US Steel Curtails Operations

U.S. Steel

U.S. Steel (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Production halts at U.S. Steel’s two largest mills could dent what is usually a good quarter for the Pittsburgh steelmaker and lead to higher steel prices.

On Wednesday, U.S. Steel informed customers of its Gary, Ind., mill that it was curtailing blast furnace and steelmaking operations at that plant because icy conditions on the Great Lakes are delaying shipments of iron ore from its Minnesota mines. The letter gave no word on how long those delays could last but was hopeful that shipments will improve with warming temperatures.

“It is possible that our ability to timely fill your orders will be temporarily impacted,” the company wrote, adding that it is trying to mitigate any impact of customers.

The announcement follows an incident last week at U.S. Steel’s Great Lakes mill near Detroit that forced the company to halt steel production there. Media reports indicate a large pipe damaged the roof covering one of its steelmaking furnaces.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/business/US_Steel_curtails_operations.html#jp3C8BItOJ3CLCFG.99

Additional story: http://www.philly.com/philly/business/homepage/20140405_ap_a889ebee36a145ab8b177a5801db63ef.html

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Duggan To Take Bankrupt Detroit’s Oath Of Office

DETROIT (AP) — When Mike Duggan is sworn in as Detroit’s mayor shortly after 11 a.m. on New Year’s Day, he’ll begin a four-year term with limited powers in an insolvent city whose finances are controlled by a state-appointed overseer.

He plans to start work immediately, holding initial staff meetings Wednesday at City Hall. But Duggan already has been busy on Detroit’s behalf since voters elected him in November.

The former Detroit Medical Center chief has attended a meeting of new mayors hosted by the White House, put together his own administration and lobbied with emergency manager Kevyn Orr for a greater role in the city’s immediate turnaround.

“He’s been engaged on issues and has been preparing to hit the ground running,” former Detroit Councilwoman Sheila Cockrel said of Duggan.

Read more: http://timesleader.com/news/news/1094513/Duggan-to-take-bankrupt-Detroits-oath-of-office

Conference Generates Ideas For Tackling Poverty In Reading

, U.S. Congressman (R-Pennsylvania, 1997-present)

, U.S. Congressman (R-Pennsylvania, 1997-present) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Fatherless families, a lack of jobs and school dropout rates contribute to poverty and local economic conditions, U.S. Rep. Joseph R. Pitts said Monday.

“Families with fathers and mothers are the best anti-poverty program,” said the Chester County Republican, whose district includes Reading. “Saying these simple things can land you in all kinds of trouble.”

He was speaking at a conference on economic inequality that he organized at Reading Area Community College.

In an interview afterward, Pitts listed some points raised during the four-hour event that he will pursue.

“We will come up with some projects,” Pitts said.

While some of the 75 political, business and nonprofit leaders who participated agreed with Pitts’ points, several made their own arguments for improving the economy in Reading, where the 2012 poverty rate of 40.5 percent made it the second most impoverished city in the country behind Detroit.

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/article/20131210/NEWS/312109974/1052#.UqeN0fRDsxI

Ruling Makes Detroit Biggest City To Qualify For Bankruptcy

English: Renaissance Center, GM World Headquar...

English: Renaissance Center, GM World Headquarters, Detroit, Michigan. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

DETROIT — Detroit is eligible to shed billions in debt in the largest public bankruptcy ever in the United States, a federal judge ruled Tuesday, while also finding that the public pensions could be reduced during reorganization despite a provision in Michigan’s Constitution.

In ruling that Detroit was eligible to reorganize under federal bankruptcy law, Judge Steven W. Rhodes said the city met every test of insolvency, including failing to pay its debts and being unable to provide a minimum level of basic services to its 680,000 residents.

“This once proud and prosperous city can’t pay its debts,” the judge said. “It’s insolvent. It’s eligible for bankruptcy. But it also has an opportunity for a fresh start.”

Appeals were expected to be filed quickly. Bruce Babiarz, a spokesman for Detroit’s fire and police retirement system, which supports 8,500 retirees, said lawyers were reviewing the ruling and expected to file an appeal by the end of the week. But the case will continue to move forward, with the next step being the city filing a “plan of adjustment.” It is unclear, however, what portions of the judge’s ruling may be appealed.

Read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/04/us/detroit-bankruptcy-ruling.html?hp&_r=0

Poverty In Reading Worsens, Census Says

English: Downtown Reading, Pennsylvania; with ...

English: Downtown Reading, Pennsylvania; with Berks County courthouse on left; July 2007 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Reading’s poverty rate worsened in 2012, making it the second most impoverished city in the country behind Detroit.

The percent of city residents in poverty increased from 40.1 to 40.5, according to statistics released today by the U.S. Census Bureau.

That’s less than the 41.3 percent of Reading residents who were in poverty in 2010 when Reading had a higher percentage of residents in poverty than any other U.S. city with 65,000 or more people.

But hope for Reading still exists, said Jane Palmer, principal author and coordinator of the 65-page 2011 report of the Rebuilding Reading Poverty Commission.

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=512690

Detriot Files For Bankruptcy

Map of downtown Detroit with I-375 and BS-375 ...

Map of downtown Detroit with I-375 and BS-375 highlighted (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

DETROIT — Detroit on Thursday became the largest city in U.S. history to file for bankruptcy, as the state-appointed emergency manager filed for Chapter 9 protection.

Kevyn Orr, a bankruptcy expert, was hired by the state in March to lead Detroit out of a fiscal free-fall and made the filing Thursday in federal bankruptcy court.

A number of factors — most notably steep population and tax base falls — have been blamed on Detroit’s tumble toward insolvency.  Detroit lost a quarter-million residents between 2000 and 2010.  A population that in the 1950s reached 1.8 million is struggling to stay above 700,000.  Much of the middle-class and scores of businesses also have fled Detroit, taking their tax dollars with them.

In recent months, the city has relied on state-backed bond money to meet payroll for its approximately 10,000 employees.

Read more:  http://www.pottsmerc.com/article/20130718/NEWS04/130719263/once-mighty-motor-city-files-for-bankruptcy

Detroit’s Davos: Op-Ed Piece From The NY Times

Map of Michigan

Map of Michigan (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

ONCE a year, business and political leaders from metropolitan Detroit travel to an island resort that bans all motorized vehicles and talk about the regional economy.

For me, memories of childhood vacations at that resort, Mackinac Island — the ferry ride, the fudge shops, the horse-drawn carriages — are primarily olfactory.  In the unlikely event I’m ever again hit with the dueling scents of confectioner’s exhaust and horse manure, it would probably trigger some kind of Proustian flashback.

For years, Michigan’s business community seemed bent on flashbacks of its own, to the days when the Big Three automakers towered arrogantly from the safe confines of an insular culture.  But now its buzzwords are “innovation,” “entrepreneurship” and a “21st-century global market.”  This week’s Mackinac Policy Conference has positioned itself as a sort of Midwestern Davos, with a roster of marquee speakers, including Michelle Rhee, Jeb Bush and the hosts of “Morning Joe.”

The topic on everyone’s mind will be the fate of Detroit, which was placed under state control in March by Gov. Rick Snyder.  The governor, a Republican, is attending the conference, and four of the candidates running for mayor in November are scheduled to speak there today — among them, the front-runners: the excellently named former police chief Benny Napoleon, and Mike Duggan, who has a serious shot at becoming the first white mayor of Detroit in 40 years.

Read more:  http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/30/opinion/detroits-davos.html?_r=0

Michigan To Appoint Emergency Fiscal Manager For Detroit

English: City seal of Detroit, Michigan.

English: City seal of Detroit, Michigan. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

DETROIT — Gov. Rick Snyder of Michigan announced on Friday that the city of Detroit is so snarled in financial woes that the state must appoint an emergency manager to lead it out of disaster.

“There is probably no city that is more financially challenged in the entire United States.  If you look at the quality of services for citizens it’s ranked among the worst.  So we went from the top to the bottom over the last 50 or 60 years,” Mr. Snyder told Detroiters in a town-hall-style meeting that was broadcast live on local television stations across the city.

“It’s time to say we should stop going downhill,” he said.  “There have been many good people that have had many plans, many attempts to turn this around, they haven’t worked.  The way I view it, today is a day to call all hands on deck.”

The state-appointed manager, who could be selected later this month, would ultimately wield powers aimed at swiftly turning around the municipal government’s dire circumstances — powers to cut city spending, change contracts with labor unions, merge or eliminate city departments, urge the sale of city assets and even, if all else failed, to recommend bankruptcy proceedings.

Read more:  http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/02/us/michigan-appoints-emergency-manager-for-detroit.html?hp&_r=0

Motor City Lessons For Reading

City officials were shocked, saddened, thankful and relieved by their three-day bus trip to Detroit that began Nov. 13.

The fast-paced tour, paid for entirely by two local foundations, was to see what progress the Motor City has made in its own painful recovery, and what efforts there might work in Reading.

As Detroit’s Big Three automakers declined, tax revenues dropped and more than half its 1.8 million residents moved out. The city had to cut services such as fire suppression and police from large sections of the city.

But now, with help from foundations and businesses, it’s making numerous coordinated moves to rebuild.

Reasd more:  http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=432745

Eagles Reach A New Low Under Andy Reid

Andy Reid, Philadelphia Eagles' coach, after t...

Andy Reid, Philadelphia Eagles’ coach, after the Eagles’ training camp in Lehigh, Pennsylvania. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

To be an Eagles fan is to be an expert in disappointment, a connoisseur of dashed hopes.

The team has suffered almost every flavor of defeat in Andy Reid‘s final season.  There was the shocking blowout in Arizona, the near-miss in Pittsburgh, the collapse against Detroit, the whipping administered by Atlanta, the failed gut-check in New Orleans.

But this one? This cruel beatdown at the hands of the hated Dallas Cowboys was a rare blend, indeed.  In an absolute must-win situation, the Eagles reached out for the faint sweet glimmer of hope, only to have it cruelly snatched away and replaced by the most bitter of defeats.

There was hope in the form of rookie quarterback Nick Foles, who led the team on two third-quarter scoring drives to take a 17-10 lead.  There was hope in the sudden competence of a defense that had been AWOL for the previous three-and-a-half games.

Read more: http://www.philly.com/philly/sports/eagles/20121111_Eagles_reach_a_new_low_under_Andy_Reid.html?mr=1&submit=Vote&oid=1&178713011=Y&pid=178713011&cid=8500281

Philadelphia Eagles Fire Defensive Coordinator Juan Castillo

Andy Reid, Philadelphia Eagles' coach, after t...

Andy Reid, Philadelphia Eagles’ coach, after the Eagles’ training camp in Lehigh, Pennsylvania. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Philadelphia Eagles head coach Andy Reid fired defensive coordinator Juan Castillo today, two days after the team blew another fourth-quarter lead, and replaced him with secondary coach Todd Bowles.

The team announced the move a day after Reid said he would “look at everything” following a 26-23 overtime loss to Detroit, when Philadelphia (3-3) couldn’t hold at 10-point lead in the final five minutes of regulation.

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=421292

FIRE THIS MAN ————————————————->

24/7 Wall Street’s Best And Worst Run Cities List

Map of Virginia highlighting Virginia Beach City

Image via Wikipedia

Editor’s note: No city in Pennsylvania made either list.

According to 24/7 Wall Street the best run city in America is Virginia Beach, VA.  This city of 439,172 residents has a Aaa credit rating, a low crime rate, a low poverty rate and 93.1 percent of the adult population have graduated from high school.  These among other factors catapulted Virginia Beach to the top of the list.  Irvine, CA and Madison, WI rounded out the top three.

On the other end of the spectrum (definitely the list you DO NOT want to be on) is Miami, FL.  This city of 400,892 people has a high crime rate, a high poverty rate and a very low percentage of adults who graduated from high school (68.2 percent).  Other members of the wall of shame are Detriot, MI, Newark, NJ. and Cleveland, OH.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Intl. Airport Sees Increase In Revenue From Marcellus Shale Industry

English: "Fly Delta Jets" sign at Ha...

Image via Wikipedia

PITTSTON TWP. – Delta Air Lines Inc. is adding a flight and upgrading another at the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport next year, officials said Monday.

On Jan. 4, Delta plans to upgrade its daily flight to the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport from a 50-seat aircraft to a 65-seat aircraft, airport Director Barry Centini said Monday at a regularly scheduled airport board meeting during which projects and plans for an authority were discussed. He also said Delta on March 3 will add a fourth flight to Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport.

The additional flight will bring Delta’s total departures to five, with four to Detroit and one to Atlanta.

Read more: http://thetimes-tribune.com/news/delta-adding-flight-next-year-from-local-airport-1.1238229#ixzz1f9Z8Zn5M

Detroit Looks To Pittsburgh On How To Revitalize Their City

The Detroit City Council paid a visit to Pittsburgh, PA to see first-hand what transformation looks like and to learn from Pittsburgh’s successes.  Unlike Pittsburgh, Detroit is at the beginning of their process.  Pittsburgh is not sitting back on their laurels as city leaders are continuously making positive changes that have made Pittsburgh the poster child for economic revitalization.  Watch a cool video about this tale of two cities.

Airline Malfunction Causes Unscheduled Landing At Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport

The Airbus A380 at takeoff. The main and nose ...

Image via Wikipedia

Delta Airlines Flight 4061 took off from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Airport at 5:48 p.m. this evening.  The 40 passenger regional jet was bound for Detroit. 

Shortly after takeoff the pilot realized the nose gear failed to retract so he was forced to return to Avoca and circle the airport until landing clearance was given.  The plane safely landed at 6:41 p.m. 

Airport officials took every precaution and deployed over two dozen emergency vehicles to the runway in case of any further malfunctions when the aircraft touched down.

Passenger reactions ranged from crying and praying to one individual sleeping through the entire ordeal.

The plane was towed to the terminal for inspection.  This was a connecting flight so many passengers were left scrambling to find other connections.