be an inclined bridge running above railroad tracks. Today, those tracks are long gone, the Consolidated Warehouse a memory, and the smaller building on the left rubble. In its place have been built an earthwork inclined slope, the county jail and the county misdemeanor jail (warehouse and small building respectively). A much different scene, indeed...

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Welcome Steelhounds!

The Youngstown SteelHounds will be the name of the new Central Hockey League team in Youngstown. Announced yesterday, the team will play at the Youngstown Convocation Center, a 5,700 seat arena currently under construction in Downtown Youngstown.

Youngstown's Air Traffic Control Tower may soon go dark

Youngstown-Warren Regional Airport's Air Traffic Control (ATC) Tower may be going dark soon. Under a cost cutting plan, Youngstown's tower would be one of three state-wide that would close between the midnight and 5 a.m. There are few flights during that time although the air traffic controllers' union said the move would compromise safety. Lawmakers said it could lead to service reductions in their states. The FAA has final authority on the issue. The other two airports are Akron-Canton Regional Airport and Toledo Express Airport.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Immaculate Conception Church, Oak Street, Youngstown. Photo from 1985
St. Stanislaus Church & School, Williamson Avenue, Youngstown. Picture taken from the corners of South Avenue and Williamson Avenue. Photo from 1985.
Central Fire Station, corners of West Federal Street and Belmont Avenue, Youngstown, Ohio. This picture was taken in 1985 when Engine 1, Ladder 22, Squad 33, Battalion Chief 1, and Ambulance 55 were all running out of this station. Today, Engine 1 and Ambulance 55 have been disbanded, although some firefighter's still will say, "Send us a 55" when requesting an ambulance to the scene.

Youngstown State University - 1973

Youngstown State University was only a shell of the current campus in 1973. These views represent the most modern buildings on campus at that time.

Science Building early 1960's. This imposing structure is one of the many new buildings on the Youngstown University Campus, located in Youngstown, Ohio.

YSU's Maag Library was at the forefront when this picture was drawn in 1973.

Beegley Physical Education Center is a modern facility that adds much to the campus of Youngstown State University and its activities. Over the year's it has hosted YSU's Men's and Women's Basketball, Women's Volleyball, as well as the outstanding, YOUNGSTOWN PRIDE!
This photo of S. H. Knox 5 & 10 cent store, Federal Street, was taken in 1895. Sign on top of building reads Browne's Business College. A precursor to YSU? I doubt it.
A new Chaney High School is shown in this black and white view from 1937. The school still stands on the city's West Side.

Monday, February 14, 2005

Hagan for Mayor

Breaking News: State Senator Bob Hagan has announced that he will run for Youngstown's top job, according to WFMJ. This isn't really breaking news since we all anticipated this for some time, but at least it has now been formally announced.

Vindicator strikes enters fourth month

The Vindicator strike has entered its fourth month, and the newspaper has made no plans to talk with the striking workers. Vindicator reporter Pete Milliken did however receive a letter from Vindicator Human Resource Director Bob Wiseman detailing how striking Vindicator workers could resign from the union, cross the picket line and avoid paying any fines that the union could levy against its members who don’t comply with the work stoppage.

The letter also stated that the union could not require the Vindicator to terminate individuals who resign from the union and cross the picket line once an agreement is reached as long as the workers who resigned from the union continue to pay union dues.

Milliken burned the letter.

In other strike news, five reporters resigned from the union and crossed the picket line to go back to work. Among them is Dave Skolnick, the Vindy's leading political reporter.

Friday, February 11, 2005

Ohio losing jobs

Ohio has lost 4 percent of its jobs since 2000 according to a new study by the Ohio Association of Community Action Agencies. The Dayton Business Journal has the full report.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

National City Bank Building sold

The National City Bank Building downtown has a new owner. A development group based in New York City has purchased the building, the first of future acquisitions the firm plans in the central business district. The group has inquired about other available properties downtown, including the Erie Terminal building. According to the Business Journal, other downtown buildings on the market include the Stambaugh and Wick buildings.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Say goodbye to Phar-Mor... AGAIN

The Phar-Mor Centre, which has been a staple on Federal Plaza in downtown Youngstown for the last 19 years, will soon be renamed. The new name? 20 Federal Place. The building has been renamed to remove all remnamts of the now-defunct discount chain and its not-too-clean former president, Mickey Monus. InfoCision, a teleservices company based in Akron, is expected to renovate the fourth floor and as early as this month.

McKelvey to Business-Journal: Stay Away!

If you are a city employee, don't get caught talking to a reporter from the Business Journal, or so says Mayor George McKelvey. The mayor issued a decree last week telling city employees not to answer any press calls from the paper after calling them "untrustworthy" and "irresponsible." Well, let me tell you that McKelvey's reign as mayor can easily be described by those two adjectives, so it's a dozen of one, two half of the other. I am pretty sure he is just whining and that the Business Journal is a decent, if not good, paper. The full text of the mayor's letter can be found on the Business Journal's website.

Sunday, February 06, 2005

The Youngstown Car Industry

Youngstown has always had a connection with the auto inductry. Starting with the early carriage companies who made the first cars to todays GM plant producing the brand-new Chevy Cobalt in Lordstown, the auto business has been near the forfront of Youngstown industry. Below is a brief history of local manufacturers courtesy of the Youngstown Public Library.

The Studebaker Corporation started producing the Avanti in 1963. In 1986, Michael Kelly purchased the Avanti Motor Corporation, located in South Bend, IN, and renamed it the New Avanti Motor Corporation. When J. J. Cafaro bought 47.5 percent of the company in April of 1987, he urged Kelly to move its operations to Youngstown. In August of that year, Avanti moved to the Ross Industrial Park on Albert Street and opened a showroom on Wick Avenue. Kelly sold his 47.5 percent interest to Cafaro in September of 1988 and Cafaro changed the company name to the Avanti Automotive Corporation. In 1991, Avanti, which produced the only handcrafted car in America, ceased operations after making only 405 cars. Michael Kelly, along with a partner, purchased the assets of Avanti in 1999 and relocated the plant to Villa Rica, GA, where the cars are still being made.

Blue Goose
In 1902, prominent area businessman Henry Wick engaged an engineer named L. B. Smyser to build a car for his personal use. The royal blue luxury car, known as the "Blue Goose", was said to have cost somewhere between $8,000 and $20,000 to make. The car's chassis was built in Youngstown on Wick Avenue near the Mahoning Courthouse, and was considered to be the largest and most expensive car in America at the time. The car was sold for $765 in 1904.

Dr. Carlos C. Booth, a local physician, designed the first car in Ohio. The Fredonia Carriage and Manufacturing Company, located at 155 -165 Market Street in Youngstown, built it in 1895. W. Lee Crouch, of the Pierce-Crouch Engine Company of New Brighton, PA, produced the engine. After selling the car in 1897, Dr. Booth designed a second car, again commissioning Fredonia Carriage to build it. It was completed in 1898. Both were called "Booth" cars. Dr. Booth is credited as being the first physician to use an automobile to make house calls.

In 1902, the Fredonia Carriage and Manufacturing Company changed its name to Fredonia Manufacturing Company and began producing cars known as the "Fredonia". It was considered to be the first car entirely manufactured in Youngstown. The company made approximately 200 cars over a two-year period. Fredonia Manufacturing filed for bankruptcy in 1904 and the factory was destroyed by fire in 1907.

The Youngstown Carriage and Wagon Company, whose name was changed to the Mahoning Motor Car Company in 1903, began production of the "Mahoning" automobile that same year. Charles T. Gaither, former engineer of the Fredonia Manufacturing Company, became one of the engineers. The "Mahoning" went out of production in 1905.

In 1898, Ward Packard bought a Winton automobile, which he felt needed improvement. When the owner of the Winton Company ignored his advice, he formed a partnership with one of Winton's major stockholders, George L. Weiss, Winton's plant manager, William A. Hatcher, and William Packard to build their own automobile as "Packard & Weiss". The first Packard automobile was finished in November of 1899. In September of 1900, the company incorporated as the Ohio Automobile Company, which developed such innovations as the first "H" pattern gearshift, and the first steering wheel in an automobile. The company was renamed the Packard Motor Car Company in 1902. By this time, the quality of the automobiles had attracted wealthy investors from Michigan, who gained control of the company's stock and moved the company to Detroit in 1903. The original owners all left the company, although Ward Packard kept his stock and remained listed as president until 1909. The company merged with the Studebaker Corporation in 1954, with the last Packard automobile being made in 1958.

Originally founded in Cleveland in 1920, the company reorganized as the Sterling-Knight Company of Warren, Ohio, in 1923. Production began in Warren in June of 1923, with 450 cars completed by the end of 1924. The company ran into cash flow problems the following year, but continued producing cars until the middle of 1926. By December of that year, the company was bankrupt.

Trumbull and Pendleton
The Trumbull Manufacturing Company in Warren made the first Trumbull automobile in 1899. The plant burned to the ground in March of 1900, but was rebuilt and producing both Trumbull and Pendleton cars by 1901. Another fire in 1905 destroyed the automobile manufacturing part of the plant, causing the company to switch its focus from cars to other machinery.
The swimming pool in Lincoln Park offered bathers a fun and cool spot to spend the summer months.
Though technically not in Youngstown (It's in nearby Vienna), the Youngstown Municipal Airport, now renamed the Youngstown-Warren Regional Airport, no longer serves regularly scheduled commercial flights. This United Airlines DC-6 could have been seen leaving the Youngstown terminal in the 1950's.