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The Weekly Roundup
The latest news from the State Capitol
Beer Sales Changes Start Saturday
Under a new law aimed at improving customer convenience, consumers will be able to buy six-packs and refillable growlers at the state’s beer distributorships this Saturday.
The law also allows retail licensees to start selling on Sundays at 9 a.m. instead of 11 a.m.; permits a person licensed by another state to apply for a “malt or brewed beverage shipper license,” which allows the direct shipment of up to 192 fluid ounces of beer to be delivered to a customer per month, though only 96 fluid ounces of a specific brand of beer may be shipped per year to an adult resident; and allows liquor to be sold (in shatterproof containers) before, during and after professional and amateur athletic events in the same manner that is currently permitted for the sale of malt or brewed beverages.
The new law is the latest in a series of steps taken by lawmakers to make beer, wine and liquor sales more convenient to consumers. Other recent changes allowed the sale of wine at approved grocery stores.
Sign the Petition to Keep SCI Frackville Open
You may have heard by now that the Department of Corrections will close two state prisons, and SCI Frackville could be one of them.
We cannot let SCI Frackville close. It’s a modern, efficient prison that employs more than 400 people from around the area.
I am working very closely with my colleagues in our legislative delegation to convince Gov. Tom Wolf and Corrections Secretary John Wetzel to keep SCI Frackville open.
But we need your help!
Please click here to sign our petition to let the governor and corrections secretary know that SCI Frackville should remain open.
LIHEAP Can Help with Home Energy Bills
Residents who are struggling with their home heating bills can apply for assistance from the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) this winter.
LIHEAP is a federally funded program that helps individuals and families pay their heating bills through home heating energy assistance grants. It also provides crisis grants to help in the event of an emergency or if a resident is in danger of losing his or her heat due to broken equipment, lack of fuel or termination of utility service.
The income eligibility guidelines for LIHEAP are set at 150 percent of the federal poverty level income. For an individual, the income limit is $17,820; for a couple, the limit is $24,030; and for a family of four, it is $36,450.
Residents may apply for LIHEAP online or by contacting the County Assistance Office in their county of residence. Click here for details.
Testing Your Home for Radon
As part of national Radon Action Month in January, the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) reminds residents that radon – a colorless, odorless, and radioactive gas -- is a known human carcinogen and the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States.
Radon occurs naturally from the breakdown of uranium in soil and rocks and enters homes through cracks in the foundation or other openings. Due to its geology, Pennsylvania is prone to high radon levels, and has been detected in all 67 counties, with about 40 percent of homes having levels above national safety standards.
Winter is an ideal time to test, because doors and windows are generally closed, producing the most conservative results. High levels of radon tend to be found in basements, but the gas can be found anywhere in the home. Simple radon test kits are inexpensive and available at home improvement and hardware stores.
For more information on radon, testing and daily tips, visit here.
Farm Show Attracts Thousands
The 101st Farm Show will wrap up Saturday, with hundreds of thousands of visitors expected to walk through the doors at the Farm Show Complex near Harrisburg. There’s still time to stop by if you haven’t yet visited the largest indoor exposition of its kind along the East Coast.
This week, I visited the Farm Show and had the chance to meet up with several residents who either entered their animals or products in competitive exhibits, participated in the many interactive contests, took in the entertaining and educational displays or tasted the hundreds of different food items made right here in Pennsylvania.
Be sure to check out list of winners on the Farm Show website at farmshow.state.pa.us/page/show.aspx. The site also includes hundreds of photos from the week, categorized by competition, and recipes from the award-winning baking contests.
This week at the Farm Show, I had a chance to speak with Dr. Gregory Martin, a poultry science educator with the Penn State Extension, about avian flu. Watch for the interview – coming soon to my website and Facebook page.
Mark Your Calendar For Upcoming Outreach Events
Please note: All offices will be closed on Monday, Jan. 16, for Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
An American Legion outreach specialist will visit my Lehighton district office on Thursday, Jan. 26, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The office is located at 110 North Third St., 2nd Floor. Area veterans may seek assistance during those hours for information pertaining to specific benefits and programs. Please call our Lehighton office at 610-377-6363 to schedule an appointment.
In addition, I will host outreach hours for U.S. Congressman Lou Barletta (R-Hazleton) at my Albrightsville district office on Tuesday, Jan. 24, from 10 a.m. to noon. The office is located at 2681 State Route 903, Unit 3 in Albrightsville. The goal of this event is provide answers for people with questions best addressed by the federal government. Please call our Albrightsville office at (570) 722-8700 to schedule an appointment.
Outreach hours for U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey will be held on Tuesday, Jan. 31, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at our Lehighton office. Please call 610-377-6363 to schedule an appointment.
The Mobile Veterans Outreach Van will visit our district on Tuesday, Jan. 24, Feb. 28 and March 28, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., at the Lehighton American Legion, 381 Bridge St. in Lehighton.
|110 North Third Street, 2nd Floor, Lehighton, PA 18235 | (610) 377-6363
|2681 State Route 903, Unit 3, Albrightsville, PA 18210 | (570) 722-8700
|Room 403 Irvis Office Building, PO Box 202122, Harrisburg, PA 17120-2122 | (717) 260-6139