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BUSINESS UPDATES | Ohio gas prices continue to plunge

Among the business updates this week: Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber; PBS Western Reserve; and BP-Husky Refining.
File photo

YOUNGSTOWN — After dropping by 22 cents last week, the average price for gasoline across Northeast Ohio was another 19 cents cheaper this week at $1.80 per gallon, according to AAA East Central’s Gas Price Report. 

In the Youngstown area, the average price for gasoline was $1.70 per gallon this week.

Report: Valley received more than
$284M of investment in 2019

YOUNGSTOWN — Private companies invested more than $284 million in the Mahoning Valley last year, according to the Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber’s 2019 Economic Development Report Card.

According to the data, 66 projects resulted in $284,254,524 invested, 1,851 new jobs and 2,809 retained jobs.

In comparison, in 2018, 102 company projects resulted in $173,364,100 of investment, 1,157 new jobs and 3,271 retained jobs.

“We utilize the report card to inform our community about the diverse economic growth throughout the two-county area,” Sarah Boyarko, Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber COO, said in a news release. “The participating entities work collectively to support the business community to help make these investments a reality, and the report card and information provided are always well received.”

PBS Western Reserve brings
the classroom into homes

KENT — Every weekday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., beginning Monday (March 30), PBS Western Reserve (WNEO-WEAO) will air a four-hour block of special educational programming. Specifically targeted to middle-school students, the content includes “Nova,” “History Detectives,” Ken Burns' “The Civil War” and many other PBS shows that appeal to children and adults of all ages.

“For school children who might not have access to online learning, this important initiative offers an opportunity to learn from the best PBS instructional content," PBS Western Reserve President and CEO Trina Cutter said in a news release. "Education is one of our organization’s highest priorities. Harnessing the power of broadcast television and our educational services under one initiative is what a local PBS station is all about.”

The on-air content is being curated by Southern California's flagship public television stations in partnership with Los Angeles Unified School District. The organizations are collaborating to create a schedule that includes math, history and other subjects that adhere to state curriculum standards.

In addition to the on-air programming, PBS Western Reserve and Ohio's other public television stations are offering more resources that include lesson plans, how-to videos and live assistance in support of online learning at

Also, PBS Western Reserve will continue to provide seven hours of PBS KIDS Ready to Learn programming weekdays from 6 to 10 a.m. and, after Gov. Mike DeWine's daily press conferences, from 3 to 6 p.m.

$2.6 million settlement approved
over alleged violations at Ohio refinery

COLUMBUS — A federal judge has approved a settlement requiring BP Products North America Inc. and BP-Husky Refining LLC to pay $2.6 million to the U.S. government and Ohio for alleged violations of clean air laws.

“This agreement promises a breath of fresh air for communities in northwest Ohio,” Attorney General Dave Yost said in a news release. “We all breathe this air, and we all need to do our part to protect it.”

The agreement signed Wednesday by Senior U.S. District Judge James G. Carr settles allegations that BP Products and BP-Husky violated the Clean Air Act and hazardous substance reporting requirements at the BP-Husky Toledo Refinery.

Under the agreement, the companies will pay a $200,000 penalty to Ohio and will complete a $1.2 million lead abatement project within 18 miles of the Toledo refinery. The project will aim to reduce children’s exposure to lead-based paint hazards in child-occupied facilities. The project must be completed within three years.