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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

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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, April 24, 2014, 8:55 p.m.

On the “Watch List”:

• The Excela Westmoreland Hospital “connection.” A Youngwood woman allegedly sold suspected heroin while s he was a patient — even when she was in the hospital's intensive care unit. Police said they found more than 300 stamp bags worth $3,800 in her hospital room. A review is in order to ensure that the only drugs leaving Excela's hospitals are its own.

• Pittsburgh's bid for the Democratic National Convention. Many of those waxing poetic about possibly hosting the 2016 coronation cite the city's “successful” hosting of the Group of 20 economic summit in 2009. Excuse us, but that was a public relations nightmare for the city, what with all the anarchists' protests beamed around the world. And Pittsburgh merchants suffered great economic harm in the name of “security.”

Laurel: To neighbors keeping watch. It's encouraging that 30 Latrobe residents turned out for the first meeting of a revamped neighborhood watch program. This is about working with police, not vigilantism. Here's hoping that distinction is clear.

Congratulations: To Brian Jones. As interim director of Westmoreland County's Department of Public Safety and a finalist for the agency's top job, Mr. Jones clinched the position after the department's fine response to a student's stabbing rampage at Franklin Regional Senior High School. Clearly Mr. Jones got the director's job the old-fashioned way: He earned it.

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