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In this Email Update:
Happy Birthday to my first teacher, Marian Childs!
On March 31, I was pleased to gather with family and friends to celebrate Marian Childs’ 90th birthday at the Grace United Methodist Church and present her with a congratulatory citation from the Senate, which is pictured below.
Marian is a lifelong resident of Port Carbon and was my kindergarten teacher when I attended Port Carbon School in 1963. When I asked her how she could still remember me after teaching so many students over forty years, her response was this: "I always remember the very good and the very bad." As you might suspect, I did not ask her any further questions!!
Over the last several decades, Marian has contributed significantly to her community and I thank her for her wonderful service. Happy Birthday Marian!
Improving PA 309 in Schuylkill County
This past Tuesday, work began on a project aiming to improve PA 309 in Tamaqua Borough and Rush Township.
The general contractor for this $3.4 million project is Lehigh Asphalt Paving & Construction Co. of Tamaqua. Some of the improvements to PA 309 include: milling, base repairs, concrete patching, concrete island replacements, paving, minor bridge repairs and guide rail updates.
While improvements are underway, motorists may encounter lane restrictions during the daytime and nighttime on PA 309 between Rose Street in Tamaqua and approximately 2,700 feet north of Lincoln Drive in Rush Township. Motorists should be cautious when driving through the area and should also expect delays given the high volume of traffic.
To read more about road conditions and traffic delays, you can visit www.511pa.com for more information.
Applying for veterans benefits at no cost
According to the PA Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, veterans, active military and their dependents should never be required to pay for help when seeking to apply for veterans benefits.
Individuals seeking help when applying for veterans benefits have been deceived by businesses who claim to offer “free” assistance through the process.
According to Pennsylvania’s adjutant general, Brig. Gen. Tony Carrelli, there are several accredited veteran service officers through organizations that provide assistance to individuals who are interested in applying for veterans benefits free-of-charge. Some of these organizations include: the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, county veterans affairs offices, American Legion, Disabled American Veterans and VFW.
Accredited veteran service officers provide veterans and their dependents support with determining their eligibility as well as applying for a wide array of benefits including, but not limited to:
veterans emergency assistance, payment of burial allowances, blind and paralyzed veterans pensions and survivor benefits.
For more information about veterans benefits and service organizations, please click here.
2017 trout season kicks off
The Regional Opening Day on April 1 included the following counties: Adams, Berks, Bucks, Chester, Cumberland, Dauphin, Delaware, Franklin, Juniata, Lancaster, Lebanon, Lehigh, Montgomery, Northampton, Perry, Philadelphia, Schuylkill, and York counties.
Consult the PF&BC Calendar of Opening Days/Significant Events for details on Mentored Youth Trout Day, Walleye Opening Day, and Bass Opening Day. The Commission is reminding trout anglers 16 and older, they must obtain a fishing license and possess a Trout/Salmon Permit, except on Fish-for-Free Day.
PA’s Call Before You Dig program
While compiling your list of spring projects, add a call to 811, Pennsylvania’s Call Before You Dig program, if you include outside design, excavation or demolition plans.
Representatives from the utility companies will identify the location of underground lines and leave temporary marks in the proposed dig location. Utilities will be identified by designated colors no later than the day prior to the first lawful start date, allowing you to safely conduct your projects.
Checking the status of your personal income tax refund
The Pennsylvania Department of Revenue makes it simple to determine the status of your PA personal income tax refund.
Click on Where’s My Refund and be prepared to enter your social security number and the amount of your refund. Officials indicate processing may require 8-10 weeks.
Contact the Online Customer Service Center for information about a prior tax year refund.
Great American Cleanup of PA events
Volunteers for registered events can access free cleanup supplies, including bags, gloves, and vests donated by the PA Department of Transportation and the Keep America Beautiful partners. The Pick It Up PA Days, set for April 18th to May 8th , encourages involvement from community and civic associations, schools and youth groups, families, business employees, hunting and fishing clubs, conservation organizations, sports teams and others.
Nearly 2 million volunteers have combed almost 171,000 miles of roads, waterways, shorelines and trails and removed approximately 92,000,000 pounds of litter and waste, more than 258,000 tires and 226,000 pounds of scrap metal, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PA DEP). Nearly 165,000 trees, bulbs, and flowers have been planted as part of the beautification efforts.
Tips for avoiding overdraft fees
Overdraft fees frequently cost consumers $20-$45 per transaction. According to the Pennsylvania Department of Banking and Securities, Americans are losing more than $11 billion in overdraft fees per year.
The consequences of insufficient funds may go beyond overdraft fees to include the loss of checking privileges through your current bank, denial of checking privileges at other banking institutions and a lowered FICO score.
Five tips recommended to avoid overdraft fees include:
Paying bills on time, or your payment history, makes up 35 percent of your credit score. A low credit score translates into higher interest and insurance rates. Failing to pay bills on time can also effect employment and home or apartment rental opportunities.