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Tuesday takes

Battle at Baltimore: It doesn’t get much better than this, sports fans. The 8-3 Pittsburgh Steelers and the 8-3 Baltimore Ravens will meet Sunday night and the winner will ride alone atop the AFC North. It’s a critical step for a Black and Gold squad on that stairway to a seventh Super Bowl title. But, oh, next Monday morning will be a tough one if the step collapses.

Luke’s detail: Questions are being raised about the composition and cost of Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl’s police detail. These are the fine folks in blue charged with keeping Hizzoner safe. KDKA reports that Mr. Ravenstahl’s security forces racked up more overtime in two years than did former Mayor Tom Murphy’s in 12. It’s an interesting statistic that requires an answer, don’t you think?

National Progressive Radio: In imploring Congress to not cut federal subsidies for National Public Radio, The Toledo, Ohio, Block Bugler asks readers to “Imagine an America where Fox News thrives and NPR is on the ropes.” Gee, that’s not too difficult. It’s called “the free market” and “public choice,” hardly the “fake populism” that The Bugler so laments.

Encouraging signs: Plans for a $500 million power plant in South Huntingdon took a step forward with Tenaska Energy of Omaha agreeing to pay the Westmoreland County Municipal Authority $85,000 a year for five years to reserve up to 8.5 million gallons of water daily. Additionally, the company agreed to pay for up to $30 million in authority system upgrades. These are good signs that Tenaska won’t draw from the public purse to realize its plan.

And the cost?: An accused rapist mistakenly released from Westmoreland County Prison and caught in Florida will be returned to the county; the prison clerk responsible will face disciplinary actions, officials say. And what will this “bookkeeping error” cost taxpayers in Derrick Cobbs’ apprehension and extradition after the prison supposedly closed the gate on errant inmate releases years ago• The county prison board must get to the bottom of this embarrassment.

Fit firefighters: Forty Hempfield firefighters will get township-paid physicals to ensure their fitness and to identify responders at risk for life-threatening conditions. Given the aging of today’s volunteers — and that Pennsylvania leads the nation in heart-attack deaths among firefighters — this is a commonsense benefit that clearly addresses their well-being.


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