Aug. 04, 2017

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Weekly News Update


 The latest news from the State Capitol

New DUI Law to Take Effect Aug. 25


A new law set to go into effect Aug. 25 will change the way first-time DUI offenders are punished in Pennsylvania. The new law will require most first-time offenders with a blood-alcohol level higher than 0.10 percent to have an ignition interlock device installed on their vehicle.

Under the new law, most first-time offenders would be eligible to drive with the ignition interlock immediately. Otherwise, they would have to have their driver’s license suspended for a year before installing the interlock device for 12 months.

Those who are eligible can petition PennDOT for a new Ignition Interlock Limited License, allowing them to install the device for one year and continue to drive.

The law will also apply to drivers who refuse to submit to chemical testing. They will be eligible for early interlock after six months.

According to statistics compiled by Mothers Against Drunk Driving, nearly 2 million drunk-driving attempts have been stopped with ignition interlock devices, including more than 78,000 instances in Pennsylvania between 2003 and 2015.

Senior Expo Set for Aug. 9
Mark your calendars for my 14th annual senior expo, set for Wednesday, Aug. 9, from 9 a.m. to noon at the Espy Fire Hall, located at Tenny and Third streets in Bloomsburg. Doors will open at 8:45 a.m.

Dozens of representatives from state agencies, local businesses and nonprofit organizations will be on hand to provide information and answer questions relating to senior issues. If you or a loved one are age 55 or over, plan to make a morning of it! I hope to see you there.
For more information, visit

New Immunization Requirements for PA Schools This Fall
The Pennsylvania Department of Health has revised Pennsylvania’s school immunization requirements for the 2017-18 school year.

The new rules require parents to get their children fully immunized prior to the fifth day of school or the students will be excluded from school. Previously, parents had eight months to meet school immunization requirements.

If a student is in the middle of an immunization series and it is too soon for the next dose, the parents must provide the school nurse with a written plan, signed by their health care provider, within the first five days of school.

For more information, contact your health care provider, visit or call 1-877-PA-HEALTH.

PennDOT Offers Winter Maintenance Jobs


Individuals seeking seasonal employment are encouraged to apply for a variety of winter maintenance positions now open through PennDOT.

The program runs from September through April, and includes positions for transportation equipment operators, diesel mechanics, radio dispatchers, stock clerks, welders and tradesman helpers.

Individuals in these positions supplement the permanent workforce and have the potential to lead to permanent full-time employment. Additional details about the positions, along with the job application, are available at Click on “OPEN JOBS” and then go to “PennDOT Winter Maintenance Program.”

The deadline to apply is Friday, Aug. 11.

Attention Medicare Recipients


From April 1, 2018, through Dec. 31, 2019, Medicare will mail out new Medicare cards that no longer have Social Security numbers on them. The new card identification number will be a random mix of numbers and letters as a way to protect a cardholder’s identity.

Some things to remember:
o A cardholder’s benefits will stay the same, with no changes to coverage. The only difference is the cardholder’s ID number.
o A cardholder doesn’t have to take any action and does not need to confirm personal information. The card will automatically come in the mail and is ready to use right away.
o The new card does not cost anything, and fees do not apply.

Medicare representatives don’t call you or come to your house. Hang up on anyone who calls you and says there is a fee for the card or that they need to confirm your identity.

For more information, call the PA-Senior Medicare Patrol at 1-800-356-3606. Help is free and confidential.

Drug Take-Back Box Available at Geisinger Bloomsburg Hospital
Geisinger recently expanded its medication take-back program to Geisinger Bloomsburg Hospital. A medication take-back box, located in the main lobby, is now available for use by patients, visitors and employees to safely return unused or expired prescriptions.

The take-back boxes are easy to use and accept prescription and over-the-counter medications, including narcotics and in solid, liquid, patch, cream, ointment and spray form. Inhalers, needles, syringes and aerosols are not accepted. The box is securely locked and under 24/7 security surveillance.

For more information about Geisinger’s take-back boxes, including locations, hours and frequently asked questions, visit 

Veterans Discount Offered at Lowe’s
Attention active service members and veterans! Dan Falls, the American Legion representative who visits my office each month, shared news of an expanded military discount program at Lowe’s, and I want to pass it along. The policy provides a 10 percent discount every day on most personal purchases made by qualified military members and veterans. Learn more about the program here or click here to register.

Roadwork Set to Begin in Columbia County
A PennDOT bridge crew will apply an epoxy coating to several bridge decks in Columbia County next week, weather permitting. The bridge projects are at the following locations:

• Wolf House Hollow Road in Pine Township between Center Road and Bitler Road.
• Route 4024 (Legion Road) at the Greenwood Township/Pine Township line between Route 42 and Maple Ridge Road.
• Route 4049 (Camp Lavigne Road) in Sugarloaf Township between Route 487 and Kearkuff Road.

Bridges will be closed between the hours of 6:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. for one day each.

Signed local road detours will be in place for each closed bridge project. Emergency services will have access through the projects if needed.

Upcoming Events
• The North Mountain Fire Department Carnival will be held from Thursday, Aug. 3, through Saturday, Aug. 5.
• St. Joseph’s Italian Festival will be held from Friday, Aug. 4, through Sunday, Aug. 6, in Berwick.
• Our Senior Expo is set for Wednesday, Aug. 9, at the Espy Fire Department from 9 a.m. to noon.
• A representative from Congressman Lou Barletta’s office will be in the Bloomsburg district office on Thursday, Aug. 10, from 1-3 p.m.
• The Catawissa Fire Department Carnival will be held from Wednesday, Aug. 9, through Saturday, Aug. 12.
• The North Mountain Fire Department Carnival will be held from Thursday, Aug. 10, through Saturday, Aug. 12.
• Monthly Radio Address: Thursday, Aug. 31, at 8:30 a.m. on WHLM 94.7 FM.

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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