|Susquehanna County Farm Bureau Annual Summer Picnic
Susquehanna County Farm Bureau’s annual summer picnic was held recently. I was happy to join the Farm Bureau members to discuss policy and future developments on the agricultural front. Chairman of the Susquehanna County commissioners, Alan Hall, and Pennsylvania Farm Bureau president, Rick Ebert, also attended. I would like to thank the Belcher family for hosting this picnic and providing a delicious dinner.
Forest City Trailhead Grand Opening
Forest City officials recently hosted Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Cindy Dunn (pictured with light green shirt) at the grand opening of the Forest City Trailhead. The region’s rail trail is a tremendous gem and adds to the impressive array of outdoor recreation our area has to offer.
November Veterans Assistance Hours Have Changed
Our Honesdale district office Veterans Assistance Hours for the month of November will be held on Friday, Nov. 30, due to the Thanksgiving holiday.
Hurricane Could Impact Local Utilities
Although our area of Pennsylvania does not appear to be in the 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:
More detailed information on staying safe in storms can be found on PPL’s website at pplelectric.com/safety.
- 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.
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.
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.
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 pgc.pa.gov, 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.