Pittsburgh Laurels & Lances
Laurel: To David Cashman. The Allegheny County judge wisely accepted a plea deal that will send former Plum High School teacher Jason Cooper to jail for 18 to 36 months for having sex with a grieving student he had befriended. Mr. Cooper, 39, could have been sentenced to 11 to 22 years in prison. But Judge Cashman said he wanted to spare the victim, 18 at the time of the crime, and her family the pain of going through a trial. That was the family's desire. Justice in this case was just and compassionate.
Lance: To the federal government. It has taken, thus far, 13 years and spent, thus far, $17 million to study how to repair three dilapidated locks and dams on the Ohio River. And the Emsworth, Dashields and Montgomery facilities and river commerce suffer. We cannot imagine such nonsense happening in the private sector; surely those responsible would have been fired long ago and the broken process overhauled. But, then again, this is government.
On the “Watch List”: Opening day. Sunday's weather — in the 40s but with a wind chill in the 30s — is shaping up to be more conducive to football than baseball. But that shouldn't dampen the spirits of those planning to attend Major League Baseball's 2016 season opener between the Pittsburgh Pirates and the St. Louis Cardinals at PNC Park. Just throw on a few extra layers of clothes under that black-and-gold attire, gargle with hot chocolate, coffee or tea and everyone will be good to go. And let's go Bucs!