TGIF, folks! We've got a plate full of turnpike news, police ruh-rohs, and of course, the benediction of the next Miss Smiling Irish Eyes!
1. Tim McNulty and Jim O'Toole have the story on Joe Brimmeier, the former Turnpike CEO who once appeared poised to take the reins of the Port Authority but might be looking at a prison term instead. They combed through the archives for info on his relationship to County Executive Rich Fitzgerald, who put him up for the Port Authority's top job earlier this year. Meanwhile, Karen Langley sits in on his arraignment.
2. A Pittsburgh police official thought it was perfectly OK to use drug bust funds to pay for Gatorade, travel expenses and a car wash, our Rich Lord and Liz Navratil report. Say, was someone planning a road trip?
3. Did anyone catch Marco Rubio's speech at CPAC? Point one: He enters to One Direction's "What Makes You Beautiful," a teeny-bopper ditty about not knowing how pretty you really are. Point two: He gleefully holds up the three glasses of water the CPAC staff left behind the podium for him. Point three: At the close, he says. "As soon as I'm done speaking, I'll tell you what the criticism from the left is going to be. No. 1: 'He drank too much water.'" We can't get enough.
4. The state will chip in $15 million for roads and infrastructure at the former Civic Arena site, Mark Belko reports. The Penguins are looking to build 1,200 units of housing, 600,000 square feet of office space and 200,000 square feet of commercial development.
5. From PA Independent, an Armstrong County state rep. is intervening in a little boy's dream to own a pet hedgehog. Arguing for legalization of the pointy porcupine-like pups, State Rep. Jeff Pyle, R-Armstrong, says: "The species poses no risk to Homo sapiens." (Believe it or not, a measure to legalize hedgehogs has been brought up before but got stuck in the Senate.)