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Alle-Kiski Laurels & Lances

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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, June 5, 2014, 8:55 p.m.
 

Lance: To James “Lutzo” Ameris. This career thug was the No. 2 player in the murder of Lower Burrell police Off. Derek Kotecki in 2011. Ameris once possessed the pistol used to shoot Kotecki and drove the killer, Charlie Post, to the Lower Burrell Dairy Queen where the ambush occurred. Ameris faces sentencing in July on gun and drug charges. We hope Westmoreland County Judge Richard McCormick Jr. throws the proverbial book at him.

Lance: To Springdale Councilman Gene Polsinelli. The borough is broke and doesn't have enough police officers, so what's Polsinelli doing? Angling to get an officer fired in a situation that will surely result in an expensive lawsuit. Off. Amanda Duncan is required to live in the borough. She's purchased a home she's renovating and received a time extension to move to town. Not good enough, says wannabe police chief Polsinelli, who unilaterally canceled the extension. Duncan isn't the problem here; Polsinelli is.

Laurel: To John Masarik. Sylvan Pool in Harrison celebrates its 50th year this summer and Masarik has served as the club's manager for every one of them. He's also mentored hundreds of youth lifeguards and other employees. On June 21, Sylvan will honor Masarik, who is still going strong at age 90. He's wholly deserving.

On the “Watch List”: The NexTier/Farmers & Merchants banks merger. The Kittanning-based Farmers and Merchants is as close to an old-style hometown bank as there is these days. We hope it retains that feel.

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