Take the Broadband Speed Test
Updating the 85th District
The latest news from the State Capitol
Take the Broadband Speed Test

The lack of rural broadband access is a major problem in many communities across Pennsylvania, impacting the economy, educational opportunities, health care access and more.

While the General Assembly has been working on legislation to address the problem, one of the challenges we face is the lack of clear information about actual internet speeds in various areas of the Commonwealth.

The Center for Rural Pennsylvania and its research partners at Penn State University are inviting Pennsylvania residents to help provide that much-needed information by taking the broadband speed test available here.

Your participation will help map broadband access in Pennsylvania, providing a valuable tool as lawmakers work to resolve this issue.
New Initiatives Aim to Boost School Safety

Recognizing the importance of keeping children safe in school, the General Assembly recently adopted three initiatives to boost classroom safety.

A new $60 million block grant program will allow schools to identify their specific security needs and apply for grants to fund things like hiring school police officers, school resource officers, counselors and/or mental health counselors; alternative education and diversion programs; violence prevention initiatives; school safety and emergency preparedness plans; or physical upgrades to school buildings and equipment to improve safety.

Another measure creates the Safe2Say program, which will give individuals an opportunity to submit anonymous reports via phone, computer or smartphone app of potential threats to the safety of individual students and school buildings.

Additionally, the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency will work to develop standards for school security assessments and mandatory training on school safety and security methods.
New Law to Maximize Law Enforcement Resources

A new law taking effect early this fall will help enhance the safety of police officers and the public.

Act 57 of 2018 (formerly House Bill 1738) expands the types of officers who can act outside their jurisdictional boundaries in certain urgent situations. This will help facilitate more cooperation among different types of police departments and agencies, ultimately improving public safety for everyone.

Under previous law, municipal police officers have been authorized to act beyond their jurisdictional boundaries under the following conditions: where an officer is in hot pursuit of a traffic violator or criminal suspect, when requested to lend assistance to another department, when executing a court order or if an officer witnesses a crime being committed while in another jurisdiction on official business. However, the law only applies to those police officers employed by a municipality.

As part of the new law, the types of officers authorized to operate outside their jurisdiction would be expanded to include non-municipal officers who must receive training and be certified under Act 120, the Municipal Police Officers Education and Training Act. This may include officers serving with airport authority, college and university or certain other police departments, as well as agents in the Office of Attorney General.
Check Out These Upcoming Events!!

Events in July at the Lewisburg Children’s Museum: Saturdays from July 7-28; each session starts at noon. Workshops include designing your own paper rockets, learning hands-only CPR, reading a story about sandcastles and designing your own, and building a garden terrarium. Click here for additional information.

Mifflinburg Buggy Museum and Mifflinburg Heritage and Revitalization Association (MHRA) Summer History Camps: July 10-12, 9 a.m. to 3p.m. One day, hands-on history camps for children aged 5-12. Choose from dates; cost is $15 per child. Click here for more information.

Selinsgrove Stroll Arts, Crafts and Sidewalk Sales: July 13-14 and 20-21, through 8 p.m. Fridays and during the day on Saturdays. Local artists, musicians and crafters join retail businesses offering works of art, creative crafts, beautiful music and seasonal retail clearance sales. Click here for more information.

PADI Open Water Scuba Course: Sundays from July 15 to Aug. 19, 4:30-7:30 p.m., at Selinsgrove Area Community Pool, 30 Linda Lane, Selinsgrove. Anyone who wants to learn how to scuba dive, this is where it starts! You must be 12 years of age or older. Click here for more information, including fees and costs.

Susquehanna University Kid's Summer Camp and Junior Writers’ Workshops: July 16 to Aug. 3 (dates vary by activity and child’s age). Kids will learn to think critically, work together and solve problems creatively—without even knowing it. Click here for more information

McClure Pot Pie Festival: July 18-21, 4-8:30 p.m. at Cold Springs Grove, Ohio Street in McClure. Chicken pot pie will be served daily at 4 p.m. and nightly entertainment is planned. Click here for additional information:

Re-Creation Variety Show at Country Cupboard: July 18 and 19, 7 p.m., at Country Cupboard, 101 Hafer Road, Lewisburg. Re-Creation presents "Happy!" A new, jubilant show featuring the best in American Music. Click here for additional information, including ticket details.

Blueberries and Bluegrass: July 20, 6-9 p.m., at Mifflinburg Community Park. Come enjoy everything BLUE at Mifflinburg’s Community Park. Featured are blueberry pie by the slice or whole pies, blueberry ice cream, blueberry topping and the famous blueberry Whoopie pies. Food vendors and live bluegrass music. Free admission. Bring your own lawn chairs! Click here for additional information.

Hops, Vines and Wines: Saturday, July 21, from 2-6 p.m. on University Avenue between Broad and West Pine streets. Over 40 breweries, wineries and distilleries will be present at this year’s festival. Click here for additional information.

Mifflinburg Hose Company Carnival: July 23-28 at Mifflinburg Hose Company, 325 Chestnut St., Mifflinburg. Thrill rides, games, great food and fun! Parade will be held on Saturday at 4 p.m. Click here for additional information.

Gilson Summer Snow Day: Saturday, July 28, noon to 8 p.m. Live music, local breweries, cider, summer snowboarding, food trucks, local craftsmen and more. Admission is free. Click here for additional information.

West Beaver Memorial Pool and ABATE Motorcycle Ride/Chicken BBQ: Saturday, July 28, at 11 a.m. Benefits the West Beaver Veterans’ Memorial Pool and A.B.A.T.E. Serving chicken halves and platters.

For additional events across Central PA, visit the Susquehanna Valley Visitor Bureau’s Website here.

Avoiding Backover Tragedies

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) is reminding drivers to use extreme caution in order to prevent tragic incidents of children being backed over by vehicles.

According to www.KidsandCars.org, 50 children are backed over by vehicles every week in the United States because a driver could not see them. Two of these children will die. Children age 5 and under are at the most risk.

Backover crashes take place mainly in parking lots and driveways. Sadly, it is often the parent or caregiver behind the wheel.

To avoid a backover tragedy, always walk around and behind your vehicle prior to driving it. Account for the location of all your children and keep toys and bikes out of the driveway. Teach your children that a driveway is not safe to play on. Keep in mind that larger vehicles or the slope of your driveway can make it even more difficult to see small children.

Also, rearview cameras and back-up sensors greatly decrease blind spots for the driver, and these devices can be installed after-market on any vehicle.
What’s Happening in the PA General Assembly?

If you want to know more about what’s happening in your state government, look no further than the Pennsylvania General Assembly website. You will find information about upcoming committee meetings, specific bills, roll call votes, House and Senate calendars, existing state statutes and more. You can even watch session live through the site. Check it out here!
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