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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