Event To Honor Vietnam Veterans October 19, 2017
State Rep. Frank Ryan will hold a Welcome Home Celebration honoring Vietnam veterans residing in the 101st Legislative District on Friday, Nov. 10, from 2 to 4 p.m. The event will be held in the auditorium at Palmyra Area Middle School, 50 W. Cherry St., Palmyra.
Congress has created special lapel pins on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War to recognize United States military veterans who served during the conflict in Southeast Asia.
At the local event, United States veterans who served on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces at any time during the period of Nov. 1, 1955, to May 15, 1975, regardless of location of service, will be honored.
The event is open only to residents of the 101st District. The 101st District includes the boroughs of Cornwall, Mount Gretna, and Palmyra; the townships of North Cornwall, North Londonderry, South Annville, South Londonderry, and West Cornwall; and the city of Lebanon.
Veterans who wish to be part of the ceremony, be recognized, and be presented with a lapel pin must preregister at RepFrankRyan.com or by calling 717-838-3823.
Concealed Carry Seminar Planned October 18, 2017
Rep. Seth Grove will host a concealed carry seminar on Saturday, Nov. 4, from 9 a.m. to noon at the West Manchester Farmers and Sportsman Association, 4900 Pine Hill Road, Dover.
Representatives from law enforcement and the legal field will discuss concealed carry laws in Pennsylvania.
Space is limited. To register, readers may call 717-767-3947. More information is available at www.RepGrove.com and www.Facebook.com/RepSethGrove.
Baseball Team Honored October 18, 2017
Sen. Andy Dinniman recently recognized the KAU Little League Baseball Team on winning the 2017 U.S. Junior League World Series. Dinniman invited the team to the State Capitol in Harrisburg and presented players and coaches with a special Senate citation in honor of the achievement.
The team, which includes players from both the Kennett Consolidated and Unionville Chadds-Ford school districts, won the national title after a run that fell just short of the world championship title.
Team players include Cory Burns, Andrew Tucker, Dan Kane, Nick Patterson, Louis Sharp, Joey Wolf, Jack Regenye, Levi Jones, Thomas Edmonds, Matt Haggerty, Scott Hansen, and Patrick Methlie. Team coaches include Matt Patterson, Brian Regenye, and Sean Burns.
DiSanto Opens More Offices October 3, 2017
State Sen. John DiSanto opened three new outreach offices in October to serve constituents. Appointments can be made by calling 717-787-6801. A complete list of DiSanto's offices and hours are available at www.senatordisanto.com under Office Locations.
An office is available at Hummelstown William H. and Marion C. Alexander Family Library, 200 W. Second St., Hummelstown, on the second and fourth Thursday of the month from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Office hours will be held at East Shore Area Library, 4501 Ethel St., Harrisburg, on the second and fourth Thursdays of each month from 1:30 to 5 p.m. On the first and third Tuesday of each month, office hours will be held at Madeline L. Olewine Memorial Library, 2410 North Third St., Harrisburg, from 1:30 to 5 p.m.
The three new locations are in addition to four outreach offices serving upper Dauphin County constituents in Lykens, Elizabethville, Halifax, and Millersburg. In addition, DiSanto maintains a full-time Harrisburg office at the Capitol and a full-time Perry County office in New Bloomfield.
Student Video Contest Posted October 2, 2017
Middle and high school students can help find solutions to the growing heroin and opioid epidemic facing the state by producing a video aimed at focusing greater awareness on the crisis. "Talk to Your State Senator," a statewide video competition sponsored by the Senate of Pennsylvania with support from members of the Drug and Alcohol Service Providers Association of PA, aims to get students involved in legislative efforts to fight heroin and opioid abuse.
Students are encouraged to submit video entries of no longer than five minutes that highlight ways to combat abuse, help those who suffer from addiction, and develop laws to address the current crisis. "Talk to Your Senator" is open to Pennsylvania students in grades six through 12 and will provide a total of $10,000 in cash prizes to winning entries that focus on ways to prevent drug and alcohol abuse among young people.
Prize money will be awarded through the TAP 529 Account program with the PA Department of Treasury and will be deposited into college savings accounts in the winners' names. Videos will be judged based on creativity, content, and effectiveness of message delivery.
Entries must be submitted using the registration form available at www.acommonwealthcrisis.com. The site includes more information on the contest, including guidelines for submitting videos, content, judging, and prizes. The deadline for video entries is Sunday, Dec. 10.
School Bus Law Reminder Posted September 19, 2017
This school year, more than 1.5 million children will be transported an estimated 400,000-plus miles on school buses. The Pennsylvania School Bus Association is asking motorists to pay extra attention as school buses ride their daily routes.
Pennsylvania law requires motorists stop at least 10 feet away from school buses when their red lights are flashing and their stop arm is extended.
Motorists following or traveling alongside a school bus must also stop until the red lights have stopped flashing and the stop arm is withdrawn. Vehicles cannot proceed until all the children have reached a place of safety. Penalties for failure to obey school bus safety laws can result in a $250 fine, five points on a driving record, and a 60-day license suspension.
Parents are reminded to ensure that their children are at the bus stop early to avoid rushing. Students should stay where the bus driver can see them while boarding or exiting the bus.
For more information and tips for school bus safety, readers may visit www.penndot.gov and click on Safety under Travel in PA, scroll down to Traffic Safety and Driver Topics, and click on School Bus Safety.
Concussion Tips Posted September 19, 2017
With many student-athletes taking part in fall sports, students, parents, and coaches should be vigilant at preventing, recognizing, and managing concussions. A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head or from a fall or blow to the body that causes the head and brain to move quickly back and forth.
Concussions can have serious short-term and long-term impacts, especially on young people whose brains are still developing. In 2011, the Safety in Youth Sports Act was signed into law in Pennsylvania, requiring all school entities to develop return-to-play policies for student-athletes with concussions, as well as requiring related training for coaches.
Readers may visit the Department of Health's website at www.health.pa.gov and search for "Traumatic Brain Injury" for approved curricula for coaches and other school personnel, along with frequently asked questions about the law and many other state-related resources. Most importantly, if parents think their child has a concussion, they should seek medical attention, discuss the injury with the coach, and not allow the athlete to return to play without permission from a health care professional.
Representative Sets Satellite Office Hours September 13, 2017
Residents of the 93rd legislative district are invited to take advantage of state Rep. Kristin Phillips-Hill's satellite office hours on Thursday, Sept. 28. The event will take place at Citizens Volunteer Fire Company, 171 S. Market St., Fawn Grove, from 9 a.m. to noon.
For more information about the office hours or any legislative issue, readers may call Phillips-Hill's district office at 717-428-9889 or 1-877-207-2272.
Office To Aid Consumers September 11, 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
Legislative Update Meetings Planned September 6, 2017
Residents of the 88th district are invited to two Legislative Update meetings hosted by state Rep. Sheryl Delozier.
The first meeting will take place on Thursday, Sept. 14, at 8 a.m., at the Upper Allen Municipal Building, 100 Gettysburg Pike, Mechanicsburg. It is for residents of Upper Allen and the boroughs of Mechanicsburg and Shiremanstown.
The second meeting will occur on Thursday, Sept. 28, at 6 p.m., at the Lower Allen Township Building, 2233 Gettysburg Pike, Camp Hill. It is for residents of Lower Allen Township and the boroughs of Lemoyne, New Cumberland and Wormleysburg.
Each meeting will feature a brief presentation by Delozier on current issues, followed by a question-and-answer session. If residents cannot attend the meeting for their municipality, they are free to attend the other meeting.
Reservations are requested by visiting www.RepDelozier.com or calling 717-761-4665.
VFW Offers Information About Veterans' Benefits August 29, 2017
The Pennsylvania Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) invites veterans of all ages and from all service eras to utilize its Service Officer Network to receive free information about and assistance for applying for government veterans' benefits. These benefits include Veterans Affairs (VA) health care, compensation, pension, education, dependent benefits and state veterans' benefits.
The Pennsylvania VFW has full-time, fully VA-accredited service officers available to meet with veterans at the VFW state headquarters in Harrisburg and a few other sites in central Pennsylvania. The service officers may also visit veterans in their homes if disabilities prevent them from driving to appointments. Surviving spouses of veterans may also speak with the service officers to find out if they are eligible for benefits.
Veterans do not have to be VFW members to receive assistance, but they must provide a DD 214 discharge form and any relevant medical documents. Veterans who have already been diagnosed with a condition should gather paperwork, including doctor reports, that define the injury or illness. Veterans who would like the VA to review earlier claim decisions due to worsening health will need to demonstrate that the condition has further escalated. Vietnam veterans are advised that the VA has defined some health conditions as being presumptive for being caused by exposure to the defoliant Agent Orange. Details are available by visiting www.va.gov and searching for "Agent Orange."
To schedule an appointment or inquire about benefits, readers may call 717-234-7927.
In 2007, the Pennsylvania legislature passed Act 66 to appropriate funds to assist veterans' service organizations in guiding veterans from all parts of the state with regard to government benefits. The state VFW used grant funds to expand its service outreach network. Each year, the state VFW helps veterans receive more than $30 million of federal benefits through the Service Office network.
Work Begins On Streetscape Project August 23, 2017
State Sen. Andy Dinniman recently announced that work is currently underway on the Third Avenue Streetscape Project, the first phase of revitalization work related to the new Coatesville Train Station.
The streetscape project aims to transform Third Avenue as a gateway into the city from the new train station and includes the repaving of Third Avenue and the installation of sidewalk amenities, including ADA accessibility improvements from Lincoln Highway to Fleetwood Street. It also calls for the repaving of and significant improvements to the nearby parking lot of Olivet United Methodist Church, which will be available to rail riders under an agreement being worked out with the church.
The streetscape project is expected to be completed in about a year.
In addition, Dinniman said the design work on the realignment of the station's location on Fleetwood Street is ongoing, but he added that the preliminary design work is complete. These designs include plans for commuter and bus access and a review of conceptual designs offering transit-oriented development projects related to the new train station.
Satellite Office Hours Announced August 21, 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.
Active Work Zone Reminder Posted August 21, 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.
HealthyWoman Program Posted August 21, 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."
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.
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.