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Friday, January 11, 2013

Heads Up: Morning headlines for Jan. 11

Posted By on Fri, Jan 11, 2013 at 8:02 AM

Your NRA mindset at work, ladies and gentlemen: The Washington Post visits a Butler County school district that can barely afford teachers, but has plenty of money for more security. "Butler County had cut 75 teaching and administrative positions in the past five years because of a shrinking budget, but now the district ... couldn’t hire armed guards fast enough. It had added ... $230,000 to the annual security budget in order to arm and employ at least 22 former state troopers -- enough to station at least one guard at each school and every after-school event."

You'd have thought this might have changed after the 4,720th article in the New York Times about how Pittsburgh is up-and-coming, but not so. While housing rental prices here are rising, they're still much cheaper than in a lot of other cities. Apparently, Pittsburgh landlords don't read the New York Times.

Want to narc out your neighbors to the state police? Yeah, there's an app for that.

File this under "two great tastes that taste great together": State officials want to use water polluted by acid-mine drainage for fracking. Is this a great idea, or a case of using yesterday's environmental headaches to help create the headaches of tomorrow? I can't be sure. But in other environmental news, in the wake of Superstorm Sandy, a state commission is taking another look at strategies for dealing with climate change. Fun fact: Pennsylvania accounts for 1 percent of the whole world's global greenhouse-gas emissions.

A city clerk is accused of stealing at least $17,000 ... right from under the nose of the municipal courts. Somewhat embarrassing. And city controller Michael Lamb -- who by the way is running for mayor -- says this reflects a broader problem with "the way that we deal with just our day to day business."

Speaking of civic embarrassments ... as noted here earlier this week, questions are swirling in the borough of Millvale over videotape of an officer appearing to Tase a handcuffed, and seemingly non-threatening, man in police custody. The Tribune-Review, which has been keeping on top of the story, reports that one officer has already been disciplined in the incident, and that federal officials are investigating. Stay tuned.

And in case you forgot ... the Jordan Miles police-beating case is slated for a retrial on July 8.

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