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Issue Date: August 2009


The Steel Mill's Flame


Faith Hampton
For years, it was our reference point — the indicator that our steel industry was still alive. It was the embodiment of our manufacturing pride in the form of a hungry, soaring flame. Congressman Dennis Kucinich once called the plume of fire “Cleveland’s pilot light.” In May 2009, it disappeared as ArcelorMittal halted all production at the mill. Official word is the plant has been put on hiatus until the economy stabilizes. Here’s hoping there is a revival; that, like so many times before, steel will survive here. But until then, looking across the sky south of downtown, there will be a most notable absence.

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