North Jackson Growth; Lordstown Motors Sale

This week saw a major development in the Lordstown Motors Corp. saga as a U.S. Bankruptcy Court judge approved the sale of the company’s remaining assets to LAS Capital LLC, whose majority owner is Steve Burns, founder and former CEO of the EV startup.

For more insights into Lordstown Motors, check out The Business Journal’s new “Byline Breakdown” podcast.

From The Business Journal’s MidOctober issue, Dan O’Brien explored the continued development in North Jackson. The industrial and commercial corridors of the community are generally designated along Mahoning Avenue, Bailey Road and state Route 45 in Jackson Township.

“Where we’re situated, I believe there’s pretty good opportunity to continue to attract industrial, light manufacturing and distribution activity,” said Bill D’Avignon, Jackson Township zoning inspector. “And residential as well.”

In other development news, the Ohio Power Siting Board on Thursday approved measures that would allow for the construction of the Trumbull Energy Center in Lordstown. And speaking of energy centers, the Mahoning County Career and Technical Center on Friday unveiled its new $1.2 million energy and workforce training center.

In entertainment news this week, Guy D’Astolfo previewed the Youngstown Film Festival, which will take place today and Sunday. He also followed up on 25 Austintown students who will lend their voices to an upcoming album by local rock band Apocalyptic Lovers.

Here’s a look at those stories and other top stories this week from

There’s No Letup in North Jackson Growth

Developer Greg Toporcer, second from the left, is joined by local leaders to break ground for his project in North Jackson.

By population standards, Jackson Township is small. Just over 2,000 people reside there, according to the latest census figures.

Yet over the past five years, nearly $80 million of new commercial and industrial investment has poured into the mostly rural community, which comes to about $40,000 per resident.

These investments underscore the potential of accelerated development in this part of Mahoning County, say stakeholders, who envision a future of retail, service, commercial, light industrial and distribution hubs. READ

Court OKs Burns Buying Lordstown Motors for $10.2M

Steve Burns speaks at a press event in 2020.

It took less than 25 minutes Wednesday morning for U.S. Judge Mary F. Walrath to approve the sale of the remaining assets of Lordstown Motors Corp. to LAS Capital LLC.

Before the hearing began, attorneys had resolved all objections to the sale – and LAS Capital had agreed to amend its $10 million offer by $200,000 to account for assets at Lordstown’s engineering and product development offices in Irvine, California, and Farmington, Michigan. READ

MCCTC Unveils New Energy and Workforce Training Center

John Zehentbauer, superintendent at MCCTC.

Academic, political and community leaders gathered at the Mahoning County Career and Technical Center on Friday morning to celebrate the completion of a project more than two years in the making.

MCCTC heralded the opening of its $1.2 million energy and workforce training center – known simply as The Energy Center – during a ribbon-cutting ceremony. The new building is dedicated to workforce development and training in the electrical, alternative energy and electrical vehicle industries. READ

Siting Board Opens Door for Trumbull Energy Center

Trumbull Energy Center, Lordstown, Ohio

The Ohio Power Siting Board on Thursday approved measures that would allow for the construction of a $1.2 billion combined-cycle power plant in Lordstown.

The board approved Clean Energy Future-Trumbull LLC’s application for a certificate of public need and environmental compatibility. The board also approved its application for a second amendment to the certification. The project, known as the Trumbull Energy Center, has stirred opposition from within the village over the past two years. READ

Backyard Banger’s Outdoor Kitchen Wins Big at Sold-Out Shark Tank Event

Backyard Banger
Ty Aloe and Bobby Hallas hold the check for the $30,000 grand prize awarded to their company, Backyard Banger.

After winning the $30,000 grand prize at the Youngstown Business Incubator’s Shark Tank event, Ty Aloe, CEO of Backyard Banger, may have bitten off more than he could chew.

“You’re all invited to my house,” declared the self-proclaimed outdoor cooking enthusiast to the crowd of nearly 700 who gathered Thursday night at Mr. Anthony’s in Boardman.

By all accounts the turnout was impressive, with many noting the connection between the large crowd and the community’s enthusiasm for the entrepreneurship supported by YBI. READ

YSU Team Focuses on ‘Transformative’ Technology

Pedro Cortes, Youngstown State University professor of civil, environmental and chemical engineering, and Vamsi Borra, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering, stand in a lab inside Moser Hall on the YSU campus.

A team of Youngstown State University researchers is working on microelectronics technology for the U.S. Department of Defense.

Pedro Cortes, professor of civil, environmental and chemical engineering; Vamsi Borra, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering; and Frank Li, chairman of the engineering department and professor of electrical engineering, form the YSU contingent of the Midwest Microelectronics Consortium Hub. READ

Youngstown Film Festival Aims for Bigger Audience

Adam Michael, founder and director of the Youngstown Film Festival.

Now in its second year, the Youngstown Film Festival is moving to the heart of its namesake city and expanding to two days. The lineup includes films from five countries.

The festival selected 68 feature films and shorts from the hundreds of submissions it received, and will screen half of them at the event, which will take place Oct. 21-22 at the Tyler History Center, downtown. READ

Other Top Stories

Art Therapy Grows in the Valley, Thanks to a Mother’s Efforts
Loan Program Aims to Boost East Palestine Businesses
Shenango LaunchBox Set to Turn Dreams Into Reality
Building Damage Necessitates Temporary Closure of Way Station
Flight School Cleared for Takeoff at Regional Airport
School of Rock: Austintown Students to Sing on Band’s Album
Warren OKs Funds for Movie Props Museum, Oakland Theater
Sapphire Aesthetics and Wellness Opens at New Location
Warren Students Get Lesson in Construction at Project Site
Eclectic Entrepreneurs Like Small Downtowns
Column: Women Should Not Be Defined as Risk-Adverse
Commentary: Euphemisms Make Language Softer and Sweeter
House Sales in the Valley Decline 15% from a Year Ago

From Around Ohio

Ohio Breaks Ground on Federally Funded EV Charging Station
Ohio Launches Skills-based Job Search Feature
As Farm Bill Stalls, Ohio Food Banks Struggle to Meet Demand
ODNR Seeks Applicants for 2024 Internship Program
Ohio Water Quality Improvement Grants Available

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