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Sen. Yudichak Reports

Carbon County Safety Day 2016 Honors Junior Firefighters and Youth Volunteers

For the fourth consecutive year Carbon County Safety Day has kicked off the summer season promoting safety and offering area families a free day of fun at Mauch Chunk Lake Park.

The event is hosted by state Senator John Yudichak, the Carbon County commissioners, Kid Zone Blue Mountain Health System, Carbon Masonic Lodge No. 242 and the Nolan Ritchie Staying Afloat Foundation. This year the day included special recognition for Carbon County’s junior firefighters and youth volunteers of area fire departments who were given certificates for their service.

Carbon County Safety Day 2016“At a time when the number of volunteers is dropping, it is a pleasure to honor these young men and women who see the need and are giving their time to help local fire companies in a variety of ways,” said Senator Yudichak.
A number of agencies set up displays in the park to educate area families about water safety, animal safety, fire safety, bicycle safety, poison control and more.

Participating agencies included state Rep. Doyle Heffley’s office, SHINE (Students and Home In Education), Pathstone Head Start, Blue Mountain Health System, Right From The Start, Carbon County Emergency Management Agency, the County Animal Response Team, CERT, Carbon-Monroe-Pike Drug and Alcohol Commission, Family Promise, Carbon County Children’s Team, Pennsylvania State Police, American Red Cross, Penn State Master Gardeners, New York Life, the Nolan Ritchie Staying Afloat Foundation, St. Luke’s, Radio Station WMGH, the PA Fish and Boat Commission, Pre-K Counts, Carbon County Amateur Radio Club, the Pyramid, Carbon County Action Committee, Friends of Beltzville State Park, CareNet of Carbon County and Turn To Us.

Approximately a dozen area volunteer fire companies and medical helicopters from St. Luke’s University Health Network and Lehigh Valley Health Network allowed attendees to see their equipment up close.

Prizes included bicycles and a wagon that were raffled off in a free giveaway. The bicycle team, The Jim Thorpers, through the Masons, donated one-thousand dollars worth of bicycles and an additional dozen bikes were purchased and given away.
Refreshment donations came from Aetna, Redner’s Warehouse Markets, Stroehmann’s Bakery, Hatfield Quality Meats, McDonald’s, Hazle Park, Herr’s, Zimmerman’s Iced Tea and Dale Ott.

Major sponsors for the event included: State Senator John Yudichak, Carbon County, Carbon Lodge No. 242 Free & Accepted Masons, Jim Thorpe National Bank, Mauch Chunk Trust Company, St. Luke’s University Health Network, Blue Mountain Health System, Nolan Ritchie Staying Afloat Foundation, SHINE, Carbon County Lions/Lioness Fair Association, WMGH/WLSH Radio, and Walmart.

Senator Yudichak and Rep. Mullery Announce Growing Greener Grant for Earth Conservancy Project

State Senator John Yudichak and Representative Gerald Mullery (D-119th) recently announced a $734,600 Growing Greener grant for the Earth Conservancy Bliss Bank Project in Nanticoke.

The money will be used for Bliss Bank Phase II a 54 acre reclamation project that is part of a larger 200 acre tract known as Bliss Bank Phase I. The land is located on Prospect Street in Nanticoke across the street from Luzerne County Community College.  The goal of the project is to make the land available for development.

“Creating economic opportunities while cleaning up the environment is a great use of state resources,” said Senator John Yudichak. “The Earth Conservancy has proven it has the ability to effectively manage grant dollars to reclaim mine scarred land and make it available for development.”

“The Earth Conservancy thanks the State of Pennsylvania for having the Growing Greener Program,” said Michael Dziak, President/ CEO of the Earth Conservancy.

“And with this grant Earth Conservancy will continue a second phase of restoring mine scarred land in the Bliss area across from Luzerne County Community College.  This will provide land for future development and save our green area for conservation and open space.”

“The environmental benefits of the cleanup are important, but it will also have an economic benefit. The project will allow the property to be used for mixed use development that could someday support economic initiatives,” said Rep. Gerald Mullery who worked with Senator Yudichak to secure the grant.

Growing Greener grants are used for a variety of projects that include helping communities address land use; and provide new and upgraded water and sewer systems.

Township Supervisors Leadership Helps Plymouth Township Exit Act 47 Distressed Status

Pymouth Twp Leaves Distress Status

By Bill Wellock | May 4, 2016

PLYMOUTH TWP. — State and township officials were hugging each other Tuesday, celebrating the latest municipality to leave distressed status.

Plymouth Township entered distressed financial status in 2004. State Department of Community and Economic Development Secretary Dennis Davin signed a letter removing the township from the status Tuesday at the municipal building.

“The road to fiscal stability is paved with tough decisions,” Davin said. “The city now has the tools to make the decisions necessary to maintain a responsible budget, meet its obligations and provide essential services to township residents. You can’t ask for anything more than that.”

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Plymouth Township joined West Hazleton and the City of Nanticoke as the third community in the 14th district to exit the Act 47 Distressed City program in the last year. As in each of the cases, this turn around resulted from good governance and outstanding leadership.

As Plymouth Township's budget problems grew, a group of new leaders took charge. Supervisors Conrad, Brennan, Manley, Yudichak and Katurak, immediately sought assistance from the state, made tough decisions and put Plymouth Township on the road to recovery.

The Township hired a professional manager, Steve Grzymski, and implemented the Supervisors' leadership plan. Steve Grzymski, quiet and unassuming, has been an exceptional steward of the Act 47 program with the assistance of the recovery manager - the NEPA Alliance.

Act 47 allowed Plymouth Township to reform budget operations, improve governance and invest in the delivery of municipal services.

With an Act 47 recovery plan in place Plymouth Township slowly, but methodically paid down its debt and instituted new fiscal policies to ensure a balanced budget.

The Act 47 ceremony on May 3 in the Plymouth Township municipal building was the result of hard work and effective, dedicated leadership.

Twelve years ago the aforementioned Township Supervisors made the difficult decision to ask the DCED for help. Plymouth Township was faced with hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt and needed a plan for its future.

Township Leaders continued to diligently execute this plan even when faced with the challenge of overcoming three floods. This exit from Act 47 is truly a credit to the entire community that rallied around their leaders to secure their future.

This type of leadership and community engagement while facing adversity makes Senator Yudichak proud to call Plymouth Township my home.

SHINE of Luzerne County Opens in Hazleton

Congressman Lou Barletta (R-11th), state Sen. John Yudichak, and Wilkes University President Patrick Leahy have formally opened the SHINE of Luzerne County after-school program in the Hazleton Area School District. Students participating in the program, district officials and community leaders helped cut the ribbon recently at the Maple Manor Elementary School.

SHINESHINE (Schools and Homes in Education) of Luzerne County began last fall in the Wilkes-Barre Area, Greater Nanticoke Area and Wyoming Valley West school districts and has now expanded to Hazleton.  The program, geared to grades K-8, focuses on a project-based STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) curriculum.  SHINE links schools to homes to help children build a stronger academic and social foundation.

“We are thrilled to have the Shine program in the Hazleton Area School District,” said Superintendent Dr. Craig Butler. “This is a terrific outreach program for our students who desire an experience in STEAM related activities and it’s also a tremendous opportunity to extend their school day in learning activities that will enrich their education and their lives. We are thankful for the supporters and the partnership with Wilkes University in this endeavor.”

“We have seen SHINE in action in Carbon and Schuylkill Counties, and we are thrilled to see it expand into Luzerne County, and now Hazleton,” said Congressman Barletta.  “SHINE fills a vital role in children’s lives, because while it does occupy their time after school, it also occupies their minds, encourages them to learn in creative ways, and keeps them surrounded by good influences. SHINE opens up a world of possibilities, and the chance of a brighter future. By reaching even more children, we are building on what has already been a rousing success.”

Congressman Barletta fought hard to protect funding for 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC), which supports programs like SHINE, that had been targeted for elimination. He negotiated 14 changes to a bill in support of afterschool programs, and specifically the SHINE model in the House Education and the Workforce Committee.

Barletta sent a letter to lead House and Senate negotiators imploring them to preserve the 21st CCLC program. As a result, the conference report passed and was approved by the president authorizing $1 billion in funding for the 21st CCLC program.
“The expansion of the program to Hazleton is another major milestone for SHINE in its first year of operation,” said Senator Yudichak.  “If we leave to our young people an inheritance rooted in a quality education then they will leave our schools empowered and become an unstoppable force for good in our communities and our great commonwealth.”

“Wilkes University proudly joins Congressman Barletta and Senator Yudichak in celebrating the expansion of SHINE into the Hazleton Area School District,” said Dr. Patrick F. Leahy, President of Wilkes University.  “With the opening of two new centers, SHINE continues to fulfill its promise of bringing a brighter future to children in our community.”

Statement from Senator Yudichak on Route 93 Traffic Safety Problems

State Senator John Yudichak issued the following statement in April after a meeting to address the traffic safety problems on Route 93 in Nesquehoning.

In a span of three days from March 30-April 1 three tractor trailers lost control and crashed at the bottom of route 93, heading into the Borough of Nesquehoning. Two of the trucks crashed at the intersection of route 93 and 209, while the third truck made it to the runaway truck ramp.

“Every Carbon County resident who raised concerns about the serious traffic safety problem on Route 93 had their voices heard today by state, county and local authorities who are working together to mitigate the truck accidents that are happening at an alarming rate,” said State Senator John Yudichak (D-Luzerne/Carbon).

“All safety options are on the table to address the rash of truck accidents on Broad Mountain including increased enforcement and an out-right ban on large tractor trailers that use Route 93 to by-pass safer alternative trucking routes,” said Senator Yudichak.

Sen. Yudichak's Community Corner

   
Senator Yudichak was honored by the Children’s Service Center with its Commitment to Children Award. Senator Yudichak recently participated in the “Week of the Young Child” reading event at ABC Kiddie Kampus in Exeter.
Senator Yudichak was honored by the Children’s Service Center with its Commitment to Children Award. Senator Yudichak recently participated in the “Week of the Young Child” reading event at ABC Kiddie Kampus in Exeter.
   
Senator Yudichak along with his state and federal legislative colleagues and local officials cut the ribbon for the implementation of the SHINE after school program in Hazleton. Senator Yudichak was on hand to deliver remarks at the Commonwealth Medical College grand opening event at King’s College on the Square in Wilkes-Barre.
Senator Yudichak along with his state and federal legislative colleagues and local officials cut the ribbon for the implementation of the SHINE after school program in Hazleton.  Senator Yudichak was on hand to deliver remarks at the Commonwealth Medical College grand opening event at King’s College on the Square in Wilkes-Barre.
   
Senator Yudichak attended the Wilkes-Barre THINK Center ribbon cutting at the Greater Wilkes-Barre Chamber of Commerce’s Innovation Center.
  Senator Yudichak attended the Wilkes-Barre THINK Center ribbon cutting
at the Greater Wilkes-Barre Chamber of Commerce’s Innovation Center.
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