Editorial

The Observer-Reporter building in Washington

HIT: Government historical records belong to all of us, so it should be a source of frustration when taxpayer dollars have to be used to retrieve them after they have escaped from filing cabinets or archives. A few years ago, to cite one example, the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission had to fork over $5,000 to a manuscript dealer in order to retrieve a convict affidavit book from the 1850s that had been used in a Pennsylvania penitentiary. But legislation that has been overwhelmingly approved in the state House would allow the commission to demand that they be turned over, and to have Commonwealth Court deliver a similar ultimatum. Otherwise, according to a spokesman for the commission, it has no other legal recourse. We shouldn’t have to pay for what we already own, so we hope the state Senate approves similar legislation.

MISS: If you need any additional evidence that the race by the well-heeled to get their children into prestigious colleges and universities has gotten entirely out of hand, consider the sweeping charges that were issued Tuesday in a wide-ranging bribery scandal. Coaches and administrators at such schools as Georgetown and Wake Forest University were indicted, as were the actresses Felicity Huffman and Lori Laughlin. According to prosecutors, an admissions consultant was paid to bribe administrators and coaches to label their children as recruited athletes when they were not. Administrators of college entrance exams were also bribed. Millions of dollars apparently changed hands in the long-running scheme. It’s incidents like this that fuel public anger at our institutions, whether public or private.

MISS: If you’re looking for someone with great financial acumen to help out with your taxes or retirement planning, we’d advise against hiring Le’Veon Bell. The erstwhile Pittsburgh Steelers running back, who famously skipped the whole season last year because he thought the Steelers were stiffing him with a too-low contract offer, has now agreed to a deal with the New York Jets that ... wait for it ... will pay him LESS money than the Steelers were offering. So Bell has lost one year of his NFL career, which for running backs is usually brief, and he’s going to make less cash in the process. And good luck to the Jets, who now have a player who presumably has a lot of work to do to get back in playing condition and remains one misstep away from a lengthy suspension under the NFL’s drug-abuse policies.

HIT: Kudos to the Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission for choosing to put two additional historical markers in Washington County. It was announced Thursday that a marker will be placed on the W&J campus commemorating the accomplishments of Charles “Pruner” West, who was the first African-American quarterback to play in the Rose Bowl, and a marker will go up in Marianna recognizing the deadly mine disaster that killed 154 miners there in 1908. Washington County now has more than 50 state historical markers, a reflection of the area’s rich heritage.

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