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Pittsburgh Tuesday takes

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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?

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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.

Monday, April 21, 2014, 9:00 p.m.
 

Pork Chop sentences: Five of the 16 people indicted in the state's Operation Pork Chop gambling sting in the McKeesport area have been given probation for their guilty pleas. Charges were lodged last September in the illegal gambling probe in which 354 video gambling machines were seized along with more than $1 million in cash. It's a classic example of the hypocrisy of government which itself sanctions gambling — but only if it gets to skim proceeds off the top.

Is this a “conflict”? Yes, Allegheny County Councilman Nick Futules receives royalties from a natural gas well on property he shares with his brother in Penn Hills. And, yes, the Oakmont Democrat, who chairs the council's parks committee, is involved in discussion whether to allow the same company to drill under Deer Lakes Park. But Mr. Futules long ago disclosed his drilling deal and will not profit from any county deal. It's hard to see how there's any actual conflict, let alone a perceived one.

Check it out: The boating season is here. And with Allegheny County having among the highest number of watercraft registrations of any county in the country, safety is a paramount concern. To that end, civilian volunteers from the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary will offer a Vessel Safety Check program this Saturday and Sunday at the Moon Township Municipal Building. It's a great way to have safety issues identified — and the opportunity to fix them — before being cited, stranded or even injured on the water.

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