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Greensburg Laurels & Lances

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Letters home ...

Traveling abroad for personal, educational or professional reasons?

Why not share your impressions — and those of residents of foreign countries about the United States — with Trib readers in 150 words?

The world's a big place. Bring it home with Letters Home.

Contact Colin McNickle (412-320-7836 or cmcnickle@tribweb.com).

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'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

Thursday, Nov. 8, 2012, 8:53 p.m.
 

On the “Watch List”: Excela Health's planned outpatient medical mall in Unity. Township planners have raised questions about the proposed building's access in an area off Route 30 that's already congested with businesses. There's also talk of wielding the cudgel of eminent domain to connect the proposed medical site with a shopping plaza. This sounds like the proverbial square peg in a round hole.

Laurel: To Catherine Fike. The Southmoreland school director did her homework and pulled no punches at a recent school board meeting: Long term, the district could face bankruptcy if business as usual remains unchanged, she said. That's not a far-fetched conclusion when Southmoreland, along with most other districts, typically sees expenses outpacing revenues. And the employee pension pinch? Heed the warning.

Laurel: To man's best friend. Incessant prodding by Ram, a black Lab, alerted a hearing-impaired man of a fast-moving fire that within minutes engulfed Valley Billiards in Salem Township. Owner Burley Hartin credits Ram for saving his son's life. That's the remarkable bond that distinguishes a companion animal from a “pet.”

Laurel: To promoting employee wellness. Excela Health reports that its own program of preventive screenings and regular checkups saved the local health system more than $1 million in insurance claims for about 5,000 employees last year. To paraphrase Ben Franklin, an ounce of prevention, given today's health care costs, beats a financial pounding for a cure.

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