In this Update:
Bedford Office Open House
Thank you to everyone who came out this week to celebrate the new location of my district office in Bedford. It was wonderful seeing everyone and hearing all of the great things that are happening in Bedford County.
A special thank you to Kellie Goodman Shaffer of the Bedford County Chamber of Commerce for her help in kicking off the day with a ribbon cutting ceremony! It is an honor to represent Bedford County as part of the 35th Senatorial District.
If my office can ever be of assistance on any state-related matter, please stop by the office now located at 129 E. Penn Street or give Tonya a call at 814-623-5004.
Ebensburg Bark For Your Park
Your votes can help Ebensburg win $25,000 towards a new Dog Park! The top five communities with the most votes will win! Thank you to everyone who has been voting daily, and please keep them coming! Vote here!
Bedford County Resident Honored
Lorelle Steach was recognized this week at Penn State’s Annual Ag Progress Days by Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding. Lorelle is a recipient of the 2021 State Conservation Commission Distinguished Service Award for her service to the Commonwealth as the PA Envirothon Coordinator.
Pennsylvania Envirothon is a fun, academic event that challenges high school students to think critically about the natural world and their roles in it. This program combines classroom learning and outdoor activities to educate Pennsylvania students.
Congrats Lorelle on the award and your retirement! Thank you for your service to our Commonwealth!
Everett Sophomores Finish 1st in PA Bass Nation High School & JR Fishing Series Event
Congratulations to Everett Area High School Sophomores, Kason Hinish and Ayden Cowan on their 1st place finish in the PA Bass Nation High School & JR fishing series held recently at Presque Isle Bay, Erie.
International Overdose Awareness Day
The Clearfield Parents of Addicted Loved Ones (PAL) Group, in partnership with REST, Inc. and the Hyde Wesleyan Church, will be holding a memorial service on August 31, 2021 – International Overdose Awareness Day — to remember those lost to overdose and other drug-related deaths.
The memorial service, called “An Evening of Remembrance and Hope” will begin at 6:00 p.m. at the Hyde Wesleyan Church, 1215 Riverview Road, Clearfield. The public is encouraged to attend this service which will include music, speakers and a lantern release in honor of those gone too soon. Any family members who have lost a loved one to overdose or other drug-related death are requested to please email their loved one’s name and pictures to email@example.com to be compiled into a memorial video which will be played during the service. All submissions should be made no later than August 23rd. Interested participants are also welcome to call 814-762-2933 with any questions.
Cambria County Arts & Heritage Festival
The Cambria County Arts & Heritage Festival returns to Duman Lake Park on Saturday September 11th and Sunday September 12th. When you attend the festival consider taking food and paper goods to donate to our veterans in need. Volunteers for the festival are still needed and those interested should call 814-288-7017 for more information.
For questions regarding the food drive, please call the LHHV office at 814-241-6123.
Homes Within Reach 2021
Applications are open for scholarships for Homes Within Reach conference registration. The PA Department of Community and Economic Development will provide scholarships to conference attendees working for organizations and agencies that serve the PA CoC Balance of State counties working to prevent and end homelessness. The Balance of State covers 55 of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties. This includes 35 counties that are part of the Eastern PA CoC and 20 counties in the Western PA CoC.
In addition to these scholarships, the Housing Alliance of Pennsylvania will be providing scholarships to people with lived experience. These scholarships are funded through our annual conference Scholarship Raffle.
The deadline for consideration is Friday, September 24th at 11:59pm.
Please feel free to call the Housing Alliance of Pennsylvania at 215-576-7044 if you have any questions or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Complete conference program information can be found here.
Citation Presented to Eagle Scout Nathaniel Corle
I had the honor of presenting a citation to Nathaniel Corle who recently achieved the rank of Eagle Scout. A member of Bedford Boy Scout Troops 4481 & 4482, Nathaniel has earned 28 merit badges during his scouting career.
Congratulations Nathaniel on this impressive accomplishment! Best wishes for continued success in all your future endeavors.
Virtual PA CareerLink Event
PA CareerLink will be hosting a virtual workshop August 24th-26th from 9 am – 11 am daily. This event will assist individuals in learning more about their individual skillsets as well as exploring the current jobs available to see if a job is right for them.
Sign up now: https://ecs.page.link/haFEt or call (814) 534-2500.
Cambria County Legislative Farm Bureau Tour
This week I had the opportunity to speak with local farmers at the Cambria County Farm Bureau Legislative Tour held at Woody Lodge Winery. It was great to tour this facility as well as the opportunity to listen to local farmers about what they need us to do in Harrisburg to assist the largest industry in the Commonwealth.
Clearfield County Charitable Foundation Accepting Grant Applications
The Clearfield County Charitable Foundation is ready to accept applications for the 2021 CCCF Grant Program.
Application forms can be downloaded from the website at http://clearfieldcharitablefoundation.org/forms-downloads or can be requested by email at email@example.com.
The deadline for submission of the completed applications is Friday, Sept. 24. After the applications are submitted, the CCCF Grant Committee will review and score the applications, then make recommendations to the CCCF Board of Directors who will award the grants during their October board meeting.
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Celebrating 30 Years of Pennwood Ophthalmic Associates
It was an honor to have Tonya Clark from my Bedford office join the Bedford County Chamber of Commerce and present a citation from the Pennsylvania Senate to Dr. Katherine Erlichman recognizing the 30th anniversary of Pennwood Ophthalmic Associates.
Thank you for your dedicated service not only to your patients but to the community as well.
DCNR Now Accepting Grant Applications
The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) is now accepting electronic applications for grants aiding snowmobile- and all-terrain vehicle-related projects.
No match is required for this funding; however, applications providing matching funding will be given additional consideration. Here is a link to DCNR’s application process, which is open until Sept. 30:
Hearing Examines COVID-19 Policies for the 2021-22 School Year
With the start of the new school year approaching, the Senate Education Committee held a public hearing on COVID-19 policies and guidance for Pennsylvania schools.
The committee questioned Acting Health Secretary Alison Beam, Education Secretary Noe Ortega and Acting Deputy Secretary for the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education Sherri Smith. Committee members questioned the constitutional authority for school districts to impose pandemic-related mandates on students without an emergency declaration.
You can view the hearing and read testimony here.
Exploring the Potential of Augmented Reality Technology in PA Farming
Augmented reality is a technology that superimposes a computer-generated image on a user’s view of the real world, providing a composite view. It’s increasingly used in manufacturing and the military and its potential to aid farmers is great.
The Senate Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee and the House Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee held an informational meeting this week to explore how augmented reality technology can be applied to Pennsylvania farming.
The panel learned that the technology can be used for monitoring fields, repairing equipment, training new farmers, and more. You can view the presentation here.
Federal Unemployment Benefit Programs End Sept. 4
Reminder for affected Pennsylvanians: Federal unemployment benefit programs, including Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC), Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), and Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC), will end Sept. 4.
The state’s regular unemployment compensation program and those receiving benefits from it are unaffected.
Individuals currently enrolled in PEUC and PUA can take advantage of free jobseeker services offered through PA CareerLink. These services include access to a free job database, resume assistance, information about reskilling opportunities and more. To schedule an appointment, contact your local PA CareerLink office listed here.
Legislative Review: Supporting Emergency Responders
The police, fire and rescue, and EMS organizations that lead local emergency response are critical components for ensuring public safety. The Senate passed several bills in 2021 to support the men and women who support our communities.
Senate Resolution 96 directs the Legislative Budget & Finance Committee to conduct a performance audit on Pennsylvania’s critical 9-1-1 System and make recommendations in advance of the reauthorization of the 9-1-1 Law.
Senate Bill 36 provides for license fee exemptions for service dogs used by a fire department, sheriff’s office or in the performance of rescue services or medical emergency services.
Senate Bill 83 creates grants to establish fire training programs for students in high school.
Senate Bill 158 provides for medals of commendation for law enforcement, fire and EMS personnel.
Senate Bill 243 allows volunteer fire departments, veterans organizations and other non-profits to conduct small games of chance fundraisers online until May 1, 2022 to make up for fundraising revenue lost during the pandemic.
You can find a full list of bills of note passed by the Senate in 2021 here.
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