In one frozen town, cigarettes worth freezing for

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Maria Sellers checks off items being delivered to the McDonalds restaurant in Coraopolis, Pa., on Jan. 6. (AP Photo/Jesse Washington)

Maria Sellers checks off items being delivered to the McDonalds restaurant in Coraopolis, Pa., on Jan. 6. (AP Photo/Jesse Washington)

Not everyone needs nicotine or a gambling fix. Earlier, down at the riverside petroleum depot, where the wind is whipping fog along the water, brothers Danny and John Mayak have to inspect a barge full of gasoline.

“Just dress warm,” Danny Mayak says, his eyes peeking through a slit in his face mask. “You just do your job no matter what. You get used to it.”

And there are eggs and mayonnaise that need to be unloaded at the McDonalds, for Tuesday morning’s rush.

“Yes, I am cold,” says Lanier Petitie, unloading boxes from a truck, wearing a pair of knit chartreuse gloves.

Knit chartreuse gloves? Petite looks at his hands and shrugs. “Dollar store. Last minute.”

A car thief could make out like a bandit in Coraopolis on this night — there are empty vehicles idling outside McDonalds, the Uni-Mart, the pizza shop, the Jailhouse Saloon. A giant gasoline tanker truck idles outside the petroleum depot gates while the driver inhales a cigarette and waits for a train to pass.

Still, it’s a slow night for Eric Fiedler, the police dispatcher. “Nothing’s going on,” he says.

He walked the 20 minutes to work, unfazed by the thermometer.

“If it was this temperature in Minnesota,” he says, “nobody would say anything.”

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