• In the aftermath of tragedy we are once again reminded of the risks assumed by all who wear a police uniform, whether it's a local police officer or a Pennsylvania State Police trooper. While on routine patrol in Ligonier Township, Trooper Michael P. Stewart, 26, of the Latrobe area died in an early morning crash with a garbage truck. Such a promising career cut short amplifies this profound loss. May he rest in peace. Just two years earlier, not far from this horrible accident, township police Lt. Eric Eslary, 40, was killed by a wrong-way driver on Route 30.
• His iconic black-and-white “Night of the Living Dead” and subsequent horror films made director and writer George Romero, 77, a legend among fans and fellow film producers. More than just making movies about shuffling zombies, Mr. Romero infused his films with social commentary — and that resonated with viewers. And, indeed, few directors can claim credit for a film that's so popular, so imitated, it's a classic. Mr. Romero, a graduate of Carnegie Mellon University, died Sunday after a battle with lung cancer.
Daunting drug problem: Even though state police drug seizures declined sharply in this year's second quarter, the value of drugs taken off the street — more than $5 million —is nevertheless significant. More disturbing still: How much cocaine, heroin and other illegal drugs trafficked through the commonwealth reach local streets? Don't presume drugs aren't in your neighborhood.