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Borough Recycle Bins August 17, 2017

Columbia Borough has received a grant to purchase recycle bins, and each residence in the borough may receive one free bin. Residents who have not yet picked up a free bin may stop in at the borough office, 308 Locust St., at their earliest convenience. The new bins are round and sturdier than square bins, and they should be used exclusively for recycling.

For more information, call the borough office at 717-684-2467.

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CCEDC Releases Survey Results August 16, 2017

The Chester County Board of Commissioners and Chester County Economic Development Council (CCEDC) recently released the results of a survey of local businesses. Phase 2 of the Take the Pulse business survey shows significant changes from the survey's findings one year ago.

Conducted by CCEDC in partnership with the county commissioners and the county's 10 Chambers of Commerce, the Take the Pulse survey is a key component of VISTA2025, Chester County's 10-year economic development strategy designed to maintain the economic health of the county by striking a balance between progress and preservation.

More than 300 business decision-makers responded to the 20-question online survey assessing the business climate in Chester County. A new question added to the survey this year gained feedback on priorities for economic development investment. Survey respondents strongly favored redevelopment of vacant industrial sites and investment in transportation infrastructure. Other key results from the Take the Pulse survey include the following:

Quality of Place continues to play a critical role in Chester County's economic success. A total of 27 percent of respondents cited it as the primary reason they are located in Chester County (up from 16 percent the prior year). Business owners in 2017 are more optimistic for growth in Chester County (53 percent "improving") compared to one year ago (46 percent "improving" in 2016). Three-quarters of respondents (75 percent) are optimistic for growth in their own companies. Traffic congestion and the availability of qualified workforce candidates remain concerns.

Compared to 2016 findings, respondents in 2017 have a significantly more positive view of several characteristics of the county, including the following: natural environment/open space (90 percent net positive ratings in 2017, up from 76 percent in 2016), location/access to markets (86 percent from 78 percent), and presence of related business clusters (77 percent from 58 percent).

Areas where impressions of the county declined compared to 2016 include the following: availability of workforce (63 percent net positive ratings in 2017, down from 72 percent in 2016), infrastructure (down to 39 percent from 58 percent), roads/highways (37 percent from 62 percent), and permitting process/municipal approval process (19 percent from 26 percent).

The complete results from Phase 2 of CCEDC's Take the Pulse survey will be shared with the Chester County commissioners, local chambers, and the general public to help guide future decision making and policy considerations. CCEDC will also draw insights from the top trends to guide its programs and services for area businesses, including successful practices of job creation, generation of commercial tax ratables, business retention and enhancement, agricultural economic development, and workforce development.

For more information on VISTA2025, readers may visit www.vista2025.com. For details on Chester County, individuals may visit www.chesco.org. More information on CCEDC is available at www.ccedcpa.com.

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Office To Aid Consumers August 16, 2017

To better protect consumers from financial scams, the Office of Attorney General has created a unit dedicated to consumer financial protection. The effort will focus on lenders that prey on seniors, families with students, and military service members, including for-profit colleges and mortgage and student loan servicers.

Individuals who think they have been scammed should contact the Attorney General's office at 800-441-2555 or scam@attorneygeneral.gov. In 2016, the Office of Attorney General's Consumer Protection Bureau handled 19,727 consumer complaints and returned a total of $8.5 million in restitution to consumers.

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"Older And Wiser" Sessions Slated August 15, 2017

Rep. Sheryl Delozier will host a series of free Older and Wiser informational seminars featuring topics geared toward older adults, their families, and caregivers. The seminars will offer an opportunity to obtain important information about powers of attorney, living wills, last wills, and living trusts.

The Older and Wiser seminars are presented as a public service by MidPenn Legal Services. All seminars are free to attend and will begin at 9 a.m. "Protection Through Powers of Attorney and Living Wills" will be presented at The Woods at Cedar Run, 824 Lisburn Road, Camp Hill, on Thursday, Sept. 7, and at Bethany Village, 325 Wesley Drive, Mechanicsburg, on Thursday, Oct. 5. "Learning About Last Wills and Living Trusts" will be held on Thursday, Sept. 21, at Mechanicsburg Senior Center, 97 W. Portland St., Mechanicsburg, and on Thursday, Oct. 12, at Essex House, 20 N. 12th St., Lemoyne.

Seating for the events is limited. Advance reservations are requested by contacting Delozier's office at 717-761-4665 or by registering at www.repdelozier.com. The 88th Legislative District in Cumberland County includes Lower Allen and Upper Allen townships and the boroughs of Lemoyne, Mechanicsburg, New Cumberland, Shiremanstown, and Wormleysburg.

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Active Work Zone Reminder August 14, 2017

Motorists are reminded to follow state law in highway work zones. In posted work zones, state laws requires all motorists to travel with their headlights turned on. Drivers in vehicles with daytime running lights must turn on their headlights to activate their taillights.

Interstate work zones with a project cost exceeding $300,000 will have a speed-monitoring device to alert motorists of their speed prior to entering the work zone. In active work zones, a white flashing light attached to the "Active Work Zone When Flashing" sign will only be activated when workers are present.

Motorists who are caught driving 11 miles per hour or more above the posted speed limit in an active work zone, or who are involved in a crash in an active work zone and are convicted for failing to drive at a safe speed, will automatically lose their license for 15 days. Additionally, fines for certain traffic violations - including speeding, driving under the influence, and failure to obey traffic devices - are doubled for active work zones. Five years of additional jail time may be imposed for individuals convicted of homicide by vehicle for a crash in an active work zone.

For more information on work zone safety, including safety tips, readers may visit www.penndot.gov/TravelInPA/Safety/TrafficSafetyAndDriverTopics/WorkZone/Pages/default.aspx.

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Satellite Office Hours Announced August 9, 2017

State Rep. Kristin Phillips-Hill invites residents of the 93rd Legislative District to take advantage of satellite office hours scheduled for the month of August. Satellite office hours will be offered on Thursday, Aug. 24, from 9 a.m. to noon at Citizens Volunteer Fire Company, 171 S. Market St., Fawn Grove.

Staff will be available to answer any state government questions residents might have and offer assistance with filling out paperwork such as Pennsylvania's Property Tax/Rent Rebate program. For more information, readers may call Phillips-Hill's district office at 717-428-9889 or 877-207-2272.

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CCAP Elects Officers, Board Members August 9, 2017

The County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania (CCAP) elected Lancaster County commissioner Dennis Stuckey as the CCAP 2018 president during the organization's 131st annual conference in Erie County. Other county officials elected to be leaders of CCAP include Kathi Cozzone, Chester County commissioner, first vice president; Jeff Snyder, Clinton County commissioner, second vice president; and Michelle Kichline, Chester County commissioner, treasurer.

The following county commissioners/council members were elected as district representatives to the CCAP board: Basil Huffman, Forest County, District 1; Dan Vogler, Lawrence County, District 2; Randy Phiel, Adams County, District 3; Preston Boop, Union County, District 4; Terence Farrell, Chester County, District 5; John Cusick, Northampton County, District 6; and Daryl Miller, Bradford County, District 7.

Those elected will begin their terms on Monday, Jan. 1, 2018.

CCAP is a statewide nonpartisan association representing the county governments of all 67 counties in Pennsylvania. CCAP members include county commissioners, council members, county executives, administrators, chief clerks and solicitors. The organization aims to strengthen the counties' abilities to govern their own affairs and improve the well-being and quality of life for every Pennsylvania resident. CCAP advocates for state and federal legislation, programs and policies on behalf of counties. For more information, readers may visit www.pacounties.org and follow @PACountiesGR on Twitter.

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Immunization News Update August 9, 2017

The Pennsylvania Department of Health has revised Pennsylvania's school immunization requirements for the 2017-18 school year. The new rules require parents to get their children fully immunized prior to the fifth day of school or the students will be excluded from school.

Previously, parents had eight months to meet school immunization requirements. If a student is in the middle of an immunization series, and it is too soon for the next dose, the parents must provide the school nurse with a written plan, signed by their health care provider, within the first five days of school.

For more information, readers may contact their health care provider, visit www.health.pa.gov, or call 877-PA-HEALTH.

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Candidates May Submit Letters Of Intent August 3, 2017

The Republican Committee of Lancaster County (RCLC) is accepting letters of intent for the office of Lancaster County sheriff, which will be included on the 2017 municipal election ballot on Tuesday, Nov. 7.

Written letters of intent and resumes for all candidates seeking election to the position must be submitted to the Republican Committee of Lancaster County, 902 Columbia Ave., Lancaster, by 5 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 11, if the candidate wishes to be considered for the committee's nomination.

The nomination convention will take place on Wednesday, Sept. 6, at the Farm and Home Center, 1383 Arcadia Road, Lancaster. Doors will open and registration will begin at 6 p.m., with the meeting at 7 p.m.

For more information, readers may contact the Republican Committee of Lancaster County at 717-392-4165 or contact@goplancaster.com.

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County Honored For Technology Practices August 2, 2017

Chester County has announced that the Center for Digital Government (CDG) and National Association of Counties (NACo) have placed the county as eighth in the nation for best technology practices, including initiatives that save tax dollars, boost transparency, focus on cyber security and promote citizen engagement.

Chester County was evaluated and recognized by the Digital Counties Survey in 2016, earning a 10th-place slot. The eighth-place award was presented in late July at the annual NACo Conference in Columbus, Ohio. The judging panel honored the county for achievements such as providing online information about water conditions and results of eatery inspections, offering civil e-filing, and offering Text-to-911.

The Digital Survey is conducted annually in the spring. All U.S. counties are invited to participate in the survey, which examines the overall technology programs and plans of the counties. This year marks the 15th annual survey, and results are available at http://www.govtech.com/dc/digital-counties/Digital-Counties-Survey-2017-Winners-Announced.html.

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Chinese Youths Visit Chester County July 26, 2017

Chester County recently welcomed 40 young Chinese representatives. The China Blue Junior Journalist group, consisting of students ages 9 to 14 from the Zhenjiang Province, met with county government, business, education and tourism representatives at the Chester County Conference and Visitors Bureau in the morning on July 21 before touring Longwood Gardens. The students, selected to travel to North America by the Zhejiang Television Station Children's Channel, presented handmade gifts and interviewed Chester County representatives for news productions that were slated to be edited and aired on their return to China.

Welcoming the young delegation were Mike Grigalonis, chief operating officer of the Chester County Economic Development Council; Paul B. Redman, president and CEO of Longwood Gardens; Susan Hamley, executive director of the Chester County Conference and Visitors Bureau; and Tiffany Lawson, executive director of the Governor's Commission on Asian American Affairs. Chester County Commissioner Terence Farrell, who has spearheaded the Chester County China Initiative, prepared a specially taped welcome for the group. During the formal presentation, Lawson presented the group with a letter of welcome from Gov. Tom Wolf.

The 40 China Blue Junior Journalist delegates were selected from hundreds of candidates in the Zhenjiang region. Prior to taking part in the Chester County Conference and Visitors Bureau, the youths had interviewed attendees during the National People's Congress in Beijing and increased their interview skills in Philadelphia and Chester County. During their visit to the U.S., the students also planned to visit the Chinese Consulate General and tour the XinHua news agency and Bloomberg media in New York City.

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HealthyWoman Program Posted July 25, 2017

Women who are uninsured or underinsured can receive free cervical cancer screenings and mammograms under the Pennsylvania HealthyWoman Program. The program is funded by the Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The program is open to women ages 40 to 64 who are Pennsylvania residents and have a gross household income below 250 percent of the federal poverty annual guideline, about $61,500 for a family of four. If breast or cervical cancer is detected through the HealthyWoman Program, the individual may be eligible for free treatment through the Department of Human Services' Breast and Cervical Cancer Prevention and Treatment Program.

For more information, readers may call 800-215-7494 or visit www.health.pa.gov and search for "HealthyWoman."

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2017 Fair Guide Now Available July 17, 2017

The "2017 Pennsylvania Fair Guide" published by the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture is available at www.agriculture.pa.gov/Promote/Markets/Agricultural%20Marketing/pafairfund/Documents/FairGuide.pdf.

The guide lists the dates, locations, and contact persons for more than 100 agriculture fairs and events scheduled during the summer and fall in Pennsylvania. The guide also highlights 16 fairs that offer live harness racing as part of one of the nation's leading fair-racing programs.

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Fallen Marine Receives Honor July 13, 2017

Rep. Lloyd Smucker visited Pequea Elementary School on May 26 to present a flag to the mother of fallen U.S. Marine Cpl. Eric M. Torbert Jr. during a patriotic assembly.

The event included the Pequea Color Guard and student readings on the significance of Memorial Day and the branches of the military. Fourth-grader Kennedy Dings sang "God Bless the U.S.A." before Smucker addressed the students, teachers and guests about why Memorial Day is celebrated.

Smucker then presented a flag that flew over the U.S. Capitol to Denise Torbert, a Pequea cafeteria worker whose son, Eric, was killed during combat operations in Afghanistan in December 2010.

The flag also commemorates the naming of a bridge on Route 741 over the Conestoga River in honor of Eric earlier this year. Torbert was a 2003 graduate of Penn Manor High School.

As part of the assembly, Pequea students and staff dressed in patriotic colors, and the school grounds were lined with American flags.

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New Website For Vets Posted July 10, 2017

A new website geared toward veterans gives men and women who are serving or have served the United States a central location for information about federal, state, and local services. The simple-to-use, free website serves as a tool for veterans returning from overseas. Veterans and veteran organizations are encouraged to access the site.

Network of Care allows users to find out information on employment opportunities in their area, as well as housing, medical services, addiction services, assistive devices, and more. There is also an easy-to-use link for contacting state and federal representatives about any piece of legislation. In addition, users can create a protected profile where they can store items such as service health records, discharge papers, and other service-related documents.

To access the website, readers may visit www.networkofcare.org, select Pennsylvania, and choose a county of residence. Veterans can also contact their state legislator with any questions on how to use the website.

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Steering Committee Members Chosen July 10, 2017

The Chester County board of commissioners has announced the next step in the Landscapes3 process: the creation of a steering committee to guide the development of the new county comprehensive plan.

The steering committee will be co-chaired by three Chester County leaders representing key sectors of the county's drive to balance growth and preservation. The co-chairs are Chris Alonzo, president of Pietro Industries and chair of the Chester County Agricultural Development Council; Matthew Hammond, executive vice president of Traffic Planning and Design Inc. and chair of the Chester County Planning Commission; and Molly Morrison, president of Natural Lands and a member of the Chester County Planning Commission.

The development of the Landscapes3 plan will begin in the fall, following the comprehensive public input process, which includes a citizen survey and is anticipated to take 18 months. Landscapes3 will update and replace Landscapes2, the current award-winning, long-range policy plan that is the basis for initiatives such as revitalized urban centers and protected farmland and open spaces - issues identified as important to citizens in the last survey, undertaken in 2007.

The public is invited to participate in the update process through a series of activities, including a series of outreach events throughout the county, online commenting, a public meeting, and the second photo contest, planned for the fall. Public engagement is a critical part of the comprehensive plan development. Steering committee meetings will be held throughout the county and will be open to the public.

For more information on the steering committee and the comprehensive plan update, readers may visit http://www.chescoplanning.org/CompPlan.cfm.

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Representative To Hold Event July 5, 2017

Residents of the 169th Legislative District are invited to join Rep. Kate Klunk at a free ice cream social and discussion about state issues at Penn Township Community Park, 4601 Grandview Road, Hanover, on Thursday, July 13, from 6 to 8 p.m. The event will also include children's games and opportunities for children to use the playground.

The ice cream social is part of an ongoing outreach program called "Where in the District Is Kate?" Through the program, Klunk holds events across her district to meet with and hear from residents. Information about future events is available at www.RepKlunk.com.

To make reservations for the ice cream social, readers may call Klunk's office at 717-630-8942.

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Grand Marshal Nominations Sought July 5, 2017

Nominations are now being accepted for grand marshal of the 21st annual Millersville Community Parade, a collaborative effort between Millersville University, the Millersville Borough and the surrounding community. The grand marshal rides in the parade's lead vehicle. The parade is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 14. The 2017 parade theme is "Celebrating Animation."

The grand marshal is selected each year based on his or her significant contributions to the Millersville community. All nominees must live or work in the Millersville community. Nominations may be submitted in the form of a one-page letter explaining the nominee's specific impact on the Millersville community. The nominator must include his or her name, address and phone number. Nominations must be received by Friday, July 28.

Nominations may be mailed to The Millersville Community Parade, Millersville University, Office of Scheduling and Event Management, P.O. Box 1002, Millersville, PA 17551-0302. For more information about the grand marshal or participating in the parade, readers may call 717-871-5926 or visit www.parade.millersville.edu.

The Millersville Community Parade was established in 1997. Previous parade grand marshals included John Herr, Lynette Trout, Dorothy Bender, Jim Eshleman, Dr. William Duncan, Dr. Joseph Caputo, Steven DiGuiseppe, Harold "Skip" Rhodes, Ralph and Judy Anttonen, Benjamin F. and Polly H. Kauffman, Mary Ann and Phil Gerber, David W. Patterson, Dr. Francine G. McNairy, Andrew T. Scheid, Richard Moriarty, Dr. William McIlwaine and Kitty Glass.

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Phillips-Hill Posts Hours July 3, 2017

State Rep. Kristin Phillips-Hill invites residents of the 93rd Legislative District to take advantage of satellite office hours scheduled during July. Satellite office hours in July will take place from 9 a.m. to noon on Thursday, July 13, at Hopewell Township Building, 3336 Bridgeview Road, Stewartstown, and on Thursday, July 27, at Citizens Volunteer Fire Company, 171 S. Market St., Fawn Grove.

A member of Phillips-Hill's staff will be on location to answer questions and help residents with state government issues, as well as assist with paperwork such as Pennsylvania's Property Tax/Rent Rebate program. A York County Veterans Affairs service officer will also visit Phillips-Hill's district office, located at 6872 Susquehanna Trail, York, on Wednesday, July 19, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. to answer questions and discuss veterans' issues.

Veterans wishing to make an appointment may call Phillips-Hill's office at 717-428-9889 or 877-207-2272.

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Extension For REAL ID Granted July 3, 2017

Pennsylvania residents will be able to use their current driver's license to access federal facilities through Tuesday, Oct. 10, under an extension granted by the federal government. The extension was granted after Pennsylvania adopted a plan to comply with REAL ID requirements, known as Act 3 of 2017.

According to PennDOT, REAL ID-compliant driver's licenses and identification cards will be available to consumers who wish to obtain them in 2019. This will allow ample time for customers who want a REAL ID license to obtain one before the final federal effective date of Thursday, Oct. 1, 2020.

More information about REAL ID and Act 3 is available at www.pahousegop.com/realid.aspx.

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