Aug. 30, 2019


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News You Can Use

 The latest news from the State Capitol

Slow Down for School Buses, Pedestrians

As students head back to class, motorists, parents and children are encouraged to refresh their memories about how to share the road safely with school buses and other school transportation vehicles. Pennsylvania law requires motorists stop at least 10 feet away from school buses when their red lights are flashing and their stop arm is extended. Motorists following or traveling alongside a school bus must also stop until the red lights have stopped flashing and the stop arm is withdrawn. Do not proceed until all the children have reached a place of safety. Penalties for failure to obey school bus safety laws can result in a $250 fine, five points on a driving record and a 60-day license suspension. Parents are reminded to ensure that their children are at the bus stop early to avoid rushing. Students should stay where the bus driver can see them while boarding or exiting the bus. Click here for more information and tips on school bus safety.

Best wishes to our local students for a successful 2019-20 school year!
In the District

I was honored to attend the ribbon cutting ceremony for the new Dallas Intermediate School. Board members and township officials joined Superintendent Thomas Duffy and Principal Thomas Traver at this exciting event.

Also joining me at the Dallas Intermediate School ribbon cutting were (from left) President of the Back Mountain Chamber of Commerce Cindy Post-Mitchell, Dallas Township Supervisors Bill Grant and Frank Wagner, Sen. Lisa Baker and Dallas Township Supervisor Robert Wagner.

Along with Sen. Lisa Baker and Congressman Dan Meuser, I had the opportunity to present a House Citation to Frank Lutinski (seated), Harveys Lake Protective Association (HLPA) President in honor of the association’s 100th anniversary. Pictured in the back row are HLPA past presidents Ed Williams, Mark Sobeck, Matt DePrimo, Buz Boback, JoAnna Jones, Dave Hoffman and John Halbing.

Dallas resident Mary Doyle celebrates her 100th birthday on Aug. 29! I was happy to present her with a House Citation to commemorate this special milestone. Happy Birthday, Mary!  

I attended the opening ceremonies of the Wyoming County Fair this week where I surprised Jim Gilpin with a House Citation. Jim retired from the Franklin Township Volunteer Fire Department after 53 years of service. He still volunteers at the Northmoreland Volunteer Firemen's booth at the fair.

Joining me at the opening night ceremony of the Wyoming County Fair are Tom Yoniski of Sen. Lisa Baker's office and Wyoming County Commissioners Judy Kraft Mead, Tom Henry and Mike Stabinsky.
Capitalizing on Technology for Education

Recognizing the impact missing school can have on a student’s education, the General Assembly recently adopted two new laws to make better use of technology to limit, or even eliminate, these impacts. Act 18 of 2019 creates the Keystone Telepresence Education Grant Program to provide funding to intermediate units for the purchase of equipment and related services to support homebound students. Telepresence technology may include a robotic device that resembles an iPad mounted on a mobile Segway unit that allows real-time communication between students who are homebound and their classrooms. The technology is valuable for children with extended absences due to chronic illness, such as cancer, or recovery from surgery or injuries. Act 64 of 2019 allows school districts, intermediate units, area vocational-technical schools and charter schools to establish a “flexible instructional day” program to use when school is closed due to weather, damage to the school building, disease epidemic or other temporary circumstances. Under the law, no more than five flexible instructional days may be used during a school year. Act 64 takes effect this Saturday, Aug. 31, while Act 18 will take effect Sept. 26.
Bringing State Government to You

On Wednesday, Sept. 4, a member of my staff will hold satellite office hours from 9-11 a.m. at the Dalton Borough Building, 105 W. Main St., Dalton.

Also, on Wednesday, Sept. 4, my staff will be available from noon to 2 p.m. at the Factoryville Borough Building, 161 College Ave., Factoryville.

On Wednesday, Sept. 4, the American Legion will hold office hours at my Tunkhannock district office, located at 133 W. Tioga St., Suite 4, in Tunkhannock from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. A claims consultant from the American Legion will provide the assistance. Area veterans may seek assistance and information pertaining to specific benefits and programs. Additional meetings will be held on the first Wednesday of every month. Appointments can be made by calling my Tunkhannock office at 570-836-4777.
Protecting PA Wildlife

The Pennsylvania Game Commission (PGC) recently announced formation of the Pennsylvania Wildlife Futures Program, a new partnership with the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Veterinary Medicine (Penn Vet) that will take a more active stance against diseases that impact wildlife in the Commonwealth. These illnesses include chronic wasting disease (CWD), which poses a serious threat to Pennsylvania’s economy and the sport of deer hunting by negatively impacting the deer population; and West Nile Virus, the mosquito-borne disease that threatens human health and has endangered Pennsylvania’s state bird, the ruffed grouse. With regard to CWD, the goal of the partnership is to more quickly process deer samples submitted for testing by hunters. It currently takes weeks to months to obtain test results. The program will have 12 employees, one of which will work at PGC headquarters in Harrisburg. The others will be based in Chester County at Penn Vet’s New Bolton Center.
Traveling Over Labor Day? Check Traffic Conditions on

Travelers can log onto 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.
PennDOT Driver License Centers Closed for Holiday Weekend

All driver license and photo centers, including the full-service center in Harrisburg, will be closed Saturday, Aug. 31, through Monday, Sept. 2, in observance of Labor Day. Customers may still obtain a variety of driver and vehicle products and services, including all forms, publications and driver training manuals, online through PennDOT’s Driver and Vehicle Services website,
State Police Seeks Horse Donations

The Pennsylvania State Police is asking the community for donations of horses to support its mounted patrol unit. The department maintains a stable at the academy in Hershey and relies on donations to fill a complement of 28 horses. The animals are deployed statewide for searches, crowd control, security and patrol of remote areas. They also participate in parades, demonstrations and other community events. Donated horses must be geldings between the ages of 5 and 15 years old and stand between 16 hands (5 foot 4 inches at the shoulder) and 18 hands tall. Draft and draft-crosses are the preferred breed. Thoroughbreds and other “hot bloods” are less desirable. Animals must have quiet, sound dispositions and be free of serious stable vices. Horses will be accepted on a 120-day trial basis to determine their suitability. A veterinary examination will also be performed. Upon retirement, state police horses are first offered back to their original owners. The department finds them suitable homes if the original owners are unwilling or unable to accept the animals. To arrange a donation or for more information, contact Cpl. Carrie Neidigh at 717-533-3463 or

In observation of Labor Day, our offices will be closed on Monday, September 2. Have a safe and enjoyable Labor Day weekend!

Our District

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Office Locations
105 Lieutenant Michael Cleary Drive, Dallas, PA 18612 | (570) 675-6000, (800) 278-3930
133 West Tioga Street, Suite 4, Tunkhannock, PA 18657| Phone: (570) 836-4777
41-B East Wing, Main Capitol, PO Box 202117, Harrisburg PA 17120-2117 | Phone: (717) 787-1117