Thanksgiving Wishes to All!
Pennsylvania can claim to be the home of the first recognition of Thanksgiving, when Gov. Simon Snyder was the first to recognize it as an official holiday on the third Thursday of November in 1817. Philadelphia’s Gimbels Department Store was also the first to host a Thanksgiving Day parade in 1920.
In honor of the Thanksgiving holiday on Nov. 23, state offices will be closed on Thursday, and my offices will also be closed on Friday, Nov. 24.
From my family to yours, may you all have a safe, healthy and happy Thanksgiving.
Adoptees Can Now Apply for Original Birth Certificates
Pennsylvania adult adoptees can now apply for and receive a copy of their original birth certificate from the Pennsylvania Department of Health. Act 127 of 2016 reinstated this access for the first time since 1984 to allow these adults to have the same access to the record as everyone else.
The department began accepting early submissions this summer for processing now, and as of Oct. 31, 1,180 adoptees have already applied for a copy of their original birth certificate. Adoptees who submit applications should allow 45 days for processing.
Under previous Pennsylvania law, adoptees could petition the courts for a copy of their original birth records; however, that request could have been denied by a judge.
For more information on the new law and the application process, click here.
Shop Local This Season
To spotlight the role that small businesses play, Small Business Saturday will be held Saturday, Nov. 25, to encourage residents to shop small this holiday season. Nearly 1 million small businesses in Pennsylvania employ about 2.4 million workers, as of 2014, and make up more than 98 percent of the state’s employers.
The House Majority Policy Committee, as part of its fall agenda to “Strengthen Pennsylvania’s Middle Class,” recently held a legislative hearing to discuss how state government can help small businesses succeed and the challenges small businesses face when dealing with state agencies and complex regulations.
For state resources on starting a small business, click here.
Traveling Over the Holiday? Check Traffic Conditions on 511PA.com
Travelers can log onto www.511PA.com to check current traffic impacts from construction, traffic delay warnings, weather forecasts, traffic speed information and access to more than 770 traffic cameras. The service is free and available 24 hours a day.
511PA is also available through a smartphone application for iPhone and Android devices, by calling 5-1-1, or by following regional Twitter alerts accessible on the 511PA website.
Travelers are always reminded to buckle up, put their phones away and stay sober when behind the wheel.
In other PennDOT news, driver license and photo centers will be closed Thursday, Nov. 23, and Friday, Nov. 24. Customers may still obtain a variety of driver and vehicle products and services online through PennDOT’s Driver and Vehicle Services website, www.dmv.pa.gov.
Veterans Day at Damascus School
Thank you for including me in the Veterans Day Assembly at the Damascus School last Wednesday evening. Each year, the school organizes a Veterans Day program to honor our veterans. Rep. Mike Peifer and I had the honor and privilege to present a House citation to World War II Marine Corps Purple Heart Medal Recipient Bernard E. Belknap.
Pictured with me are Mr. and Mrs. Belknap, Rep. Mike Peifer, my son Bennett, and David Jagger, Damascus School principal.
We visited St. Francis Commons in Scranton, which helps homeless veterans get back on their feet. I’m pictured with my son, Bennett; Damascus School president; and Pete Casazza, program director and educator at Damascus School. Damascus students collected $300 in donations for St. Francis Commons.
Around Our Community
It was my pleasure to speak to Boy Scout Troop 102 at Western Wayne’s Evergreen Elementary School last week. We discussed state government, our constitution, career paths and life choices.
Iron Hill store and fueling station, located at the top of Farview Mountain in Waymart, recently celebrated its grand opening. Congratulations!