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Local students serve as “Senators for a Day”
A total of 118 students and 15 advisors from 12 secondary schools across the 41st Senatorial District had the opportunity to get a first-hand look at legislative and state government operations during a student government seminar I hosted on April 30 in the Kovalchick Convention and Athletic Complex at Indiana University of Pennsylvania.
Students had the opportunity to see how state government works. The attendees interacted with students from other high schools, elected officials and people in government relations while developing and voting on legislation as they served as members of the General Assembly.
In the morning they were broken down into committees: Communications & Technology, Drug & Alcohol, Economic Development, Education, Environment, Health & Welfare, Judiciary, and Transportation to consider bills. The students came together as the “full Senate” in the afternoon to vote on the bills reported out of the committees.
Leechburg Starts Long-Awaited Sewer Project
I was pleased to participate in a groundbreaking on April 28 for the second phase of Leechburg Borough’s sewer line separation project.
As a member of the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority (PENNVEST) board, I was extremely pleased to support Leechburg’s project when it came before the board for consideration last summer. At that time, PENNVEST approved a $6,658,709 grant and a $4,311,862 low-interest loan for the project.
The borough will use the funds to complete the long awaited separation of storm sewer and sanitary sewer lines. About 40 percent of the lines serving the borough are already separated. The project involves the installation of 39,750 feet of sewer lines, 830 lateral inspection ports and related manhole replacements.
This is a costly project and the burden on Leechburg’s ratepayers would have been exorbitant. The $6.6 million grant approved by PENNVEST will go a long way to ease that financial burden and keep rates low for the system customers. The borough has already paid a price in legal fees and utility costs for its obsolete system.
The combined sewer lines resulted in a legal battle between Leechburg Borough and the Kiski Valley Water Pollution Control Authority, which charged Leechburg customers higher fees than those in 11 other authority communities with separated lines.
The project will also address contamination problems during wet weather when Saltsburg’s current system discharges raw sewage into Kiskiminetas River.
IUP Participates in “Day on the Hill”
On April 15, I met with President Mike Driscoll and students from Indiana University of Pennsylvania who visited Harrisburg for the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education’s “Day on the Hill.” IUP, which is a PASSHE school and a true asset for the 41st Senatorial District, offers students quality and diverse higher education opportunities at an affordable price. Pictured with President Driscoll are Kevin Foster, Erika Fenstermacher, Vincent Lopez, Marissa Olean, Elijah Rosenthal, and Tyron Snead.
Program Allows for the Safe Disposal of Prescription Drugs
A recent national study showed that approximately one in five high school students has abused prescription drugs. The theft and abuse of prescription drugs is a growing problem not only in Pennsylvania, but also across the nation. Disposing of unused prescriptions promptly and efficiently is the best way to ensure these substances do not fall into the wrong hands.
The state offers a free program that allows for the disposal of prescription and over-the-counter medicines safely and anonymously at locations throughout our region and across the state. For a complete list of take back locations, by county, click here.
Below are collection locations in Armstrong, Butler, Indiana and Westmoreland counties. Times of operations vary by location, so it’s best to call ahead of time.
Kittanning Borough Police Station
Butler City Police Dept.
Butler County Prison
Saxonburg Borough Police Dept.
Blairsville Borough Police Dept.
Indiana Borough Police Dept.
Indiana County District Attorney's Office
Indiana University of PA Police Department
City of Greensburg Police Dept.
Murrysville Police Dept.
Upper Burrell Township Police Dept.
Washington Twp. Police Dept.
Westmoreland County Park Police
Pennsylvania Tourism Office Releases 2015 Vacation Guide
The Pennsylvania Tourism Office recently released the 2015 Vacation Guide, which highlights the commonwealth’s unique travel destinations and experiences as well as must-see attractions and events.
The guide encourages visitors to explore Pennsylvania’s fan favorites, flavors and landscapes through stories featuring game-changing experiences for sports enthusiasts, showcasing Pennsylvania’s most famous foods and highlighting the changing colors of the Commonwealth’s dynamic backdrops.
The 2015 Vacation Guide is now available online at visitpa.com/pa-vacation-guide or by calling 1-800-VISIT-PA. The guide can also be found at Welcome Centers across the state beginning in April.
Mark Your Calendar
Indiana County District Attorney Patrick Dougherty, Aging Services, Inc.,
and the Indiana County Link to Aging & Disability Resource Center will
co-host a free Senior Citizen Law Day from 10 a.m.
to 2 p.m. on Tuesday, May 5, at the Kolvalchick
Convention & Athletic Center. Information will be provided on elder abuse
and protective services, financial fraud, estate recovery, safe driving, and
scams. Lunch will be provided. Space is limited and pre-registration is
required. To register, call (724) 349-4500.
286 Main Capitol