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Ribbon Cutting Set For Rail Trail Bridge May 23, 2018

On Saturday, June 9, at 11 a.m., the Providence Township board of supervisors and staff members will hold a ribbon-cutting ceremony near the Fairview Trailhead for the recently completed Enola Low Grade Trail pedestrian bridge over Route 222 just outside Quarryville.

Dignitaries slated to participate in the event include Lancaster County commissioners, Rep. Bryan Cutler, the secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, and a representative of Sen. Scott Martin. The Solanco High School chorale will perform the national anthem, and a local Boy Scout will carry the flag. After the ribbon is cut, attendees will be invited to walk across the bridge.

Pre-ceremony festivities will begin at 10 a.m. Local nonprofit organizations will have booths set up along the trail, where they will offer information and activities free of charge. Local fire companies will be on hand to sell hot dogs, burgers, beverages, and more.

Providence Township's parks and recreation committee will be represented in the row of booths. The committee will provide information about the Enola Low Grade Trail, which runs from Atglen to Manor Township. The western portion of the trail has been completed through Quarryville, and a grant was recently obtained to continue working east. Township manager Vicki Eldridge noted that the plan is to build an Amtrak station in Atglen, which will enable folks to take the train there, then ride their bikes or hike up the trail.

"It will be an economic boost to the towns along the trail," Eldridge said, adding that the township hopes to work with Quarryville borough to build a trailhead east of the borough on East State Street (Route 372) so trailgoers can access local shops.

Construction on the 200-foot concrete-decked span began in the spring of 2017, approximately eight years after the tunnel over Route 222 was deconstructed.

"The bridge was always in the plans since the trail was created," Eldridge remarked. "It was a Pennsylvania Utility Commission order to the remove the tunnel. We needed to figure out a way to replace it to have this trail. The state and county are enthused to have this finished."

Providence Township received a state grant of $1.1 million and a county grant of $808,000, both of which were funded by the federal Transportation Alternative Program.

"We will get an additional $100,000 for paving hopefully this year," Eldridge said, explaining that the trail will be paved from Fairview Road to Oak Bottom Road. Once that is completed, park benches built by the township's road crew will be installed. The cost of the benches has been covered by sponsorships.

"We're thrilled (with the progress on the trail)," Eldridge commented. "It's a great asset to the Southern End: just the benefit of physical fitness, and it's a safe place for families. Kids can ride bike safely here."

Horses and motorized vehicles are prohibited on the trail.

The ribbon-cutting ceremony will be held rain or shine. Guests are advised to bring chairs for seating. Event parking will be located at New Providence Baptist Church, 2411 Beaver Valley Pike, New Providence, and a shuttle will transport people to Fairview Trailhead. Handicapped-accessible parking will be located at the trailhead, 520 Fairview Road, New Providence. A golf cart will be available for folks who need assistance.

For more information about the Enola Low Grade Trail and the New Providence bridge, readers may contact Eldridge at 717-786-7596, ext. 4, or vicki@providencetownship.com.

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LCPC Releases Draft Of Comprehensive Plan May 23, 2018

The Lancaster County Planning Commission (LCPC) announced the release of the preliminary public draft of places2040, the new Lancaster County comprehensive plan. The plan is available for public review and comment at www.places2040.com.

The comprehensive plan is a vision for the future of Lancaster County and serves as an advisory policy document for decision makers regarding issues and opportunities that affect countywide land use, transportation, and quality of life.

Over the past two years, the commission hosted more than 100 presentations at a variety of meetings and events. County residents also participated in online surveys to help identify priorities for the county's future. Over 8,000 people were involved in the process. All of this input led to the plan's five "big ideas," 26 policies, and seven catalytic tools and strategies for implementation.

The public is encouraged to provide comments on this draft by Saturday, June 30. In addition to the digital copy available at the website, hard copies are available by contacting the LCPC at 717-299-8333.

The Lancaster County Planning Commission will release a final draft of the plan in late July, kicking off a 45-day review period prescribed by state law. At the conclusion of this period in the fall, the commission will hold a public meeting on the plan before forwarding it to the Lancaster County Board of County Commissioners for possible adoption.

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Dial Gauge Testing Events Planned May 23, 2018

A Penn State Extension food preservation consultant will be available to test dial gauges at various locations in Lancaster County during the summer. Dial gauge pressure canners need to be checked for accuracy each year.

The test is free and will only take a few minutes. Only the lid is needed for testing. New canners and new gauges should also be tested. Pressure canners with a weighted gauge do not have to be tested for accuracy, because they cannot go out of calibration.

Free testing will take place on Friday, June 8, from 1 to 3 p.m. at Weaver's Store, Fivepointville; Thursday, June 21, from noon to 3 p.m. at Good's Store, Schaefferstown, and from 6 to 8 p.m. at Good's Store, Ephrata; Friday, June 22, from noon to 3 p.m. at Good's Store, East Earl; and on Saturday, June 23, from 10 a.m. to noon at Good's Store, Quarryville.

Dial gauges may also be tested on Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Penn State Extension Office, 1383 Arcadia Road, Room 140, Lancaster. Readers are asked to call 717-394-6851 to schedule a Wednesday appointment.

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Parks Department To Offer Class May 23, 2018

Lancaster County Parks Department will offer "DIY Natural Insect Repellant and Sunscreen" on Saturday, June 2, from 11 a.m. to noon at the Environmental Center, 1 Nature's Way, Lancaster. During this class, participants will make a 4-ounce spray bottle of natural insect repellent and a 4-ounce jar of natural sunscreen. Additional recipes will also be provided.

The class is open to individuals age 9 and older. There is a cost to attend. Registration is required by noon on Friday, June 1, by calling 717-295-2055 or visiting www.lancastercountyparks.org.

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County Swimming Pool Set To Open May 22, 2018

The Lancaster County Central Park swimming pool is a 15,255-square-foot pool that is ADA accessible and has zero depth entry. Other pool features include a wading area, six-foot deep end, water slides, and water features. Within the swimming complex, there is a children's playground with a state-of-the-art rubber surface, a basketball court, vending machines, and a spacious, green lawn.

The pool will open for the Memorial Day holiday weekend from Saturday, May 26, through Monday, May 28, and Saturdays and Sundays, June 2, 3, 9, and 10. After that, the pool will open daily effective Wednesday, June 13.

Pool users can pay a one-time membership fee for unlimited pool use or purchase day passes. Day passes are available at the pool entrance while season memberships and swim lesson registrations can be purchased online at www.lancastercountyparks.org or at the Park Office, 1050 Rockford Road, Lancaster. Office hours are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays. The office may be reached at 717-299-8215.

Certified lifeguards and water safety instructors lead participants in a swim lesson program that includes sessions for infants through school-age children. Lessons will be held before public hours. Private lessons for all ages are also available.

For more information, readers may visit https://co.lancaster.pa.us/255/Pool.

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Recreational Programs Set May 22, 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, unless noted otherwise.

A Stream Investigation program will be held on Saturday, May 26, from 9:30 to 11 a.m. Participants age 7 and older will join a naturalist for an in-depth study of Mill Creek. Participants will learn about native species who live in nearby streams and try a few techniques to collect organisms for a closer view. Weather appropriate attire and closed-toe shoes are encouraged.

Family Fishing in Strasburg Pond will offer an evening of fishing for individuals age 6 and older from 7 to 8 p.m. on Sunday, May 27. The pond is located on S. Jackson Street, Strasburg. Fishing poles will be available to rent for a nominal fee. Bait worms will be provided.

A Full Moon Hike for individuals of all ages will be held on Tuesday, May 29, from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m. A naturalist will lead a walk under the full moon.

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Vietnam War Veterans Day Announced May 22, 2018

The Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (DMVA), an official partner in the Department of Defense's Commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War, noted that March 29 was National Vietnam War Veterans Day, a time to remember the heroism, bravery, and sacrifices of Vietnam-era veterans and their families.

The Vietnam War Veterans Recognition Act of 2017 permanently designates that every year March 29 will be celebrated as National Vietnam War Veterans Day. It was on March 29, 1973, when combat and combat support units withdrew from South Vietnam.

National Vietnam War Veterans Day also serves to draw attention to the national Vietnam War Wall of Faces program. For the past few years, the DMVA has partnered with the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund (VVMF) in Washington, D.C., to find a photo of every Pennsylvanian whose name appears on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall - commonly referred to as The Wall. The VVMF is posting the photos on a virtual Wall of Faces in order to put a face and a story to every name, allowing these Vietnam veterans to be honored by family, friends, and others from around the world.

Though great progress has been made to find all 3,151 photos of service members from Pennsylvania whose names are on The Wall, there are still 34 missing. The DMVA continues to search for the remaining photos, but help from the community is needed.

A complete list of Pennsylvania Vietnam Veterans whose photos are still needed can be found by visiting www.veterans.pa.gov and clicking on Wall of Faces. Instructions on how to submit a photo can be found at http://www.vvmf.org/how-to-submit. To view the virtual Wall of Faces, readers may visit www.vvmf.org/Wall-of-Faces.

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Parks Department Slates Programs May 16, 2018

Lancaster County Parks Department has planned several activities. Preregistration and prepayment are due by the business day before the program. To register, readers may visit https://apm.activecommunities.com/LancasterCountyParks or call 717-295-2055.

Wild about Wetlands! will take place on Saturday, May 19, from 10 to 11 a.m. in Lancaster County Central Park at the Environmental Center, 1 Nature's Way, Lancaster. People of all ages may attend. In celebration of American Wetlands Month, participants will explore Fluctuating Pond and its environs near the Environmental Center. The group will discuss characteristics of wetlands. Mary Ann Schlegel, naturalist, will lead the program.

The Spring Hike Series program will conclude with a hike on Sunday, May 20, from 3 to 4:30 p.m. at Theodore A. Parker III Natural Area, 244 Wesley Road, Quarryville. Attendees should use the lower dirt road entrance. Participants will hike on the trail that follows Stewart Run, which is home to brook and brown trout, as well as other organisms that indicate healthy water. The hike will be 1 to 1.5 miles long. The trail is steep, rocky, and challenging in places. Anyone who wishes to wet their feet in the creek must wear closed-toe shoes. People age 8 and up may participate. Ann Strauss, naturalist, will lead.

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Women Veterans Invited To Take Survey May 16, 2018

The Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (DMVA) is conducting an online survey to identify issues of concern to Pennsylvania's approximately 60,000 women veterans. Survey topics include benefits and services, access to health care, and veterans' service organizations. The data submitted by respondents will be used by DMVA to recommend policies or procedures that address issues women veterans face as a result of military service.

The survey will be available through Monday, June 18, at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/PADMVAWomenVeteransSurvey.

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Agencies Post Road Safety Information May 15, 2018

To encourage safer driving in the state, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) and the State Police recently urged drivers to review and obey driver safety laws that may not be well known among the public.

Pennsylvania's Blind Pedestrians law mandates that the driver of a vehicle yield the right of way to any totally or partially blind pedestrian carrying a visible white cane or accompanied by a guide dog. The driver of the vehicle shall take any precaution necessary, including bringing the vehicle to a stop, to avoid injuring or endangering the pedestrian. This is a summary offense and in punishable by a fine of not less than $50 nor more than $150.

The Prohibiting Use of Hearing Impairment Devices law prohibits any driver from wearing headphones while behind the wheel. The section does not prohibit the use of a headset in conjunction with a cellphone that provides sound through one ear and allows surrounding sounds to be heard with the other. Wearing headphones while behind the wheel limits the driver's ability to hear sirens belonging to emergency responders.

Title 75, Section 3112 under Traffic Control Signals dictates laws surrounding traffic lights. As part of a 2016 amendment, the law includes instruction on what may be done if a driver believes the traffic light is not functioning properly. This includes when the light's sensor does not detect the vehicle. In this case, drivers are instructed to stop in the same manner as they would at a stop sign and proceed when it is safe to do so.

The Unattended Motor Vehicle law limits where a vehicle may be left running and unattended. The law states that a person may not leave a vehicle unattended while the engine is running or while the key is in the ignition. The law, however, does not apply to private property such as private driveways.

The agencies also reminded drivers to always wear a seatbelt and to never drive while impaired.

For more information on highway safety, readers may visit www.PennDOT.gov/safety. Readers may join the conversation on social media using #PATrafficLaw on Twitter and Facebook.

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Motorcycle Safety Classes Posted May 15, 2018

Courtesy of the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, a new line of Pennsylvania Motorcycle Safety Program (PAMSP) clinics focused on developing operator proficiency among prospective, experienced, and new Pennsylvania riders will be offered in 2018. Clinics will be offered free to Pennsylvania residents who have a motorcycle learner's permit or motorcycle license.

Riders of all skill levels can benefit from the valuable skills and safety lessons learned through Pennsylvania's free motorcycle safety clinics. The time spent in training translates into many safe miles of riding by helping riders sharpen reflexes and hone the split-second decision making required to safely operate a motorcycle.

Developed by PennDOT's new program coordinator, Total Control Training Incorporated, PAMSP will offer five revamped training syllabuses tailored not just to hone a rider's knowledge, but to test their ability to physically manipulate a motorcycle properly. All training clinics will be conducted under the supervision of certified instructors at one of numerous riding ranges located throughout the state. Three of the clinics - the Beginning Rider Clinic (BRC), the Intermediate Riding Clinic (IRC), and the 3-Wheel Riding Clinic (3WRC) - offer a pathway to earning a motorcycle license.

The 17-hour BRC, consisting of seven hours of in-class instruction and 10 hours of practical riding, provides valuable training for new riders and gives experienced riders the opportunity to polish their skills and correct any unsafe riding habits they may have developed. Basic riding skills, shifting, stopping, swerving, turning, and mental skills for hazard avoidance highlight the training. Students taking the BRC are provided with a motorcycle and helmet; however, students are responsible for providing all other protective gear. Act 84 of 2012 put into place the requirement that all permit holders under the age of 18 successfully complete the BRC to receive their motorcycle license.

The eight-hour IRC allows skilled riders to refresh their safety knowledge and hone their on-road skills. The IRC is based on motorcycle crash research and focuses on cornering, braking, and swerving skills. Students taking this clinic must provide their own motorcycle and protective gear and provide proof of insurance, current registration, and inspection for their motorcycle.

During the 3WRC, riders learn skills and safety strategies like those taught in BRC, except on a three-wheeled motorcycle. As with the IRC, students must provide their own motorcycle and protective gear and provide proof of insurance, current registration, and inspection for their motorcycle. The clinic is comprised of four hours of classroom instruction and eight hours of riding.

Motorcycle learner's permit holders who successfully complete the BRC, IRC, or 3WC will be issued a motorcycle license. Those who successfully pass their skills test on a three-wheeled motorcycle will be issued a motorcycle license with a "9" restriction, meaning they are prohibited from operating a two-wheeled motorcycle.

For those would-be riders who are still not sure if they want to ride, PAMSP offers the new, four-hour Introduction to Riding Clinic (ITR). This non-licensing clinic teaches fundamental skills for operating a two-or-three wheeled motorcycle and progresses from classroom to street skills and strategies. Students are provided with a motorcycle and helmet.

Rounding out the PAMSP offerings is the Advanced Rider Clinic (ARC), a one-day clinic for experienced riders who want to enhance their safety skills through attitude and awareness. The clinic is designed to enhance a rider's ability to avoid a crash through honing their decision-making abilities, riding strategies, risk management, and rider behavior and choices.

In addition to the benefit of improving riding skills, according to the Pennsylvania Insurance Department, many insurers offer discounts for motorcyclists who have completed safety courses, have memberships in certain associations, or have a safe driving record. Anti-lock braking systems help maintain control during sudden stops, and some insurers offer discounts for motorcycles with factory installed anti-lock braking systems. Individuals should check with their insurance company for any applicable discounts.

For more information or to enroll in a clinic, readers may visit www.pamsp.com or call 800-845-9533. Potential riders who want a convenient way to study for their knowledge test can download the PA Motorcycle Practice Test app by visiting www.pa.gov and searching the mobile apps for the Pennsylvania Motorcycle License Practice Test by clicking on the Apps link at the bottom of the page.

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Veterans' Benefit Assistance Available May 11, 2018

The Pennsylvania Veterans of Foreign Wars invites veterans of all ages and from all service eras to utilize its Service Officer Network to receive free information and assistance for government benefits, including VA health care, compensation, pension, education, and dependent benefits. Surviving spouses can also use these VFW Service Officers to learn about their eligibility for VA benefits.

VFW State Service Officer Ronald Smith, a Vietnam War veteran, is now available for scheduled appointments at Lititz VFW Post 1463, 14 N. Spruce St., Lititz, in Mondays from noon to 5 p.m. Appointments are recommended and can be scheduled by calling VFW State Headquarters at 717-234-7927 and specifying Lititz as the preferred location.

Veterans do not have to be a VFW member to receive benefit filing assistance, but they must provide a DD-214 discharge form and possibly other information about their military service in order to enter a VA claim. Veterans requesting that the VFW becomes involved in their claim must sign a form declaring the VFW as their power of attorney. Veterans who have already signed a power of attorney with another organization should either follow up with that organization or sign over their power of attorney to the VFW.

The VA has defined some health conditions as being presumptive for being caused by exposure to the defoliant Agent Orange. Vietnam veterans with the following health conditions may be eligible for benefits: AL amyloidosis, chronic B-cell leukemias, chloracne, diabetes mellitus Type 2, Hodgkin's disease, ischemic heart disease, multiple myeloma, Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, Parkinson's disease, peripheral neuropathy and early onset, porphyria cutanea tarda, prostate cancer, respiratory cancers, and soft tissue sarcomas. For more details, readers may visit www.va.gov and search for Agent Orange information.

Veterans can find general information about the VFW's State Service Officer Network by visiting www.vfwpahq.org and entering the VA Claims Help section. Details are also available in the Veterans Links and Veterans Resources sections.

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Revolutionary War Battlefield Receives Grant May 10, 2018

The National Park Service recently announced a $642,970 grant from the American Battlefield Protection Program (ABPP) to help protect 13.2 acres of a Revolutionary War battlefield in Pennsylvania threatened with damage or destruction by urban and suburban development. The grant will preserve a portion of the Brandywine Battlefield, site of a pivotal battle that resulted in a significant loss for the Continental Army led by General George Washington and the Continental Congress temporarily relocating from Philadelphia in 1777.

The grant is administered by the ABPP, one of more than a dozen programs operated by the National Park Service that provide states and local communities technical assistance, recognition, and funding to help preserve their own history and create close-to-home recreation opportunities. Consideration for the battlefield land acquisition grants is given to battlefields listed in the National Park Service's Civil War Sites Advisory Commission's 1993 Report on the Nation's Civil War Battlefields and the ABPP's 2007 Report to Congress on the Historic Preservation of Revolutionary War and War of 1812 Sites in the United States.

Grants are awarded to units of state and local governments for the simple acquisition of land, or for the nonfederal acquisition of permanent, protective interests in land (easements). Private nonprofit groups may apply in partnership with state or local government sponsors.

The grants are funded from the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), which uses revenue from federal oil and gas leases on the Outer Continental Shelf to purchase land, water and wetlands for the benefit of all Americans, instead of taxpayer dollars. Since its establishment in 1964, LWCF has conserved land in every state and supported tens of thousands of state and local projects, including protecting important water sources, expanding access for hunting and fishing, preserving historic battlefields, and creating ball fields and other places for children to play and learn.

For more information about ABPP, including these grants, readers may visit www.nps.gov/abpp/.

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NPS Reports On Park Visitors May 9, 2018

A new National Park Service (NPS) report shows that 10,393,892 visitors to national parks in Pennsylvania spent $478,300,000 in the state in 2017. That spending resulted in 7,473 jobs and had a cumulative benefit to the state economy of $691,000,000.

The national parks of Pennsylvania attract visitors from around the world. Along the way, the visitors spend money, which strengthens both the local and national economy. This new report shows that national park tourism returns $10 for every $1 invested in the National Park Service.

There are 15 National Park Services entirely or partially within Pennsylvania included in the report. National Scenic or Historic Trails, National Heritage Areas, affiliated areas, and similar entities are not included.

Pennsylvania sites include Allegheny Portage Railroad National Historic Site (Gallitzin), Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area (headquarters in Bushkill; also in New Jersey), Edgar Allan Poe National Historic Site (Philadelphia), Eisenhower National Historic Site (Gettysburg), Flight 93 National Memorial (Shanksville), Fort Necessity National Battlefield (Farmington), Friendship Hill National Historic Site (Point Marion), Gettysburg National Military Park (Gettysburg), Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site (Elverson), Independence National Historical Park (Philadelphia), Johnstown Flood National Memorial (South Fork), Steamtown National Historic Site (Scranton), Thaddeus Kosciuszko National Memorial (Philadelphia), Upper Delaware National Scenic and Recreational River (Pike and Wayne counties), and Valley Forge National Historical Park (Valley Forge).

The peer-reviewed visitor spending analysis was conducted by economists Catherine Cullinane Thomas of the U.S. Geological Survey and Lynne Koontz of the National Park Service. The report shows $18.2 billion of direct spending by more than 330 million park visitors in communities within 60 miles of a national park. This spending supported 306,000 jobs nationally; 255,900 of those jobs are found in these gateway communities. The cumulative benefit to the U.S. economy was $35.8 billion.

The lodging sector received the highest direct contributions with $5.5 billion in economic output to local gateway economies and 49,000 jobs. The restaurants sector received the next greatest direct contributions with $3.7 billion in economic output to local gateway economies and 60,500 jobs.

According to the 2017 report, most park visitor spending was for lodging/camping (32.9 percent) followed by food and beverages (27.5 percent), gas and oil (12.1 percent), souvenirs and other expenses (10.1 percent), admissions and fees (10.0 percent), and local transportation (7.5 percent).

Report authors also produce an interactive tool that enables users to explore visitor spending, jobs, labor income, value added, and output effects by sector for national, state, and local economies. Users can also view year-by-year trend data. The interactive tool and report are available at www.nps.gov/subjects/socialscience/vse.htm.

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Tire Disposal Program Announced May 7, 2018

The York County Solid Waste Authority (YCSWA) is offering free tire disposal at the York County Resource Recovery Center. The program is intended to help eliminate illegal dumping of tires and educate the public about proper tire management.

Residents must preregister by calling Mindy Waltemyer at the YCSWA at 717-845-1066 on Mondays through Fridays between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. through Monday, June 11. Registrants will receive a dashboard placard for a free one-time disposal of up to 10 tires. Tires must be removed from the rim and may not exceed 32 inches in diameter. Tires may not be excessively dirty or full of water. The program is limited to one placard per household.

The program is open to York County residents only. Businesses are not eligible to participate. Tire deliveries will be scheduled to occur between Friday, June 1, and Saturday, June 30, on a first-come, first-served basis.

This program is a result of the YCSWA's support of Keep York Beautiful and its efforts to prevent and eliminate illegal dumping. Tires collected at the curb with regular garbage must also be removed from the rim and may not exceed 32 inches in diameter. Residents should call their waste hauler for specifics on how many tires can be placed with each pickup.

For information about other YCSWA litter disposal efforts, readers may call the aforementioned number.

Keep York Beautiful is an affiliate chapter of Keep America Beautiful and supporter of Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful. Residents interested in helping to clean up illegal dump sites may contact Tom Smith at 717-840-2375 or tls35@psu.edu.

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DMVA Reminds Veterans Of Pension Program May 7, 2018

April was National Limb Loss Awareness Month, and Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (DMVA) is reminding veterans about its Amputee and Paralyzed Veterans Pension program. Through the program, eligible Pennsylvania veterans currently receive a pension of $150 per month.

To be eligible, a veteran must have served in the military honorably, have been a resident of Pennsylvania upon entering the military, have suffered a service-connected injury or incurred a disease resulting in the loss of or loss of use of two or more extremities, and have at least a 40 percent disability compensation rating or higher in each limb as determined and certified by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs.

To apply, Pennsylvania veterans should contact the County Veterans Affairs Director for the county in which they reside. A list of the directors is available by visiting www.dmva.pa.gov and clicking on Veterans Affairs and County Directors of Veterans Affairs. More information about the DMVA Amputee and Paralyzed Veterans Pension program is available on the website under the "Veterans Affairs" tab and then clicking on "Amputee and Paralyzed Veterans' Pension."

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Board Recognizes Police, Community Members May 4, 2018

The West Hempfield Township board of supervisors presented its annual West Hempfield Township Police Department awards and commendations on May 1 at the board's regularly scheduled monthly meeting at the West Hempfield Township Municipal Building. The honorees were recognized for actions they had taken during 2017.

Officer Robert L. Small and Officer Karl J. Hartranft received the Life Saving Award. The award is given to individuals whose actions prevented the death of a person or persons. On Aug. 25, 2017, officers were dispatched to the Mainstay Hotel on Primrose Lane in West Hempfield Township, where a person intended to take his own life. Small and Hartranft evacuated the surrounding area and protected other emergency responders while attempting to talk to the individual. The officers successfully defused the situation, and the individual was transported to a local hospital for evaluation. Both Small and Hartranft are trained members of the Lancaster County Crisis Intervention Team.

West Hempfield Township Police Department Corporal Ryan P. Draper; Draper's wife, Erika Draper; and Officer William Ceravola from Reading Township Police Department also received West Hempfield Township Police Department's Life Saving Award. On March 27, 2017, Ryan and Erika were traveling across the Route 30 bridge between Columbia Borough and Hellam Township when they observed a vehicle stopped on the bridge and a female standing at the edge of the bridge. They stopped to investigate, as did Ceravola, who was in a separate vehicle and also noticed what was happening. The Drapers and Ceravola were able to remove the female from the edge of the bridge, and she was transported to a local hospital for evaluation. Draper is a trained member of the Lancaster County Crisis Intervention Team. Both he and Ceravola were off duty at the time of the incident.

Officer Richard Bowermaster Jr. of West Hempfield Township Police Department and Officer William Watt of East Hempfield Township Police Department received Commendation Awards. The Commendation Award is given to an officer for an outstanding act that involved performance above and beyond his or her basic assignment.

Watt and Bowermaster have been leaders in the Beards for Brothers Campaign, a local fund drive started by Watt. Since 2014, officers from across the county have raised money for local first responders and their families who are dealing with cancer or other debilitating disease or organizations that help these individuals and their families. Since 2014, a total of approximately $30,000 has been raised. Monies have gone to two different organizations and to a junior firefighter from West Hempfield Fire and Rescue and the daughter of a Lancaster City police officer, both of whom have rare diseases.

Corporals Douglas Ober and Ryan Draper also received Commendation Awards. On Jan. 30, 2017, officers were dispatched to the Union Community Bank, where a bank robbery had just occurred. A description of the subject was broadcast over the police radio. Ober and Draper were just returning to the station from a training class and responded while still in civilian clothing and in an unmarked police vehicle. Ober and Draper checked an area motel and determined the identity of the suspect. Further information led Ober and Draper to The Shoppes at Prospect, where they located the subject in a crowded restaurant. The subject was taken into custody without incident and with no other restaurant patrons being endangered.

Officer John J. Schwab received the Perfect Attendance Award, recognizing him for taking no time off during the 2017 calendar year for injury or illness. Additionally, he reported for his scheduled shifts on time and was prepared for duty.

The West Hempfield Township Police Department presented its Certificate of Appreciation to the Paul Revere Leber Post 372 of the American Legion and Buckeye Corrugated Inc. All-Size Division. The Certificate of Appreciation is awarded to citizens, organizations, or businesses that distinguish themselves through the accomplishment of an extraordinary act or service to the police department or to the community.

This year's honorees made significant contributions to the West Hempfield Township Police Department, enabling the department to purchase equipment, training supplies, community outreach and educational supplies, and first aid equipment and supplies to augment the department's current first aid supplies. The cost of these pieces of equipment and supplies were beyond the amount the department was able to budget for them in its 2018 expenditures.

Officer Michael P. Murray received the 2017 Officer of the Year Award. The award is given to an officer who distinguished himself or herself through either an accumulation of exceptional contributions or a single incident and whose actions clearly place the individual well above others of equal rank or grade. The individual must have represented the department in a favorable light and reflected the vision and mission statements in his or her daily actions.

Murray has been a member of the police department since January 2016. Since he started with the police department, he has been assigned to the B-1 Platoon in the patrol division. He was named Officer of the Year for distinguishing himself as a leader in his number of criminal arrests and in traffic enforcement; for displaying exceptional courage, fortitude, and resourcefulness during critical incidents; and for effectively testifying in numerous criminal prosecutions leading to successful convictions. He was also honored for having a positive attitude, promoting West Hempfield Township, and striving to enhance intradepartmental effectiveness by promoting public trust and confidence and a positive image of the department.

Additionally, four officers were recognized for their involvement in saving the lives of six individuals who overdosed on drugs and had to be administered naloxone. All individuals survived because the officers acted quickly and had naloxone on hand. The honorees were Murray, who was involved in two incidents; Schwab, also involved in two incidents; Ober; and Hartranft.

Earlier this year, the United States Marine Corps Reserve honored Corporal Douglas Ober, Officer Bart Hollis, and Officer Ben Johnson for their assistance with the 2017 Toys for Tots program.

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Parks Department Sets Starwatch Program May 2, 2018

Berks County Heritage Center, 1102 Red Bridge Road, Reading, will host a Starwatch program on Friday, May 18, at 8 p.m. The program will begin inside, followed by opportunities to look at the stars through telescopes. Members of the Berks County Astronomical Society will provide assistance.

The program is free. Call 610-374-8839 for more information. For more details, visit www.countyofberks.com/parks or search for Berks County Parks and Recreation Department on Facebook.

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Older Americans Month Announced May 2, 2018

The Lancaster County Office of Aging invites area seniors to celebrate Older Americans Month. This year's theme for the month of May is "Engage at Every Age," and Lancaster will offer some exciting ways for seniors to be engaged. Registration is now open.

The 30th annual Senior Games will take place from Monday, May 7, through Friday, May 11. Over 45 different events will be held at Spooky Nook Sports and several other locations throughout the week.

Free technology classes will be offered to Lancaster County residents age 55 and older at several locations in the county. These interactive classes will be two hours long, and each class will focus on a different topic. Topics will include Online Financial Safety, Facebook and Social Media, Cloud 101, Beginners/Basics, Digital Music, and more. Locations will include the Elizabethtown Senior Center, Lancaster Recreation Senior Center, and the Next Gen Senior Center.

The celebration for the month will conclude with the Barnstormers celebrating Older Americans Month. Lancaster County residents age 60 and older can pick up a free ticket for the game and a voucher for a hotdog and soda at designated senior centers. The Barnstormers will play the York Revolution at 11 a.m. on Thursday, May 24, at the Lancaster Barnstormers' stadium. There will be other activities to enjoy including a Health/Senior Fair and bingo during the game.

Seniors need to bring photo identification to their local senior center to receive a ticket. Tickets will be available on a first-come, first-served basis at Columbia Senior Center, Elizabethtown Senior Center, Lancaster Rec Senior Center, Next Gen Senior Center, SACA Senior Center, Lancaster Neighborhood Senior Center, Millersville Senior Center, and Lititz Senior Center.

For information on any of the events or to register for technology classes, readers may call Lancaster County Office of Aging at 717-299-7979. For details on technology classes, readers may visit www.lancoaging.org and click on Free Technology Series.

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Borough Council Plans Meeting May 2, 2018

The Spring Grove Borough Council will hold a meeting on Monday, May 7, to discuss the future of the borough property at 50 N. East St., Spring Grove. The meeting will take place from 6 to 7 p.m. at the Spring Grove Borough Building, 1 Campus Ave., Spring Grove.

Anyone who would like to speak at the meeting should notify the borough office prior to 4 p.m. on May 7. Anyone who registers to address the council will receive priority. As usual, public comment will be limited to five minutes for each person speaking, and the meeting will be limited to one hour. Input may also be submitted in writing by Tuesday, May 15, by visiting www.springgroveboro.com.

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