Hurricane Could Impact Local Utilities
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Hurricane Could Impact Local Utilities

Although our area of Pennsylvania does not appear to be in the direct path of Hurricane Florence, any additional rain resulting from the storm in the coming days could cause even more flooding for our region and already saturated ground could contribute to tree-related outages, according to PPL Electric Utilities.

All employees – including hundreds of line workers, electricians and other skilled technicians – are ready to respond if needed. PPL also has more than 200 additional workers – including contract line crews and workers to clear downed trees – ready to help restore power to customers, if needed. Crews are expected to work round-the-clock should outages occur.

In the meantime, residents should remember the following safety precautions:
  • Stay away from downed wires – always treat any wires on the ground as if they are energized.
  • Keep generators far away from buildings and never operate them in an enclosed space like a garage.
  • Prepare a storm kit – gather the supplies you might need for a prolonged outage, including flashlights, batteries, canned food, bottled water, medication and a first aid kit.
  • Charge your cell phones, tablets and laptops.
  • If you rely on medical equipment or have special personal needs, plan what you would do in the event of an extended power outage at your home.
More detailed information on staying safe in storms can be found on PPL’s website at
Remembering 9-11 Heroes

On Tuesday, communities around the country gathered to remember the nearly 3,000 heroes who died on Sept. 11, 2001. To mark the solemn occasion, I attended a ceremony organized by American Legion Post 44, held at King Street Park in Northumberland. Participating in the remembrance ceremony were local elected officials, Boy Scouts from Troops 342 and 325, and members of the JROTC of Shikellamy High School and a band from St. Louis de Montfort Academy in Herndon. On this anniversary and every day, we should always remember the brave men and women who were tragically taken from us, those in our communities who respond in our times of need, and those who fight everyday to protect our freedom and democracy. 
What Do You Think About Regional Transportation Priorities?

Residents in a nine-county region can let their transportation concerns and needs be known by taking an online survey offered by SEDA-Council of Governments’ (SEDA-COG) Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO). The survey is designed to capture the opinions of all sectors of the community, even if people do not use public transportation.

This survey will help community officials update the SEDA-COG and Williamsport MPO’s joint Coordinated Public Transit-Human Services Transportation Plan for Clinton, Columbia, Juniata, Lycoming, Mifflin, Montour, Northumberland, Snyder and Union counties.

The survey specifically asks about gaps in transportation services affecting seniors, minorities, low-income individuals and people with disabilities or with limited English language skills.

The 10-minute survey will be open through Oct. 29 at In addition to the survey, three public listening sessions will be held around the region this fall, with details to be publicized in the coming weeks.

For more information, contact SEDA-COG’s Steve Herman at 570-524-4491 or
Grant to Help with County Services

This week, I joined Sen. John Gordner and Rep. Fred Keller, along with officials from Snyder County, to announce a $500,000 state grant through the Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP). This grant will help offset the costs of the county’s courthouse expansion project into a neighboring bank building. The funds will help with the purchase and renovations of a M&T Bank building adjacent to the current courthouse so that the county can continue to invest in services to local residents. 
House Committee Examines Telemedicine Bills

Members of the House Professional Licensure Committee this week examined legislation that would allow health care to be more accessible and affordable by offering telemedicine options for patients.

Telemedicine refers to the remote delivery of health care services and medical information using telecommunications technology, a significant and rapidly growing component of health care. Through the use of telemedicine, specialists and other health care providers are able to expand their reach, helping patients stay in their communities and avoid traveling long distances for specialized care.

Legislation has been introduced in both chambers (House Bill 1648 and Senate Bill 780) that would define the term in state law and offer clarity for insurance company reimbursement for these services. Although the legislation requires payments for telemedicine services, those payments would be established between the provider and insurer.

Among those testifying at this week’s hearing were physicians, nurses, medical information technologists, insurance industry representatives and a rural school superintendent. 
Schools Urged to Apply for Safety Grants

The new School Safety and Security Grant Program – established as part of the 2018-19 state budget package – is now open for applications. Schools interested in applying for grants to help with safety equipment and resources should submit their applications by Oct. 12 to the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency, which is administering the new program.

A total of $52 million in grant funding will be provided to school districts, intermediate units, area vocational-technical schools, charter schools and private residential rehabilitative institutions for a wide variety of projects to improve school safety.

The grants can be used for any of 22 specific school safety initiatives listed in the legislation, including such things as hiring school security officers, purchasing security-related technology, completing safety and security assessments, implementing violence prevention curricula, offering counseling services for students, and other programs and services to protect students.

The grant money is to be distributed geographically, with no school district receiving more than 10 percent (but eligible for at least $25,000) of the available funds. The money is expected to be distributed by March 2019.

To apply or for more information, visit the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency’s website here.  
Grants Available for Job Training

Local workforce development boards can apply for $2.5 million in Business-Education Partnership (BEP) grants that will connect businesses and school districts – all in an effort to expand new career opportunities across Pennsylvania.

The funding is available through the Department of Labor and Industry to local workforce development boards, which are regional entities that direct federal, state and local funding to workforce development programs in their areas.

These partnerships connect schools, employers, parents and students to provide career-related experiences and opportunities through soft-skills development, internships, workplace shadowing and career mentoring, all with the goal of engaging more students in the need for technical skills required by employers.

Last year, nearly 9,000 students throughout the state participated in partnership activities.

Additional details and the grant application can be found here. The deadline to apply is Oct. 31. 
Elk Cam Goes Live

The Pennsylvania Game Commission again has installed a camera on State Game Lands 311 in Elk County, in a field that typically is a hub of elk activity as the bugling season this fall heats up. Video and sound from the camera are being live-streamed at, and viewers can expect not only to see elk, but turkeys, deer and other wildlife as well.

The live stream, which is provided by the Game Commission’s partner, HDOnTap, is the latest in a string of real-time wildlife-watching opportunities offered by the Game Commission.

The page also contains information on Pennsylvania’s elk, where to view them and links to the Pennsylvania Great Outdoors website, which includes all sorts of helpful information for anyone visiting elk country.

The live stream is slated to run until the end of the bugling season, likely sometime in mid-October. The top time to see elk on camera is late in the afternoon. 
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