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Greensburg Laurels & Lances

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Letters home ...

Traveling abroad for personal, educational or professional reasons?

Why not share your impressions — and those of residents of foreign countries about the United States — with Trib readers in 150 words?

The world's a big place. Bring it home with Letters Home.

Contact Colin McNickle (412-320-7836 or cmcnickle@tribweb.com).

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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.

Thursday, Jan. 30, 2014, 8:55 p.m.
 

Lance: To an all-too-easy E-ZPass rip-off. Three Westmoreland County truckers using a stolen E-ZPass and altered license plate numbers managed to dodge more than $23,000 in Pennsylvania Turnpike tolls over a 15-month period, authorities said. Talk about putting the “ease” in E-ZPass. A similar scheme, also involving a trucker, was reported in 2012. A toll-collecting system this loose demands closer attention to nab scofflaws — preferably before they rack up several thousand dollars in unpaid tolls.

Lance: To the continuing courthouse feuding. In the latest episode of “How the County Churns,” Westmoreland Sheriff Jonathan Held said his department will not abide by a new “moonlighting” policy recently approved by county commissioners that bans the use of Westmoreland property — uniforms, for example — by employees during their off hours. Arising from this latest tempest are serious questions about the chain of command in Westmoreland's government.

Laurel: To fighters of fire and ice. Firefighting is risky enough when temperatures aren't in the single digits. Volunteers responding to fire calls during this week's frigid snap, including a North Huntingdon house fire on Monday night during which four firefighters were injured, deserve an added measure of recognition, as do police and other public safety workers who rose to their responsibilities regardless of the stinging cold.

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