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.
Lance: To Brackenridge officials. The tiny borough is perpetually on “Short Street,” but this one takes the proverbial cake. Council purchased police-report software its computers can't use because its computers use the Windows XP operating system. Really? XP is 12 years old. That's Windows 8's great-grandfather. The borough is going to have to break down and spend like a whole $500 on a new computer.
Lance: To Heights Plaza owner Wild Blue Management. The New Jersey-based absentee landlord isn't talking — even to its tenants — about work to restore the plaza after last December's fire. Some work was done but the project has been stagnant for weeks now. Meanwhile, businesses are jumping ship to new locations, including former anchor Dunham's.
Laurel:To Arnold and its redevelopment authority. They tore down dilapidated buildings and cleared the lots. Now, they're selling them to neighbors. True, the parcels are going for a mere $500 but the point here is they're going back on the tax rolls and are owned by people who will use and maintain them. Less blight + more tax revenue = win.
R.I.P.: Ryan Richards. The Highlands High School football and baseball player and all-around good kid died doing something seemingly innocuous — riding in the back of a pickup truck. But riding in the bed is illegal because it's not hard to fall. What a terrible and tragic lesson.
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