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Senators lobby Trump to prioritize type of steel that would benefit AK Steel

Published: Thursday, March 08, 2018 @ 3:41 PM

            A Grand Opening ceremony was held, Friday, Apr. 7, 2017, on the new world-class AK Steel Research and Innovation Center in Middletown. GREG LYNCH / STAFF
A Grand Opening ceremony was held, Friday, Apr. 7, 2017, on the new world-class AK Steel Research and Innovation Center in Middletown. GREG LYNCH / STAFF

U.S. Senators Rob Portman (R-OH), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), and Bob Casey (D-PA) today urged President Donald Trump to make electrical steel a priority in any Section 232 trade remedy.

Trump announced March 1 he would levy penalties of 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminum imports. He had been weighing protective trade action under a rarely used “Section 232” of the U.S. trade law, which allows for restrictions on imports to protect national security.


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As currently constructed, Butler County-based AK Steel, the last electrical steel manufacturer in the United States, is unlikely to fully benefit from the remedy proposed by the president, according to a statement issued today by Portman’s office.

“If the company doesn’t get relief, they may have to shut down the last production line in the entire country of grain-oriented electrical steel, which is a key component of the power transformers that make up our critical infrastructure,” reads the statement.

AK Steel, which employs 9,200 people at manufacturing operations across seven states, as well as in Canada and Mexico, has a grain-oriented electrical steel production line in Butler, Penn., and a finishing line in Zanesville.

The company is Butler County’s third-largest employer with a total of approximately 2,400 full-time employees at its Middletown Works and corporate headquarters in West Chester Twp.

“We write you today to share our concerns that your proposed section 232 remedy is incomplete when it comes to electrical steel,” the senators said in their letter to Trump. “We write on behalf of a constituent company, AK Steel, which is the last domestic producer of grain-oriented electrical steel (GOES). Since the remedy, as currently constructed, does not include electrical cores and core parts, the remedy will not be effective for the domestic electrical steel market.”

GOES is the type of specialty steel used in the cores of power transformers, which are key components of the country’s critical power grid infrastructure.

The senators told Trump they were pleased to see that his proposed remedy includes grain-oriented electrical steel.

“However, we are concerned that unless you include a handful of additional tariff lines, for products that are essentially just electrical steel sheets stacked, wound and slit, as a part of the scope of the remedy, the remedy will be ineffective for electrical steel,” they said in the letter. “This is because foreign countries will simply set up production of cores, which requires very little capital. They will use foreign GOES to produce the core parts or cores of transformers, and export those products to the United States. In this way, the proposed section 232 remedy actually creates an opportunity for foreign producers to easily bypass the steel tariff and continue to undermine domestic production of electrical steel and cores which are of national security significance.”

The senators urged Trump to consider the concerns they raised and work with them as he finalizes the section 232 remedy.

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Winter Storm: ‘Either Dayton or Cincinnati will get nailed’

Published: Thursday, March 22, 2018 @ 7:21 PM

Another winter storm is taking aim on the Miami Valley and southwest Ohio just in time for the first weekend of spring. While the track is still somewhat uncertain, parts of the area could see significant snow Saturday. Storm Center 7 Chief Meteorologist Eric Elwell says we will need to pay close attention to this early spring storm.

A clipper-type system will push through southwest Ohio this weekend, but it’s too early to tell the storm’s track.

>> 5-Day Forecast

“Here’s the bottom line: It’s an intense system and someone is going to see a lot of snow, we just don’t know where it’s going yet,” Storm Center 7 Chief Meteorologist Eric Elwell said. “Right now, it looks like either Dayton or Cincinnati will get nailed.”

>> Live Doppler 7 Interactive Radar

Areas between Dayton and Cincinnati will see a lot of snow, Elwell said.

“But any small deviation in the track will play a huge role in who sees what,” he said.

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National Security Adviser Gen. H.R. McMaster out; former U.S. ambassador John Bolton in

Published: Thursday, March 22, 2018 @ 6:37 PM

Who Is H.R. McMaster, Trump’s National Security Adviser

National Security Adviser Gen. H.R. McMaster is resigning from the Trump administration and will be replaced by former U.S. ambassador John Bolton, according to a tweet Thursday afternoon from President Donald Trump.

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 Who is H.R. McMaster, Trump's national security advisor

National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster attends a meeting between President Donald Trump and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in the Oval Office at the White House on March 20, 2018 in Washington, D.C.(Pool/Getty Images)

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Winter Storm Watch issued for system that could bring snow to area this weekend

Published: Wednesday, March 21, 2018 @ 10:08 PM
Updated: Thursday, March 22, 2018 @ 6:55 PM

Meteorologist Kirstie Zontini looks at the current track and forecast for another spring storm.

Those ready for spring weather likely won’t like this forecast.

Winter Storm Watch has been issued for Darke, Preble, Montgomery, Wayne, Randolph, Butler, Warren and Clinton counties from 2 a.m. Saturday through 2 a.m. Sunday. Conditions are expected to be favorable for impactful snow, sleet or ice that can make travel difficult. 

>> Winter Storm: ‘Either Dayton or Cincinnati will get nailed’

A quick-moving low pressure system will spread moisture back into the Miami Valley Saturday and Saturday night, said Storm Center 7 Meteorologist Kirstie Zontini. A band of snow will be possible that, at times, might mix with rain. The system currently is favoring the southern and western half of the Miami Valley where the watch was issued. This means areas such as Logan, Shelby, Auglaize and Mercer counties could see a sharp cut-off from moisture and possibly very little, if any, snow. 

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The track and intensity of this system is still in question, and fine-tuning will come together during the end of the work week. Counties under the Winter Storm Watch have the best chance to see sticking snow that will could be more than two inches. 

>> Whio Weather App

>> Severe Weather Alert Sign-up

A few factors that could limit impact in the Miami Valley: Warm road temperatures allowing for snow melt, snow falling during the day allowing for a mix with rain, the track shifting and pulling the accumulating snow further south.

A few factors that could increase impact in the Miami Valley: Staying colder than expected, a shift further north could spread more snow across the entire area and the intensity of the system. 

Stay with Storm Center 7 for the latest updates to this spring snow storm.

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Winter Storm Watch for southwestern Miami Valley beginning late Friday 

Published: Thursday, March 22, 2018 @ 3:32 AM
Updated: Thursday, March 22, 2018 @ 6:55 PM

Sunshine is expected today in the Dayton area, with snow returning Saturday.

Mainly clear skies are in the forecast this evening with temperatures slowly falling through the 30s, Storm Center 7 Chief Meteorologist Eric Elwell said.


  • Clear and quiet Friday
  • Winter storm to brush Miami Valley starting this weekend 
  • Warmer pattern setting up next week 

>> RELATED: Clipper-type system could bring snow to area this weekend

>> Live Doppler 7 HD Interactive Radar


Tonight: Clear skies are expected. Temperatures will drop back into the lower 20s.

>> Whio Weather App

Friday: Skies will be mostly sunny with temperatures rebounding into the middle 40s.

Saturday: Skies will be cloudy with snow likely, especially south. The snow may be heavy with accumulation likely depending on the storm track. Highs will hold in the upper 30s.


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Sunday: Skies will clear with temperatures climbing back into the lower 40s.

>> County-by-County Weather

Monday: Clouds will be on the increase. Temperatures will rebound to near 50 degrees.

Tuesday:  Milder temperatures arrive but so will the threat for showers. Highs will top out in the middle 50s.

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