LanChesterLocal Weather Alerts
There are currently no active weather alerts.

CALN TOWNSHIP SET FOR $525,000 WATER MAIN UPGRADE

Published by:

COATESVILLE, PA  – Pennsylvania American Water today announced the start of construction to install new water main in Caln Township to improve service reliability and prevent water outages. The project cost is approximately $525,000 and will replace outdated pipe dating back to the 1940s.

Starting this week, the company will install nearly 3,500 feet of new eight-inch ductile iron along Reed Street between 17th Avenue and 13th Avenue, and along 13th Avenue between Reed Street and West Chester Road. Crews expect to complete the water main installation, testing and disinfection, and connecting customers’ service lines to the new main by early December, weather permitting. Final street paving restoration is scheduled for next spring.

Crews will work weekdays between 7 a.m. and 4 p.m. Traffic restrictions will be in place during construction, and motorists are urged to give themselves extra time and exercise caution when traveling through the work zone. During construction, customers might experience temporary water service interruptions, discolored water and/or lower than normal water pressure.

Time Running Out to Pass Telemedicine Bill

Published by:

Andrea Sears

HARRISBURG, Pa. – With the state legislative session coming to a close, advocates are still hoping a bill that would expand options for Pennsylvanians to get health care will get a final vote.

Senate Bill 780 would require insurance companies to offer coverage for telemedicine services provided by phone, email or over the Internet at rates comparable to in-person office visits.

The bill easily cleared the state Senate in June, but the House has yet to vote on the measure.

Thirty-eight other states have similar requirements.

According to Bill Johnston-Walsh, state director of AARP Pennsylvania, it would be extremely beneficial to those who may have to travel an hour or more to see a doctor or specialist.

“Telemedicine has the potential to improve access to both health care and home and community-based services, and it will increase the choice of providers especially in rural areas,” he stresses.

SB 780 has the support of 45 groups including organizations representing Pennsylvania doctors and hospitals. But it is opposed by insurance companies.

Johnston-Walsh says by making health care more accessible, telemedicine could benefit health and save money.

“We believe and hospitals believe and doctors believe that this is better for patients because we will be able to catch things sooner, the costs will be lower and we’ll be able to treat people at a much earlier stage in their sickness,” he states.

Johnston-Walsh says telemedicine would help both consumers and insurers keep up with technological advances in health care.

But he notes time is running out. The House is scheduled to meet for only four more days before the session ends on Nov. 13.

“We’re hoping that it will pass within the next day or two,” he states. “There’s only several more legislative days left before they leave for the year. This bill is very important and it has to be voted on right now.”

PA State Special-Ed Funding Falls Far Behind Need

Published by:

Andrea Sears

PHILADELPHIA – Local school districts are picking up more and more of the costs of special education as state funding lags, according to a new report.

On average, the Education Law Center report said, the share of special-education funding that comes from local districts grew by 9 percent over eight years. For 53 of the state’s 500 districts, the increase was 20 percent or more.

Reynelle Brown Staley, policy attorney at the center, said the gap has been growing because the cost of special education has increased at a rate of about 5 percent every year.

“But state funding is increasing at roughly 1 percent per year,” she said, “and it’s simply not enough to meet the gap between what districts need and what students need to get the educational services that they are entitled to.”

Staley said now is the time for the state’s Special Education Funding Commission to review the funding system and demand prompt action from the Legislature.

Total spending for special education has grown by more than $1.5 billion since 2009, but state funding increased by only $72 million. Staley pointed out that when state and federal funds fall short, local districts need to make up the difference.

“They’re needing to look elsewhere in their budgets for funding, to raise taxes,” she said, “and in some cases, they’re having to cut services because there simply isn’t enough funding coming from the state.”

Local districts now put in almost $20 for every $1 in increased special-education funding that comes from the state.

A study eight years ago found a $2,000 gap between per-pupil spending and student needs. Staley said simply returning to that state funding level now would require spending increases of at least $100 million a year over several years.

“But we know, based on that 2009 costing-out study, that showed that districts were significantly underfunding special education, that the state needs to do even more than that to actually meet the needs of students with disabilities,” she said.

Staley said the special-education funding needs don’t even include an estimated $3 billion gap in basic education funding.

The study is online at elc-pa.org.

Pittsburgh Security Officers Win $15/Hour Contract

Published by:

Andrea Sears

PITTSBURGH – Security officers in Pittsburgh are celebrating a new contract that, for many, almost doubles the pay and benefits they were getting just a few years ago.

The agreement, announced in Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto’s conference room on Tuesday, covers more than 1,100 workers who protect most of the city’s iconic buildings, museums and universities.

Just three years ago, when they negotiated their first contract, said Sam Williamson, Western Pennsylvania district director for Local 32BJ of the Service Employees International Union, some of these workers were making $8.50 an hour and had no employer-funded health insurance.

Now, their jobs include insurance, he said, and they’re moving toward a living wage.

“There’ll be continued significant wage increases that will raise the base or starting pay to $14.20 an hour over the course of the contract,” said Williamson, “and the average pay will be a little over $15 an hour by the end of the agreement.”

He said those raises will bring an additional $7 million over four years into low-income households in neighborhoods across Pittsburgh.

While politicians have claimed the economy has recovered from the devastation of the Great Recession, economists said most of the gains have gone to the top 1 percent of earners. Williamson pointed out that for the vast majority of Americans, wages and income have stagnated.

“Income inequality has continued to widen,” he said, “and the only exception to that is where workers are able to organize into unions and bargain collectively for the kinds of wage increases that they actually deserve.”

Williamson said many security workers still report having trouble affording food and difficulty paying monthly utility bills. He said the new contract will be a big step in turning that around.

“Between those wage investments, continued investment in health care that will make sure that people have access to really good-quality health insurance, and the introduction of paid sick days,” he said, “this agreement makes a huge improvement in over 1,000 Pittsburghers’ lives.”

32BJ SEIU is the largest union for security officers in the country.

Planting the Seed: Farm City Day Gives More Than 1,500 Elementary Students Hands-on Experience with Agriculture Careers

Published by:

Harrisburg, PA – Secretary of Agriculture Russell Redding joined more than 1,500 mid-state elementary students during Farm City Day at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex and Expo Center. During the event, students got an up-close experience with 21st century agriculture careers from crop and soil research using drones to animal nutrition and veterinary medicine.

“When these students finish school, Pennsylvania will have more than 75,000 jobs waiting for them in agriculture and the food industry,” said Redding. “One of the Wolf administration’s goals is to introduce students early in their education to the wide range of career opportunities in agriculture. Farm City Day is an important opportunity to stimulate students’ imaginations and broaden their sense of possibility for how their classroom lessons in science, technology, engineering and math can translate into real-world work in settings that appeal to them.”

Farm City Day drew students from schools in Berks, Cumberland, Dauphin, Lancaster, Lebanon and York counties to explore careers in science, technology, engineering and math, and the many other options available in agriculture. Held during the Keystone International Livestock Expo, students are exposed not only to exhibits demonstrating plant and insect science, technology and veterinary medicine, but also to working farmers caring for their livestock.

Participating schools included:

  • Berks County: Conrad Weiser Elementary
  • Cumberland County: Bellaire Elementary, Hoover Elementary School, Mooreland Elementary, North Dickinson Elementary, St. Joseph’s, and St. Theresa’s
  • Dauphin County: Ben Franklin Elementary, Camp Curtin Elementary, E.H. Phillips Elementary, Premier Arts & Science Charter, Rutherford Elementary, Scott School, South Hanover Elementary, St. Stephen’s Episcopal; Sylvan Heights Charter School, and Tri-Community Elementary
  • Lancaster County: Lafayette Elementary, and Thomas Wharton Elementary
  • Lebanon County: New Covenant Christian School
  • York County: AD Goode Elementary

Earlier this year, the Pennsylvania Department of Education launched the Planting the Seed initiative, which aims to engage and educate the next generation about the many education and career opportunities available in Pennsylvania agriculture. This year the departments of Agriculture and Education also created the Commission for Agricultural Education Excellence, a commission charged with assisting in the development of a statewide plan for agricultural education.

Over the past three years, the Wolf Administration has invested more than $50 million in agriculture-related economic development projects; increased support for workforce development and agricultural education to help prepare students and workers for the thousands of anticipated job openings in the industry over the next decade; and signed historic legislation that has created new markets for farmers and lowered their tax burdens. The administration is also working to expand broadband access to hundreds of thousands of Pennsylvanians, creating jobs and improving infrastructure statewide, especially in rural communities.

For more information about the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture’s programs and services, or to learn more about the Planting the Seed initiative, visit agriculture.pa.gov.

PA Ag Department to Businesses: Train Employees, Permit Vehicles to Ensure Uninterrupted Commerce with NY

Published by:

Harrisburg, PA – On the heels of New York announcing last week that it will ramp up actions to protect itself from the Spotted Lanternfly, the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture is encouraging businesses operating within the commonwealth’s 13-county quarantine zone to train employees on how to identify and eradicate the invasive pest so as to not spread it inadvertently.

Last week, New York’s Department of Agriculture and Markets announced that businesses working in Pennsylvania’s quarantine area and moving products into New York without a permit may be issued a notice of rejection. Companies that receive three notices of rejection may be denied entry into New York. New York officials – as well as officials in neighboring New Jersey – have said they will honor Spotted Lanternfly permits issued to businesses by the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture.

The commonwealth has partnered with the Penn State Cooperative Extension to offer a training program that, upon successful completion, conveys a permit for businesses in order to comply with state quarantine orders to ensure shipments are not rejected at the border.

“When a business is moving in and out of the quarantine zone, whether transporting people or commodities, there is an increased risk of spreading Spotted Lanternfly,” said Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding. “By obtaining a permit, businesses signal that they’re committed to protecting Pennsylvania’s trade and commerce.”

New York’s quarantine restricts movement of regulated articles originating from or moved through a quarantine area for Spotted Lanternfly and into their state, unless the regulated article (which may include items stored outside, plants, green lumber, mulch, and other items):

  • is accompanied by a certificate of inspection;
  • has been loaded, handled, or shipped in a manner reasonably designated to prevent it from becoming infested with or harboring Spotted Lanternfly; and
  • is accompanied by a waybill that sets forth its point of origin and intended destination.

Business owners, supervisors, or designated company representatives may take the permit training and exam at extension.psu.edu/spotted-lanternfly. Questions can be sent to slfpermit@pa.gov.

Wolf Administration Announces New Investments for Volunteer Fire Companies Fighting Wildfires Across Pennsylvania

Published by:

 

Middletown, PA – In recognition of Fire Prevention Week and the service and sacrifice of volunteer firefighters throughout Pennsylvania, the Wolf Administration announced $646,891 in new funding to help rural communities guard against the threat of wildfires in the state’s forests and other undeveloped areas.

“Firefighters, ordinary women and men all across Pennsylvania, are tasked with the greatest responsibility that can be given to a public organization – the safety and well-being of a community,” Governor Tom Wolf said. “I am pleased that these grants can help so many communities’ volunteer fire companies in their brave work.”

“Across the state, these funds will benefit 132 volunteer fire companies serving rural areas and communities where forest and brush fires are common,” Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn said. “To appreciate the value of well-equipped and highly trained wildfire fighters, one only has to look outside Pennsylvania to the horrific fires that sometimes plague other states.”

Speaking to community volunteer and Bureau of Forestry firefighters gathered at Lower Swatara Fire Department headquarters, acting state Fire Commissioner Bruce Trego praised their service to communities close to home – and many others far beyond Pennsylvania’s borders.

“The dangers associated with wildfires continue to pose a growing threat to our state’s forests and rural communities,” Trego said. “Grant programs like these are vital tools for state government to ensure volunteer firefighters get the equipment and the training they need to perform their jobs as professionally and safely as possible.”

In 2017, more than $592,000 was awarded to 129 volunteer fire companies. 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 readiness of these men and women is demonstrated every spring and summer when they answer assistance calls coming from other states, while also responding regularly to local woodland and brush fires,” Dunn said. “These grants allow firefighters from smaller companies to concentrate more on public safety and training while easing their fiscal constraints.”

Recently approved grants include:

Adams

  • Gettysburg Fire Department Inc., Gettysburg, $6,458

Allegheny

  • Dravosburg Volunteer Fire Department No. 1, Dravosburg, $2,775
  • Elizabeth Volunteer Fire Co., Elizabeth, $10,000
  • Imperial Volunteer Fire Department, Imperia, $7,500
  • Reserve Volunteer Fire Department, Pittsburgh, $5,500

Armstrong

  • Dayton District Volunteer Fire Co., Dayton, $10,000
  • Distant Area Volunteer Fire Department, New Bethlehem, $10,000
  • Ford Cliff Volunteer Fire Co. Inc., Ford City, $600
  • Hose Company No. 6, Kittanning, Kittanning, $3,471

Bedford

  • Imler Area Volunteer Fire Co., Imler, $6,410

Berks

  • Community Fire Co. Of Seisholtzville, Hereford, $3,765
  • Strausstown Volunteer Fire Co., No. 1, Strausstown, $7,900

Blair

  • Friendship Fire Co. Number 1 Inc., Roaring Spring, $2,585
  • Pinecroft Volunteer Fire Co., Altoona, $1,360
  • Sinking Valley Volunteer Fire Co., Altoona, $2,132

Bradford

  • Windham Township Volunteer Fire Co., Rome, $6,975

Bucks

  • Springtown Community Volunteer Fire Co. 1, Springtown, $3,862

Butler

  • Harmony Fire District, Harmony, $10,000

Cambria

  • Dale Boro Fire Co., Johnstown, $1,000; Dauntless Fire Co., Ebensburg, $7,150

Carbon

  • Franklin Township Volunteer Fire Co. No. 1, Lehighton, $10,000

Centre

  • Citizens Hook & Ladder Co. No. 1, Milesburg, $2,202
  • Gregg Township Fire Co. No. 1, Spring Mills, $810
  • Miles Township Fire Co., Rebersburg, $7,500
  • Pleasant Gap Fire Co. No. 1, Bellefonte, $10,000
  • Reliance Volunteer Fire Co., Philipsburg, $3,248
  • Walker Township Volunteer Fire Co., Mingoville, $1,550

Chester

  • Berwyn Fire Co. & Ambulance, Berwyn, $4,500

Clarion

  • East Brady Volunteer Fire Department, East Brady, $1,983

Clearfield

  • Columbia Volunteer Fire Co., Osceola Mills, $2,000
  • North Point Volunteer Fire Co., DuBois, $7,400
  • Westover Area Volunteer Fire Co., Westover, $10,000

Clinton

  • Dunnstown Fire Co., Lock Haven, $1,250
  • Nittany Valley Volunteer Fire Co., Lamar, $500
  • Renovo Fire Department, Renovo, $9,181
  • Volunteer Fire Co. of Mill Hall, Mill Hall, $3,000
  • Woolrich Volunteer Fire Co., Lock Haven, $5,547

Columbia

  • Espy Fire Co., Bloomsburg, $10,000
  • Mifflin Township Forest Rangers & Fire Co. 1, Mifflinville, $2,692
  • Valley Chemical Fire Co., Numidia, $3,047

Crawford

  • Fellows Club VFD & Ambulance Service, Conneautville, $7,524
  • Townville Volunteer Fire Department, Townville, $5,000

Cumberland

  • Cumberland Valley Hose Co. No. 2, Shippensburg, $5,000
  • Friendship Hose Co. 1 Inc., Newville, $10,000
  • South Newton Township Volunteer Fire Co., Walnut Bottom, $5,597
  • Vigilant Hose Co. No. 1, Shippensburg, $1,110

Delaware

  • Edgemont Township Fire Co. No. 1, Gradyville, $5,815

Elk

  • Johnsonburg Fire Department, Johnsonburg, $3,061

Erie

  • Union City Volunteer Fire Co., Union City, $3,000

Fayette

  • Brownsville Fire Co. No. 1, Brownsville, $7,500
  • Hiller Volunteer Fire Co., Hiller, $3,000

Franklin

  • Fannett Metal Fire & Ambulance Co., Dry Run, $1,048
  • Mont Alto Volunteer Fire Co., Mont Alto, $4,500
  • Pleasant Hall Volunteer Fire Co., Pleasant Hall, $2,250
  • St. Thomas Township Volunteer Fire and Rescue Company Inc., Saint Thomas, $2,500

Huntingdon

  • Mapleton Fire Department Inc., Mapleton Depot, $10,000
  • Smithfield Township Volunteer Fire Co. No. 1, Huntingdon, $4,325

Indiana

  • Clyde Volunteer Fire Department, New Florence, $923
  • Clymer Volunteer Fire Co. No. 1, Clymer, $6,254
  • Glen Campbell Volunteer Fire Co., Glen Campbell, $8,000
  • Iselin Volunteer Fire Co., Saltsburg, 2,500
  • Marion Center Volunteer Fire Department, Marion Center, $2,894
  • Plumville District Volunteer Fire Department Inc., Plumville, $2,592

Jefferson

  • Oliver Township Volunteer Fire Co., Coolspring, $3,935

Juniata

  • Beale Township Fire Department, Port Royal, $1,927
  • Richfield Fire Co., Richfield, $3,188

Lackawanna

  • Black Diamond Hose Co. No. 2, Archbald, $4,000
  • Spring Brook Volunteer Fire Co. Inc., Moscow, $10,000
  • Thornhurst Volunteer Fire & Rescue Co., Thornhurst, $3,781

Lancaster

  • Adamstown Fire Co., Adamstown, $1,145

Lebanon

  • Campbelltown Volunteer Fire Co., Palmyra, $3,492

Lehigh

  • Community Fire Co. No. 1 Of North Whitehall Township, Schnecksville, $5,274

Luzerne

  • Harding Fire Co., Harding, $2,868
  • Hobbie Volunteer Fire Co. No. 1, Wapwallopen, $4,208

Lycoming

  • Duboistown Fire Department, Williamsport, $5,000
  • Eldred Township Volunteer Fire Co., Montoursville, $6,500
  • Picture Rocks Volunteer Fire Co., Picture Rocks, $3,565

McKean

  • Bradford Township Volunteer Fire Department, Bradford, $9,134

McKean

  • Hamlin Township Volunteer Fire Department, Hazel Hurst, $1,083

Mercer

  • Stoneboro Volunteer Fire Co., Stoneboro, $6,000

Mifflin

  • Junction Fire Co., Lewistown, $875

Northampton

  • Bath Volunteer Fire Fighters & Ambulance Corps Inc., Bath, $1,428
  • Klecknersville Rangers Volunteer Fire Co., Bath, $5,000
  • Lehigh Township Volunteer Fire Co. 1, Cherryville, $10,000
  • Southeastern Volunteer Fire Co., Hellertown, $10,000

Northumberland

  • East Cameron Township Fire Co., Shamokin $1,471
  • Lower Augusta Volunteer Fire Department, Sunbury, $5,000
  • Stonington Volunteer Fire Co., Sunbury, $10,000

Perry

  • Marysville Fire Co., Marysville, $10,000

Pike

  • Central Volunteer Fire Department, Rowland, $1,600
  • Forest Volunteer Fire Department, Hawley, $3,500
  • Hemlock Farms Volunteer Fire & Rescue Co., Lords Valley, $3,141
  • Lackawaxen Township Volunteer Fire Department, Lackawaxen, $3,500
  • Shohola Township Volunteer Fire & Rescue Inc., Shohola, $4,936

Potter

  • Coudersport Volunteer Fire Department, Coudersport, $3,350
  • Kettle Creek Hose Co. No. 1 Volunteer Fire Co., Cross Fork, $7,045
  • Shinglehouse Volunteer Fire Department, Shinglehouse, $3,750

Schuylkill

  • Hegins Valley Fire Rescue, Hegins, $10,000
  • Mahantongo Valley Fire Co., Pitman, $7,800
  • New England Fire Co. No. 1, Tamaqua, $2,600
  • South Ward Fire Co. Inc., Tamaqua, $10,000
  • Weiser Wildland Firefighters Inc., Pine Grove, $10,000

Somerset

  • Garrett Volunteer Fire Co., Garrett, $1,980

Susquehanna

  • Rush Volunteer Fire Department Inc., Lawton, $2,400

Union

  • Mifflinburg Hose Co. 1, Mifflinburg, $5,000

Venango

  • Cooperstown Volunteer Fire Department, Cooperstown $1,525
  • Cornplanter Volunteer Fire Co., Oil City, $3,000
  • Emlenton Volunteer Firemans Association, Emlenton, $3,500

Warren

  • Columbus Volunteer Fire Department, Columbus, $4,500
  • Glade Township Volunteer Fire Department, Warren, $2,517
  • Russell Volunteer Fire Department Inc., Warren, $10,000
  • Spring Creek Township Volunteer Fire Department, Spring Creek, $2,000

Washington

  • Amwell Township Volunteer Fire Department, Amity $2,600
  • Volunteer Fire Department of Carroll Township, Monongahela, $10,000
  • Cokeburg Volunteer Fire Co., Cokeburg, $10,000
  • Elrama Volunteer Fire Co., Elrama, $2,500
  • Lone Pine Volunteer Fire Department, Washington, $4,005
  • Marianna Volunteer Fire Co., Marianna, $6,129
  • Stockdale Volunteer Fire Department, Stockdale, $10,000

Wayne

  • Equinunk Volunteer Fire Co., Equinunk, $10,000
  • Greene Dreher Volunteer Fire Association, Newfoundland, $2,049
  • Pleasant Mount Emergency Services Inc., Pleasant Mount, $2,410

Westmoreland

  • Chestnut Ridge Community Volunteer Fire Co., Stahlstown, $8,081
  • Claridge Volunteer Fire Department, Claridge, $2,331
  • Crabtree Volunteer Fire Department, Crabtree, $924
  • Export Volunteer Fire Department, Export, $7,279
  • Manor Volunteer Fire Department, Manor, $3,387
  • Turkeytown Volunteer Fire Co., West Newton, $1,126

York

  • Citizens Hose Co. No. 1 of Dillsburg, Dillsburg, $3,152
  • Southern York County Forest Fire Crew Inc., Glen Rock, $4,460
  • Union Volunteer Fire Co., Felton $8,388
  • Wellsville Fire Co., Wellsville $4,458

Local firefighting forces in communities with fewer than 10,000 residents qualify for the aid, which is 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; wildfire prevention and mitigation work; training wildfire fighters; or converting and maintaining federal excess vehicles.

The key objective is to better equip and train volunteers to save lives and protect property in unprotected or inadequately protected rural areas. Grant recipients are selected based on vulnerability and adequacy of existing fire protection.

Aid is granted on a cost-share basis, with recipients supplying matching funds. Grants for any project during a fiscal year cannot exceed 50 percent of the actual expenditures of local, public and private nonprofit organizations in the agreement. The maximum grant awarded any fire company in 2018 was $10,000.

Wolf Administration Announces New State Investment in Two City Parks in Reading

Published by:

Harrisburg, PA – The Wolf Administration today announced new grant funding to rehabilitate two park sites in the City of Reading: Baer Park and the 6th and Amity Street Playground.

An investment of $300,000 will help the city link natural resources to community revitalization and improve well-being for residents by revitalizing recreation opportunities in the city.

“Local parks improve the everyday lives of people of all places, ages, and backgrounds, while serving as a primary venue for outdoor recreation for Pennsylvanians,” Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn said. “We are happy to assist Reading by investing in new basketball courts and spray pad areas for summer fun at Baer Park and the Sixth and Amity Streets Playground.”

Baer Park is 9 acres in northwest Reading that is a center of community activity housing a lighted baseball field, tennis courts, a playground, and a concession stand. The grant will fund the renovation of a basketball court, construction of a spray pad water feature, and new walkways.

Work at the Sixth and Amity Streets Playground will include renovation of a basketball court, construction of a spray pad, new playground equipment, and walkways.

The source of funding for the grant is the Keystone Fund, which is currently celebrating 25 years of supporting thousands of community improvements in Pennsylvania.

In Pennsylvania, outdoor recreation generates $29.1 billion in consumer spending, $1.9 billion in state and local tax revenue, $8.6 billion in wages and salaries, and sustains 251,000 direct Pennsylvania jobs.

Wolf Administration Announces Public Electric Car Charging Stations Coming to State Parks, Forests Throughout Pennsylvania

Published by:

Patton, PA – Today, Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn joined Bureau of State Parks officials in dedicating an electric car charging station at Prince Gallitzin State Park. The event at the Cambria County park signaled the department’s future commitment to similar installations at more than 40 state parks and forests throughout the state to help reduce greenhouse gases, lessens smog, and improve air quality statewide.

“Our state parks and forests will emerge as key to helping increase the network of publicly available charging stations in the Pennsylvania,” Dunn said. “We know thousands of state residents own electric or plug-in hybrid vehicles. We also know many parks and forest destinations are in remote locations, and the ability to travel to and from them in electric vehicles has been limited by charging availability.

“With DCNR’s plans to install 40 new charging stations across our system, visitors will be able to re-energize both themselves, and their batteries during their visits.”

The charging station at Prince Gallitzin is the second to be installed in the state parks system. Another was installed at Kinzua Bridge, McKean County, a focal point of the Pennsylvania Wilds. Installation of other charging stations, capable of fully charging vehicles in 2.5 to 7 hours, is expected by 2020.

Electric car charging stations will be installed at the following locations:

  • Beaver County: Raccoon Creek State Park
  • Bedford County: Shawnee State Park
  • Berks County: French Creek State Park, Nolde Forest Environmental Education Center
  • Bucks County: Delaware Canal State Park, Nockamixon State Park
  • Butler County: Jennings Environmental Education Center, Moraine State Park
  • Carbon County: Hickory Run State Park
  • Centre County: Black Moshannon State Park, Bald Eagle State Park
  • Chester County: Marsh Creek State Park
  • Clarion County: Cook Forest State Park
  • Crawford County: Pymatuning State Park
  • Cumberland County: Pine Grove Furnace State Park, Colonel Denning State Park; Kings Gap Environmental Education Center
  • Delaware County: Ridley Creek State Park
  • Elk County: Elk Country Visitor Center
  • Erie County: Presque Isle State Park
  • Fayette County, Ohiopyle State Park
  • Franklin County: Caledonia State Park
  • Fulton County: Cowans Gap State Park
  • Huntingdon County: Greenwood Furnace State Park
  • Lackawanna County: Lackawanna State Park
  • Lawrence County: McConnells Mill State Park
  • Luzerne County: Ricketts Glen State Park
  • Lycoming County: Tiadaghton State Forest District, Pine Creek Trail
  • Montgomery County: Washington Crossing State Park
  • Perry County: Little Buffalo State Park
  • Pike County: Promised Land State Park
  • Potter County: Pennsylvania Lumber Museum, Cherry Springs State Park
  • Schuylkill County: Weiser State Forest District Resource Management Center
  • Sullivan County: Worlds End State Park
  • Tioga County: Leonard Harrison State Park; Tioga State Forest District, Pine Creek Trail
  • Venango County: Oil Creek State Park
  • Westmoreland County: Keystone State Park
  • York County: Codorus State Park, Gifford Pinchot State Park

Dunn’s visit to Prince Gallitzin State Park closed a three-stop “Sustainability Tour” by the secretary to announce DCNR’s extensive, long-term investment in energy conservation at state parks. Speaking Wednesday at Ohiopyle State Park in Fayette County, she announced energy conservation investments designed to save $7.5 million over 20 years. Appearing Thursday at Moraine State Park, Butler County, the secretary dedicated a solar panel system that will power the park’s sewage treatment system.

DCNR oversees more than 4,500 buildings in its parks system, more than a hundred wastewater treatment facilities, and thousands of vehicles, and spends millions of dollars a year in electricity.

As the state’s leading conservation agency, DCNR strives to follow practices that conserve and sustain natural resources. Through its green and sustainable initiative, DCNR exemplifies best practices through its buildings, vehicle fleet, purchases, land management and business operations.

For more information on Pennsylvania’s 121 state parks and 20 state forest districts, visit the DCNR website.

State Education Department Awarded $1.75 Million Grant to Serve Students Who are Deaf and Blind

Published by:

Harrisburg, PA – Education Secretary Pedro A. Rivera announced today that Pennsylvania will receive a $1.75 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education to better serve children and youth who are deaf and blind.

“Students who are deaf and blind are a diverse group of learners who live in communities of all sizes across the commonwealth,” Secretary Rivera said. “These students’ needs are varied, and complex and require highly specialized instruction, materials, and resources that will support their continued success.”

“This funding will provide resources to schools, educators, and families to help them provide equitable instruction to students who are deaf-blind.”

Pennsylvania currently educates 602 deaf and blind students, who are ages birth to 21 years-old. These students exhibit varying degrees of hearing and vision loss, which are often complicated by other disabilities.

The Pennsylvania Department of Education’s (PDE) Bureau of Special Education applied for the federal funds to implement the Pennsylvania Deaf-Blind Project, which aims to establish a system of technical assistance and resources to support schools, educators and families of deaf-blind students.

The project is designed to address the complex needs of educators and families through a multi-tiered system of assistance, including:

  • Implementing a regional model using the state’s intermediate units to establish deaf-blind resource teams,
  • Providing qualified paraprofessionals and interveners with training geared toward addressing needs to deaf-blind students, and
  • Facilitating family participation and engagement strategies to connect them with state and national resources.

The project will also evaluate education and employment outcomes for students who are deaf-blind.

For more information about Pennsylvania’s education policies and programs please visit the Department of Education’s website at www.education.pa.gov