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Thursday, Dec. 6, 2012, 8:59 p.m.

On the “Watch List”: The Zion tax-assessment lawsuit. Denied its bid to lower the assessment of its decrepit Jeannette Glass plant property, Zion Bullitt Avenue LLP is suing the county over what it claims is an unconstitutional assessment system — one of the oldest in the state, based on 1972 land values. Will the outcome finally trigger a countywide reassessment, long dodged by Westmoreland's leaders? Stay tuned.

Laurel: To paying it forward. Elmer Smart's two young daughters each received a $50 gift card to buy Christmas gifts through the Shop With A Cop program in 2009. Now the Derry Borough dad has returned that kindness tenfold with his donation to the program, which provides Christmas cheer to children who have endured tragedies. What a fine inspiration during this season of giving. Read on.

Laurel: To a Christmas state of mind. Among the many accounts of giving of late is the story of a grassroots community fundraising effort that accrued more than $7,500 toward a wheelchair-accessible van for the family of Latrobe native John McComb and his 8-year-old disabled son. For many good-hearted folks, Christmas spirit extends year-round.

Laurel: To setting an example. The wives of Sens. Pat Toomey and Bob Casey organized a tribute this week to the heroes of Flight 93, hijacked by terrorists during 9/11, to raise money for the completion of the local memorial. Here's a prime opportunity for members of Congress, by example, to open their wallets and support an important public endeavor.

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