Senator Yudichak Announces Growing Greener Grant for the Earth Conservancy’s Espy Run Stream Restoration Project

Nanticoke, December 20, 2018 – Senator John Yudichak (D – Luzerne/Carbon) announced today that the Earth Conservancy has received a $500,000 Growing Greener grant to continue the Espy Run stream restoration project in Hanover Township.

“Pennsylvania’s Growing Greener program is vital to environmental organizations, like the Earth Conservancy, as they work to mitigate acid mine drainage into the Susquehanna River by improving tributaries, like Espy Run,” said Senator John Yudichak.

According to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, the grant will be used primarily to restore a 1,900-foot section of Espy Run. The work includes installing riparian forested buffers to help shade and partially protect the stream from the impact of adjacent land use. It also includes a stream bank stabilization to re-establish the channel and restore the flow that is currently being lost into the underground mines.

“Espy Run is one of the many streams in our region damaged by historic anthracite mining.  Earth Conservancy’s reconstruction of its channel will increase habitat, repair local hydrology, and reduce acid mine drainage entering the Nanticoke Creek,” said Mike Dziak, Earth Conservancy’s President and CEO. 

“This will improve the water quality of the Nanticoke Creek watershed and ultimately the Susquehanna River.  The Growing Greener program is so important for projects – like Espy Run – which seek to improve and protect Pennsylvania’s waterways.  We greatly appreciate the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection’s and Senator Yudichak’s support.” Dziak added.

The Growing Greener grant program is supported by the Environmental Stewardship Fund.

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Senator Yudichak, Representative Pashinski, and Mayor Anthony George Announce Early Intervention Program Grant for City of Wilkes-Barre

Wilkes-Barre, December 14, 2018 – Senator John Yudichak (D – Luzerne/Carbon), Representative Eddie Day Pashinski (D – Luzerne), and City of Wilkes-Barre Mayor Anthony George announced today that the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) has awarded the city of Wilkes-Barre a $200,000 Early Intervention Program (EIP) grant to be used for the continuation and implementation of the city’s multi-year financial plan.

The scope of the work for Phase III of the Early Intervention Program includes funding for a qualified consultant to complete a Comprehensive Economic Development Strategic 5 Year Plan and the purchase of necessary financial software.

“I am pleased that the Commonwealth, through DCED’s Early Intervention Program, remains committed to providing the necessary resources to assist the city of Wilkes-Barre in executing their long term financial recovery plan,” said Senator John Yudichak. “I will continue to work with Mayor Tony George, City Council and Representative Pashinski in advancing initiatives that will revitalize Wilkes-Barre.”

“I’m very appreciative of the continued support from Governor Tom Wolf and his administration for Wilkes-Barre in dealing with the challenges our city faces,” Representative Pashinski said. “Any support is appreciated as we continue to move forward toward the goals of the city’s multi-year financial plan.”

“As Mayor, and as a lifelong resident, I do not want the city to fall in distressed status. This grant is essential in restoring Wilkes-Barre’s financial health and to secure the city’s long-term growth,” said Mayor Anthony George. “I sincerely thank Governor Wolf, Senator Yudichak, Representative Eddie Day Pashinski and DCED for their support and commitment to the City of Wilkes-Barre.” 

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Senator Yudichak and Congressman Barletta Celebrate the Launch of Children’s Book – We Saved the Bees and the Butterflies!

Wilkes-Barre, December 13, 2018 – Today, State Senator John Yudichak (D-Luzerne/Carbon), Congressman Lou Barletta (PA – 11) and local author Caroline Jones celebrated the launch of their children’s book, We Saved the Bees and the Butterflies at the Barnes and Noble in downtown Wilkes-Barre.

The book focuses on two SHINE (Schools and Homes in Education) students being curious about the declining bee and butterfly populations. They embark on a project to save the bees and the butterflies, while learning about STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics). The book was published through a grant made by the Yudichak Family Lighthouse Fund of the Luzerne Foundation. All proceeds from the sale of the book will be donated to the SHINE afterschool programs in Carbon and Luzerne counties.

“It was a pleasure to collaborate with Congressman Barletta and Caroline Jones in writing a book that promotes STEAM based educational principles and benefits the SHINE afterschool program which has succeeded in bringing quality afterschool programming to northeastern Pennsylvania,” said Senator John Yudichak.

SHINE is a nationally recognized afterschool program operating in school districts in Carbon, Schuylkill and Luzerne counties. Senator Yudichak and Representative Barletta brought the SHINE program to Luzerne County in 2015.

“For years, Senator Yudichak and I have watched SHINE change the lives of children across Northeast Pennsylvania,” said Congressman Barletta. “It was a pleasure to work with both him and Caroline Jones on this book to teach students about the STEAM curriculum and promote the program that has helped so many children achieve their dreams. SHINE is a perfect example of what successful afterschool programming can do for children in the Commonwealth, and I am proud to have worked across the aisle with my colleagues in Congress and state lawmakers like Senator Yudichak to support it.”

Caroline Jones is a graduate of King’s College and the founder of the Read to Succeed Project, a program that promotes literacy and education.

“I had a great time collaborating with Senator Yudichak and Congressman Barletta on this book. Having a Democrat political leader and a Republican political leader work together for a meaningful cause is both refreshing and inspiring. Education isn’t a partisan issue; it’s an issue that should be important to everyone,” said Jones.

Joining Senator Yudichak, Congressman Barletta and Caroline Jones at today’s book launch were SHINE students and their families from the Heights-Murray Elementary SHINE Center. SHINE of Luzerne County operated eight SHINE centers, serving 570 students during the 2017-18 school year.

“Senator Yudichak and Congressman Barletta have been leaders in recognizing the importance of afterschool programs and we’re so grateful for their support of the SHINE program. This book is a fun way for children to learn STEAM skills, while also highlighting the SHINE program,” said Carol Nicholas, Director, SHINE of Luzerne County.

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Senator Yudichak and Representative Heffley Announce Aviation Grant for Jake Arner Memorial Airport

Lehighton, December 6, 2018 – State Senator John Yudichak (D-Luzerne/Carbon) and Representative Doyle Heffley (R-Carbon) announced today that the Jake Arner Memorial Airport has received $995,250 to rehabilitate the airport’s aviation gas and jet fuel facility.

Twenty-six airports across the state will be receiving over $6 million in state funding. Included in the grants is $2.2 million in state funding from PennDOT’s Aviation Development Program, which comes from the state’s jet fuel tax, and $4 million from the Multimodal fund.

“Investing in our transportation infrastructure has helped grow the regional economy. An investment in the Jake Arner Memorial Airport will pay dividends for Carbon County residents and visitors,” said Senator John Yudichak. 

“Small regional airports are critical to the continued growth of local economies,” said Rep. Doyle Heffley. “I’m pleased to see that our airport was able to make the short list for funding that will go toward an important project to enhance its facilities.”

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Senator Yudichak and Representative Toohil Announce Aviation Grant for Hazleton Regional Airport

Hazleton, December 6, 2018 – State Senator John Yudichak (D – Luzerne/Carbon) and Representative Tarah Toohil (R – Luzerne) announced today that the Hazleton Regional Airport has received $112,500 to acquire equipment to maintain their airfield.

“Transportation infrastructure investments have helped attract commerce to Luzerne County. Investing in the Hazleton Regional Airport will pay dividends for the Greater Hazleton area and our regional economy as a whole,” said Senator John Yudichak.

“The airport is a key component of our transportation infrastructure and its viability is critical to our region’s economic development efforts,” said Rep. Tarah Toohil. “I am pleased the airport was awarded this funding to upgrade its equipment.”

Twenty-six airports across the state will be receiving over $6 million in state funding. Included in the grants is $2.2 million in state funding from PennDOT’s Aviation Development Program, which comes from the state’s jet fuel tax, and $4 million from the Multimodal fund.

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