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Monday, Nov. 19, 2012, 8:59 p.m.

Avoidable tragedy: Jonathan Michael Rainey, 23, of Ligonier faces an involuntary manslaughter charge for allegedly providing alcohol to a 17-year-old driver who never made it home. State police reported Jonathan Kristiansen's blood-alcohol content was eight times the legal limit for minors when his car hit a tree in Cook Township. And yet time after time, the consequences for such stunning disregard go unheeded.

“Fire safety isn't free”: That sums up the pitch from Mt. Pleasant Township firefighters in seeking dedicated public funding to sustain their operations. And they're hardly alone. Penn Township commissioners also are considering a tax dedicated to local firefighters. To date, 11 locales in Westmoreland County impose similar levies. These revenue streams provide for equipment and training. But what's going to sustain manpower at Southwestern Pennsylvania fire stations as volunteers grow older and retire?

Bovard Band-Aid?: Are parents of Bovard Elementary School students relieved that a decision regarding the future operation of their children's school now has been put off until January? Or are these delays akin to slowly pulling off the proverbial Band-Aid? By now the facts on whether the school remains open or is closed should be clear to all. And if ultimately it is the Hempfield Area School Board's intention to close Bovard, then this drawn-out drama is one of the more painful ways to do it.

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