Rustbelt

Fort Armstrong Rodeo by Justin Merriman

President Donald Trump by Justin Merriman

President Donald Trump speaks to an invited crowd of several hundred supporters during an official visit at H&K Equipment, a rental and sales company for specialized material handling solutions in North Fayette, Pennsylvania, on January 18, 2018. Trump visited the facility to talk about the Republican tax reform policy that was passed in late December and to endorse Republican nominee for the 18th Congressional District race, Rick Saccone. 

Saccone is running against Democratic nominee Conor Lamb in the special election in the 18th Congressional District to replace Tim Murphy, who resigned in disgrace over a sex scandal. Read more about the President's visit at the Washington Examiner

Mass Shooting at Pennsylvania Car Wash by Justin Merriman

Family members and friends console each other near Ed's Car Wash where four people were found dead and one injured after a shooting early Sunday morning on January 28, 2018 in Melcroft, Pennsylvania. See more images at Getty Images. (Photo by Justin Merriman/Getty Images)

Life Beneath Powerplants by Justin Merriman

I spent several days traveling around Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia for Bloomberg and ran across Aaron Schissler, 8, as he jumps on his trampoline at his home near FirstEnergy’s Bruce Mansfield Power Plant on Sunday, December 3, 2017 in Shippingport, Pa. You can see more of my images from this shoot at Bloomberg

Esther's Hobby Shop by Justin Merriman

Bob Mehler, 87, works in his business, Esther's Hobby Shop, on October 31, 2017 in Millvale, Pa. Mehler has worked in the store since he was a young boy. "I guess you can say I literally grew up in the store," he said. Read more about the hobby shop in the Washington Examiner

Pittsburgh's Strip District by Justin Merriman

Stephanie Strasburg and I recently took our Pittsburgh Filmmakers documentary photography class for a photo walk through Pittsburgh's Strip District. These are a few of the images that I made on the walk. 

Staughton Lynd by Justin Merriman

Staughton Lynd, 87, a formidable figure in the ’60s social justice movement, sits in the basement of his Niles, Ohio home on Sept. 6, 2017.  Lynd, the Manhattan-born academic from Harvard, immediately became part of the fabric in the working-class community as a labor lawyer after Black Monday, the day when Youngstown Sheet and Tube abruptly furloughed 5,000 workers in one day.  Read more about Lynd and Black Monday in the New York Post

Trump Signs by Justin Merriman

Leon Moyer, 60, owner of JL Signs stands in front of his business on Thursday, Aug. 25, 2017 in Ruffs Dale, Pa. Moyer has continued to make and sale pro-Trump signs and bumper stickers long after the election has passed.  Read more about Moyer in the New York Post.

Shooting of a Judge by Justin Merriman

William 'Thuggy' Robinson sits on the porch of his longtime-friend Nathaniel "Snake" Richmond on Tuesday, Aug. 22, 2017 in Steubenville, Ohio. Richmond was shot and killed Monday in front of the Jefferson County courthouse after he ambushed Judge Joseph Bruzzese Jr., and open fired on him.  Justin Merriman for DailyMail.com

A photo of Nathaniel "Snake" Richmond sits on a table on his porch on Tuesday, Aug. 22, 2017 in Steubenville, Ohio. Richmond was shot and killed Monday in front of the Jefferson County courthouse after he ambushed Judge Joseph Bruzzese Jr., and open fired on him. Justin Merriman for DailyMail.com

Sheriff Fred Abdalla sits in his office as he discusses the shooting of Jefferson County Judge Joseph Bruzzese Jr.,  on Tuesday, Aug. 22, 2017 in Steubenville, Ohio. Justin Merriman for DailyMail.com

A statue stands on top of the Jefferson County courthouse in Steubenville, Ohio on Tuesday, Aug. 22, 2017.  Justin Merriman for DailyMail.com

A memorial sits at the site where an April 2015 fire took the lives of Mae Etta Richmond, 70, and Te'on Dillard, 2, along Wellesley Avenue in Steubenville, Ohio on Tuesday, Aug. 22, 2017. The fire was part of a wrongful death suit that Nathaniel Richmond filed on behalf of his mother, Mae Etta and had pending before Judge Joseph Bruzzese Jr. Richmond was shot and killed on Monday after he ambushed the Judge Bruzzese outside of the Jefferson County courthouse. 
Justin Merriman for DailyMail.com

Curtis Golsby stands in front of the home of Nathaniel "Snake" Richmond, after Golsby was released from the Jefferson County jail on Tuesday, Aug. 22, 2017 in Steubenville, Ohio. Golsby was with Richmond when he went to the Jefferson County courthouse and ambushed Judge Joseph Bruzzese Jr., and open fired on him. Richmond was shot and killed during the incident.  Justin Merriman for DailyMail.com

Nathaniel 'Snake' Richmond was killed after he waited for Jefferson County Judge Joseph Bruzzese, Jr. to arrive at the courthouse on Monday, Aug. 21, 2017. When Richmond saw the judge he exited his car and opened fire, wounding the judge. The judge and a probation officer returned firing, killing Richmond, 51. Read more about this story at Daily Mail.

A Coal Mine Opens by Justin Merriman

A coal miner holds a lump of metallurgical coal from the Middle Kittanning coal seam on May 18, 2017 in Friedens, Somerset, Pa. Justin Merriman for The Wall Street Journal

Coal Miner Russ Lambert, 61, of Berlin, Pa., who has been mining for over 37 years, poses for a portrait on May 18, 2017 in Friedens, Somerset, Pa. Lambert, a shift foreman, who previously has been mining in Corsa's Quecreek Mine will be working in Corsa's new mine, the Acosta Deep Mine. Justin Merriman for The Wall Street Journal

Robert Bottegal, head engineer of the Acosta Deep Mine for Corsa Coal, stands near the future drift entrance off the high wall of the new mine on May 18, 2017 in Friedens, Somerset, Pa. The new mine, which is expected to open early June, will create 70 new jobs and should produce 400,000 tons of metallurgical coal a year. Justin Merriman for The Wall Street Journal

Robert Bottegal points to a map showing the Acosta Deep Mine in Friedens, Somerset County, Pa., on March 22, 2017. Justin Merriman | for the Financial Times

A coal miner works at Corsa Coal's Acosta Deep Mine on June 8, 2017 in Friedens, Pennsylvania.  Justin Merriman/Getty Images

Workers stand in the pit as construction continues on Corsa Coal's Acosta Deep Mine on May 18, 2017 in Friedens, Somerset, Pa. Justin Merriman for The Wall Street Journal

Coal Miner Russ Lambert, 61, of Berlin, Pa., who has been mining for over 37 years, yells to another miner as they work on the construction of Corsa Coal's new Acosta Deep Mine on May 18, 2017 in Friedens,Somerset, Pa. Justin Merriman for The Wall Street Journal

Coal Miner Joe Kostyk, 28, of Sidman, Pa., works on the construction of the drift entrance of Corsa Coal's new Acosta Deep Mine on May 18, 2017 in Friedens, Somerset, Pa.  Justin Merriman for The Wall Street Journal

A rig drills holes for explosive charges at the Corsa Coal's new Acosta Deep Mine in Friedens, Somerset County, Pa., on March 22, 2017.  Justin Merriman for the Financial Times

Coal miners works on the future drift entrance of Corsa Coal's Acosta Deep Mine on May 18, 2017 in Friedens, Somerset, Pa.  Justin Merriman for The Wall Street Journal

Robert Bottegal stands on a platform above the pit of the new Acosta Deep Mine on Monday, June 5, 2017 in Friedens, Somerset County, Pa. The platform was constructed for the mine's grand opening ceremony that will be held on Thursday.  Justin Merriman for The Washington Post

A coal truck drives past a Trump sign on May 19, 2017 on Million Dollar Highway in Jenner Township, Pa.  Justin Merriman for The Wall Street Journal

George Critchfield, 59, owner of Critchfield Lumber, stands at his mill on May 19, 2017 in Jenner Township, Pa. The new Corsa Coal Corporation mine has purchased lumber from Critchfield's lumber mill, which borders the new mine site. He is excited about the mine's opening and feels the mine has saved his business. "It's a trickle down effect," he says. "That's what you need, good paying jobs instead of McDonalds and Walmart." Justin Merriman for The Wall Street Journal

A sign for the Coal Miner's Cafe sits along U.S. Route 30 on May 18, 2017 in Jennerstown, Pa. Justin Merriman for The Wall Street Journal

Betty Rhoads, who owns the Coal Miner's Cafe with her husband, John, sits at one of the restaurant's tables on May 18, 2017 in Jennerstown, Pa. "I've seen the good day's of coal," says Rhoads; her father owned several pick and shovel coal mines. "I can remember when there was mines all over these hills," she says. While she's not optimistic about the coal mining industry, Rhoads is happy about the opening of the Acosta Deep Mine. "I want every mine that can reopen to reopen," she says. Justin Merriman for The Wall Street Journal

George Barron, 78, stands along Main Street on May 18, 2017 in Acosta, Pa. Barron, having lived in Acosta since 1962, has seen the coal industry come and go. The Somerset Coal Company opened the Acosta mines in 1905 and established the town two years later. Corsa Coal has opened the Acosta Deep Mine just up the road from Acosta. Justin Merriman for The Wall Street Journal

Edward Popernack, 84, who worked in coal mines for over 40 years, poses for a portrait at the Coal Miner's Cafe on Monday, June 5, 2017 in Jennerstown, Pa. Popernack's son, Mark, was one of the coal miners rescued from Quecreek Mine after being trapped for 77 hours in July 2002. Justin Merriman for The Washington Post

George Barron, 78, right, watches as Barry Custer, 64, cleans his lawn tractor with his wife, Robbie, 62, and granddaughter Emma Grigg, 7, at his home on May 18, 2017 in Acosta, Pa. "If they put coal miners back to work that be great," Custer, a coal miner with AK Coal Resources, says speaking of the opening of Corsa Coal's new Acosta Deep Mine. "This town was built on coal," he continues, having worked as a coal miner since he was 18. Custer's wife, Robbie's cousin Mark Popernack was one of the 9 miners rescued from the Quecreek Mine in 2002. Justin Merriman for The Wall Street Journal

A person wears a coal pin at the grand opening of Corsa Coal's Acosta Deep Mine on June 8, 2017 in Friedens, Pennsylvania.  Justin Merriman/Getty Images

President Donald Trump delivers a recorded message at the grand opening of Corsa Coal's Acosta Deep Mine on June 8, 2017 in Friedens, Pennsylvania. Justin Merriman/Getty Images

The entrance to the Corsa Coal's Acosta Deep Mine on June 8, 2017 in Friedens, Pennsylvania. Justin Merriman/Getty Images

For the last several months, I've been covering Corsa Coal's new coal mine, the Acosta Deep Mine, in Friedens, Somerset County, Pennsylvania as well as the surrounding communities. The mine, which began production in June, created 70 news jobs and is expected to produce over 400,000 tons of metallurgical coal a year.  You can read about the mine in the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, the Financial Times, and view more images at Getty Images

Lead Pipe Replacement by Justin Merriman

A piece of a broken lead service line, stamped with the date 1899, is removed by Pittsburgh Water and Sewage Authority at a home on Wednesday, April 26, 2017 in Pittsburgh's Homewood neighborhood.  Justin Merriman / for the Wall Street Journal

Pittsburgh Water and Sewage Authority's Brian Schacht wipes his face as he works to repair a broken lead public service line at a home on Wednesday, April 26, 2017 in Pittsburgh's Homewood neighborhood. Justin Merriman / for the Wall Street Journal

 A broken lead public service line sits on the ground after being removed by the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority at a home in Pittsburgh. Justin Merriman / for the Wall Street Journal

Pittsburgh Water and Sewage Authority work to repair a broken lead public service line at a home on Wednesday, April 26, 2017 in Pittsburgh's Homewood neighborhood. Read more about Pittsburgh's lead issues in the Wall Street Journal.

Monet Spencer by Justin Merriman

Monet Spencer, 18, smiles as she is photographed in her Hill District apartment. Spencer was left homeless after her mother passed away in February 2016, leaving her and her twin brother to care for themselves. Spencer now lives on her own, in a subsidized apartment. Spencer attends Brashear High School and was recently accepted to Carlow University.

Monet Spencer, 18, walks from Pittsburgh Miller PreK-5 after tutoring young elementary students on February 13, 2017.  Thirty percent of Spencer's salary from her tutoring job helps pay for her apartment at Action Housing's My Place, which provides housing and intensive case management services to young people who have aged out of the foster care system in Allegheny County and are either homeless or at risk homelessness.

Monet Spencer reads to elementary students at Pittsburgh Miller PreK-5 on Feb. 8, 2017. She tutors at the school Mondays though Thursdays for a job through the Neighborhood Learning Alliance. 

Monet Spencer looks at a game with Tya Carter, 10, as Aminyah Dooley, 5, looks on after an after-school tutoring session at Pittsburgh Miller PreK-5. Spencer earns about $100 every two weeks from the tutoring job. She pays $50 a month in rent.

Monet Spencer, 18, left, sits with her best friend, Maya Smallwood, 18, at her North Side home where Maya and her mother took Spencer in to live after her mother died and she was left homeless. 

This is Monet Spencer's home. Here, she's looking through videos on her computer. She uses her phone to connect to the Internet through a hotspot. Spencer and her twin brother were considered homeless after their mother died. Spencer eventually acquired an apartment through ACTION-Housing's MyPlace Youth program. "It was the happiest day of my life," Spencer says about getting her own apartment.

Monet Spencer, 18, plays her flute during her band class at Brashear High School on February 16, 2017.  

Even after losing her mother and becoming homeless, Monet Spencer continued to make it to classes at Brashear High School. She was recently accepted to Carlow University.

Monet Spencer, 18, works on a computer during a study hall at Brashear High School on February 16, 2017.  

Monet Spencer, 18, walks home from her job tutoring at Pittsburgh Miller PreK-5 in Pittsburgh's Hill District on February 13, 2017.  

Monet Spencer, 18, was left homeless after her mother passed away in February 2016, leaving her and her twin brother to care for themselves. Spencer now lives on her own, in a subsidized apartment. Spencer attends Brashear High School and was recently accepted to Carlow University. You can read Monet's story at PublicSource.