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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.

Monday, Nov. 11, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

Most deadly weapon: State police say Philip Cancilla, 51, shot and killed Christina White, 23, a part-time Westmoreland County corrections officer, and Timothy Reffner, 30, an Army veteran, at the Hempfield Heights apartments before turning the gun on himself. Three people are dead because of a noise dispute among the neighbors, authorities said. In Mr. Cancilla's own words in a handwritten note (as detailed by police): “Can only be provoked for so long before exploding.” Far more deadly than any gun is rage built up and released by an unhinged mind.

Penny-Pinching Season: From Halloween to Christmas, it's Penny-Pinching Season for local borough, township and city leaders as they prepare municipal budgets for 2014. And, indeed, some have become quite adept at stretching already tight budgets. Yet through all the belt-tightening and hand-wringing, rarely do we ever see neighboring jurisdictions get together to share common costs. Change doesn't require any heavy lifting; just pick up the phone.

Digging into trouble: Fortunately there were no injuries when a contractor struck a Peoples Natural Gas line in Murrysville, public safety officials said. But the incident begs some all-too-familiar concerns: Was the gas line properly mapped and/or did the construction company check the site before digging? Natural gas lines shouldn't get “struck,” or worse, if proper attention is paid to mapping and if contractors exercise due diligence before digging.

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