Aug. 23, 2019 / Weekly Roundup

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The Weekly Roundup
The latest news from the State Capitol
Celebrating Our Volunteer Emergency Responders

Earlier this week, I attended the 65th Annual Schuylkill County Firefighters Association memorial worship service at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Tamaqua.

Sponsored by the Tamaqua Fire Department, the service honors the Schuylkill County Firefighter Line of Duty Deaths and recently deceased members from our local fire companies.

Pictured with me from left to right are Schuylkill County Commissioner George Halcovage; Brian Connely, Tamaqua Borough Council vice president and member of the American Hose Fire Company; the Rev. Fred Crawford, chaplain, Schuylkill County Firefighters Association and Rep. Mike Tobash (R-Schuylkill/Dauphin).

Pictured below is our Tamaqua district office all decked out for the Schuylkill County Firemen’s Parade taking place this Saturday, Aug. 24, in Tamaqua, beginning at 1 p.m.

The parade route will pass directly in front of our office. Tell your friends and neighbors!
Fire, EMS Grant Program to Open First Week of September

Volunteer fire companies and ambulance services throughout Pennsylvania are encouraged to apply for the 2019-20 Fire Company, Emergency Medical Services Companies Grant Program from the Office of State Fire Commissioner.

The application period will open the first week of September and remain open for 45 days. Exact dates will be listed at closer to the grant application period opening.

The maximum grant amount is $15,000 for fire companies and $10,000 for volunteer ambulance services. A total of $30 million will be awarded through the program, which is funded by state gaming proceeds.

Organizations may apply for a grant in up to two of six eligible funding categories. Those categories include: construction or renovation of a unit’s facility and purchase or repair of necessary fixtures and furnishings; purchase or repair of firefighting, ambulance or rescue equipment, including fuel for company vehicles; debt reduction related to the above categories; training and certification of members; training and education materials about fire prevention for the general public; and, for career fire departments only, overtime costs associated with backfilling positions while firefighters are attending training.

For more information about the program, click here.
Seeking Investigation of PA’s Parole Processes

Responding to a series of murders committed by people recently paroled from the state prison system, the House Judiciary Committee, of which I am a member, is calling for an investigation of the state’s parole procedures by Inspector General Bruce Beemer.

While the Department of Corrections is rightfully conducting an internal review of these cases to determine if improvements can be made to prevent such tragedies, it is also vital to conduct an independent investigation to ensure every effort is being made to protect public safety.

In a letter to the inspector general, Judiciary Committee Chairman Rob Kauffman (R-Franklin) pointed to the stabbing deaths of three children and a woman, the strangulation of a domestic partner, and the shooting death of a police officer committed by state parolees as evidence of the need for an investigation.
Blue Star Museums Offer Free Admission to Active-Duty Military

Active-duty military personnel and their families have free access to dozens of museums in Pennsylvania – and thousands nationwide – through the Blue Star Museums initiative.

The initiative is a joint effort of the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families, the Department of Defense and more than 2,000 museums nationwide.
The program concludes on Labor Day, Monday, Sept. 2.

To find participating museums, click here.
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202 East Broad Street, Tamaqua, PA 18252 | Phone: 570-668-1240
61 North Third Street, Hamburg, PA 19526-1501 | Phone: 610-562-3411
314C Main Capitol, PO Box 202124, Harrisburg, PA 17120-2124 | Phone: 717-787-9029
TTY: 855-282-0614