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Detroit News Columnist Daniel Howes and Michigan Radio are partners in weekly essays examining what's hot in Michigan business and politics – and what it all means. This week, Howes says, they’re waiting for the end at Lordstown, the giant auto plant General Motors says it no longer needs. And for the closure of the Vindicator, for the past 150 years Youngstown’s daily newspaper. They’re the latest casualties in a downward spiral gripping a politically important region trying to reinvent itself with advanced manufacturing and its home in the heart of the industrial Midwest. Their struggles are the stuff of a Springsteen song … of dated Rust Belt stereotypes … of tiresome coastal condescension trafficking in local misery.

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