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.
The trailer park reinvented. We've all heard jokes about trailer parks and the people who live in them. But the new owner of the former Traders Path mobile home park in Lower Burrell is working to undo those stereotypes. Safe Harbor Communities bought the park and is tearing down/moving out the abandoned trailers, evicting problem tenants and generally transforming the place into a community asset instead of an eyesore. That can't happen too soon.
The heroin epidemic. Halfway through 2014, and drug overdose deaths are on pace to overtake last year's record-breaking toll in all four of our counties. Prescription drug deaths have been more prevalent in recent years, but the number of deaths from heroin keeps rising. More people are turning to heroin — which is cheap and, as the death toll indicates, too readily available.
Making MSI whole. That means fixing the hole in the Vandergrift company's building. The specialty metals maker's building was struck by two Norfolk Southern rail cars during February's derailment there, leaving a 35-foot hole in the wall. So far, the railroad company hasn't stepped up to pay for the damage. But it should, and soon.
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