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Daily Archives: October 9, 2018

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

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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

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

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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 Questions can be sent to

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

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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:


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


  • 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


  • 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


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


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


  • 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


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


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


  • Harmony Fire District, Harmony, $10,000


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


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


  • 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


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


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


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


  • 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


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


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


  • 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


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


  • Johnsonburg Fire Department, Johnsonburg, $3,061


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


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


  • 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


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


  • 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


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


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


  • 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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


  • Junction Fire Co., Lewistown, $875


  • 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


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


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


  • 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


  • 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


  • 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


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


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


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


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


  • 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


  • 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


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


  • 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


  • 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

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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

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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

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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

Wolf Administration Announces $8.4 Million in Safe Schools Targeted Grants

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Harrisburg, PA – Secretary of Education Pedro A. Rivera today announced that $8.4 million in competitive Safe Schools Targeted grants have been awarded to prevent and reduce violent incidents in schools, to purchase safety and security-related equipment, and to provide for the training and compensation of school resource and police officers.

“Parents and students deserve to have confidence that our classrooms are safe places for children and teachers,” said Governor Wolf. “This funding, along with the new $60 million we will invest through the School Safety and Security Committee, supports the joint efforts of schools, communities and the state to prevent violence and keep children safe.”

Today’s announcement follows the release in late August of the f​ull report from the Pennsylvania School Safety Task Force created by Governor Tom Wolf and the Auditor General Eugene DePasquale after the high school shooting in Parkland, Florida. The report includes detailed recommendations on how the state, community and school officials should work collaboratively with each other and with students and families to use all the tools at their disposal to prevent school-based violence from occurring.

The Safe Schools Targeted Grant program assists schools in:

  • Reducing unnecessary student disciplinary actions and promoting an environment of greater productivity, safety and learning; and
  • Enhancing anti-violence efforts between schools and parents, local governments, law enforcement and community organizations.

“Parents must feel safe sending their kids to school, and students deserve a safe and healthy environment where they can grow, learn and succeed,” said Secretary Rivera. “This targeted funding helps schools secure the resources they need to provide a safe environment and builds on the Wolf Administration’s commitment to students and teachers across the commonwealth.”

Secretary Rivera noted that $1.04 million has been awarded to 60 public school entities to establish and implement programs to prevent and reduce violent incidents. Applicants were eligible to receive up to $20,000 to fund programs.

Another $1.04 million was awarded to 46 public school entities to procure security/safety-related equipment. Applicants were eligible to receive up to $25,000. Security-related equipment includes student, staff and visitor identification systems; metal detectors; protective lighting; surveillance equipment; special emergency communications equipment; electronic locksets; deadbolts and theft control devices; and training in the use of the security-related technology.

To provide funding for the training and compensation of school resource officers (SRO), $3.3 million was awarded to 75 school entities, municipalities and police departments. SROs are law enforcement officers from local, county or state law enforcement agencies assigned to schools in cooperative agreements with education officials. Applicants were eligible for a maximum individual grant of $60,000.

An additional 88 school entities received $3 million for the training and compensation of school police officers (SPO), who are employed directly by the school districts. Applicants were eligible for a maximum individual grant of $40,000.

For a list of awardees and their award amounts, visit the Office of Safe Schools webpage on the Pennsylvania Department of Education’s website​.

PDE’s program is separate from the new $60 million School Safety and Security Grant program created this year and administered by the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency (PCCD). The deadline for schools to apply for these PCCD grants is Oct. 12. For more information about the program, please visit the PCCD website or contact


Farmers and Small Businesses Encouraged to Seek Grants to Reduce Pollution and Save Money

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Harrisburg, PA – Grant funding for energy efficiency and pollution prevention projects for small business owners and farmers is still available from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) through the Small Business Advantage Grant program.

“This grant was created with small businesses and farmers in mind. There are tremendous monetary savings available to Pennsylvania’s small business entrepreneurs by installing energy efficient equipment, such as LED lighting, and Energy Star rated HVAC and boilers,” said Secretary Patrick McDonnell. “Pennsylvania farmers can also benefit from this grant by receiving support for undertaking projects to help them divert sediment and nutrient runoff from our waterways.”
“The Small Business Advantage grants are a tremendous opportunity for farmers to continue their stewardship of the land,” said Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding. “Better soil retention, cleaner water, and a healthier environment benefit all Pennsylvanians, and I encourage farmers to take a look at their own operations to see where one of these grants could help out.”
Pennsylvania-based small business owners with 100 or fewer full-time employees are eligible for the grants. Projects must save the business a minimum of $500 and 25 percent annually in energy consumption, or pollution related expenses. Natural resource protection projects are exempt from the minimums, however the projects must be able to quantify sediment and nutrient reductions into nearby waterways.
Businesses can apply for 50 percent matching funds for equipment or materials, up to $9,500, when adopting energy-efficient or pollution prevention equipment or processes. Applications are considered on a first come, first served basis, and will be accepted until fiscal year 2018-19 funds are exhausted, or April 12, 2019, whichever occurs first.
The complete grant application package, which includes step-by-step instructions for completing the online application as well as all related forms, is available by visiting the DEP Small Business Ombudsman’s Office website.

Wolf Administration Tours Wyoming County Farms that are Helping to Protect Clean Water in Pennsylvania

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Wilkes-Barre, PA – Two Wyoming County farms are showing how agriculture and conservation can work hand-in-hand to prevent pollution from flowing into the Susquehanna River. On a tour of the farms today, Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Secretary Patrick McDonnell saw the benefits of one farm switching to an all-organic operation and the other utilizing stream-bank fencing to protect wetlands.

The Henningstead Holstein Farm in Mehoopany switched to an organic operation in 2011, beginning with organically growing the grain used by the farm to feed the animals. The farm, which houses 50 cows and 30 younger stock, relies mainly on compost for fertilizer. The farm is also a “no-till” operation that preserves the soil and limits its chances of becoming part of runoff pollution. Last year, the Henningstead Holstein Farm built a roofed manure storage facility using a grant from DEP and private donations.
“DEP partners with local farmers to promote best-management practices that will ultimately benefit the farm”, said Secretary McDonnell. “This type of operation not only protects and preserves the soil on the farm, it also protects local waterways that feed into the Susquehanna River.”
Over the years the farmers have reduced runoff from the farm in several different ways:
• In the 1960s, the owners began installing drain tile and diversion ditches in crop fields to control runoff.
• In the 1980s, they began installing contour strips and practicing no-till planting.
• In 2000, with the help of the DEP Chesapeake Bay program, they installed a concrete barnyard, manure storage, and milk house waste system.
Secretary McDonnell also toured a stream bank fencing project on the nearby Faux Family farm. The fencing protects a large wetland on the property that has a stream running through it. The fencing helps prevent polluted runoff which would contain nitrogen and phosphates from animal manure from entering the water.
“Stream bank fencing is an important tool that farmers can use to protect water resources on their properties,” said Secretary McDonnell. “When local waterways are preserved, the river and ultimately the Bay are protected from runoff.”
Since 1995, the DEP Stream Bank Fencing program has protected 613.75 acres from the impacts of 6,047 animals. There have been more than 59 miles of fence built along with numerous crossings, ramps, and water troughs in the DEP Northeast Region.

Wolf Administration Celebrates Groundbreaking of State-Funded Affordable Housing for Seniors and Veterans in Northumberland County

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Mount Carmel, PA – Today, Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) Secretary Dennis Davin was joined by local officials and community leaders in breaking ground on a block of affordable senior housing with a preference for veterans in Mount Carmel Borough, Northumberland County.

“This project is the result of the coordination of several partners committed to making Northumberland County a better place to live,” said Secretary Davin. “We’re proud to be a part of this partnership as we work together to improve the quality of life for members of the Mount Carmel community and promote housing for those who need it most – seniors and veterans with low incomes.”

The housing project at 310 W. Seventh St., Mount Carmel, makes use of a long-vacant lot on a street that has been targeted as a community gateway corridor. When complete, the project will consist of five one-bedroom, one-story garden apartments designed specifically to meet the mobility needs of seniors. The project is being supported by DCED through the HOME and Community Block Development Grant programs.

“I want to extend our sincerest thanks to the entire team of our community partners and elected officials that have helped bring this project to fruition,” said Edward P. Christiano, executive director of the Housing Authority of Northumberland County. “We are so very thankful to the entire team at DCED, PHFA, and the Northumberland County Commissioners for providing the necessary funding. The funds are critical to helping us serve the community, especially our senior citizens and veterans. We are very appreciative for the grant award and to be working with these agencies on this important project.”

The Mount Carmel Borough housing project will be similar in design to Phoenix Court, a project completed last year in Atlas. As with the Mount Carmel Borough project, Phoenix Court brought the Housing Authority of Northumberland County together with local officials to build up the local supply of quality, affordable housing for seniors. This new project will place a strong emphasis on housing for senior military veterans with low incomes.

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