Alle-Kiski Tuesday takes
No explanation: Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen Zappala's office declined to comment last week regarding the involuntary manslaughter pleas in the murder case of Ronald Duff of Harrison. Given the prosecutor's original allegations — Mr. Duff was severely beaten, had suffered repeated abuse and was malnourished — our question about why the state accepted involuntary pleas was reasonable. And the public deserves an answer.
A rare birth: The last time it's believed to have happened, the United States still was a fledgling republic, Pittsburgh was known as the birthplace of the steamboat and “steel” was a foreign word. For the first time in 200 or so years, a bald eagle has been born within the city limits, in Hays. And with a second eagle pair nesting in Harmar, we have real evidence of the region's ecological health.
Locking in funds: Recreational boaters who use the Allegheny River usually cringe at this time of the year when the federal budget proposal for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is announced. But for 2013-14, instead of the usual closing of locks (or the threat to do so), the Pittsburgh District will see a slight funding increase to allow the locks to expand operation times from 16 hours daily to 18.