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Organizations Receive State Grants to Support Veterans
Three organizations were recently awarded grants by the state Department of Military and Veterans Affairs to support their efforts to assist local veterans.
Northwest PA Eminent Community Institute of Oil City was awarded $20,000 to match veterans with employment opportunities across northwestern Pennsylvania.
The Venango County Department of Veterans Affairs received $3,700 to provide an all-inclusive small business entrepreneur program for veterans.
The Warren County Department of Veterans Affairs was awarded $7,900 to purchase computer equipment to expand their existing outreach services for veterans.
I am extremely pleased that the state is supporting these efforts. Pennsylvania’s veterans have served our nation with honor and distinction and it is important that we repay that service by providing the support services they need.”
The grants were provided from the Veterans Trust Fund, which was established by the state legislature in 2012 to supplement state appropriations for veterans programs and support new partnerships with charities and veterans’ service organizations.
The Veterans Trust Fund is supported by donations from Pennsylvanians when they apply for, or renew, a driver’s license, photo ID or motor vehicle registration. It also benefits from the proceeds from the sale of the “Honoring our Veterans” license plates for cars and motorcycles.
Students Visit State Capitol
It was truly a pleasure to talk with students from Keystone Junior/Senior High School in the State Capitol Rotunda during the group’s May 23 visit to Harrisburg.
State Lifts Poultry Ban for Fairs, Expos
After a year-long suspension of avian activities at the state’s 109 county and local fairs and the 2016 Pennsylvania Farm Show, the ban was lifted on June 1. The ban was set in May 2015 to protect Pennsylvania’s $13 billion poultry industry against the threat of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza, or HPAI, virus.
With the lifting of the ban, the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture (PDA) has instituted a 30-day testing protocol for entering poultry exhibits at county fairs. Previously, poultry had to test negative for Avian Influenza at least six months prior to the exhibit date.
More information about HPAI is available at the PDA website at www.agriculture.pa.gov -- refer to the “Avian Influenza” box on the right side of the homepage.
Online Donations Benefit the Pennsylvania Veterans’ Memorial
The Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs is now accepting online donations to the Pennsylvania Veterans’ Memorial Trust Fund to preserve the Pennsylvania Veterans’ Memorial at the Indiantown Gap National Cemetery in Lebanon County. Donations via the online application at www.donate.dmva.pa.gov are tax-deductible.
Donations to Pennsylvania Veterans’ Memorial Trust Fund have dwindled to less than $40,000 over the past five years and the memorial is in need of approximately $2.5 million in cosmetic and structural repairs.
The Pennsylvania Veterans’ Memorial stands 107 feet high and 360 feet long. It was dedicated Oct. 7, 2001 and cost $6.2 million to construct. The Pennsylvania Veterans' Memorial is the first in the Commonwealth to honor veterans of all eras from the Revolutionary War forward, and it is the largest veterans’ memorial located in any of the 133 national cemeteries operated by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
Local Communities Receive $345,968 for Safety Projects
Cranberry Township, Butler County, and Sugarcreek Borough, Venango County, recently received state grants for safety improvement projects.
Cranberry Township was awarded $286,199 to provide pedestrian upgrades at the intersection of North Boundary Road and Marshall Road by improving pedestrian connections and new sections of sidewalk.
Sugarcreek Borough was awarded $59,769 to upgrade the existing 15 mph school zone signs along Route 417 (Rocky Grove Avenue) in the area of Rocky Grove Junior and Senior High Schools.
The local grants were part of nearly $5.5 million in Automated Red Light Enforcement (ARLE) funding distributed to 18 municipalities statewide to fund 23 safety projects. Under state law, fines from red light violations at 28 intersections in Philadelphia supply the grant funding. The law specifies that projects improving safety, enhancing mobility and reducing congestion can be considered for funding.
Committee Review’s Civil Air Patrol Role in Pennsylvania
On May 18, the Senate Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee, which I serve on as a member, and the House Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee held a joint informational meeting to hear presentations by the Pennsylvania National Guard and the Pennsylvania Civil Air Patrol (CAP) on their missions and capabilities during emergencies. After the meeting, the Civil Air Patrol re-launched its Legislative Squadron, of which I am now a proud member. I was pleased to receive my membership card from CAP Cadet Lt. Col. Ceara Berry and her father, CAP Vice-Commander Kevin Berry, residents of Renfrew, Butler County in the 21st District.
CAP, the auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force, is a nonprofit organization with more than 55,000 members nationwide. Established on Dec. 1, 1941, it performs about 95 percent of the continental U.S. inland search and rescue missions. Its volunteers perform homeland security, disaster relief and counterdrug missions at the request of federal, state and local agencies. Members play a leading role in aerospace education and serve as mentors to the 24,000 young people who participate in the CAP cadet program each year.
New Biking Trails Map Unveiled
The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PENNDOT) and the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) recently launched a new online interactive mapping tool specifically for bicyclists.
The Bike Route Map provides detailed bike routes, traffic volumes and speed limits from PENNDOT and includes DCNR information on trails, state parks and state forests. Find the new interactive Bike Route Map on the “Ride A Bike” page under “Travel In PA” at www.penndot.gov.
With more than 11,000 miles of trails, 121 state parks and more than 2.2 million acres of state forestlands, Pennsylvania’s robust natural resources provide prime atmospheres for cycling.
839 Memorial Day Holiday Crashes Investigated by State Police
Pennsylvania State Police investigated a total of 839 crashes during the four-day Memorial Day holiday driving period, May 27-30. The crashes resulted in 282 injuries and six fatalities. Seventy-nine of the crashes were alcohol related, including three fatalities.
Troopers made 475 arrests for driving under the influence and issued 13,935 speeding citations during the holiday period. State police also cited 1,222 individuals for not wearing seat belts and issued citations to 289 motorists for not securing children in safety seats.
Two people died and 247 others were injured in 718 crashes to which state troopers responded during last year’s four-day Memorial Day holiday.
The statistics cover only those crashes investigated by state police and do not include statistics on incidents to which other law-enforcement agencies in Pennsylvania responded. For more information on the Pennsylvania State Police, visit their website at www.psp.pa.gov.
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Here to Serve You
Senate Box 203021
170 Main Capitol
Harrisburg, PA 17120
FAX: (717) 787-6088
TTY: (877) 659-4483
22045 Route 6
Warren, PA 16365-7952
FAX: (814) 728-2102
110 East Diamond Street
Butler, PA 16001
FAX: (724) 282-6852
302 Seneca Street
Oil City, PA 16301
FAX: (814) 677-6331