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Greensburg Laurels & Lances

| Thursday, Feb. 20, 2014, 8:55 p.m.

Laurel (with a caveat): To Jeannette's leaders. While many municipalities have been scrambling to find road salt, Jeannette faced the brunt of winter's wrath “in really, really good shape,” say Mayor Richard Jacobelli. Now, if the cash-strapped city could only budget its finances as well as its road salt.

Laurel: To Gary Caruso. The Westmoreland County judge ruled that an old monk parakeet, deemed an imminent “threat” by the state's parakeet police, should be returned to its Youngwood owner, 63, who, for nearly three decades, has cared for the bird without a single environmental catastrophe. Common sense always trumps the perpetually ham-handed Nanny State.

On the “Watch List”: The Hempfield Area superintendent's medical leave. Citing confidentiality under “personnel matters,” Hempfield school directors have given few details about Superintendent Andy Leopold's absence — only that an acting superintendent has been named. Godspeed to Mr. Leopold but district residents who pay the bills deserve more information on the short-term, and possibly long-term, implications.

An observation: Nearly six months later, Greensburg Salem taxpayers still have no answers on who ordered school district staff to illegally pad the salaries of six former administrators to boost their pensions, according to a state audit. Schools Superintendent Eileen Amato says “legally,” the district cannot yet name the person(s) involved. Then perhaps “legally,” taxpayers should explore their options to compel a straight answer about this alleged pocket-diving.

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