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Laurels & lances: Mobility, community and an Amber Alert |

Laurels & lances: Mobility, community and an Amber Alert

| Thursday, January 17, 2019 3:30 p.m
Police say Marjani Aquil (left) was abducted from her Penn Hills home Wednesday. They say Jermaine LaQuay Rodgers, 19, is suspected of taking her.

Laurel: To the Joy Riders. The community biking program wants to bring together cyclists like the Mighty Tri Girls and Total Chaos — two Pittsburgh-area groups whose members train for triathlons — with individuals who have limited mobility.

The result would be almost symbiotic.

Using tandem bikes that have integrated wheelchairs in place of a front wheel, two people would go for a ride. The cyclist would serve as the motor, with legs and heart powering the journey. The rider would get the taste of freedom that comes with a day in the sun and wind ruffling through the hair, something that can be hard for someone with mobility challenges to reach.

The group has reached 70 percent of its goal of $20,000 to buy two of the locally produced bikes for area trails.

Laurel: To the Lower Burrell police for inviting residents to participate in the Citizen Police Academy, and another laurel to any of the 25 residents 18 and older who do attend.

Through March, April and May, the academy will cover aspects of law enforcement like investigations, patrolling, firearms, prevention, community policing and even a mock trial.

Everyone should know more about how our legal system works and what police can and can’t do to keep us all safe. They should also have a better understanding of what individuals can do to make the community a better place and make law enforcement’s job just a little bit easier.

Lance: To history repeating itself. It took less than a year for Jermaine Rodgers to allegedly assault and abduct his 16-year-old ex-girlfriend using the threat of a gun and murder of another minor. The altercation came after a similar incident in 2018.

Police found Rodgers and the injured girl after a statewide Amber Alert was issued Wednesday.

Rodgers pleaded guilty in December to misdemeanors associated with the 2018 incident rather than the felony kidnapping and witness intimidation charges that were withdrawn.

He received a sentence of one year of probation. He served one month and 10 days before police took him into custody following a standoff in McKeesport.

Categories: Opinion | Editorials
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