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WRITER: Ron Selak Jr.

Lawmakers urge Biden to halt USPS contract

LORDSTOWN — A trio of Democratic lawmakers is urging President Joe Biden to halt a U.S. Postal Service truck contract to review whether inappropriate political influence was involved with its award. The lawmakers also want to determine whether the contract is consistent with Biden’s call to electrify the federal government’s fleet of vehicles, made in an executive order soon into his presidency. It was ...

Prototype truck assembled at old GM plant

Click here to view video of prototype Endurance assembly at Lordstown Motors at the former General Motors plant. LORDSTOWN — Automaking has returned to Lordstown, even if it’s just a prototype body for Lordstown Motors Corp.’s battery-powered truck. The upstart electric truck maker posted a short video online Tuesday from inside its assembly plant showing robotic welders assembling 400 pieces of metal ...

It’s been a Gas(ser)

LIBERTY — Odds are if you’ve sat at a blackjack or poker table, or played the slots, at a casino along the Las Vegas strip, it was in or on a Gasser chair. Same for dinner or lunch at Leo’s Ristorante in Howland, or an event at any of the three Avalon Inn and Country Club locations in the Mahoning and Shenango valleys, or at The Lake Club in Springfield in Mahoning County. The chairs really are all over ...

Progress on Ultium plant moves on, up

LORDSTOWN — There are 14,000 beams that form the massive steel structure of Ultium Cells LLC’s 2.8 million-square-foot battery-cell manufacturing plant here. On Friday, ironworkers with Local 207 in Boardman — who’ve been erecting the skeleton for months — hoisted and set the last piece of structural steel into place in a “topping out” ceremony, marking a significant milestone in the $2.3 ...

Southern Park operator owes $23.2M payment

BOARDMAN — The owner and operator of Southern Park Mall is past due on a $23.2 million interest payment and risks default if it doesn’t pay within 30 days. Columbus-based Washington Prime Group, which has retail centers across the U.S., saw shares of its stock free fall 38 percent Tuesday to close at $7.49 per share after news of the company’s decision to withhold the payment that was due ...

USW, Howmet reach deal to save melt shop

WEATHERSFIELD — United Steelworkers at Howmet and executives with the Pittsburgh-based company have a new two-year agreement that saves the plant’s titanium melt shop from closing and keeps the facility viable for when the aerospace industry recovers from the viral pandemic. The deal reached Thursday calls for the company to invest millions in capital improvements at the Warren Avenue plant that, according ...

Fire report gives more details on Endurance

LORDSTOWN — Lordstown Motors Corp. suffered a property loss of $150,000 when one of its prototype Endurance electric trucks caught fire on its maiden road test last month. That detail and others are contained in a fire report this newspaper requested Monday and received Wednesday from the fire department in Farmington Hills, Mich., a Detroit suburb where the upstart automaker has a satellite research and ...

YSU looks to invest in Voltage Valley

YOUNGSTOWN — Youngstown State University, through its Center for Workforce Education and Innovation, plans to use part of $5 million from General Motors to invest in programs and services that zero in on inclusion and equality to best serve the unemployed and underemployed. “We need to remove the barriers to help those individuals to compete and to win in what we call the race to employability,” said ...

Endurance prototype catches fire

A prototype of Lordstown Motors Corp.’s electric truck, the Endurance, caught fire in mid January while on its first road test in the Detroit suburb of Farmington Hills, Mich., according to a police report. The fire will not, however, delay the expected September production launch, according to a company spokesman. A report from the police department there states the truck, according to its driver, ...

FirstEnergy gets ready to feed Ultium

LORDSTOWN — FirstEnergy will invest more than $31 million here to expand its transmission system to support the rapidly growing electric-vehicle industry, led, in part, by the advanced technology battery-cell plant Ultium Cells LLC. The two-phase project will supply a backup line to the massive Tod Avenue SW facility and a third primary line meant to “accommodate projected future energy needs,” Lauren ...