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Daily Archives: January 31, 2019

State Fire Commissioner Offers Tips to Stay Warm and ‘Be Fire-Safe’ During Deep Freeze

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Harrisburg, PA – During the current stretch of extreme cold weather, Pennsylvania State Fire Commissioner Bruce Trego is offering tips for Pennsylvanians to stay warm while being ‘fire-safe,” and reminding Pennsylvanians of available help for home heating bills via the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).

Heating equipment is a leading cause of fires in U.S. homes. According to nationwide numbers from the National Fire Protection Association, local fire departments responded to an estimated average of 52,050 fires involving heating equipment each year from 2012 through 2016, accounting for 15 percent of all reported home fires. These fires resulted in 490 civilian deaths, 1,400 civilian injuries, and $1 billion in direct property damage each year.

“A few simple safety tips and precautions can prevent most heating fires from happening,” Fire Commissioner Trego said.

Those tips include:

  • Keep anything that can burn at least three feet from heating equipment, such as the furnace, fireplace, wood stove, or portable space heater.
  • NEVER use an oven to heat your home.
  • Have heating equipment and chimneys cleaned and inspected every year by a qualified professional.
  • Remember to turn portable heaters off when leaving the room or going to bed.
  • Always use the right kind of fuel, specified by the manufacturer, for fuel burning space heaters.
  • Test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors at least once a month.

“Monthly home heating bills are difficult burdens for thousands of our commonwealth’s most vulnerable households,” Trego added. “We do not want to see people developing unsafe habits with heating equipment and putting their families at risk. If you’re worried about the affordability of heat this winter, there is help available.”

Individuals struggling with the costs associated with heating their homes can seek help from the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).  Financial assistance is available for both renters and homeowners. Crisis and regular LIHEAP applications end April 12, 2019. Eligibility for the 2018-19 LIHEAP season is set at 150 percent of the federal poverty income guidelines.

“Everyone deserves a safe, warm home that helps them stay healthy and comfortable throughout the winter,” said Department of Human Services Secretary Teresa Miller. “LIHEAP helped make this possible for more than 340,000 Pennsylvania households last year. That number includes thousands of the commonwealth’s most vulnerable citizens – children, older Pennsylvanians, and individuals with a disability – helping them make ends meet as heating costs increase.”

If any Pennsylvanians experience a heating emergency such as running out of fuel or your heat source breaking, LIHEAP Crisis is available to get your heat restored quickly. For information, individuals should contact their local County Assistance Office or crisis contractor in their area. For a list of phone numbers, visit the DHS website.

Online applications for LIHEAP can be completed at www.compass.state.pa.us. Paper applications are available through local county assistance offices or interested applicants can download and print an application.

For other helpful tips on keeping warm throughout the winter while saving money on utility costs, visit www.energysavers.gov.

For more information on LIHEAP, visit www.dhs.pa.gov.

Super Bowl Sunday: DUI – There are no winners…

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HarrisburgPA –Super Bowl Sunday has grown into a national holiday of sorts with millions of fans celebrating the pinnacle of the National Football League’s season with parties and adult beverages. Unfortunately, this celebration also leads to an increase in impaired driving and associated crashes. Fans need to be responsible and plan ahead for the big day so that their season doesn’t end on a tragic note.
           The Pennsylvania State Police Uniform Crime Reporting system shows that law enforcement officers made over 3,400 impaired driving arrests during February of 2018; many of those arrests occurred during Super Bowl weekend – February 2 – February 4. Motorists are urged to utilize sound judgment and to plan accordingly – there is never an excuse for impaired driving.
Police officers across the Commonwealth will be out looking for impaired drivers during the upcoming Super Bowl enforcement period. Increased patrols along with other means of detection and apprehension of impaired drivers will be employed throughout the State to ensure the safety of all motorists traveling on Pennsylvania’s highways and traffic ways.
C. Stephen Erni, Executive Director of the PA DUI Association addressed the upcoming weekend: “The Super Bowl is one of the most watched sporting events in the country and is celebrated by many fans regardless of who is competing in the game. Drinking establishments host various events and many fans throw parties; unfortunately, these functions often lead to impaired drivers on our highways. Throw in prescription medications or illicit drugs and the problem becomes even bigger. Bartenders, establishment employees and party hosts need to pay attention to their guests and make sure to arrange alternate transportation for those individuals who appear impaired. We at the Pennsylvania DUI Association hope all fans enjoy the game and have a safe, memorable weekend.”
The Pennsylvania DUI Association would direct members of the public to the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board website – www.lcb.pa.gov – for additional information about alcohol and its effects on a person. Individuals prescribed medication are encouraged to consult with their physician / pharmacist concerning the medication(s) potential for impairment and interaction with alcohol. A little prior planning and personal responsibility can eliminate impaired driving and the senseless tragedies associated with it.

PENNSYLVANIA LOW TEMPERATURE REPORTS

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LOW TEMPERATURE REPORTS

Location                     Temp      Time/Date       Provider

...Pennsylvania...

...Adams County...
Arendtsville                  -2 F     0235 AM 01/31   AWS
Biglerville                   -2 F     0719 AM 01/31   AWS
Fairfield                     -2 F     0744 AM 01/31   AWS
Hanover                       -2 F     0800 AM 01/31   COOP
1 W Biglerville               -1 F     0730 AM 01/31   COOP
Cashtown                      -1 F     0745 AM 01/31   CWOP
Cashtown 1s                   -1 F     0700 AM 01/31   COOP
1 WSW Gettysburg               0 F     0743 AM 01/31   CWOP

...Bedford County...
1 SE Everett                 -13 F     0630 AM 01/31   COOP
1 ENE Queen                  -12 F     0806 AM 01/31   CWOP
Bedford Airport               -6 F     0735 AM 01/31   AWOS
Wolfsburg                     -3 F     0700 AM 01/31   COOP
Everett                       -1 F     0730 AM 01/31   CWOP

...Blair County...
2 NNW Altoona                 -7 F     0750 AM 01/31   AWS
Tyrone                        -6 F     0745 AM 01/31   CWOP
2 NE Altoona                  -5 F     0804 AM 01/31   AWS
Altoona Airport               -4 F     0753 AM 01/31   ASOS
Blair Helibase                -4 F     0716 AM 01/31   RAWS
1 NNE Altoona                 -4 F     0746 AM 01/31   CWOP
Williamsburg                  -3 F     0730 AM 01/31   HADS

...Cambria County...
Ebensburg                    -13 F     0800 AM 01/31   COOP
Loretto                      -12 F     0750 AM 01/31   AWS
Johnstown Airport             -9 F     0754 AM 01/31   ASOS
2 N South Fork                -8 F     0815 AM 01/31   CWOP
3 S Coalport                  -6 F     0745 AM 01/31   CWOP

...Cameron County...
1 ESE Emporium                -7 F     0419 AM 01/31   CWOP
2 ESE Stevenson Dam           -7 F     0700 AM 01/31   COOP

...Centre County...
Garden Hollow                -10 F     0608 AM 01/31   RAWS
2 S Philipsburg              -10 F     0700 AM 01/31   COOP
1 WNW Park Forest             -9 F     1130 PM 01/30   CWOP
3 WNW Park Forest             -9 F     1117 PM 01/30   CWOP
Park Forest                   -9 F     1130 PM 01/30   CWOP
2 W Park Forest               -9 F     1115 PM 01/30   CWOP
2 ESE Port Matilda            -8 F     1115 PM 01/30   CWOP
2 E Port Matilda              -8 F     1116 PM 01/30   CWOP
1 SE Park Forest              -7 F     1201 AM 01/31   CWOP
2 SE Unionville               -7 F     1116 PM 01/30   CWOP
3 ENE State College           -7 F     0748 AM 01/31   CWOP
1 NNW Pine Grove Mills        -6 F     1147 PM 01/30   CWOP
University Park Arpt          -6 F     0653 AM 01/31   AWOS
1 ENE Rock Springs            -5 F     0753 AM 01/31   CWOP
1 ENE Millheim                -5 F     1014 PM 01/30   CWOP
1 WSW Zion                    -5 F     0703 AM 01/31   CWOP
State College                 -4 F     0800 AM 01/31   CWOP
2 NNE State College           -4 F     0745 AM 01/31   CWOP
State College                 -4 F     0800 AM 01/31   COOP

...Clearfield County...
1 N Dubois                   -12 F     0800 AM 01/31   CWOP
Kennedy Preserve             -12 F     0708 AM 01/31   RAWS
Clearfield Airport            -9 F     1054 PM 01/30   ASOS

...Clinton County...
Coffin Rock                  -12 F     0716 AM 01/31   RAWS
1 NW Mill Hall                -9 F     0747 AM 01/31   CWOP
Loganton                      -9 F     0614 AM 01/31   AWS
Lock Haven                    -5 F     0700 AM 01/31   COOP
Lock Haven Airport            -4 F     0240 AM 01/31   NONFEDAWOS
Renovo                        -4 F     0700 AM 01/31   COOP
1 E Kettle Creek State Park   -3 F     0800 AM 01/31   HADS

...Columbia County...
2 SSW New Columbus            -7 F     0803 AM 01/31   CWOP
Almedia                       -6 F     0750 AM 01/31   CWOP
Knoebels Grove                -5 F     0747 AM 01/31   CWOP
2 NW Natalie                  -3 F     1000 PM 01/30   COOP

...Cumberland County...
3 SW Hogestown                -8 F     0721 AM 01/31   CWOP
Mechanicsburg                 -7 F     0705 AM 01/31   CWOP
2 NW Shiremanstown            -6 F     0634 AM 01/31   AWS
Carlisle Springs              -5 F     0750 AM 01/31   CWOP
Wormleysburg                  -4 F     0724 AM 01/31   AWS
3 ENE Boiling Springs         -3 F     0743 AM 01/31   CWOP
Newville                      -3 F     0735 AM 01/31   AWS
1 SSE Carlisle                -3 F     0650 AM 01/31   AWS
Camp Hill                     -2 F     0710 AM 01/31   AWS
Lower Allen                   -2 F     0750 AM 01/31   AWS
New Cumberland                -1 F     0432 AM 01/31   CWOP

...Dauphin County...
Manda Gap                    -13 F     0718 AM 01/31   RAWS
1 N Rutherford Heights       -11 F     0739 AM 01/31   CWOP
Wolf Pond                    -11 F     0608 AM 01/31   RAWS
Skyline View                  -6 F     0710 AM 01/31   CWOP
4 ENE Halifax                 -5 F     0756 AM 01/31   CWOP
1 E Hummelstown               -4 F     0424 AM 01/31   NONFEDAWOS
2 ESE Skyline View            -4 F     0740 AM 01/31   CWOP
Hummelstown                   -4 F     0635 AM 01/31   AWS
Elizabethville                -3 F     0730 AM 01/31   AWS
Halifax                       -2 F     0710 AM 01/31   AWS
1 WNW Progress                -1 F     0747 AM 01/31   CWOP
Rockville                     -1 F     0800 AM 01/31   CWOP
Millersburg                   -1 F     0644 AM 01/31   CWOP

...Elk County...
3 NW Saint Marys             -13 F     0317 AM 01/31   CWOP
Johnsonburg                  -13 F     0529 AM 01/31   AWS
Ridgway                      -13 F     0325 AM 01/31   AWS
3 ESE Saint Marys            -11 F     0514 AM 01/31   MESOWEST
Ridgway                      -10 F     0700 AM 01/31   COOP

...Franklin County...
2 NNE Rouzerville             -2 F     0415 AM 01/31   CWOP
Willow Hill                   -2 F     0804 AM 01/31   AWS
2 SE Willow Hill              -1 F     0748 AM 01/31   CWOP
Shippensburg                  -1 F     0649 AM 01/31   AWS
3 ENE Warrenton                0 F     0745 AM 01/31   CWOP
3 WNW Mont Alto                0 F     0747 AM 01/31   CWOP
1 SW Greencastle               0 F     0546 AM 01/31   CWOP
Mercersburg                    0 F     0744 AM 01/31   AWS

...Fulton County...
2 SSW Cove Mills              -1 F     0725 AM 01/31   AWS

...Huntingdon County...
Mapleton                      -5 F     0747 AM 01/31   CWOP
1 SSE Raystown Dam            -2 F     0700 AM 01/31   HADS
Huntingdon                     0 F     0806 AM 01/31   CWOP

...Juniata County...
Mcalisterville                -3 F     0804 AM 01/31   AWS
Mifflintown                   -1 F     0539 AM 01/31   AWS

...Lancaster County...
Manheim                      -13 F     0740 AM 01/31   AWS
Ephrata                       -9 F     0620 AM 01/31   CWOP
Elizabethtown                 -5 F     0602 AM 01/31   CWOP
Lititz                        -5 F     0746 AM 01/31   CWOP
2 NW Gap                      -5 F     0650 AM 01/31   AWS
East Petersburg               -4 F     0752 AM 01/31   CWOP
1 SE Lititz                   -4 F     0544 AM 01/31   AWS
Mountville                    -3 F     0729 AM 01/31   CWOP
3 SW Quarryville              -3 F     0624 AM 01/31   CWOP
2 NW Mountville               -3 F     0751 AM 01/31   CWOP
3 NW Mount Vernon             -3 F     0532 AM 01/31   CWOP
Elizabethtown                 -3 F     0735 AM 01/31   AWS
2 NNE Paradise                -3 F     0631 AM 01/31   CWOP
1 E Willow Street             -3 F     0625 AM 01/31   AWS
Lancaster Airport             -3 F     0753 AM 01/31   ASOS
Millersville                  -3 F     0700 AM 01/31   COOP
Paradise                      -2 F     0746 AM 01/31   CWOP
2 WSW Smithville              -2 F     0731 AM 01/31   CWOP
2 SSW Christiana              -2 F     0646 AM 01/31   CWOP
2 ESE Landisville             -1 F     0716 AM 01/31   CWOP
New Holland                   -1 F     0711 AM 01/31   CWOP
1 ENE Mountville              -1 F     0748 AM 01/31   CWOP
Millersville                   0 F     0710 AM 01/31   AWS

...Lebanon County...
2 WNW Fort Indiantown Gap    -13 F     0713 AM 01/31   RAWS
1 SW Lebanon                 -11 F     0437 AM 01/31   CWOP
Lawn                         -10 F     0615 AM 01/31   CWOP
Muir Airfield Ft. Indiantown  -9 F     0656 AM 01/31   AWOS
1 NW Cornwall                 -8 F     0530 AM 01/31   CWOP
Campbelltown                  -6 F     0347 AM 01/31   CWOP
2 WSW Richland                -6 F     0624 AM 01/31   AWS
2 SW Kleinfeltersville        -5 F     0616 AM 01/31   CWOP
1 ESE Palmyra                 -4 F     0400 AM 01/31   CWOP
Jonestown                     -4 F     0540 AM 01/31   CWOP
2 E Sand Hill                 -4 F     0650 AM 01/31   AWS
Newmanstown                   -2 F     0709 AM 01/31   CWOP
2 W Lebanon                   -2 F     1200 AM 01/31   COOP

...Lycoming County...
2 SSE English Center         -14 F     0800 AM 01/31   CWOP
1 NNW Montoursville           -9 F     0615 AM 01/31   CWOP
Williamsport Airport          -6 F     0654 AM 01/31   ASOS
Montgomery                    -5 F     0658 AM 01/31   CWOP
South Williamsport            -5 F     0730 AM 01/31   AWS
Duboistown                    -4 F     0720 AM 01/31   CWOP
Williamsport                  -4 F     0409 AM 01/31   AWS

...McKean County...
Kane                         -19 F     0640 AM 01/31   AWS
1 SSE Rew                    -17 F     0800 AM 01/31   CWOP
1 NNE Kane                   -17 F     0700 AM 01/31   COOP
2 SSE Kinzua Bridge State Pa -15 F     0710 AM 01/31   CWOP
Bradford Airport             -13 F     0653 AM 01/31   ASOS
Bradford                     -12 F     0804 AM 01/31   AWS
Port Allegany                -11 F     0600 AM 01/31   HADS
4 W Bradford                 -10 F     0800 AM 01/31   COOP
3 W Bradford                  -8 F     0759 AM 01/31   CWOP

...Mifflin County...
1 NE Strodes Mills            -3 F     0745 AM 01/31   CWOP

...Montour County...
2 S Washingtonville           -7 F     0638 AM 01/31   CWOP
Mechanicsville                -3 F     0701 AM 01/31   CWOP

...Northumberland County...
Roaring Creek                -10 F     0556 AM 01/31   RAWS
Trevorton                     -7 F     0804 AM 01/31   AWS
Sunbury                       -2 F     0700 AM 01/31   COOP

...Perry County...
New Bloomfield                -6 F     0744 AM 01/31   AWS
3 ESE Shermansdale            -5 F     0536 AM 01/31   CWOP
2 SSE Duncannon               -3 F     0730 AM 01/31   AWS
1 SW Loysville                -3 F     0750 AM 01/31   AWS
Big Knob                      -2 F     0408 AM 01/31   RAWS
2 ENE Loysville               -2 F     0750 AM 01/31   AWS
Newport                       -2 F     0734 AM 01/31   AWS

...Potter County...
1 NE Ulysses                 -14 F     0650 AM 01/31   AWS
Coudersport 1 SW             -13 F     0700 AM 01/31   COOP
5 SSW Galeton                -12 F     0801 AM 01/31   CWOP
3 SE Coudersport             -11 F     0648 AM 01/31   CWOP
Coudersport 7se              -10 F     0700 AM 01/31   COOP
3 ESE Coudersport             -8 F     0812 AM 01/31   CWOP

...Schuylkill County...
Bears Head                    -9 F     0708 AM 01/31   RAWS
Port Carbon                   -9 F     0815 AM 01/31   CWOP
1 E Summit Station            -8 F     0133 AM 01/31   CWOP
1 E Tower City                -8 F     0137 AM 01/31   CWOP
2 N Mahanoy City              -8 F     0700 AM 01/31   COOP
Pottsville                    -8 F     0735 AM 01/31   AWS
Frackville                    -5 F     0745 AM 01/31   CWOP

...Snyder County...
2 S Selinsgrove               -5 F     0700 AM 01/31   COOP
Penn Valley Airport           -4 F     0653 AM 01/31   ASOS
Selinsgrove                   -4 F     0745 AM 01/31   AWS

...Somerset County...
Seven Springs                -14 F     0735 AM 01/31   AWS
Meyersdale                   -11 F     0700 AM 01/31   COOP
6 NW Somerset                 -9 F     0814 AM 01/31   CWOP
3 WNW Acosta                  -8 F     0810 AM 01/31   CWOP
2 NW Wellersburg              -8 F     0743 AM 01/31   CWOP

...Sullivan County...
Laporte                      -12 F     0615 AM 01/31   COOP
Muncy Creek Near Sonestown   -10 F     0745 AM 01/31   GOES

...Tioga County...
Old Mountain                 -13 F     0716 AM 01/31   RAWS
2 NNE Leonard Harrison State -11 F     0435 AM 01/31   NONFEDAWOS
Wellsboro                     -8 F     0815 AM 01/31   CWOP
Cowanesque Dam                -8 F     0700 AM 01/31   COOP
Cowanesque Dam                -8 F     0700 AM 01/31   COOP
1 ESE Wellsboro               -7 F     0545 AM 01/31   CWOP
Tioga Lake                    -7 F     0700 AM 01/31   GOES
Hammond Lake                  -7 F     0700 AM 01/31   GOES
Tioga                         -7 F     0700 AM 01/31   COOP

...Warren County...
Kinzua                       -10 F     0407 AM 01/31   RAWS
Warren                        -7 F     0700 AM 01/31   COOP

...York County...
1 ESE Manchester              -8 F     0309 AM 01/31   CWOP
York Airport                  -7 F     0653 AM 01/31   ASOS
Dillsburg                     -5 F     0644 AM 01/31   AWS
1 WSW Emigsville              -5 F     0331 AM 01/31   CWOP
Capital City Airport          -4 F     0656 AM 01/31   ASOS
3 SE Siddonsburg              -4 F     0705 AM 01/31   AWS
Weigelstown                   -3 F     0330 AM 01/31   CWOP
1 SE East Prospect            -2 F     0701 AM 01/31   CWOP
Manchester                    -2 F     0724 AM 01/31   AWS
2 NW Windsor                  -2 F     0625 AM 01/31   AWS
1 SE York                     -1 F     0746 AM 01/31   CWOP
1 NNW Stonybrook              -1 F     0715 AM 01/31   CWOP
2 ENE New Salem               -1 F     0730 AM 01/31   HADS
1 SW Stonybrook                0 F     0808 AM 01/31   CWOP

Wildlife Advocates Urge Caution in Siting Wind Farms

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By: Andrea Sears

HARRISBURG, Pa. – Conservationists say the push to expand clean, renewable energy sources is a top priority, but it needs to be done in a way that protects wildlife.

There are now 27 wind farms in Pennsylvania, generating enough electricity to power almost 350,000 homes, and more are on the way.

Jim Murphy, legal advocacy director at The National Wildlife Federation, says the switch to renewable energy is critical to combat climate change that threatens all life on the planet, but planners should locate onshore wind farms primarily in developed areas such as agricultural land and avoid wilderness that provides habitat for wildlife.

“You want to avoid flyways, areas where you get a lot of animal movement, particularly birds and bats, and then you want to make sure that siting doesn’t unnecessarily fragment habitat,” he explains.

Murphy adds that operational and technological advances now make it possible to reduce the risks to species such as eagles and bats that may be at risk of flying into wind turbines.

Atlantic coastal waters may soon be home to massive, offshore wind farms. Murphy notes they too can pose a risk to birds, sea turtles and marine mammals, but offshore wind farms also have proven to benefit some aquatic life by forming artificial reefs.

“The Block Island wind operation, just in the couple of years it’s been on line, has attracted a lot of wildlife,” he points out. “It’s a great fishing ground already. It’s already serving as a habitat structure.”

Murphy says siting wind farms far from shore can minimize the impact on birds.

While clashes between environmentalists and the fossil fuel industry have been difficult and often dramatic, Murphy has found the developers of renewable energy to be receptive to concerns about its potential impact.

“By and large, from the industry to the state regulators to the federal regulators, concerns about wildlife rise to the top, and there’s generally a desire to do something to ensure that wildlife is protected,” he states.

In 2017 there were approximately 54,000 land-based wind turbines in use in the United States, generating enough power for 27 million homes.

State Funding for Career and Technical Schools Falls Short

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By: Andrea Sears

HARRISBURG, Pa. – Last year’s state budget increased funding for career and technical schools in Pennsylvania for the first time in a decade, but education advocates say there’s still a long way to go.

That extra $10 million in the current state budget for schools that provide hands-on training and experience for high school students was a much-needed boost, but Susan Spicka, executive director of Education Voters of Pennsylvania, said local school districts still are paying 90 percent of the cost of those schools out of their overall budgets.

“We see students who apply to these programs and they can’t get in, because there aren’t enough slots,” she said. “We would have more slots available to students if the school districts had enough money to send more students.”

Spicka called on Gov. Tom Wolf and state lawmakers to commit an additional $10 million to career and technical education, and to increase Basic Education Funding by $400 million. She said failure to fund technical schools also hinders growth of the state economy by leaving employers unable to find skilled workers to fill vacancies.

“There are good jobs that can give students a pathway to a good, middle-class life even without going to college,” she said, “but these jobs are vacant, because students aren’t graduating from high school with the skills and the training that they need.”

About 55,000 students are enrolled in career and technical schools across the state.

Spicka said the low level of state funding for education has the greatest impact on lower-income school districts, which have to depend on local property taxes to fund their schools.

“As long as the Legislature continues to refuse to adequately fund education,” she said, “we’re going to have students in school districts that don’t have strong tax bases unable to access career and technical education opportunities.”

The state budget process will get under way next week when Wolf unveils his proposed budget for the coming year.

More information is online at paschoolswork.org.

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