YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (AP) - Long-struggling Youngstown in northeast Ohio has called in the National Guard not for help securing the peace but to remove blighted homes that are eyesores in many city neighborhoods.

WFMJ-TV reports ( ) Ohio National Guard soldiers are bringing heavy equipment to Youngstown starting this weekend to help demolish 28 vacant homes on the city's south side. A battalion from Camp Ravenna will be demolishing homes over the next two weeks.

A Youngstown official says the city will pay for hauling rubble to a landfill, but the National Guard's help will likely save the city hundreds of thousands of dollars in demolition costs.

Youngstown Community Development Director William D'Avignon hopes the project will be successful and the Guard can return to demolish more of the city's several thousand blighted homes.