The "Armpit of Ohio" makes the cover of the Rolling Stone

YOUNGSTOWN — It’s certainly not the first time the national media has described Youngstown in an unflattering way, but it may be the most stinging.

A recent article in Rolling Stone, a weekly magazine with a circulation of about 1.4 million, states the city, formerly called Steeltown, has “acquired a number of nicknames that better capture its present state. Struggle City. The Armpit of Ohio. Murdertown.”

The article states the city’s declining population after Black Monday in 1977 gives “Youngstown the disoriented feel of an inhabited ruin.”

The article is about Roger Dillon and his girlfriend, Niki Boyd, convicted of stealing $7.4 million last year from an armored car company that employed Dillon.

David Amsden, who wrote the article, said today that the piece was a reflection of the city from the perspective of Dillon and Boyd and their friends.

“My intention isn’t to bash a city,” said Amsden, who spent about 10 to 14 days in the area earlier this year researching the article.

But bash Youngstown is what Amsden did, said Phil Kidd, a city official who also created Defend Youngstown, a group dedicated to Youngstown’s advancement.

“Because of Youngstown’s reputation for crime, his exploitation of these challenges makes him an opportunist,” Kidd said. “His angle is cheap and convenient. It sells magazines.”

Mayor Jay Williams added that Rolling Stone opted to use “outmoded and obsolete references of Youngstown.”

For the complete story, read Thursday’s Vindicator or

Click here to read Rolling Stone’s Web version of the story, and/or register your reaction to the writer’s appraisal of our hometown.

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