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Pittsburgh Tuesday takes

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Traveling abroad for personal, educational or professional reasons?

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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.

Monday, Nov. 12, 2012, 8:51 p.m.
 

The derailment: One of the more serious Port Authority light-rail accidents in recent years is being blamed on human error. The mass-transit agency says a driver has been suspended with pay for running a stop signal Friday night in the Downtown subway. The “T” car derailed when it hit a switch that had not been locked into place. One person was injured. The accident makes us wonder why there's not a fail-safe that would shut down vehicles that do such things.

Inquiring minds: By just about every measure, the National Aviary on Pittsburgh's North Side has been doing pretty well under Pat Mangus, its executive director. There was a well-received expansion. Attendance is doing just fine, thank you. And, oh, yes, the budget has been — GASP! — balanced. Still, the aviary board fired Mr. Mangus last week. It won't say why. The aviary went “private” years ago. But it still receives some public money. And, thus, the public deserves an explanation.

On the brink?: Also by just about every measure, West Penn Allegheny Health System is gasping for financial air and its very life. And now that a judge has ruled the system can't take millions of lifeboat dollars from potential white knight Highmark Inc., then look for other buyers, it behooves West Penn Allegheny to make plans for an orderly bankruptcy reorganization. That now appears to be its only chance of survival.

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