Jan. 13, 2017

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Weekly Roundup
#Listrak\DateStampLong# The latest news from the State Capitol

101st Pennsylvania Farm Show

The 101st edition of the Pennsylvania Farm Show was a great event. During the farm show, we had an opportunity as well to meet with over 100 constituents. we were also able to attend a luncheon for legislators and local officials that gave us the opportunity to learn what our communities needs are. Check out some pictures here.

Here is the list so far of Lebanon County participants who received awards:

• Michael Kunkle, Jonestown, who was named the champion in both the miscellaneous small grains and industry contests. He also won a prize for his corn entry.
• Dakota Grumbine, Lebanon, who raised the Champion Berkshire swine.
• Madison Copenhaver, Lebanon, who won Best in Show in cake decorating in the 4-H class of the Family Living Section.
• Caroline Kreider, Lebanon. Caroline competed in Family Living: Miscellaneous 4-H Opportunities, winning Best in Show.
• Linda Siegel, Lebanon. Linda competed in Family Living: Constructed Clothing-Open, winning Best in Show.

I also had the opportunity to interview Pennsylvania Secretary of Agriculture Russell Redding, which you can view here.
Police Officer Retirement

On Thursday, Rep Barry Jozwiak joined me in presenting Major Adam M. Kisthardt with a House Citation for his 26 years of service with the Pennsylvania State Police.

Kisthardt graduated from the Pennsylvania State Police Academy on Nov. 8, 1989, and was assigned to Troop L in Jonestown. He was promoted to Corporal in 1995 and transferred to the Bureau of Training and Education as the Criminal Law Unit Supervisor. In 1998, he was promoted to Sergeant in 1998 and became the Negotiations Section Supervisor of the Special Emergency Response Team in the Bureau of Emergency and Special Operations.

He was promoted to Lieutenant in 2004 and was assigned as the Information Technology Implementation Coordinator at the Bureau of Technology Services, and in 2007 he was promoted to Captain and assigned as the Director of the Dispatch and Radio Operations Division of the Bureau of Technology Services. He was promoted to Major in 2013 and became the Director of the Bureau of Training and Education, and he will retire as the Executive Director of the Municipal Police Officers' Education and Training Commission.

Major Kisthardt served with consummate skill, upheld the laws of our Commonwealth and served as a role model for all those who aspire to a career in law enforcement. 
Become a Philadelphia Police Officer!

The Philadelphia Police Department will be recruiting for new officers Jan. 30 through Feb. 24. To be eligible, you must have a high school diploma or equivalent and at least 22-years-old on the date of your appointment. The starting salary is $49,477. Candidates must apply online at http://www.JoinPhillyPD.com.

To receive Veteran, Education or Police Explorers Preference Points, documentation must be uploaded at time of application or, after you have made your online application, you can mail such documentation to:

City of Philadelphia - Office of Human Resources
P.O. Box 58698
Philadelphia, PA 19102

Also, after you have completed your application online, send an email with your CONFIRMATION NUMBER to Millissia.Jones@Phila.gov.

For further information contact Police Officer Smith or Officer Burns at (267) 634-0056. 
Beer Sales Changes Start Saturday

Under a new law aimed at improving customer convenience, consumers will be able to buy six-packs and refillable growlers at the state’s beer distributorships this Saturday.

The law also allows retail licensees to start selling on Sundays at 9 a.m. instead of 11 a.m.; permits a person licensed by another state to apply for a “malt or brewed beverage shipper license,” which allows the direct shipment of up to 192 fluid ounces of beer to be delivered to a customer per month, though only 96 fluid ounces of a specific brand of beer may be shipped per year to an adult resident; and allows liquor to be sold (in shatterproof containers) before, during and after professional and amateur athletic events in the same manner that is currently permitted for the sale of malt or brewed beverages.

The new law is the latest in a series of steps taken by lawmakers to make beer, wine and liquor sales more convenient to consumers. Other recent changes allowed the sale of wine at approved grocery stores. 
Secretary Osborne Hosts Roundtable Discussion Regarding the Risks of Senior Prescription Drug/Opioid Use

The Pennsylvania Department of Aging hosted a roundtable discussion this week with older Pennsylvanians and public officials regarding the risk of prescription drug/opioid use as it relates to seniors.

According to a recent John Hopkins University study, Americans 65 years of age or older make up 13 percent of the total United States population, yet they take approximately 33 percent of all prescription drugs.

The roundtable discussion focused on how the Department of Aging can better work with local organizations to raise awareness and combat this issue, the current needs in the community related to prescription drug abuse, and possible solutions to address the needs of local officials.

In 2016, Gov. Tom Wolf and the Legislature took significant strides to combat this epidemic by passing legislation to strengthen the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program, establish education curriculum on safe prescribing, and create more drug-take back boxes for the drop-off of drugs among other important initiatives.

For more information on the Department of Aging and services for older adults, visit aging.pa.gov
PennDOT Launches Video to Assist Pennsylvanians in Navigating Roundabouts

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) this week launched a video to assist Pennsylvanians in navigating roundabouts. The video instructs viewers how to use both single-and multi-lane roundabouts whether in a vehicle, on a bicycle or on foot.

The video can be accessed by visiting the roundabout page on www.penndot.gov or by visiting the department’s YouTube channel.

Crash rates and severity of at least three years of data from before and after installation for the state’s first 10 modern roundabouts built at previous traditional stop-sign or signal-controlled intersections showed that fatal crashes were eliminated (two to zero) and major-injury crashes were also eliminated (four to zero). Additionally, moderate-injury crashes were reduced by 71 percent (seven to two) and minor-injury crashes by 25 percent (16 to 12) as well as the total number of crashes which dropped by 16 percent (63 to 53).

Modern roundabouts have been being built in the United States for less than 30 years and in Pennsylvania for less than 15 years. In Pennsylvania, there are currently 32 completed roundabouts, 20 under construction and at least 10 more expected to go to construction over the next two years. To learn more about roundabouts, visit penndot.gov and enter “roundabouts” in the search bar. 
LIHEAP Can Help with Home Energy Bills

Residents who are struggling with their home heating bills can apply for assistance from the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) this winter.

LIHEAP is a federally funded program that helps individuals and families pay their heating bills through home heating energy assistance grants. It also provides crisis grants to help in the event of an emergency or if a resident is in danger of losing his or her heat due to broken equipment, lack of fuel or termination of utility service.

The income eligibility guidelines for LIHEAP are set at 150 percent of the federal poverty level income. For an individual, the income limit is $17,820; for a couple, the limit is $24,030; and for a family of four, it is $36,450.

Residents may apply for LIHEAP online or by contacting the County Assistance Office in their county of residence. Click here for details.  
Prepare Now for Driving in Winter Weather

Motorists are being encouraged to prepare their vehicles and take time to familiarize themselves with winter safety laws as part of Winter Driving Awareness Week.

Drivers should plan and prepare their vehicles ahead of time, as weather patterns can change rapidly. Drivers should frequently check all fluid levels, lights and wiper blades. Tires should also be examined often for the correct level of air pressure and adequate tire-tread depth to perform on ice and snow. Finally, the traveling public should also prepare or restock a vehicle emergency kit.

All vehicles should be fully clear of ice and snow before winter travel. If snow or ice is dislodged or falls from a moving vehicle and strikes another vehicle or pedestrian causing death or serious bodily injury, the operator of that vehicle could receive a $200 to $1,000 fine.

When winter weather does occur, drivers should be extra cautious around operating snow-removal equipment.

For more detailed tips on winter weather emergency preparedness, click here
Testing Your Home for Radon

As part of national Radon Action Month in January, the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) reminds residents that radon – a colorless, odorless, and radioactive gas -- is a known human carcinogen and the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States.

Radon occurs naturally from the breakdown of uranium in soil and rocks and enters homes through cracks in the foundation or other openings. Due to its geology, Pennsylvania is prone to high radon levels, and has been detected in all 67 counties, with about 40 percent of homes having levels above national safety standards.

Winter is an ideal time to test, because doors and windows are generally closed, producing the most conservative results. High levels of radon tend to be found in basements, but the gas can be found anywhere in the home. Simple radon test kits are inexpensive and available at home improvement and hardware stores.

For more information on radon, testing and daily tips, visit here.
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