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Sen. Yudichak Reports

Wilkes University Announces $4.5 Million Investment on South Main Street

Wilkes AnnouncementI recently joined Wilkes University president Patrick Leahy, state Rep. Eddie Day Pashinski, Wilkes-Barre mayor Tom Leighton  and numerous Wilkes students to announce a $4.5 million investment on South Main Street in Wilkes-Barre.

The multi-phase project includes transforming the University Center on Main (UCOM) into the new home of the Jay S. Sidhu School of Business and Leadership and renovating the former Bartikowsky’s jewelry building located next door.

The project will also create a South Main Street Gateway – which is expected to be completed sometime during the 2014-15 academic year.

I can assure you that there are no stronger partners in the revitalization of Wilkes-Barre than our region’s colleges and universities. Add this $4.5 million investment Wilkes is making in the South Main Street corridor to the recent investment of $35 million in the Cohen Science Center along River Street– and it becomes crystal clear that Wilkes University is committed to providing their students and faculty with the very best educational facilities possible.

The renovation of UCOM will begin in April and is expected to be completed before the start of the new school year in August of this year.

To view an artist rendering of the projects that were announced, click here

Honored to Receive 2014 Afterschool Champion Award from PSAYDN

Afterschool Advocacy Day
Video of Sen. Yudichak's remarks at a recent Capitol rally to call for more funding for Pennsylvania afterschool programs..

I was incredibly honored to receive the prestigious Afterschool Champion award from the Pennsylvania Statewide Afterschool/Youth Development Network (PSAYDN) at a Harrisburg reception earlier this month.

I can assure you that I share this honor with many, many great educators and champions of afterschool programs from across Northeastern Pennsylvania. Afterschool programs give our children outlets to learn and grow socially and academically and we need to continue to find ways to increase both funding and access to these important programs.

I was nominated for the award by Jeanne Miller, Director of Carbon and Schuylkill County Educational Services and the SHINE program, for exemplary commitment, dedication, and outstanding work in supporting meaningful high quality afterschool/out-of-school time for children and youth in the community. The SHINE program, run through Lehigh Carbon Community College (LCCC), was designed to help all students that were having academic or social issues in the classroom environment.

The fight to ensure all children have access to these important afterschool programs – like the SHINE program – is a fight worth making for every legislator, every teacher and every parent who cares passionately about the health, welfare and educational development of our children.

Sen. Yudichak's Community Corner

Marian Fillies
Joined Senator Dave Argall to welcome the state champion Marian Fillies volleyball team to the state Capitol earlier this month.
Read Across America

I had a great time reading to Mrs. Zekas' 3rd grade class at Dana Street Elementary for Read Across America Day!

Senate citation presentation
Proud to honor Newport Township resident Chad Shettle with a Senate citation for helping save an elderly neighbor's life. (Click here for story)
TV Show
I discuss the state budget and public safety initiatives on my latest episode of the Pennsylvania Report. Click here to watch.

Working Together: Local Leaders Kick Off Carbon County Council of Governments

Carbon County COG MeetingEarlier this week, I joined county commissioners and officials from local governments across Carbon County to officially kickoff the Carbon County Council of Governments (COG). The newly formed association will allow local governments across the county to work together to share costs, leverage grants, and share information and resources to better meet the needs of local communities.

Many local governments across our region have already witnessed the great benefits provided by regional councils of government and I am certain that the Carbon County COG will continue the overwhelming success stories of COGs across northeastern Pennsylvania. All local and elected officials, county commissioners and business leaders know that working cooperatively is the best and most cost effective way to deliver services to our residents.

I worked closely with a number of Luzerne County communities to form the West Side COG as a way to save money and improve services for many neighboring local governments. The accomplishments of the West Side COG have piqued the interest of other Northeastern Pennsylvania areas – leading to the Carbon County COG and also discussions about a South Valley COG in southern Luzerne County.

DCED Reduces Interest Rates on Several Business Financing Programs

PA DCEDThe Pennsylvania Department of Community & Economic Development (DCED) recently reduced the interest rates on several of its business financing programs in order to stimulate new economic growth and enable businesses to access affordable capital.

The interest rate on the Small Business First Program has been reduced to 1.75%. The rate is effective throughout the loan term and is effective for applications received through June 30. In Luzerne and Carbon County, the Small Business First Program is operated by the NEPA Alliance.

The DCED also reduced the interest rate on several additional programs, including the Machinery & Equipment Loan Program, Pollution Prevention Assistance Program (PPAA) and the Export Financing Program to, 1.75%. For these three programs, fees have been waive and the rates will be in effect for all applications received through June 30. Also, the Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority (PIDA) reduced its interest rate from 4% to 2.25% and waived its fee charged to borrowers for applications received through June 30, 2014.

Visit the NEPA Alliance or the Pennsylvania Department of Community & Economic Development for more information or to apply for a business loan.

Over $2.2 Billion in Property Still Unclaimed in Pennsylvania

PA TreasuryRoughly one in ten Pennsylvanians has unclaimed property and last year alone, roughly $2.3 million was returned to more than 1,800 constituents who filed for unclaimed property.

Each year, the Pennsylvania Department of Treasury receives millions of dollars in unclaimed property – things such as abandoned bank accounts, forgotten stocks, uncashed checks, and contents of safe deposit boxes. Treasurer Rob McCord’s Return Team is working hard to locate the rightful owners of $2.2 billion in unclaimed property, all of which is searchable via Treasury’s free online database at

Since January 2009, the Treasury has collected more than $1.1 billion in property, returned more than $526 million to rightful owners, and generated about $619 million for the state’s General Fund through the Unclaimed Property Program.

To learn more about Pennsylvania’s Unclaimed Property Program or to search for property, visit or call 1-800-222-2046.

Trout Stocking Map2014 Pennsylvania Trout Season Fast Approaching

The wait is over for local anglers – the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) recently released the 2014 Trout Stocking Schedules for all of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties.

A searchable trout stocking database for all streams and lakes across the Commonwealth is available online. Anglers can search by county or by stock dates. The lists are also available at any of my district offices.

The search results will provide each body of water within a county that is scheduled for stocking, the section of water, the date, the species of trout, the meeting place and time, the hatchery stocking the section, the regulations that apply and even the latitude/longitude number.

The official opening of the 2014 trout season locally is April 12, but anglers looking to get out fishing even sooner can take a short drive to any of 18 southeastern counties where trout season will open March 29.

And remember anyone 16 years of age and older is required to have a Pennsylvania fishing license. There are many options when purchasing a license, from single-year to multi-year fishing licenses, including a resident three-year license for $64.70 or a resident five-year license for $106.70. Resident three-year and five-year trout permits cost $25.70 and $41.70.

The PFBC has also re-introduced a Pennsylvania fishing license button. Anglers are now able to purchase a $5 button through the PFBC’s Outdoor Shop ( or by visiting any of the PFBC's regional locations. License buttons can also be ordered using the mail-in form posted on PFBC's website.

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