Gary Rotstein's The Morning File: It's somewhat likely that possibly these could occur in 2014

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After a crazy 2013 locally, who can predict what will happen next year? Oh, wait, we can:

Jan. 6: On his first day in office, Mayor Bill Peduto decrees that all nonprofit entities must pay tribute at the City-County Building each year with presentations of livestock, gold and virgins.

Feb. 1: Taking an ongoing feud to new levels, UPMC lands its helicopter on top of Highmark headquarters and sends a black-ops team trained in guerrilla warfare into the insurer's offices to sabotage all of the automatic flush toilets.

Feb. 17: Ending speculation over his future, former Mayor Luke Ravenstahl accepts a position as head of the August Wilson Center, vowing to show up for work every day -- once ski season is over -- until its financial problems are solved.

March 29: Unable to sign or acquire a new first baseman before the start of the season for a price they deem affordable, the Pirates leave spring training saying they will experiment with a new defensive shift in which no first baseman will be on the field.

April 10: An attempt to yarn-bomb noted local historian David McCullough, similar to what was done with the Andy Warhol Bridge, goes awry when he refuses to stand still for the quilters.

April 28: A federal judge forces Pennsylvania to begin allowing same-sex marriages, prompting Gov. Tom Corbett to position National Guard units at the state's southern border in preparation for attack on Washington.

May 6: A ticket purchased on the August Wilson Center's behalf by Mr. Ravenstahl wins a record $833 million Powerball jackpot, rescuing the theater and turning him into a local hero.

May 28: An Orie sister no one -- including her own family -- even knew existed, Sara Belle Orie Klugh, is indicted by a grand jury for illegal use of someone's government staff somewhere.

June 15: Responding to what it sees as increasingly hostile UPMC maneuvers, Highmark pays local television stations to broadcast its new documentary: "Hitler's Germany, Stalin's Russia and Romoff's UPMC: What You Should Know."

June 20: The Port Authority board holds a special meeting to announce funding from the state's new transportation bill does not go as far as it thought, and it will need to slash service by 50 percent and raise fares $1.35 unless more state aid is forthcoming.

July 31: The University of Pittsburgh names Mr. Ravenstahl to succeed Mark Nordenberg as its next chancellor after his astonishingly successful turnaround of the August Wilson Center.

Aug. 4: Taking a page from 2013's success with its giant rubber duck, the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust inflates a 60-foot tall, malodorous stinkbug and sets it out on the Monongahela River, attracting hundreds of thousands of gawkers while cashing in by selling them smell-repellent novelty facemasks.

Sept. 28: After setting a major league record for errors when hundreds of throws by their infielders passed an empty first base to enter the stands and dugout, the Pirates complete the season with their 21st losing record in the past 22 years.

Oct. 12: The Buncher Co., tired of waiting for city approval of its plan to redevelop the Strip District, occupies the neighborhood with a private militia stationed around its perimeter as bulldozers begin tearing down historic buildings.

Oct. 26: During a game against the Baltimore Ravens, Steelers coach Mike Tomlin loses some change from the pocket of his sweatpants and searches for it on the football field, absent-mindedly making a game-saving tackle on a Ravens wide receiver in the process.

Nov. 4: Mr. Corbett loses a bid for re-election to a nameless, faceless Democrat whose bumper stickers and yard signs carried the simple message: "I'm Not Tom Corbett."

Nov. 17: Drilling begins in the historic Consol Courthouse courtyard (formerly the Allegheny County Courthouse, before the energy company purchased the naming rights) on the first of 12 new Marcellus Shale gas wells agreed to there by Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald.

Dec. 20: After struggling for most of the year with the difficult decision of whom to name as police chief, Mr. Peduto decides there is only one man for the job after his effective stewardship over the past four months leading the University of Pittsburgh: Luke Ravenstahl. Mr. Ravenstahl promises he will begin his tenure once ski season ends.


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

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