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Pittsburgh Laurels & Lances

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Thursday, Jan. 16, 2014, 8:55 p.m.

On the “Watch List”:

• The Arthur Bedway sentence. The former private security consultant was sentenced to probation for his role in a Pittsburgh Bureau of Police bid-rigging scheme that begat a more expansive investigation of the department that begat a guilty plea to unrelated charges from former police Chief Nate Harper. Mr. Bedway's cooperation with the feds is cited, in part, for the slap on his wrist. But we would expect a bigger fish (or fishes) for such leniency.

The Southern Beltway, Phase 2. The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission says construction of the toll road from U.S. 22 in Robinson to I-79 at the Allegheny-Washington county line will begin this spring. The 12-mile, half-billion-dollar stretch, part of I-576, is scheduled to open in 2019. We can only wonder how many people won't use the new highway.

• Stealing from VFDs. What is it about volunteer fire companies that invites stealing by supposedly trusted members. Chester Yurkovic, 56, the former president of the Imperial VFD, is the latest in a long line of fire department intimates to be so accused. The Findlay man is charged with skimming more than $5,000 from various fundraisers and misusing a department credit card. How sad that such typically close-knit groups have to have trust issues.

• “Smart meters.” Duquesne Light is the latest Pennsylvania utility to receive state permission to install meters that can be read remotely, better track and analyze electric usage and charge higher rates during peak demand times. That's one thing. It will become another thing — a thing too far — if this leads to government control of our thermostats.

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