May. 24, 2019

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Harrisburg Update

A quick look at what’s happening in Harrisburg
and the 125th Legislative District...

Area School District Receives Grant

It gives me great pleasure to announce that the Schuylkill Haven Area School District was awarded a state grant to help improve student safety.

The Safe Schools Targeted Grant Program was created by lawmakers to provide grants 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.

Each local school district that applied through the program was awarded a grant of up to $25,000. Schuylkill Haven received a $20,158 grant.

Eligible uses for the grants include hiring school security officers, purchasing security-related technology, completing safety and security assessments, implementing violence prevention curricula, offering counseling services for students, and creating other programs to protect students.

The Safe Schools Targeted Grant Program was created as part of a comprehensive school safety bill that was signed into law in June 2018.

A Special Ceremony for a Special Person

Recently, I was honored to be a guest speaker at a dedication ceremony and unveiling honoring the life of Chief Special Warfare Operator (SEAL) Brett David Shadle.

A memorial plaque will now be proudly displayed at the Loyalton Park Veterans Memorial in Brett’s memory.

The Washington Township native enlisted in the Navy in July 2000, the first step toward fulfilling what his family and friends said was a lifelong dream to become a SEAL.

U.S. military officials confirmed Shadle died when he and another SEAL collided in midair during a parachute training exercise over the rugged desert of southern Arizona.

This is well deserved honor for a young man who was dedicated to his country.

Local Bridges Open For Traffic

The Gap Street Bridge in Valley View and the Grove Drive Bridge in Hegins – which both cross Pine Creek – opened for traffic on last Friday.

PennDOT gave the go-ahead to use the bridges, but a final inspection will be conducted soon by an independent party.

The $1.6 million bridge replacement project on Gap Street began last year with state funding. Crews began work last summer installing a completely new concrete bridge with concrete beams. At the request of the Valley View Park Association, the supervisors will be renaming the Gap Street Bridge as the Donald Buffington Memorial Bridge.

The Grove Street Bridge was refurbished with $794,850 of federal funding. Delineators placed along the inside walls to keep the weight of crossing vehicles towards the span’s center. When work was completed, the delineators were removed.

                                            Grove Street Bridge

                                                Gap Street Bridge

Employing More Tactics in the Fight Against Opioid Addiction

As we continue to combat the opioid abuse epidemic plaguing the Commonwealth, the House Health Committee has approved legislation to better regulate pain management clinics and help identify patients who previously overdosed.

House Bill 1005 would help health care professionals identify and better treat patients who previously overdosed by requiring first responders and hospital personnel to document the use of Narcan, Naloxone or any other opioid overdose agent in the patient’s record in a state database.

The database was created in 2014 to help track opioid prescriptions to prevent people with an addiction from obtaining multiple scripts from different doctors.

House Bill 1214 would require pain management clinic to be licensed and regulated by the Department of Health to ensure they are not prescribing or dispensing controlled substances inappropriately. While it is important to ensure people who are struggling with chronic pain can access the medications they need, it is equally important to prevent the diversion, misuse and abuse of controlled substances.

Both bills now go to the full House for consideration.

Helping Our First Responders

May 19-25 is National EMS Week, recognizing those who provide emergency services to the community. One way you can help EMS first responders deliver the best emergency care possible is by participating in PennDOT’s Yellow Dot program.

In the event of a vehicle crash with an unresponsive victim, PennDOT’s Yellow Dot program provides EMS workers with the person’s identity, medical needs and emergency contacts. A simple PennDOT Yellow Dot decal in the car’s rear window alerts EMS workers to find all vital information in the vehicle’s glovebox.

The public can sign up for the Yellow Dot program on PennDOT’s website, Participants will receive a Yellow Dot kit in the mail, which they complete with personal information, including name, contact information, emergency contact information, medical history and medications, allergies and the participant’s doctors’ contact information. Optionally, you can also include a photo. You then place the completed information booklet in the vehicle’s glove compartment and place the Yellow Dot sticker in the lower-left corner of the rear window.

For more information or to sign up for PennDOT’s Yellow Dot program, visit and click on “Yellow Dot” under “Resources.”

Reminder: Fish for Free on Sunday

The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission is hosting the first of its two annual Fish for Free Days this Sunday, May 26.

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to enjoy fishing in any of Pennsylvania’s waterways, even if you don’t have a license.

Both residents and non-residents are eligible. Just make sure you follow all other fishing regulations.

For your convenience, there are even opportunities to borrow equipment from certain sites at state parks and other locations. You can find those locations by clicking here.

The second Fish for Free day is scheduled for Thursday, July 4.

Traveling Over Memorial 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.

Honoring Our Heroes

Monday, May 27, is Memorial Day – a day set aside to honor the more than 1.1 million Americans who have died in wars which the United States entered.

Please take a moment this weekend to remember these men and women who sacrificed their lives for us and for our country by attending a local Memorial Day celebration or consider participating in other Memorial Day events in your community.

For more information on Memorial Day and its history, click here.  
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Office Locations
988 Route 61 South, East Main Street, Schuylkill Haven, PA 17972 | Phone (toll free) (855) 271-9384
Borough Building, 200 S. West St., Williamstown, PA  Phone (717) 647-7208
4B East Wing, Harrisburg, PA 17120-2147 
TTY: 855-282-0614