News for Constituents

Libre’s Law Restricts Tethering Dogs During Extreme Temperatures

Temperature extremes can be life-threatening for illegally tethered dogs, according to the PA Department of Agriculture and the Humane Society of the United States.

Libre’s Law, passed by the Pennsylvania Legislature in 2017, restricts tethering to less than 30 minutes when the Fahrenheit temperature drops below 32 degrees and rises above 90 degrees.

Report animal cruelty to your Local Humane Society Officer, local or PA State Police, or your County District Attorney.  Penalties for violating PA’s dog law range from a summary offense to a misdemeanor of the second or third degree to a felony of the third degree.  Fines, depending upon the violation, may range from $5,000 to $15,000.  Restitution of veterinary costs may also be imposed under certain conditions.

Legally and Safely Passing School Buses

Children are at greater risk when a school bus is approaching or departing than while being transported for school, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Pennsylvania’s School Bus Stopping Law is intended to keep children safe at all times.  Drivers must stop: 

  • Upon meeting or overtaking a stopped school bus with red signal lights flashing and stop arm extended;
  • At an intersection where a school bus is stopped with red signal lights flashing and stop arm extended, and
  • At least ten feet away from the school bus.

Wait until the bus’s red lights have stopped flashing and the stop arm has been withdrawn before moving.  Do not proceed until all children reach a place of safety.

Drivers may proceed when traveling in the opposing lane of traffic, separated by physical barriers, guide rails, or medians that may include trees, shrubs, rocks, boulders, or grass. 

Penalties for violating PA’s School Bus Stopping Law include a 60-day driver’s license suspension, five points on your driving record and a $250 fine.  The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation urges you to avoid becoming one of the more than 1,000 motorists who do not obey the School Bus Stopping Law.

Report Potholes Promptly

Freezing temperatures followed by a spring-teasing thaw produce potholes, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT). 

While wintertime cold, dry conditions spare the roadways, the arrival of rain, snow, and ice signals the beginning of pothole season as moisture freezes, thaws, and refreezes leaving behind crumbled macadam. 

Prompt reporting to 1-800-FIX-ROAD provides PennDOT the opportunity to contain the degree of damage to the roadway and vehicles.  Make note of the county, town, street/state route number, and descriptions of any nearby landmarks to assist in locating and repairing the pothole.  

Contact the Customer Care Center to report problems with state-owned roads, construction projects, signs, signals, speed limits, or damage to personal property.

Winning Farm Show Recipes

Whether you wish to go Pennsylvania Dutch with potato pancakes or something completely new, like Zesty Zucchini Quesadilla, the PA Preferred Culinary Connection has just the recipes for you.

Everyone can prepare these award-winning recipes like the leading chefs appearing annually at the PA Farm Show.  Don’t forget to check out the winning recipes from the annual baking contests, including brownies, angel food cake, chocolate cake, whoopie pies, apple pies, sticky buns, and cookies.

The PA Preferred Program identifies and promotes food and agricultural products grown, produced, or processed in Pennsylvania.

Home Radon Reminders and Tools

Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer and is estimated to cause approximately 21,000 deaths annually across the country, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Health.

Radon reminders are especially pertinent during the coldest months of the year when doors and windows remain closed, trapping the odorless, invisible, radioactive gas in your home.

Review Radon Test Data by Zip Code, revealing prior readings representing locations in 986 of Pennsylvania’s 2,174 zip codes.  DEP recommends radon testing regardless of the existence or the lack of any definitive data.  Consult DEP’s recommendations for radon mitigation.

Resources for Adult Caregivers

Families with seniors aging-in-place can turn to their local county Area Agency on Aging for a variety of caregiver resources.

The Family Caregivers Webinar Series brings insights to legal issues, provides connections to community resources, expands emotional survival skills, cultivates coping strategies, along with increasing awareness of special issues, such as Alzheimer’s disease and brain injury.

For those new to Bringing Care Home, the PA Homecare Association offers a documentary and a companion Guidebook to locating resources for and making important decisions with aging loved ones.  For additional assistance, contact your County Area Agency on Aging or the Pennsylvania Department of Aging at 717-783-1550.