Phillips-Hill Sets Satellite Hours July 18, 2018
Residents of the 93rd Legislative District are invited to take advantage of satellite office hours for state Rep. Kristin Phillips-Hill that are scheduled for July. The satellite office at Citizens Volunteer Fire Company, 171 S. Market St., Fawn Grove, will be open on Thursday, July 26, from 9 a.m. to noon.
Questions may be directed to Phillips-Hill's district office by calling 717-428-9889 or 877-207-2272.
Precautions For Summer Posted July 18, 2018
Pennsylvania residents and visitors are urged to take precautions to avoid ticks and mosquitoes when spending time outdoors this summer. Spending time outdoors and participating in physical activity is a key part of living a healthy life; however, people need to be aware of ticks and mosquitoes and the serious diseases they carry. As Lyme disease and West Nile virus become more prevalent in Pennsylvania, it is important for people to protect themselves when spending time outdoors.
This year, funding was bolstered to protect Pennsylvanians from Lyme disease, Zika virus, and West Nile virus through increases to improve mosquito and tick surveillance and provide education about the diseases associated with these insects. Through simple means like wearing insect repellent and avoiding peak mosquito activity times, Pennsylvanians can reduce their risks of mosquito bites and possibly being exposed to West Nile Virus.
In 2017, there were 11,900 cases of Lyme disease recorded in Pennsylvania. Throughout the last several years, the state has consistently recorded one of the highest counts of suspected Lyme disease cases in the United States.
Blacklegged ticks, also known as deer ticks, are the most common carrier of Lyme disease. Ticks typically thrive in tall grass, brush, and wooded areas, but deer ticks have been found in every county in the state and can live in any habitat. Ticks can infect humans year-round, but are most likely to do so from late spring through the summer months.
Whether visiting one of Pennsylvania's 121 state parks or hiking through more than 2.2 million acres of state forestland, outdoors enthusiasts must be aware of their surroundings. The first line of defense against Lyme disease and any other tick-borne illness is to avoid tick-infested habitats, such as areas dense with shrubbery or tall grass. Proper use of personal protective measures such as repellents and protective clothing are also essential when enjoying public lands.
Before heading outdoors, it is important to cover exposed skin, wear lightweight and light-colored clothing to aid in insect detection, and use an insect repellent containing 20 percent or more DEET. Once returning home, people should immediately check themselves, children, and pets for ticks. Then, individuals should take a shower to remove any ticks that may be attached to their skin. Clothing and gear should be checked carefully and put in the dryer on high to kill any ticks.
Symptoms of Lyme disease can include a bull's-eye rash, fever, chills, headache, fatigue, muscle and joint aches, and swollen lymph nodes. It is important to know that someone bit by a tick carrying Lyme disease may not always get a bull's-eye rash.
Anyone who believes they have been bitten by a tick should speak to a doctor immediately. Antibiotic treatment during the early stages of Lyme disease can help prevent the onset of more severe symptoms. If not treated promptly, Lyme disease may lead to severe health concerns affecting the heart, joints, and nervous system.
West Nile virus is spread by mosquitoes that breed in areas with standing and stagnant water. These areas include urban catch basins, clogged gutters, discarded tires, poorly maintained swimming pools, flower pots, roof gutters, and other containers that hold water.
The Department of Environmental Protection surveys communities affected by West Nile virus each year and monitors cases of the virus in humans, mosquitoes, birds, and horses. In 2017, there were 20 human cases of West Nile virus reported in Pennsylvania. So far in 2018, no positive human cases have been reported.
Symptoms of West Nile virus are often flulike and can include a fever, headache, body aches, rash, and swollen lymph nodes, and typically only last a few days. However, West Nile virus can cause a serious neurological infection, including encephalitis and meningitis. Symptoms of these infections include a severe headache, high fever, muscle weakness, neck stiffness, paralysis, possible confusion and disorientation, tremors, and even a coma.
CCAP Announces Leadership Program Graduates July 18, 2018
The County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania (CCAP) Center for Excellence in County Leadership (CEL), a professional development program, recently graduated six county officials from its two and one half-day intensive training. The 2018 graduates are Alan Hall, Susquehanna County commissioner; Matthew McDermott, Lycoming County director of administration and chief clerk; Robert Postal, Mifflin County commissioner; Ronald Seaman, Berks County chief administrative officer; Jeffrey Snyder, Clinton County commissioner and CCAP second vice president; and, Theodore Tharan, Clarion County commissioner.
CEL training focuses on fostering individual growth through interactive and high-level classroom training aimed at improving participants' communication, management and leadership skills. CEL includes classes in styles of leadership, managerial versatility, interpersonal dynamics, crisis communication, media management, daily communication problem solving, decision making and other areas.
Ice Cream Trail Launched July 18, 2018
Pennsylvanians and visitors to the state may now experience the state's new ice cream trail, a partnership between the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture (PDA), the Pennsylvania Tourism Office, PA Preferred, and the Center for Dairy Excellence (CDE). A kickoff event was held on July 12 at Fox Meadows Creamery in Ephrata. PDA deputy secretary Cheryl Cook and DCED deputy secretary Carrie Fischer Lepore were on hand to launch the new farm-to-cone experience available at 12 farm creameries in Berks, Chester, Lancaster, Lebanon, Lehigh, Montgomery, and York counties.
The program includes a passport that will allow visitors to check off stops, earning prizes as they traverse the trail. More information, including a downloadable passport, is available at www.visitPA.com/scoops. Visitors are encouraged to share their photos from the trail using #PursueYourScoops for a chance to be featured on visitPA's website and social media channels.
Earlier this year, PDA, PA Preferred, and CDE joined dairy farmers and industry advocates to kick off Choose PA Dairy: Goodness that Matters, a campaign to support Pennsylvania's dairy industry by educating consumers on how to find and buy locally produced milk and why it matters to Pennsylvania's economy and the health of its residents.
For travel inspiration, readers may visit www.pahappythoughts.com, www.facebook.com/visitPA, www.twitter.com/visitPA, www.instagram.com/visit_pa, or www.youtube.com/visitPA. They may follow #PASummerDays or #PASunnyDays.
More information about Pennsylvania's locally grown products is available at www.agriculture.pa.gov and www.papreferred.com.
EMS Organization Purchases Ambulance July 18, 2018
This summer, Good Fellowship Ambulance and EMS Training Institute dedicated a new ambulance, which was purchased with a $184,000 donation from the Lasko Family Foundation. The donation was announced at the dedication ceremony honoring the late Oscar Lasko and all his contributions to the greater West Chester community. State Sen. Andy Dinniman thanked the Lasko family for the donation.
At the ceremony, Vivian Lasko, Oscar's widow, turned the ignition on the ambulance, officially putting it into service. The ambulance is fitted with a plaque that reads, "This ambulance is dedicated in memory of Oscar Lasko for his lifetime commitment of improving our community through his generosity. Time will never erase the work he has accomplished and the lives he has positively impacted."
Oscar Lasko, a West Chester native and lifelong resident, operated Lasko Metal Products. He used his success to give back to his hometown community, including the West Chester YMCA, which bears his name; the Chester County Council of the Boy Scouts of America; Kesher Israel Congregation; and Chester County Hospital. Lasko passed away in April 2017.
Good Fellowship Ambulance, located in West Chester, responds to more than 5,000 emergency service calls per year.
Negley Announces Retirement July 17, 2018
Derry Township manager James N. Negley has announced his retirement to the board of supervisors effective Monday, Nov. 5, marking 45 years of service to the township.
Negley was hired in 1974 as a police officer and was promoted to detective in 1976. He rose to the top position of chief of police for the Derry Township Police Department in 1991. He served as interim township manager in 1993 and again in 1996 when he was ultimately named manager.
He will retire in Mount Joy with his wife, Deborah, and spend more time with his daughter, son-in-law, and two grandsons, who live nearby in Mount Gretna.
Rebate Program Extends Deadline July 16, 2018
The filing deadline for eligible Pennsylvanians to apply for the Property Tax and Rent Rebate program has been extended to Monday, Dec. 31. Every year, thousands of Pennsylvanians who qualify for assistance through this program never apply. Meanwhile, these funds can go a long way in easing the burden of property taxes for those in need.
The rebate program, funded by the Pennsylvania State Lottery, has helped seniors and adults with disabilities receive $6.1 billion in Property Tax and Rent relief since its inception in 1971. The deadline extension will allow people more time to apply.
Recently, the rebate program was updated with the passage of Act 156 by the state legislature. Income eligibility guidelines for the Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program have changed, so that income increases due solely to Social Security cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) no longer disqualify claimants from receiving rebates.
In addition, seniors are reminded to be wary of mailings and unsolicited offers that attempt to charge a fee for information about and assistance in applying for Pennsylvania's Property Tax and Rent Rebate Program. Residents are not required to pay a fee to apply for the program. They can apply directly with the government for free. Free applications and assistance are readily available at hundreds of locations throughout the state.
The Pennsylvania Property Tax and Rent Rebate Program provides property tax relief for seniors age 65 and older, widows and widowers over 50 years old, and adults age 18 and up with disabilities. The funds are available for households that make up to $35,000 per year. Applicants may also exempt half of their Social Security when calculating their total income. Supplemental rebates for qualifying homeowners can boost rebates to $975.
This vital program provides a maximum rebate to eligible applicants of up to $650 for renters. The income limit for renters is $15,000.
For complete eligibility guidelines, readers may visit www.revenue.pa.gov. Applicants should be prepared to provide all the necessary income, property tax, or rental information required to process claims quickly and accurately. Claimants who already applied for their rebates may check the status of claims online at the above website or by calling 888-PATAXES.
Commissioners Will Accept Feedback July 12, 2018
Manheim Township commissioners Al Kling and Sam Mecum will accept questions and comments from residents on Saturday, July 28, at Manheim Township Library, 595 Granite Run Drive, Lancaster.
The commissioners will be present from 1 to 2:30 p.m. in meeting room C.
Drop-In Nature Program Planned July 12, 2018
The York County Department of Parks and Recreation will host a drop-in program from 1 to 3 p.m. on Sunday, July 22, at William Kain Park. Participants should meet in the Iron Stone Hill parking lot.
Park program coordinator Rachel Albright will help people look through binoculars and spotting scopes to see herons, egrets, ducks, and maybe a kingfisher. Attendees will learn why these birds enjoy spending time in the shallow waters near the boardwalk.
This program is suitable for children age 8 and older. There is no fee, and no registration is required. For information on this event and other programs, readers may visit http://yorkcountyparks.org.
Recreational Programs Set July 11, 2018
The Lancaster County Department of Parks and Recreation will offer programs to the community. Unless otherwise noted, there is a per-person fee to take part in the programs, and programs will take place at the Environmental Center in Lancaster County Central Park, 1 Nature's Way, Lancaster. To register, readers may call 717-295-2055. Registration is required by noon on the business day before the event.
Bird Feeder Fun will be offered on Saturday, July 21, from 10 to 11:30 a.m. The event is open to all ages. Attendees will create their own birdfeeder out of recycled materials to take home to hang in their own backyard.
Nature Games and Creek Play will be offered to children age 4 and up on Sunday, July 22, from 3 to 4:30 p.m. at Pavilion 2. A series of group games that simulate animal relationships with each other and with the environment will be played. Participants will cool down with a wade in the Conestoga River. Nets will be available to catch and examine what critters are living in the river.
Munchkin Science - Butterflies and Caterpillars, open to children ages 3 to 5 with an adult, will take place from 1 to 2 p.m. on Tuesday, July 24. A program about caterpillars and butterflies will be followed by catching butterflies and observing caterpillars outside.
Honoring Our Veterans License Plates Available July 11, 2018
With the warmer weather and longer days bringing increased travel, the Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (DMVA) has posted information about Honoring Our Veterans license plates that community members may obtain for their vehicles as a way to show patriotism and support veterans in need.
Available for passenger cars, motorcycles and light-duty trucks up to 14,000 pounds, the license plates may be purchased by anyone. A portion of the proceeds benefit Pennsylvania's Veterans' Trust Fund (VTF). The VTF issues grants to statewide charitable organizations that aid veterans service organizations and county directors of veterans affairs. These advocates use available grants to assist veterans in need of shelter and necessities of living, among other services.
In addition to the sales of the license plates, there are a number of other programs designed to help fund the VTF in support of Pennsylvania veterans. To learn more about VTF programs and to purchase an Honoring Our Veterans license plate, readers may visit www.vtf.pa.gov or www.facebook.com/padmva.
PA Child Abuse Hotline Posted July 11, 2018
All schools in Pennsylvania will be required to publicly display a poster containing the statewide toll-free number for reporting suspected child abuse, beginning in the 2018-19 school year. Known as ChildLine, the toll-free hotline number to report suspected child abuse in Pennsylvania is 800-932-0313.
Posting this critical information in schools will let students know they have somewhere to turn if they need to report abuse or neglect that they have suffered or if they suspect another child is being abused or neglected. The poster is required to be displayed in a high-traffic, public area widely used by students. The poster also would include the address of the Department of Human Services' website that provides information and resources related to child protection.
For more information, readers may visit www.keepkidssafe.pa.gov.
Hunting Licenses Available July 10, 2018
Holders of a 2018-19 Pennsylvania hunting license valid July 1, 2018, through Sunday, June 30, 2019, may now apply for a resident antlerless license. Nonresidents with a valid 2018-19 hunting license are able to apply for nonresident antlerless licenses. Separate fees have been set for residents and for nonresidents.
Checks or money orders must be submitted by mail; cash should not be sent with applications. The York County treasurer's office will accept antlerless license applications on a first-come, first-served basis through the United States Postal System only. The treasurer's office is not responsible for applications that are not received through the United States Postal Service.
Hunters are encouraged to mail applications in the pink envelopes provided by the Pennsylvania Game Commission on July 6 in order to ensure timely delivery to the treasurer's office. Applications should not be sent to the Game Commission. Hunters should place first-class postage on Sections I and II of the pink envelope.
Only one license per hunter may be issued in the first round. Hunters may apply for a second or third license in subsequent rounds until the supply is exhausted.
Applicants submitting up to three applications per envelope are encouraged to submit separate checks or money orders for each application. If one check is remitted for multiple applications, all of the applications may be rejected if there is a problem with any one application or if any wildlife management unit is sold out.
If the license allocations for all unit preferences are sold out, the application will be returned to the hunter. The hunter may apply for another unit where licenses are available by using a new pink envelope.
For more information and to check the status of license application, readers may visit www.pa.wildlifelicense.com. Information is also available by contacting the Game Commission at 717-787-4250 or visiting http://pgc.pa.gov.
Conservation Award Available July 10, 2018
A prestigious award that celebrates voluntary conservation by farmland owners is coming to Pennsylvania. This year, Pennsylvania will become the 14th state to present the Leopold Conservation Award in partnership with the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau and Heinz Endowments.
Sand County Foundation, a voice for private land conservation, presents the Leopold Conservation Award to farmers, ranchers, and foresters for extraordinary achievement in voluntary conservation on private working lands. The inaugural award will be presented at the Pennsylvania Farm Show in January 2019. The recipient will receive $10,000 and a crystal award depicting Aldo Leopold.
Given in honor of renowned conservationist Aldo Leopold, the award recognizes those who inspire others with their dedication to land, water, and wildlife habitat management on private, working land. The award brings together agriculture, government, environmental organizations, industry, and academia to advance the cause of private lands conservation.
Pennsylvania Farm Bureau welcomes this opportunity to promote the inaugural Leopold Conservation Award in the state as another occasion to recognize and reward farmers, who are going above and beyond in adopting best management practices on their farms to protect the environment, while maintaining the future economic viability of their farming operations. Nominations for the first Pennsylvania Leopold Conservation Award are now being accepted.
Nominations may be submitted on behalf of a landowner, or landowners may nominate themselves. The application can be found at https://sandcountyfoundation.org/uploads/Pennsylvania-2018-CFN.pdf.
Applications must be postmarked by Wednesday, Aug. 15, and mailed to Pennsylvania Farm Bureau, c/o Joel Rotz, P.O. Box 8736, Camp Hill, PA 17001-8736. For application information, readers may visit www.leopoldconservationaward.org.
Volunteer English Program Receives Donation July 10, 2018
The Chester County commissioners recently presented a check for $7,500 to representatives from the Chester County-based Volunteer English Program (VEP). The funds are part of the county's annual appropriations to organizations and nonprofits. VEP will use the monies to help fund its volunteer tutor training program, which supports English language and cultural instruction for new and long-term residents.
The check was presented by Commissioners Michelle Kichline and Terence Farrell at a recent commissioners' sunshine public meeting. On behalf of VEP, board member and tutor Fred Crotchfelt thanked the commissioners for the funds, noting that 300 volunteer tutors and approximately 300 immigrant students are currently registered with VEP.
For more than 32 years, VEP has provided free, one-to-one tutoring in English language skills, cultural immersion and U.S. citizenship for thousands of immigrants and refugees who live or work in Chester County. VEP provides community-based, nonclassroom instruction from morning through evening, seven days per week. Students working with VEP represent more than 50 different countries.
Park Path Extension Opens July 6, 2018
A ribbon-cutting ceremony took place on June 28 to celebrate the completion of the Rotary Park Path Extension, a collaborative effort between the Borough of Mount Joy, Lancaster County Career and Technology Center (LCCTC), and the Mount Joy Rotary Club.
The purpose of the path is for connectivity and completing connections throughout the borough to provide safer modes of transportation and access to all users. The path is a continuance of the Emerald Necklace concept to ultimately connect all the borough's parks on a multimodal transportation plan. The Rotary Park Path Extension will help in connecting Rotary Park, Cove Park (Mount Joy Township), Borough Park, and Little Chiques Park.
Department Slates Nature Programs July 6, 2018
Lancaster County Parks Department has announced two upcoming programs.
Citizen Science! - Celebrate Urban Birds, a program for people of all ages, will be held on Thursday, July 19, from 10 to 11 a.m. at Conestoga Greenway Trail, South Duke Street Trailhead, which is located at 1301 S. Duke St., Lancaster. Naturalist Kristyn Small will lead a team of citizen scientists on an urban bird count on the Conestoga Greenway Trail, exploring participants' skills of scientific observation. The data collected will be submitted to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology's Celebrate Urban Birds program to help professional scientists around the world understand more about the impact of urban centers on bird populations. The event will be the last program in the Citizen Science series iNaturalist.
A Mindfulness Hike for participants age 10 and up, led by Small, will be held on July 19 from 3 to 4 p.m., starting at Pavilion 3 of Lancaster County Central Park, 1098 Rockford Road, Lancaster. Participants will engage their senses during the relaxing hike. Trails are easy to moderate. Participants should wear closed-toe shoes and bring a beverage.
Readers may visit https://apm.activecommunities.com/LancasterCountyParks or call 717-295-2055 to register for either event by noon on July 18. There is a nominal fee per person.
Postal Employees Receive Recognition July 6, 2018
The Holtwood Post Office held a ceremony on June 27 to recognize employee achievements.
Rural mail carriers T. Roger Smith and Mary Trimble received the Million Mile Award, recognizing them for 30 or more years of service without an at-fault accident. Smith has contributed 35 years of safe delivery, and Trimble has accumulated 30 years of safe delivery. Each carrier was presented with a Million Mile jacket, plaque, lapel pin and certificate. Also, state Rep. Bryan Cutler presented each carrier with a certificate recognizing his or her years of service and safe delivery.
During the recognition event, rural carrier Jeff Haddon, rural carrier Gerald Groff and clerk Gini Serball received safety certificates.
Central Pennsylvania district manager Deborah Gless, manager of post office operations Keith Krempa and safety specialist Lora Halpin presented the awards. Family and friends were present.