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Greensburg Laurels & Lances

| Friday, June 27, 2008

Laurel: To holding the line on taxes. A few local school districts have managed to keep taxes flat next year. Some did it by using cash reserves. Some did it the old-fashioned way, with an eye toward achieving better efficiencies. Sure, it takes more work to keep from reaching deeper into the public's pockets. That's why it's called public service.

On the "Watch List": Trafford officials. Borough council is moving ahead with a comprehensive plan, the first since 1961. About $46,000 in local grant money is expected to be matched by state funding to help cover the plan's costs. But after all the hoopla in the development phase, these "visions of the future," once completed, oftentimes are forgotten. And that's an awful lot of money to pay for a document if it attracts nothing more than dust bunnies.

Laurel: To local air travelers. Officials at Arnold Palmer Regional Airport warned in March that the airport's lone commercial carrier may curtail service unless passenger totals increased. And, sure enough, the market responded. Passengers aboard Northwest Airlines flights from the Unity airport to Detroit Metropolitan Airport were up 30 percent in May over the same month last year. And flights last month were at 70 percent capacity, up from 56 percent last year. That's something to build on.

Laurel: To caring for our military. Johnstown will be the site of a new, five-year pilot project to care for wounded military personnel who have suffered brain trauma. The facility, expected to open this fall at the Hiram G. Andrews Center, will provide services for 25 patients. The need is overwhelming. U.S. Rep. John P. Murtha says traumatic brain injuries are "the signature wound of this war," afflicting nearly 320,000 U.S. military personnel.

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