Aug. 04, 2017

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The Weekly Roundup


 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.

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.

Carbon County Recognizes National Night Out 


My staff and I attended National Night Out celebrations in Jim Thorpe and Lehighton on Tuesday. These are great events intended to support our local police and enhance the law enforcement-community relationship. I am pictured with several members of the Jim Thorpe Police Department.

Three Dead from Carfentanil in Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania now has another three known and confirmed deaths from the use of carfentanil. The deaths occurred in York and Montgomery counties in June.
Carfentanil, also known as carfentanyl, is a synthetic opioid that is 10,000 times more potent than morphine and 100 times more potent than fentanyl, which itself is 50 times more potent than heroin. It was developed to be used as a tranquilizer on large animals, such as elephants. It is a Schedule II drug.
Carfentanil and other fentanyl-related compounds are a serious danger to public safety, coroners/medical examiners, forensic pathologists, first responders, along with medical, treatment and laboratory personnel.  These substances can come in several forms, including powder, blotter paper, tablets and spray – they can be absorbed through the skin or accidental inhalation of airborne powder.
Very small amounts – equivalent to a few grains of salt – can be deadly. And as noted above, ingestion is not necessary.
Multiple doses of naloxone administered within minutes may permit a reversal of the drug’s impact but is not a guarantee of survival.
Many times heroin dealers will mix fentanyl with heroin to increase its potency. But neither the seller nor the buyer may know exactly what they are getting. The prevalence of this drug only seeks to escalate this crisis. For more information on the opioid crisis, visit

Visit Us at the Carbon County Fair
My office will have a booth at the Carbon County Fair, which runs Monday through Saturday from 4-10 p.m. Stop by and learn about what our office can do for you.

Scenes from Pocono Raceway


Last weekend, I visited with Carbon County residents Mark Nalesnik, Allen Goodhile and Joe Greco, who provided emergency services and track cleanup at the Pocono Raceway.

I got a pre-race tour of the speedway and discussed the local economic benefits of the track with Pocono Raceway officials.

The highlight of the day was sitting in on the drivers’ meeting before the race.

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Office Locations
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
TTY: 855-282-0614