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.
This fantastic view of Youngstown is looking northwest over downtown.
Greetings from Youngstown, Ohio - Steel City, U.S.A. Remember the days when this was true? Long ago and never to return...

Friday, February 04, 2005

All Around Town... on WRTA

Looking for a new way to get about town? WRTA offers bus routes to get you around Youngstown. WRTA operates 26 fixed routes within Youngstown, and in some portions of Boardman, Austintown, Liberty, Girard, Niles, Campbell, and Warren. The bus system serves all Youngstown City high schools, Youngstown State University, the Trumbull branch of Kent State University, all the hospitals and major shopping and employment centers. WRTA serves over 1.3 million riders per year covering nearly 149 square miles. You can even get to New Castle, PA by taking any of the East Side routes to Lincoln Knolls Plaza on McGuffey and picking up a New Castle Area Transit Authority bus from there.

The Best Part: Fares are only $1.00!

Mayoral candidates late with taxes and quickly pay up

Apparently, being late with your taxes is not a quality people seek when picking a mayor for Youngstown, which is why State Rep. Sylvester Patton and City Council President Jim Fortune make a quick beat to the Mahoning County Treasurer's Office to pay up the money they owed for the second half of 2004. The mayoral candidates made the payments after a local political activist circulated a notice saying they were delinquent. WYTV has the story.