Parking Vouchers Will Be Available November 15, 2018
The Lancaster Parking Authority will provide two hours of free parking in any of its garages to encourage shoppers to participate in Small Business Saturday on Saturday, Nov. 24. Free parking will only be available in Lancaster Parking Authority garages and is only for two hours.
Shoppers will need to get a free parking voucher at one of three locations, including Mio Studio, 154 N. Prince St.; BUiLDiNG CHARACTER, 342 N. Queen St.; and the Lancaster City Visitor Center, 38 Penn Square. Shoppers must show their receipt demonstrating a purchase at any city business and receive their parking voucher. Each of the three locations will be open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Nov. 24 and will have staff on hand to assist shoppers with getting their parking vouchers.
Any time over two hours will be charged. For parking assistance, readers may call the Lancaster Parking Authority at 717-299-0907. For more information on the Lancaster Parking Authority's garages, readers may visit www.lancasterparkingauthority.com/where-to-park/garages-and-lots/.
LIHEAP Opens Enrollment November 15, 2018
Residents who are struggling with their home heating bills can apply for assistance from the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). LIHEAP is a federally funded program that helps individuals and families pay their heating bills through home heating energy assistance grants. It also provides crisis grants to help in the event of an emergency or if a resident is in danger of losing his or her heat due to broken equipment, lack of fuel, or termination of utility service.
The income eligibility guidelines for LIHEAP are set at 150 percent of the federal poverty income level. For example, the income limit for an individual is $18,210; for a couple, the limit is $24,690; and for a family of four, it is $37,650.
Residents may apply for LIHEAP at www.compass.state.pa.us, by contacting the Dauphin County Assistance Office, 2432 N. Seventh St., Harrisburg, or by calling 800-788-5616 or 717-787-2324.
Agency Awarded $250,000 Grant November 7, 2018
A $250,000 grant was recently awarded to Community REACH Inc., which is based in Red Lion. Community REACH is a nonprofit focused on helping low-income families in the Red Lion, Dallastown, and Eastern York school districts. The organization operates a food pantry and a clothing drive, provides life skill training, and collects and distributes school supplies for local students.
Individuals or families in the Red Lion, Dallastown, and Eastern York school districts in need of assistance may contact 717-244-6934 or email@example.com.
2018-19 LIHEAP Applications Open November 7, 2018
The start of the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) application process for the 2018-19 season has begun. LIHEAP provides assistance for home heating bills to keep low-income Pennsylvanians warm and safe during the winter months. Assistance is available for renters and homeowners. Crisis and regular LIHEAP applications are available now through Friday, April 12, 2019.
During the 2017-18 LIHEAP season, 344,008 households statewide received nearly $116 million in LIHEAP cash benefits. These households received an average season benefit of $337. LIHEAP benefits are paid directly to the utility company.
Consumers are encouraged to enroll in LIHEAP and to explore other assistance programs available from their utilities and various nonprofit groups. Combined, these many different resources help hundreds of thousands of households and families across the commonwealth every year.
The program's goal is to prevent LIHEAP customers from entering the winter season with shut-off utilities. Eligibility for the 2018-19 LIHEAP season is set at 150 percent of the federal poverty income guidelines.
Online applications for LIHEAP can be completed at www.compass.state.pa.us. Paper applications are available through local county assistance offices. For helpful tips on keeping warm throughout the winter while saving money on utility costs, readers may visit www.energysavers.gov.
For more information on LIHEAP, readers may visit www.dhs.pa.gov.
Representative Visits Virtual School October 31, 2018
A group of first-graders taught by Katie Barnett through Pennsylvania Virtual Charter School (PA Virtual) received a virtual visit from Rep. Stanley Saylor on Oct. 25. Throughout his 26 years of public service, Saylor has met with students and teachers from across the 94th District, but this was the first time that he joined a virtual classroom.
PA Virtual is a public charter school where students attend class online from their homes. The virtual classroom environment enables students from across Pennsylvania to engage with one another while receiving direct, interactive instruction from their teacher.
Barnett has been teaching first grade at PA Virtual since 2006, but she realized that her representatives did not have much experience with the virtual education model. During Saylor's visit, the first-grade students read a story with Saylor. They also shared their discovery of the importance of listening to people even if you do not agree with them.
While interacting with the class, Saylor asked Barnett to name the biggest challenge of being a virtual classroom teacher. Barnett said that in a virtual environment, the teacher is not only teaching the students, but also everyone in the household. In order for a student to be successful, everyone has to work together to support the student's goals.
For more information on PA Virtual, readers may visit www.pavcsk12.org or call 866-728-2751.
Fire Company Awarded Grant October 31, 2018
Union Volunteer Fire Company in Felton has been awarded $8,388 in grant money strategically directed at local firefighting forces in communities with fewer than 10,000 residents. The grant program, offered through DCNR and paid through federal grants from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service, has awarded more than $12.5 million since it began in 1982.
The funding is specifically for training and equipment purchases directly related to fighting brush and forest fires. Accordingly, grants may be used for purchasing mobile or portable radios, installing water supply equipment, wildfire prevention and mitigation work, training wildfire fighters, or converting and maintaining federal excess vehicles.
Students And Bus Drivers Honored October 31, 2018
In a recent ceremony at the governor's residence, Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) Deputy Secretary for Driver and Vehicle Services Kurt Myers joined other Pennsylvania school bus safety advocates to honor nine students for communicating important school bus safety messages and six school bus drivers for their superior driving skills.
The students, in kindergarten through eighth grade, were recognized for their winning entries in the 2018 School Bus Safety Poster Contest. They were chosen from 352 public and private school student entries. First-place entries earned the honor of being forwarded to a national competition. The theme for this year's contest - "My School Bus, The Safest Form of Student Transportation!" - reflects the commitment school bus drivers show daily to both parents and students.
Among the local honorees were Alivia Spitz, Reiffton School, Reading, first place for third- through fifth-graders; Sally Nguyen, Reiffton School, Reading, second place for third- through fifth-graders; Desteny Keiser, Upper Dauphin Area Middle School, Lykens, second place for sixth- through eighth-graders; and Emalie Brown, Upper Dauphin Area Middle School, Lykens, third place for sixth- through eighth-graders.
The school bus drivers received certificates and governor's citations for winning the 2018 Pennsylvania School Bus Driver Safety Competition, which was held in June and tested the drivers' knowledge of safety rules and safe operation of buses. Honorees included Shanon O'Brien, Chester County, Krapf Bus Companies, first place in the Conventional Bus category; Michael Webster, Lebanon County, Brightbill Transportation, first place in the Transit-Style Bus category; and Ruth Del Vecchio, Chester County, Krapf Bus Companies, second place in the Transit-Style Bus category.
Council Plans Public Meeting October 24, 2018
On May 7, Spring Grove Borough Council held a public meeting to discuss the future of the community building located at 50 N. East St., Spring Grove. The Borough Council executed a proposal from CORE Design to conduct a feasibility study of the building, which provided an analysis of the existing building by assessing the structural condition, utility and mechanical systems, ADA compliance, market-use analysis, and options for future use. In addition, a preliminary estimate of probable costs was provided. The options outlined in the study pose several financial alternatives for local residents.
The council invites residents and interested members of the public to attend the next meeting at 6 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 5, at the Spring Grove Borough Office, 1 Campus Drive, Spring Grove, to discuss and gather a consensus of the options outlined in the study.
For more information, readers may call the borough office at 717-225-5791.
Fire Company Receives Funds October 19, 2018
Campbelltown Volunteer Fire Company in Palmyra was recently granted $3,492 in new funding. The grant is part of $646,891 distributed throughout the state to help rural community volunteer fire companies guard against the threat of wildfires in the state's forests and other undeveloped areas.
The funds are to be used for training and equipment purchases directly related to fighting brush and forest fires. Grants may be used for purchasing mobile or portable radios, installing water supply equipment, preventing and mitigating wildfires, training wildfire fighters, or converting and maintaining federal excess vehicles.
Veterans Assistance Posted October 19, 2018
Rep. Ron Marsico will offer assistance for veterans on Thursday, Oct. 25, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at his office, located at 4401 Linglestown Road, Suite B, Harrisburg.
Marsico has teamed up with the director of Veterans Affairs for Dauphin County, Tony DiFrancesco, to offer assistance hours on a monthly basis. Walk-ins are welcome, or appointments may be made by calling 717-652-3721.
Some of the services that can be provided to veterans and their dependents include assistance with compensation, pension, death benefits, education and health care, as well as any issues pertaining to veterans' benefits. Veterans do not need to be members of any service organization to participate, and the services offered are not a duplication of the services provided at the county Veterans Affairs offices.
Commissioners Proclaim Hispanic Heritage Month October 18, 2018
The Chester County commissioners proclaimed Hispanic Heritage Month in Chester County at a recent public Sunshine Meeting. The commissioners also recognized the work of La Comunidad Hispana, presenting a check for $25,000 to LeeAnn Riloff, development director for the organization. The funds granted to La Comunidad are part of the county's annual appropriations to organizations and nonprofits. La Comunidad will use its funds to expand dental services provided to the increasing number of residents that the nonprofit serves.
The commissioners also announced the addition of Spanish translation to key web pages on the county's website, www.chesco.org. The commissioners plan to increase the number of pages offered in Spanish.
Pages that have been translated cover many of Chester County's Human Services departments, the health department, courts, prison, probation, parks, the Prothonotary's Office, the Register of Wills office, and services provided through the Treasurer's Office. The home page of provides a link to all web pages translated into Spanish, and on each page available for translation, an Español icon is displayed.
Miguel Alban provided the translation services for the county. According to the commissioners' proclamation for Hispanic Heritage Month, Latino-Hispanics are the largest ethnic minority group in the United States and the fastest growing minority community in Pennsylvania and in Chester County.
Voter Guides Are Available October 17, 2018
The League of Women Voters of Chester County has announced that a nonpartisan voter's guide for the upcoming general election on Tuesday, Nov. 6, can be found at www.vote411.org. Those who visit the site can enter their address to find their polling place, build their ballot with an online voter's guide, and more.
With the guide, voters may see the options on their ballot, compare candidates' positions side-by-side, and print out a "ballot" indicating their preferences as a reminder to take with them to the polls on Election Day. There is also information available about resources for military and overseas voters.
Paper copies of the nonpartisan voter's guide are available to view at all Chester County libraries and senior centers. For other locations, readers may call 610-644-5960.
Grove Schedules Citizens Forum October 17, 2018
State Rep. Seth Grove will hold a citizens forum at the Spring Grove Borough Building, 1 Campus Ave., on Thursday, Oct. 25, from 6 to 8 p.m. to discuss legislative priorities with residents. This is the last in a series of forums Grove is holding this fall.
Grove will give updates on state legislative issues. Residents are encouraged to ask questions and join in the dialogue.
Residents who are unable to attend the forum but have a question, concern or idea to discuss may call Grove's district office during normal business hours at 717-767-3947. Citizens also are invited to visit www.RepGrove.com or www.Facebook.com/RepSethGrove.
New Polling Place Locations Announced October 16, 2018
For the general election in Chester County on Tuesday, Nov. 6, new polling locations have been announced.
In Precinct 040/West Brandywine E-1, the polling location has been moved from Friendship Elementary School, 296 Reeceville Road, Coatesville, to North Brandywine Middle School, 256 Reeceville Road, Coatesville.
In Precinct 054/Caln 4, the polling location has been moved from Beaver Run Knoll, 631 Lancaster Court, Downingtown, to Downingtown Middle School, 115 Rock Raymond Road, Downingtown.
In Precinct 682/East Vincent 3, the polling location has been moved from East Vincent United Church of Christ, 282 Hill Church Road, Spring City, to the East Vincent Township Building, 262 Ridge Road, Spring City.
For more information, readers may visit http://chesco.org/292/Polling-Places.
Salvation Army Receives Grant October 16, 2018
A $750,000 grant was awarded to the Salvation Army of Eastern Pennsylvania and Delaware to support the Pathway of Hope initiative. This grant will cover program costs in York, Harrisburg, Lancaster, Reading, and Carlisle. It will also allow the Salvation Army to launch Pathway of Hope programs in Boyertown, Norristown, Pottstown, and Levittown starting in January 2019.
The Pathway of Hope initiative focuses on the long-term goal of self-sufficiency of impoverished families, intended to break the cycle of crisis and intergenerational poverty. Families who are motivated and committed to take the necessary steps to improve their lives will work with a Salvation Army case manager for social and spiritual support. They will also be connected with services for jobs, health, housing, child care, education, and legal services.
The Salvation Army of Eastern Pennsylvania and Delaware's Pathway of Hope initiative is currently assisting families in 17 communities throughout the two regions. To date, it has served 162 families, including 232 adults and 394 children.