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This Just In: February 26 - March 5

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Booze on Board

Summary: An employee of the Pittsburgh Water & Sewer Authority is suspected of driving heavy equipment under heavy alcoholic influence. Reporter: Alan Jennings, WPXI Channel 11 Airtime: 1 minute, 14 seconds on Feb. 23 Visuals: * A close-up of a sign outside a city authority that reads in bold, capital letters, "P.W.S.A. AUTHORIZED PERSONNEL ONLY." * Jennings, standing outside in the snow holding his microphone with the biggest pair of black leather gloves I have ever seen. (Considering his overly sensationalistic tone for the subject matter, he should have been wearing the biggest pair of boots ever.) Highlights: * When Jennings asserts, "I think we can safely assume the sign means 'P.W.S.A. authorized and sober personnel only.' And the reason is obvious if you're behind the wheel of a backhoe. Well, last night, Pittsburgh police were in for a midnight surprise -- a drunken backhoe operator." * When Pittsburgh Police Commander Gary Ross comments, "An officer was on routine patrol when he came across this, uh, backhoe coming at him, so he avoided the collision with the backhoe." * When Jennings details, "It happened here on Washington Boulevard right in front of the Zone 5 police station. Under arrest: Edward Price, a veteran Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority employee. After [Price] was placed in the patrol car here on Washington Boulevard, the arresting officer checked the backhoe. There was beer on board. And I thought you'd like to know [dramatic pause] -- it was cans of Bud Light." * When Jennings says, "[Ross] told me according to the vehicle code on commercial vehicles, [Price] was allegedly drunk enough for three people." * When Ross reports, "If he has a CDL [Commercial Driver's License], he's way over the limit." * "Edward Price, according to police, was attempting to drive the backhoe back to the city asphalt plant." What We Learned: Alan Jennings, you are a psychic! I was dying to know what kind of beer this man was drinking! Unanswered Question: If you're going to get caught drinking on the job, isn't it embarrassing to be caught with Bud Light -- in cans, no less? News Value: 1. Definitely not good for Price if he's found guilty, but shit happens. On the other hand, a backhoe could have cleaned up quite nicely after Jennings' ridiculously over-the-top report.

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