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Ghost Towns Can Ohio's big cities be saved?

by Maureen McCabe on December 8, 2007

NewspaperI went  out in the dark to get the Columbus Dispatch off the icy driveway this morning to read about Youngstown in the Columbus Dispatch series about Ohio’s cities.  After reading the article the old fashioned way I realized I would not have a link to the Dispatch story until I can find it online anyway…

It’s almost there… the Dispatch has put it on the series page.  The entire series On The Brink: Can Ohio’s big cities be saved? starts out:

“Ohio’s cities, as we have historically known them, are dead. Forget the past. Except for Columbus, Ohio’s big cities have endured vast population and job losses. “

It says “Day 7 – Youngstown
Saturday, Dec. 08, 2007″

No link to the article online yet…. but the slideshow of the history and the video interview with the mayor are online.   I am about “old pictured out”  on the seventh day of the series.  I like old photographs but old pictures don’t mean much to me unless I know the city…. but I looked at the 15 black and white photos of Youngstown’s glory days to kill time while waiting for the link to the Columbus Dispatch article this morning.

Youngstown is foreign to me.  I was in Youngstown once about nine years ago. I remember seeing lots of boarded up buildings then… People said Youngstown was controlled by “the mob.”  The article says it was, of course the corrupt government being dismantled was in the news.

Once a steel town, the City of Youngstown has lost about half their population since the demise of the American steel industry.  Youngstown’s mayor was just a kid back thirty years ago on “Black Monday,” when 5000 people lost jobs in a single day.

Youngstown has a plan now.  The 2010 plan.  The plan seems to mostly be about removing derelict buildings, adding green space downtown and controlling crime.

The Columbus Dispatch article says Youngstown is becoming a college town.  That’s wild with the lowest percentage  of college educated residents of all Ohio’s big cities.  The second biggest employer is Youngstown State University.  I thought of Youngstown State University being in the nitty, gritty city… not so as  the universities site describes campus.  It’s in a green area, lots of the university was built in the past 25 years.  It’s in a green area, lots of the university was built in the past 25 years.  ..The University is celebrating it’s Centennial… this year?  next year? the Youngstown State University website says: 

“A Proud Past
A Promising Future’

There’s the link… to today’s Columbus Dispatch article: Youngstown City finally making peace with loss of big steel  

After reading  about what Youngstown was and the steady decline and loss of jobs and population I was puzzled by this paragraph…

“city leaders prefer the image of Youngstown native Kelly Pavlik, knocked to his hands and knees in the second round of his Sept. 29 middleweight championship fight, only to recover to win the title by knockout in the seventh.”

I thought the year was missing… 1930s? 1950s?  What year?  What year?  That is Sept. 29, just a couple of months ago. 2007 that’s why there’s no year…

Known as  Kelly ”The Ghost” Pavlik according to his bio. Pavlik’s the reigning middle weight champ of the world.    NOW

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