Greensburg Laurels & Lances

| Thursday, June 13, 2013, 8:55 p.m.

Laurel: To a far more promising Monessen development. After fanciful musings about creating an art colony in the city — on the public's dime, naturally — Monessen now has the catalyst for meaningful economic development: ArcelorMittal and the city have come to terms on restarting a coke plant, which will employ about 180 workers. ArcelorMittal also announced it will pump $50 million into modernizing the facility. Real investment. Real jobs. Real development. These paint a more realistic picture for Monessen.

Lance: To the lame arm of the law. The outcome of the heroin case against former Westmoreland County deputy sheriff Erika Ditch, 24, doesn't pass the sniff test. Police caught Ms. Ditch and another woman with more than 70 stamp bags of heroin on April 3 in Pittsburgh; she was charged with possession with the intent to deliver — a felony. But a mere nine weeks later, the Allegheny County District Attorney's Office dropped the felony charges, and Ditch emerged from court with a year's probation. If she plays nice, her record will be expunged. Maybe then she can resume her deputy duties, eh?

On the “Watch List”: Derry Borough's water works. Whether discussions with the Municipal Authority of Westmoreland County on future operations were purely informational, as council President Kristine Melville says, or something more clandestine, as one council member suggests, the apparent disconnection leaves residents wondering if one hand of Derry government knows what the other is doing. And that weakens the public's confidence in those elected to lead.

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