|Dam Repairs to Require Lowering of Lake Augusta
The Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) announced on Tuesday that emergency repairs to the Adam T. Bower Memorial Dam will require lowering of the lake in early September and shorten the summer boating season.
After high water in June, the park detected air pressure dropping in Bag 6. During three weeks of around-the-clock work, park staff discovered several small punctures in the bag, as well as damage to the air piping system. Temporary repairs have been successful in keeping the dam inflated, maintaining the recreational pool for continued public boating and water access.
Unfortunately, Bag 6 must undergo a comprehensive inspection and maintenance to ensure longer-term stability. Emergency work will require full deflation of the Adam T. Bower Memorial Dam and drawdown of Lake Augusta for the latter portion of this season, which normally extends into early October. Barring unforeseen significant changes in river flows or bag conditions, dam deflation will begin Tuesday, September 3.
After deflation, maintenance personnel will prepare the worksite for inspection, evaluation and repair. Repair timeframe and extent of the damage will be determined after visual inspection and physical evaluation. DCNR anticipates work to be completed by mid-October, after which a full inspection of the dam will occur to prepare for the beginning of the 2020 boating season.
Shikellamy State Park Marina slip holders must remove boats by the end of the day Tuesday, September 3. Surrounding area boat and dock owners should also be aware that after September 3, the river will return to winter pool levels and boat launches and docks may become inaccessible. All other day use areas at Shikellamy State Park will remain open.
Voice Your Opinion on the SEDA-COG’s Transportation Plan
The SEDA-Council of Governments (SEDA-COG) and Williamsport Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) will be hosting a public meeting to hear comments on their 2019 Coordinated Public Transit-Human Services Transportation Plan on Wednesday, Aug. 14, at 6 p.m., at the Central Pennsylvania Chamber of Commerce, 30 Lawton Lane, Milton. You are invited to give input on the plan, which identifies unmet transportation needs and strategies to meet those needs.
The full press release, which contains more information about the plan and meeting, can be viewed here.
Sunbury, Watsontown National Night Out Celebrations
On Tuesday evening, I was honored to join our local law enforcement from Sunbury and Watsontown, as well as the Pennsylvania State Police, and first responders for Sunbury and Watsontown’s National Night Out celebrations.
National organizers put the event together to promote relationship building between law enforcement, first responders and the community. It was my pleasure to join these fine men and women who serve our community tirelessly at such a positive event. The event included emergency vehicle tours, children’s activities, live music and some tasty food.
Thanks to all of our community members who helped to make this such a fantastic event year after year.
Give Your Kids the Best
The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture recently launched the Pennsylvania Farmers Market Nutrition Program (PA FMNP) App. This helpful tool can be used to locate local famers’ markets that accept PA FMNP checks. If you received these checks during a recent visit to Pennsylvania Women, Infants and Children (WIC), use this app to locate your nearest participating market.
App Store: apps.apple.com/us/app/fmnp/id1472344414
Google Play: play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=gov.pa.pda.fmnp&hl=en_US
Making PA Schools Safer
Recognizing the importance of ensuring our children feel safe at school, the General Assembly voted overwhelmingly in support of investing an additional $60 million in the School Safety and Security Block Grant program.
Now in its second year, the program provides flexible funding that schools may use for a variety of security-related initiatives, including hiring school police officers, school resource officers, counselors and/or mental health counselors; alternative education and diversion programs; violence prevention initiatives; school safety and emergency preparedness plans; or physical upgrades to school buildings and equipment to improve safety.
Based on revisions to the grant funding guidelines, each school entity that submits an application for funding to the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency will receive a base grant of between $30,000 and $45,000, based on the school’s average daily attendance.
As part of the Public School Code bill that accompanied passage of this year’s budget, lawmakers also are requiring each public school district to create at least one multi-disciplinary threat assessment team to identify students in distress before their behavior escalates to a level that raises concern about safety.
Safe2Say Something Reporting System Gets Results
An anonymous reporting system designed to give students, teachers, parents and community members the ability to anonymously report potential threats and other problems has collected nearly 23,500 tips in its first six months of operation, according to a report from the Office of Attorney General.
The Safe2Say Something program, created by a 2018 law, launched in mid-January to give students a way to share information without fear of repercussions or blame from their peers.
Among the most common issues reported included bullying/cyber bullying; cutting/self-harm; suicide/suicide ideation; depression/anxiety; and drug use/distribution/possession.
To report a possible dangerous or violent situation, individuals can call the state tip line at 844-723-2729. Tips can also be reported to safe2saypa.org or through the Safe2Say app on iPhone and Android devices.
Slow Down for School Buses, Pedestrians
In the next few weeks, students will head back to class. Motorists, parents and children are encouraged to refresh their memories about how to share the road safely with school buses and other school transportation vehicles.
Pennsylvania law requires motorists stop at least 10 feet away from school buses when their red lights are flashing and their stop arm is extended. Motorists following or traveling alongside a school bus must also stop until the red lights have stopped flashing and the stop arm is withdrawn. Do not proceed until all the children have reached a place of safety.
Penalties for failure to obey school bus safety laws can result in a $250 fine, five points on a driving record and a 60-day license suspension.
Parents are reminded to ensure that their children are at the bus stop early to avoid rushing. Students should stay where the bus driver can see them while boarding or exiting the bus.
Click here for more information and tips on school bus safety.
Get the Facts About Concussions
With many student athletes gearing up for fall sports practice, students, parents and coaches are reminded about ways to prevent, recognize and manage concussions.
A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury caused by a bump, blow or jolt to the head, or from a fall or blow to the body that causes the head and brain to move quickly back and forth. Concussions can have serious short-term and long-term impacts, especially on young people whose brains are still developing.
To protect students, the 2011 Safety in Youth Sports Act was passed to require all school entities to develop return-to-play policies for student athletes with concussions, as well as to require related training for coaches.
Visit the Department of Health’s website at health.pa.gov and search for “Traumatic Brain Injury” for approved curricula for coaches and other school personnel, along with frequently asked questions about the law and many other state-related resources.
Most importantly, if you think your child has a concussion, seek medical attention, discuss the injury with the coach and don’t allow the athlete to return to play without permission from a health care professional.