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MISS: Stories about parents and spectators getting into fist-flying melees at K-12 sporting events have, unfortunately, become all too common. But what makes the report about a brawl that broke out at a middle school basketball game in Vermont stand out is the fact that one of the participants died shortly after the incident. It hasn't yet been determined whether 60-year-old Russell Giroux of Alburgh, Vt., succumbed due to an injury he sustained in the brawl, or if his death was due to unrelated causes. One official was quoted in The Washington Post that it wasn't clear why the fight started, that it mostly consisted of adults and "there was one parent who had blood all over their face." Ugly events like these underscore the need for students, administrators, coaches and, yes, parents, to step back, take a deep breath, and realize what scholastic sports should be about -- physical fitness and working with others on a team, learning to win gracefully and, yes, learning how to lose gracefully. Whether a team, or a particular player, is successful or not should take a back seat to these goals. Participating in a sport should be another means to prepare a student for adulthood, and they can come to realize that they'll win some and they'll lose some.

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MISS: Remember those unsettling science-fiction movies from way back where everyone just mysteriously disappears in a puff of smoke? Residents of North Charleroi Borough should be feeling that way right now when it comes to their local government. Without any explanation, the borough's mayor, solicitor and three council members have all resigned. None has commented on why they all quit en masse, and borough residents are left wondering who exactly is in charge there. This is the second Washington County municipality to see mass resignations in recent months, following an exodus by Union Township officials in October. North Charleroi probably should have merged with Charleroi long ago – it only has about 1,300 residents – but that's another matter for another day. In the meantime, the council members and other officials who are stepping down should be candid with their constituents about why they are leaving.

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HIT: Brownsville was once a pretty vibrant place – so vibrant, in fact, that legend has it that Ray Charles worked up the R&B classic "What'd I Say" at a club there during a late-night jam session. But, for years now, large parts of the Fayette County borough have been an eerie, boarded-up ghost town, its glory days an increasingly distant memory. However, a grassroots organization is seeking to inject new life into the community. Forming out of a Facebook discussion group, about 30 people showed up for an in-person meeting in November, and it's drawn the attention of Fayette County's commissioners and state Rep. Ryan Warner. Revitalizing a community like Brownsville is not an easy process, but community involvement is an essential part of that endeavor. Those interested in the group can contact Northsidecommunitydiscussion@gmail.com.

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Just as President Donald Trump misused an old law in an attempt to overturn the 2020 presidential election results, many of his acolytes in Pennsylvania used an outdated state law to flood county courts with bogus litigation following the Nov. 8 midterm election.

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CHEERS: Political junkies were transfixed this week by the spectacle of Kevin McCarthy being denied the speakers’ chair in the U.S. House of Representatives by hardliners in the Republican caucus. It was the first time in 100 years that the election of a House speaker went beyond one ballot.…

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Cheers: One month ago, Pam Snyder became a former state representative following almost a decade in Harrisburg, and, before that, almost a decade as a county commissioner in Greene County. You’d be hard-pressed to find anyone in the region who is more knowledgeable about the workings of gove…

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JEER: Today is the 50th anniversary of the Immaculate Reception, one of the greatest plays in NFL history — maybe the greatest of all — and a play that needs no explanation in this region since it’s become such a part of Pittsburgh lore. The celebrations that had been planned for this weeken…