Laurels & Lances
Laurel: To keeping 150 bricks of heroin off local streets. Surveillance of New Stanton's convergence of major highways by state police from the Greensburg barracks and Westmoreland County detectives paid off with a June 28 bust, which began with a traffic stop. Two illegal aliens from the Dominican Republic each face multiple charges. And because authorities suspect those two were trying to expand a drug “pipeline” from Philadelphia, this bust might well have kept far more of that deadly drug off the streets than the amount seized by police.
• To texting while driving's perilous stupidity. Pittsburgh police say Richard Lee Hauschel II, 32, of Brownsville, who faces multiple charges, was texting in April when his car crossed into the wrong Liberty Bridge lane and crashed into another vehicle, seriously injuring a couple and their newborn son. How many more of these avoidable accidents will occur before drivers stop putting texting above safety — their own and that of everyone else on the road?
• To lacking financial checks and balances. The Swissvale-based Steel Valley Authority is out more than $81,000. Its former financial manager, Nicolette Gizzi, 44, of North Huntingdon, faces a five-count federal indictment. What's even worse is that the economic development organization seemingly neglected due diligence in her hiring, too: She had a 2008 federal check-forgery conviction in South Carolina.