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Laurels & Lances: State police track Summit Academy runaways with the help of citizen calls

August 8, 2018

Laurel: To the Manor Lions Club for its efforts in the war against illegal drugs by distributing free drug test kits. A parent can have their child easily take the test -- based on a urine sample -- that will determine whether they are using any one or more of a variety of drugs -- cocaine, heroin, marijuana, amphetamine, oxycodone and methadone, among others. The Manor Lions Club is following in the footsteps of the Murrysville and Delmont Lions clubs that have made similar efforts. If it acts as a deterrent to preventing one child from using a drug that may be a gateway to addiction, or a one-time dosage that kills them -- the effort is a success.

On the Watch List: So the good news is that a mini-casino will operate at the site of the Bon-Ton department store in the Westmoreland Mall in Hempfield. But beware of the glowing predictions by public officials about great economic development as a result of the casino. Of course, there will be jobs created to staff the casino seven days a week, 24 hours a day. As for the revenue that a new casino will generate, there already are two casinos in Western Pennsylvania: the Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh and The Meadows Racetrack and Casino near Washington. It is not likely a flood of new casino gamblers will invade Westmoreland Mall. Rather it is likely that those traveling from Westmoreland and maybe bordering counties will go to the new casino instead of driving further in hopes of winning a big jackpot. That may result in casino revenue from Southwestern Pennsylvania being divided into thirds rather than halves. Will mall stores already struggling with the changing habits of shoppers, benefit all that much if potential customers are dropping their money into slot machines instead of pulling merchandise off racks to buy at their stores? Be careful about betting on the big economic boom from the casino.

Laurel: State police said citizen calls helped them keep track of two Summit Academy runaways. Police were in the area and learned where the youth were heading. Another youth was arrested after the three were in a stolen car that rolled over on the Burtner Road ramp of Route 28. One of the three was arrested at 4:30 p.m. and the other two at about 8:20 p.m. “This is the way it should happen,” a state police corporal told a reporter. The corporal praised the people who called.

Laurel: For more than 40 years, Westmoreland County has hosted an air show, inviting the public to look skyward as flying machines of all kinds streak across the heavens.

Now called the Shop ’n Save Westmoreland County Airshow, last weekend’s event brought a crowd estimated at over 100,000 to the Arnold Palmer Regional Airport near Latrobe.

It’s a challenge the Westmoreland County Airport Authority’s administration and maintenance team, along with hundreds of “Red Shirts” (volunteers), take on every year.

Veterans, families and groups of friends fanned out across the grounds to check out vendor booths and displays, including those manned by representatives of every branch of the military.

Congratulations to the authority, board members, volunteers and all who had a hand in presenting this year’s outstanding air show. Well done.

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