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Greensburg Laurels & Lances

| Thursday, April 11, 2013, 8:55 p.m.

Lance: To easy (public) money. In the case of the Murrysville couple accused of bilking a former Westmoreland County agency out of $200,000 in mental health money, the alleged thievery isn't as disturbing as the ease with which it was perpetuated. Steven and Tammy Manns allegedly submitted false time sheets that inflated the amount of money owed them. And once again, it's government's pathetic lack of due diligence that puts the “ease” in easy money.

On the “Watch List”:

• Jeannette Senior High School. As if the cash-strapped city doesn't have enough troubles, now comes an academic one: If the high school fails to meet certain goals within a year, it could trigger the state's intervention. One option for parents is Pennsylvania's Opportunity Scholarship Tax Credit program, which provides tuition to some low- and moderate-income students to attend nonpublic schools. At least that's a recourse. Jeannette taxpayers awaiting a plan to stem the city's fiscal hemorrhaging have yet to see one.

• The Excela-Post Acute Medical LLC face-off. Plans by the latter to open a 40-bed rehab hospital in Unity has touched off considerable criticism from Excela, which is planning to build an outpatient center in the township. Excela says it intends to meet the competition head-on. That's fine. But why then suggest that a competing facility threatens the jobs of 70 Excela employees and would drive up health care costs? Projecting doom and gloom doesn't exactly convey confidence and strength.

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