Alle-Kiski Laurels & Lances
Laurel: To Armstrong County Judge Kenneth Valasek. The judge apparently wants to hold Christopher McNeely accountable for almost getting his 6-year-old son shot to death. Good — no one else has so far. McNeely came before Valasek this week with a plea bargain for probation approved by Armstrong District Attorney Scott Andreassi. Valasek said no. McNeely withdrew his guilty plea and now faces trial. The child almost died because Dad allegedly couldn't be bothered to safely store his loaded 9mm pistol at the family's Ford City home last summer.
Laurel: To Allegheny County Judge Anthony Mariani. The judge is making convicted heroin dealers buy lifesaving naloxone kits for the communities where they've sold drugs. Naloxone reverses the effects of an opiate overdose. Mariani rightly believes if you're part of the problem, he'll make you part of the solution.
On the Watch List:
• Politics on the public dime? The allegation from deputies that they were forced to work on Westmoreland County Sheriff Jonathan Held's 2015 re-election while on duty is disturbing. An investigation is underway; Mr. Held denies any impropriety.
• West Leechburg's “secession.” Voters in the small borough may be asked if they want to bail out of the Leechburg Area School District or dissolve their local government and become part of Allegheny Township and the Kiski Area School District. Hmmm, much intrigue here.