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ONE OF THE BIGGEST stories last week is destined to be one of the biggest this week: the trial of Jerry Sandusky, the former Penn State University assistant football coach who is charged with 52 counts of sexual abuse against 10 boys over 15 years. Over two days, 12 jurors and four alternates were seated for the trial. More remarkable than the speedy picking of a jury was the fact that seven members and two alternates have direct ties to Penn State -- the kind of connections that are usually grounds for disqualification from a jury. But as Senior Judge John M. Cleland suggested, such connections in rural Centre County, where Penn State is the biggest employer, are to be expected and wouldn't be necessarily disqualifying. The judge called the jury selection "an experiment in the rule of law." The experiment will be further tested Monday morning with opening statements in the trial.

HIGHMARK, the nonprofit health insurance/hospital company in a bitter battle with UPMC, the nonprofit hospital/health insurance company, has a new CEO: William Winkenwerder Jr., M.D. Meanwhile, the old CEO, Kenneth Melani, M.D., who was fired over a marital affair/domestic dispute, has successfully completed anger management courses. As a result, the Allegheny County district attorney's office on Wednesday withdrew the assault and defiant trespass charges against him. So it's onward and upward, but who is going to manage the anger of Pittsburgh health care consumers who are disgusted over the failure of the two health care behemoths to reach an agreement that won't leave patients in the lurch in 2015? Good luck, Dr. Winkenwerder. Welcome to Pittsburgh.

IF YOU HAVE your health and a roof over your head, you don't have much to worry about -- except that in Allegheny County that roof and the rest of your house and land have probably gone up in taxable value because of the court-ordered property reassessment. It has affected property owners high and low, and on the high side of the political leadership scale is county Executive Rich Fitzgerald, one of 100,000 property owners who have filed formal challenges to their assessments. On Wednesday, Mr. Fitzgerald went before the Board of Property Assessment Appeals and Review to argue that his Squirrel Hill home, which had its assessment raised 45 percent to $584,600, is not worth that much. Like anyone else, he will have to wait for the board's verdict. Good luck, Mr. Fitzgerald, and welcome to the process.

opinion_editorials

First Published June 10, 2012 12:00 AM


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