Mar. 31, 2017

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Weekly News Update


 The latest news from the State Capitol

How Can Tech Save Tax Dollars?

The House Majority Policy Committee recently learned more about ways in which technology can be better managed to save taxpayers money while still providing quality services.

Already, state agencies have spent millions of taxpayer dollars to upgrade and build technology systems and databases to make government run more efficiently and effectively. Yet, despite the money being spent, the data collected may not be used to its fullest potential, personnel costs are climbing, fraud and system abuse continues, and Pennsylvania is still years behind in its technology capabilities.

The committee heard from several technology companies about ways in which technology can do a better job of detecting welfare fraud, saving money within Medicaid or allowing agency databases to instantly share information.

To watch the hearing, click here and select the March 22 date.
Around Our Community

It was my pleasure to visit Bloomsburg Memorial Elementary last Thursday and read to the second-grade class led by Garry Combs. We read “Before We Eat,” which was furnished by the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau as part of the Agricultural Literacy Week.

I attended the Columbia County Ag Safety Day last Saturday at the Bloomsburg Fairgrounds.
Protecting Children Against Abuse

Thousands of Pennsylvanians in schools, social service agencies, churches and neighborhood groups throughout Pennsylvania are working hard to nurture and support the victims of child abuse and prevent future mistreatment.

In 2015, more than 4,200 cases of child abuse or maltreatment were investigated in Pennsylvania, with an estimate that one of every 1,000 children is a victim of abuse.

While the General Assembly passed more than two dozen laws a few years ago to help prevent, investigate and prosecute abuse cases, the House is currently working to help victims of child sexual abuse hold their abusers accountable.

With April designated as Child Abuse Awareness Month by House Resolution 173, several activities are planned statewide throughout the month to equip residents with the information they need to recognize and report suspected child abuse in their communities. Those events include free training programs for community members, mandated reporters (those who, by reason of their occupation or profession, must report suspected child abuse) and trainers. Click here for that list of events.  
Columbia County Conservation District Receives Governor’s Excellence Award

The Columbia County Conservation District was recently honored with a 2017 Governor’s Award for Environmental Excellence for its Water Education Day at Briar Creek Lake.

At Briar Creek Lake Park, eighth-grade students participated in several activities to learn about the connection between water sources, water treatment and water quality.

This year, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection received more than 50 applications and 16 were chosen.
State Veterans Agency Seeks Vietnam Veterans

As a way to pay tribute to all of the men and women from Pennsylvania who died as a result of the Vietnam War, the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (DMVA) is asking the public for help in finding the remaining 105 Vietnam veterans from Pennsylvania who are not yet included in the agency’s Wall of Faces project.

For the past two years the DMVA has partnered with the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund (VVMF) in Washington, D.C., to find a photo of every Pennsylvanian whose name appears on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall. The VVMF is posting the photos on a virtual Wall of Faces to put a face and a story to every name, allowing these Vietnam veterans to be honored by family, friends and others from around the world.

A complete list of Pennsylvania Vietnam Veterans whose photos are still needed can be found by going to, and clicking on Wall of Faces. Instructions on how to submit a photo can be found here

To view the virtual Wall of Faces, go to
Press Enterprise Reporters Honored

Julye Wemple, Kristin Baver and Jimmy May, who work at Bloomsburg’s Press Enterprise, were recognized with 2017 Professional Keystone Press Awards, Division III, Multi-Day Publications (15,000 to 29,999 circulation). Julye and Kristin received awards for their written work and Jimmy was honored for photography. Congratulations!
Trout Season Begins Saturday in 18 Southern PA Counties

This Saturday marks the opening day for trout season in 18 southcentral and southeastern Pennsylvania counties. The 18 counties opening on April 1 include Adams, Berks, Bucks, Chester, Cumberland, Dauphin, Delaware, Franklin, Juniata, Lancaster, Lebanon, Lehigh, Montgomery, Northampton, Perry, Philadelphia, Schuylkill and York.

Waters officially open for fishing at 8 a.m. Anglers can keep a daily limit of five trout, which must be at least 7 inches long.

Additionally, the commission will host a Mentored Youth Trout Day on Saturday, April 8, for the remaining counties statewide. Youth under the age of 16 can join a mentor (adult) angler who has a current fishing license and trout permit to fish for trout. Click here for more information about the program

For more information about fishing licenses or regulations, to check the online stocking schedule, or to download the FishBoatPA app, click here.  
Upcoming Events

• Espy Fire Department’s indoor yard sale will be held on Saturday, April 1, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
• Orangeville Fire Department will hold a craft/vendor show on Saturday, April 1, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
• St. Joe’s Church will hold a spring craft fair on Saturday, April 1, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
• A representative from the VA will be in the Bloomsburg district office from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Tuesday, April 4. By appointment only. Call 570-387-0246 to make an appointment.
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Office Locations
904B Orange St., Berwick PA, 18603 | Phone: (570) 759-8734
Market Street Plaza, 1000 Market St. (Suite 39), Bloomsburg, PA 17815 | (570) 387-0246
316 Main Capitol, PO Box 202109, Harrisburg, PA 17120-2109 | Phone: (717) 783-1102
TTY: 855-282-0614