The Morning File / And in the second half of 2013: more fun and games

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The following completes The Morning File's local news predictions for 2013, which started Sunday with the first six months of the year:

July 14: Buoyed the return in June of their best players after management imposed an extended spring vacation to keep them fresh at season's end, the Pirates complete a franchise-record winning streak before the All-Star break to grab first place in the NL Central.

July 24: The National Hockey League lockout is settled, with the league announcing a condensed eight-game regular season to start in mid-August, followed by a 24-team playoff to extend into early October.

July 25: At the Penguins' first practice, Sidney Crosby suffers a concussion and ACL injury, is diagnosed with rickets and hurts the sole of his foot in the locker room stepping on a Lego belonging to a teammate's kid. He says he hopes to be ready for the playoffs, however.

Aug. 1: Less than two months after it was turned back on, the Point State Park fountain is shut down again for repairs of the repairs it just underwent. Officials estimate it will be back in operation by July 2017.

Aug. 12: A new blockbuster epic disaster film, "When Pierogies Attack," starring Julia Roberts and Brad Pitt, begins filming in Pittsburgh, with the city's 307,000 residents forced to evacuate their homes for 17 days in order to accommodate the production schedule.

Aug. 30: At the Best Buy in Monroeville, the first Black Friday Christmas sale shoppers begin camping out.

Sept. 8: Unable to expand Heinz Field on the timetable they wanted because of a legal dispute with the Sports & Exhibition Authority, the Steelers open their 2013 season at Heinz Field by charging 3,000 additional fans to watch the game overhead from MetLife's Snoopy One blimp, which begins lurching precariously close to the Fifth Avenue Place spire.

Sept. 25: After suffering a franchise-record losing streak spanning most of September, the Pirates guarantee themselves a 21st consecutive losing season.

Oct. 3: In a rare kind of prison ceremony, convicted ex-legislators Bill DeWeese and Jane Orie -- who say they never realized previously how much they had in common -- obtain permission to wed in the exercise yard at SCI-Somerset, where they begin sharing a cell.

Oct. 15: On the same day that Pittsburgh is ranked the No. 1 city in America to live, retire, raise a family, buy a home, rent a politician and get an organ transplant by National Geographic, The Economist, Wall Street Journal, Money and Fortune, new census data reveal the city's population has been surpassed by that of Plano, Texas.

Oct. 24: The Penn State football team defeats Ohio State to start the season 7-0, prompting the NCAA to strip it of its Sept. 7 victory over Eastern Michigan and limit its defense for the rest of the season to eight players, among many new sanctions imposed to send a message to other schools that rebounding well from NCAA penalties will not be tolerated.

Nov. 5: Faced with only one election opponent to defeat for a change, Mayor Luke Ravenstahl loses to an upstart Republican, Beechview electrician Sam Chevokis, and is disappointed when learning of it two days later on a cruise ship in the Aegean.

Nov. 20: The opening of a long-awaited supermarket in the Lower Hill is postponed once more. No reason why is given. It's just the way things are. Don't question it.

Dec. 4: Following up on success of 2012's One Young World summit held here, Downtown is overwhelmed by oldsters from 56 countries who gather for the One Octogenarian Globe conference, who get tips on aging from keynoters Arnold Palmer, Margaret Thatcher and Slim Whitman and commend Pittsburgh for its curb cuts, courteous drivers and Eat'n Parks.

Dec. 23: When Pittsburghers wake up realizing they have prepared no special events to commemorate the 41st anniversary of the Immaculate Reception, a flash mob of 57,000 people clad in black and gold is quickly organized on the North Shore to re-create the play.

Dec. 31: Pittsburgh officials struggle once more on New Year's Eve with what to do about the city's parking rates and nighttime enforcement, and with the booze flowing heavily at a late-night meeting/party, they vote to visit the home of Judge R. Stanton Wettick Jr. to roust him from bed and issue an order guiding what to do.

intelligencer

Gary Rotstein: grotstein@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1255.


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