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Karl Henkel

Stories by Karl

Senate debates postal service’s best route forward

By Karl Henkel khenkel@vindy.com YOUNGSTOWN The end of the moratorium on post-office closings

First Place boards terminate president, CEO Steven Lewis

Staff report WARREN Steven R. Lewis, president and chief executive officer of First Place

Lordstownn industrial park gains $2M grant, 5 prospects

By Karl Henkel khenkel@vindy.com LORDSTOWN An Ohio Commerce Center representative says it is

YSU chief, faculty study money matters

The taste of bitter contract negotiations between Youngstown State University and its faculty last year seems to have mostly subsided, or so it seemed during a Wednesday meeting between the president and faculty members.

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Natural gas industry in a crash (and burn)


There are two reasons your heating bills likely were significantly less this past winter than in other years: the unseasonably warm weather and rock- bottom natural-gas prices.

Proposed fee focal point of open session at YSU

A proposed transportation fee was the focal point of a question-and-answer session among Youngstown State University President Cynthia Anderson, students and faculty.

Police arrest 3 at lease signing

Goshen Township police have identified the three individuals arrested Sunday at an oil and gas lease signing. All three are from outside the Mahoning Valley.

Gasser Chair Co. odds-on fave

Gasser Chair Co. Inc. President Mark Gasser and account manager Chris Dravis stand by a chair assembled at Gasser’s Mahoning Valley factory. The chair will be used in the Horseshoe Casino in Cleveland, set to open in May.

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In Texas, gas wells everywhere

A gas-drilling rig operates on the banks of the Trinity River just east of downtown Fort Worth, Texas. The rig is working for Chesapeake Energy to extract natural gas from the Barnett Shale.

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Natural gas drives TCU efforts

Unbelievably, the most-unique aspect of Ken Morgan’s Honda Civic is not the large, purple horned frog draped across the vehicle’s bright white exterior.

Sweet on Easter

Greg Jonesof Giannios Candy Co. in Struthers, watches the last of this season’s peanut-butter eggs come down the assembly line.

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Cruze drives GM’s surge

Automakers post strong March sales

Automakers posted some of their strongest sales figures in years during March, and the Chevrolet Cruze was one car leading the way.

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The Shale Scale

Oklahoma City-based Chesapeake Energy Corp.’s Shaw well in Carroll County’s Center Township was one of nine Utica Shale wells to produce some oil or natural gas in 2011. Five of those wells produced resources commercially, though all produced for fewer than six months.

How will Trumbull residents spend $331M shale bounty?

BP’s recent Utica Shale investment means Trumbull County residents will have $331 million in extra income during the course of the next year.

Ruling drains 25 jobs from Patriot Water

Andrew Blocksom says next week he will give two-week notices to his 25 employees at Patriot Water Treatment LLC.

Measure would tax brine-recycling facilities

State Rep. Ronald V. Gerberry of Austintown, D-59th, has introduced legislation that would tax fracking wastewater- recycling operations to offset infrastructure wear-and-tear from the oil and gas industry.

EGCC, Warren offer free training for shale jobs

The growing shale industry has spurred a new job-training program for Mahoning Valley residents.

ODNR to release shale-production figures Monday

By week’s end, all Utica Shale well drillers will report 2011 production figures to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. The facts and figures will provide the first real glimpse at what lies 7,000 feet beneath the ground in Northeast Ohio.

BP’s $331M investment in Trumbull will spur growth in Ohio, leaders say

BP’s $331 million investment in the Mahoning Valley will have a “tremendous impact” on jobs and economic development in Ohio, a company official said.

Lower unemployment rate has a downside

By Karl Henkel khenkel@vindy.com YOUNGSTOWN The Mahoning Valley’s unemployment rate tumbled

BP Trumbull leases may total $331M

More than 1,000 Trumbull County landowners voted in favor of the state’s largest single-county oil and gas lease Monday night, which, if executed, will pump more than $331 million into the local economy.

2012 presidential election could take stock market on long and rocky ride

Rick Santorum’s Louisiana triumph reignited his presidential hopes, and now there seems to be little indication that the race for the GOP nomination will end anytime soon.

The rise and fall of gas prices in the Mahoning Valley

Valley gasoline soars to $4, as natural-gas costs hit record lows

By Karl Henkel khenkel@vindy.com YOUNGSTOWN As gas prices continue to surge in the Mahoning

Kasich calls for fivefold hike in brine tax

Local brine-injection well operators are questioning Ohio Gov. John Kasich’s latest proposal to quintuple taxes on out-of-state fracking wastewater.

County sales-tax revenue in Valley rose in January

By Karl Henkel khenkel@vindy.com YOUNGSTOWN In a sign that consumers locally are spending

Patriot slams limits in new EPA permit

Andrew Blocksom used a local analogy to describe restrictions in the city of Warren’s new permit announced Monday by the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency.

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The two low-magnitude earthquakes — felt by few but discussed by many — in the early morning of March 17, 2011, quickly became a conversation point at coffee shops, grocery stores and throughout the Mahoning Valley.

Judge rejects request from Patriot, Warren

A Trumbull County judge rejected a request made by Patriot Water Treatment LLC and the city of Warren for a temporary restraining order against the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency.

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An inside look at drilling

Pete Kenworthy, manager of media relations for Chesapeake Energy Corp., holds two jars of water. The first, on the left, contains produced water from the fracking process. The jar on the right contains treated water that will be reused at another well.

Brine wells pumped $1.5M into Ohio coffers in ’11

Ohio made nearly $1.5 million off brine- injection wells during 2011, thanks to 12 million barrels of brine disposed of in the state’s 177 injection wells.

Youngstown area leads US metros in export growth

By Karl Henkel khenkel@vindy.com YOUNGSTOWN The Mahoning Valley recently has experienced

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Shale boom gives rise to 1,400-plus new jobs in Valley

Mike Christoff is one of 71 workers at TMK-IPSCO in Brookfield. The company threads pipe for use in the natural gas and oil drilling industry. TMK-IPSCO plans to expand its work force to 120 to meet growing demand for the steel pipes.

Was study done on Mahoning River?

The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency has admitted a “poor choice of words” in a January media statement regarding Warren-based Patriot Water Treatment LLC.

High gas prices lift sales of GM Cruze

By Karl Henkel khenkel@vindy.com LORDSTOWN Rising gas prices may be burdensome to drivers

Gassing up — naturally

CNG fuel stations planned in Valley as debate revs up on cost, practicality

Chesapeake Energy Corp. plans to bring compressed natural-gas stations to the Mahoning Valley, bucking a regional trend of ignoring alternative- energy sources.

Rust Belt brewery owners look to grow

By Karl Henkel khenkel@vindy.com YOUNGSTOWN The popularity of Rust Belt Brewing Co. has grown


The U.S. Postal Service will close mail handling and distribution operations at the Youngstown Post Office on South Walnut Street, downtown.

Bill to reform costly postal pension system languishes in Congress

By Karl Henkel khenkel@vindy.com YOUNGSTOWN While Republicans and Democrats on Capitol Hill

Watch what you text

Fatty... Loser... Buckwheat... POS...

The term is more common at a childhood playground than in a professional political spat.

Mahoning Valley sales tax revenue surged in 2011

Sales-tax revenue generated at shopping centers such as The Shops at Boardman Park helped Mahoning County’s share grow to nearly $30 million in 2011.

Study: Fracking itself not cause of contamination

A new study by the Energy Institute at the University of Texas at Austin has found no evidence of aquifer contamination from hydraulic-fracturing chemicals in the subsurface as a result of horizontal fracturing, commonly referred to as fracking.

Ohio could receive wastewater from NY

One might think fracking in New York would not have an impact on Ohio.

State set to release findings on local quakes


The Ohio Department of Natural Resources says it plans to release its report on the Youngstown earthquakes within weeks.

Lowdown on downtown Youngstown

Lowdown on downtown Youngstown: Urban rebirth accelerates, though marketing lags

Lowdown on downtown Youngstown: Urban rebirth accelerates, though marketing lags

Allure of shale prompts Mill Creek MetroParks Board to vet options

Mill Creek MetroParks officials explore mineral-rights issues

Mill Creek MetroParks has financed some of its needs in the past 15 years from $3.7 million in funding that is not from golf or Riverside Gardens or Lanterman’s Mill.

Rich history

Farmers National Bank celebrates its 125th anniversary By Karl Henkel khenkel@vindy.com

Bottom Dollar stores off to top-notch start in Youngstown

Sharie and Eddy Erhardt of Poland load up their shopping cart at the new Bottom Dollar grocery store on Midlothian Boulevard in Youngstown. Reports show the three Bottom Dollar stores did well their first week in the city.

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Fracking chemicals source of fear, but also in everyday life

The fracking mix used at a Carroll County well consisted of 78 percent fresh water, about 15.8 percent sand, 5 percent additional recycled water and 0.003 percent chemicals. Most chemicals added can be found in everyday consumer products, including: food additives, hair conditioners, baby diaper ointment, automotive supplies, glass cleaners and batteries.

Deal near on $10M recycling business in Mahoning County

Facility would treat brine wastewater

Mahoning County is nearing a deal for what could be a $10 million brine-wastewater recycling center.

Team NEO: Food manufacturing grows

By Karl Henkel khenkel@vindy.com YOUNGSTOWN Manufacturing has been in the forefront of the



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