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Pittsburgh Laurels & Lances

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Letters home ...

Traveling abroad for personal, educational or professional reasons?

Why not share your impressions — and those of residents of foreign countries about the United States — with Trib readers in 150 words?

The world's a big place. Bring it home with Letters Home.

Contact Colin McNickle (412-320-7836 or cmcnickle@tribweb.com).

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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.

Thursday, May 9, 2013, 8:55 p.m.
 

On the “Watch List”:

• Luke Ravenstahl. The federal investigation into a police department slush fund that already nailed the police chief now appears to be focused squarely on the mayor. A grand jury is believed to have heard testimony from Mr. Ravenstahl's former bodyguards and his personal secretary. The proceedings are secret. But it's sure starting to sound like somebody “flipped” on the mayor — or at least is trying to.

• The UPMC threat. State Auditor General Eugene DePasquale says he'll audit the health giant if it doesn't allow Highmark insurance customers access to UPMC services after 2014. Access is in doubt because of the long-running Highmark-UPMC dispute over the former's subsumption of what's now the Allegheny Health Network. Mr. DePasquale has auditing power because of the substantial public subsidies given to UPMC. The bottom line is that any insurance should be accepted anywhere.

Laurel: To Jim McCarville. The head of the Port of Pittsburgh Commission has worked tirelessly for years to promote waterways commerce and lock improvements on our rivers. Now, Mr. McCarville, 67, has been honored by the White House for his work — in conjunction with a committee of volunteers, Carnegie Mellon University and the Army Corps of Engineers — to create a computerized virtual locking system. The recognition is well-deserved.

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