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Pittsburgh news quiz: Of the Bucs and a duck

| Sunday, Dec. 29, 2013, 10:27 a.m.

Let's see whether you paid attention this year.

Not just to the Steelers' rare subpar season, which people around these parts are treating with the grief usually associated with the loss of a loved one. No, it's time to see if you were aware of other significant local news stories of the year by having you take the quiz below.

As always, anyone caught using Google to look up the answers automatically flunks.

Proceed, class:

• As part of her sentence on corruption charges, former state Supreme Court Justice Joan Orie Melvin was given the unusual, and some would say juvenile, penalty of being ordered to:

a) Write, “I promise never to use public resources to further my political ambitions,” one thousand times.

b) Spend her time under house arrest sitting in a corner.

c) Write letters of apology to the entire state judiciary.

d) Spend all day Saturday in detention writing an essay describing herself, along with the other members of the Breakfast Club.

• Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl abruptly abandoned his re-election bid in March because:

a) He suffered from a debilitating and embarrassing skin rash.

b) Landing a cameo in the Batman movie filmed here several years ago convinced him he should move to Hollywood to fulfill his lifelong ambition of starring in toothpaste commercials.

c) He appeared to be skittish about a federal investigation of city government that resulted in the arrest of ex-police Chief Nate Harper on corruption charges.

d) The job cut into his valuable nightclubbing time.

• Which of the following items did ex-chief Harper not purchase with public money diverted into secret credit union accounts?

a) An XM satellite radio.

b) Movies from the Monroeville Adultmart.

c) An oven upgrade

d) A copy of “The Complete Idiot's Guide to Avoiding Detection When Diverting Public Money into Secret Credit Union Accounts.”

• The 40-foot-tall plastic art exhibit floating in the Allegheny River for most of September was a near-exact replica of:

a) Ravenstahl's head.

b) A Primanti Bros. sandwich.

c) A child's rubber duck.

d) Idaho, for reasons that never were made clear.

• The Pirates gained national notoriety this year for:

a) Reviving the moribund career of Third Eye Blind by booking the has-been band to play after a Bucs-Cards game in August.

b) Snapping a record-setting streak of consecutive losing seasons so old that when it finally ended, it was preparing to purchase its first legal drink.

c) Extending a record-setting streak of years of having the only ballpark in which pierogies are served at the refreshment stands and race on the field.

d) Playing several weeks of home games across the Allegheny River from a giant rubber duck.

Eric Heyl is a Trib Total Media staff writer. Reach him at 412-320-7857 or eheyl@tribweb.com.

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