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Greensburg Tuesday takes

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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, Feb. 18, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

Jurors' duty: Jurors who last week convicted Ricky Smyrnes of first-degree murder in the brutal torture and murder of Jennifer Daugherty now will consider his fate. With regard to his mental “capacity,” the question is this: If not for Mr. Smyrnes' influence over and instruction to Ms. Daugherty's reprehensible Greensburg roommates, would she be alive today? Justice in this appalling case will be served only when Smyrnes is sentenced to death.

Money to burn?: Through the ever-convoluted wisdom of the state's Redevelopment Capital Assistance Program, Latrobe is on tap to receive a $1 million “economic development” grant to help pay for a $3 million garage renovation. Except the city has paid off most of the project. And the grant cannot be used toward the $3.8 million bond issue for the garage because the bonds can't be redeemed earlier than five years from their date of issue, officials say. So Latrobe is looking into other options for the state money, which would require matching funds from the city — in effect, public spending that begets more spending. That's a vacuum of economic resources — with all the attachments.

Flights to Pittsburgh?: With the boom in Marcellus shale drilling, it's baffling that a commercial airline hasn't yet connected the dots from area airports, such as Arnold Palmer Regional Airport, to Pittsburgh International, which would link drilling companies doing business here to their bases in Texas and Oklahoma. Talk about an untapped resource.

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