Best wishes to Chief Dan Songer as
he retires from the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford Police
Department in early January! It was an honor to present to him a
citation from the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, honoring his
decades of dedicated service to our community. He is the longest-serving
police officer in McKean County, having started his career in Foster
Township in 1974, and the longest-serving police chief in the University
of Pittsburgh system, having started his service there in 1984. Thank
you, Chief Songer, for a job well done!!
Changes Help Cover More Kids
As a result of legislative changes
made to the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), more children
than ever are covered by the program according to a report released by
the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (DHS).
Over the last year, CHIP enrollment
increased from 150,985 in December 2015 to 168,238 in November 2016.
The main change, Act 84 of 2015,
better coordinated services, especially for families whose income
levels fluctuate and children transition between CHIP and Medicaid. The
new law also identified more children who would benefit from coverage.
Created in 1992, CHIP provides
health insurance to uninsured children and teens who are not eligible
for or enrolled in Medical Assistance. More than 650 children in
Cameron, McKean and Potter counties are covered by the program. More
information is available online at www.CHIPCoversPAKids.com.
Tech Ed, Career Readiness Report Unveiled
Many of the Commonwealth’s
higher-paying, in-demand jobs do not require a traditional four-year
degree, and the House Subcommittee on Technical Education and Career
Readiness unveiled recommendations recently to ensure that Pennsylvania
has programs, policies and partnerships in place to help workers of all
ages reach their career potential.
The subcommittee reviewed existing
technical and career preparation programs and business partnerships that
aim to better develop future generations for the workforce, which will
serve to improve Pennsylvania’s economy while also ensuring good-paying
manufacturing jobs stay in the state. The report is the result of seven
hearings with testimony from more than 60 business and education
The recommendations focus on
continuing oversight of career and technical education initiatives,
addressing business and industry demands, strengthening partnerships
with business and industry, increasing access to career and technical
education programs, and confronting misperceptions about career and
technical education. The recommendations will then be developed into
legislation for the 2017-18 session.
Pennsylvania Offers Tax Amnesty to Eligible Taxpayers
Pennsylvania is offering a tax
amnesty period next year, from April 21 to June 19. Individuals and
businesses with past-due taxes who choose to pay up during the amnesty
period will see all penalties and half of the interest owed waived.
Tax amnesty is open to nearly all
state taxes and most individuals and businesses with past-due taxes at
the end of 2015 are eligible. After the amnesty period, an additional 5
percent penalty will be added to eligible taxpayers who do not
participate, and interest will keep accumulating. Taxpayers who
participated in the 2010 tax amnesty are ineligible.
In the meantime, individuals and businesses can check if back-taxes are owed. Interest calculators are available for businesses and individuals
as well. Application instructions will be announced closer to the start
of the amnesty program. More information is available at revenue.pa.gov, including a tax amnesty fact sheet, webinar, guidelines and FAQs.
Drive Safely During Winter Weather
Several parts of Pennsylvania have
already felt Mother Nature’s fury, and PennDOT urges drivers to use
extra caution while driving during inclement weather conditions.
This winter, all of the 2,200-plus
PennDOT-owned and rented plow trucks will be equipped with technology
allowing the public to view the trucks on interstates and expressways at
When winter weather hits, PennDOT’s
primary focus is on interstates and expressways, and equipment may be
redirected to those routes during significant winter events. The more
traffic a roadway has, the more attention it will receive from plows, so
motorists may find deeper accumulations on less-traveled routes and
should adjust their driving for those conditions.
Motorists encountering snow or
ice-covered roads should slow down, increase their following distance
and avoid distractions. Tires should also be checked often for the
correct level of air pressure and adequate tire-tread depth to perform
on ice and snow.
For more information on PennDOT’s
winter preparations and additional winter-driving resources for
motorists, click here.
Sending warmest wishes to you and your loved ones for a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
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