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Going “silent”: Police dispatchers in four northern Westmoreland County locales went silent during a test of a new encryption program that blocks law-enforcement radio transmissions in “scanner land,” as one local police chief put it. Aside from transparency concerns, communities also should consider the full cost — not just for a one-time encryption but for continuous upgrades. What’s the point if advances in consumer technology defeat the encryptions?

Done!: As if the coffin that is Fayette County’s overly ambitious $32 million prison project needs yet another nail in it, a visiting judge has supplied one. Senior Judge William Ober tossed zoning changes for the project, citing “errors of law.” Too bad the obvious zoning problems weren’t apparent before the county squandered money on this pie-in-the-sky project.

Justice served: The Youngwood woman who made headlines by dealing heroin from her ICU bed at Excela Health Westmoreland Hospital in Greensburg will serve up to 42 months in prison. Consider it an overdue wake-up call for Lori Sullenberger, who police also said used a syringe to infuse heroin in her intravenous line. This sorry episode is but a snapshot of heroin’s control over one’s life.

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