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Monday, Jan. 13, 2014, 9:00 p.m.
 

Hospital rot: Jeannette's beacon of hope — development of the former Jeannette District Memorial Hospital — has gone black. A developer has dropped its plans because of costs — among them, cleaning up the reportedly mold-infested building. So few cities can boast of having two closed, deteriorating hospitals (the other being the dilapidated Monsour Medical Center), which never should have reached this condition and now cannot be unloaded. Before JDMH owner Excela Health invests in any new facilities, it needs to take care of what's rotting in Jeannette.

Movin' on up: A “state of the county” presentation by Westmoreland's three commissioners to the Westmoreland Chamber of Commerce strikes a number of positive chords: Unemployment (6.8 percent) is down, the average price of homes is up (4.6 percent) and property sales are on the rise (10.6 percent). Economics professor Robert P. Strauss at Carnegie Mellon University attributes those positives to a “regional tilt” to Westmoreland. In all, it's a positive snapshot. The challenge ahead is to maintain that momentum.

A heartwarming response: Among the tales of neighbors helping neighbors through last week's Arctic blast is the account of volunteers who provided water, heaters and blankets for 52 dogs and 50 cats at the Fayette Friends of Animals shelter in Menallen. Kudos to the warm hearts throughout the region who made a real difference for all in need during those bone-chilling nights.

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