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Contact Colin McNickle (412-320-7836 or

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Monday, July 28, 2014, 9:00 p.m.

Prothonotary's illogic: Fayette County Prothonotary Nina Frankhouser, under fire for restricting public access to protective court orders, based her decision, in part, on the advice of former solicitor Davis and Davis of Uniontown, where her husband is a partner. The firm resigned after the Trib questioned the legality. Mrs. Frankhouser defended the firm's appointment based on the so-called “de minimis” exception to the state Ethics Act, which dismisses conflicts of interest when a minimum amount of money is involved. The only de minimis consideration here is the reasoning behind these decisions.

Penn's pigpen: Penn Township has been thwarted in attempts to clean up a blighted private property. So, local leaders are suing the owners of the old farmhouse site on Frye Road. That's as it should be. But it shouldn't take more than a decade of neighbors' complaints before negligent property owners are compelled to clean up their mess.

A sick connection: The conviction of an Export man accused of using a charter school's wireless Internet to meet a “14-year-old girl” (actually a police officer) attests to the determined mindset of child predators, no matter how many get nabbed in similar stings. Theodore Mamel, 64, will serve up to two years in prison. His case is a reminder to parents of the sickness lurking on the Internet.

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