News for Constituents

Fall is for Fairs and Festivals Across Pennsylvania

Farm animals, food, and fun are coming to a fair or fall festival near you, according to VisitPA.  Go in search of an old-fashioned greased pig race, an award-winning pie contest, or a milking competition.  Look for the bright lights, rides swirling through the air, and live music to accompany the thrill seekers.

Locate your preferred event by region or town, then choose from the list of facility amenities your family requires.  Select Discounts from the drop down menu, including AAA, AARP, group, military, senior, and student.

The 2018 PA Fair Guide also provides a quick list of fairs by region and date.  The PA Department of Agriculture’s interactive fair map allows for random choices or selecting details to include date, county, and driving distance.

Active Bears Anticipating Autumn

Hiking, taking out the garbage, and enjoying your morning coffee while watching the birds at your feeders, according to the Pennsylvania Game Commission (PGC), are quickly becoming opportunities for viewing black bears preparing for winter.

The PGC is eager to prevent unsafe encounters with those omnivorous black bears on their daily 20-hour quest to consume as much as 20,000 calories before starting all over again the next day in anticipation of hibernating.

As every county is credited with confirmed bear sightings over time, the PGC offers tips for preventing a confrontation:

  • Store bird feeders inside overnight.
  • Preserve bird seed in a secure shed, garage, or building.
  • Avoid depositing trash prior to the morning of collection.
  • Maintain clean trash cans with a hot water and chlorine bleach scrub.
  • Clean your grill after each use.
  • Dump and dispose of grill grease.
  • Remove pet food dishes.

Report to your Regional PGC office any repeated problems with bears.

Flu Season Preparation

Schools are back in session, workplaces are buzzing with employees, and restaurants are seeing locals return from family vacations contributing to conditions conducive to the spread of influenza.

Health care providers are receiving shipments of the 2018-19 influenza vaccination as we increasingly congregate indoors, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

Ideally, vaccination against the flu should occur by the end of October when outbreaks can begin, but may be administered through peak activity in January and beyond.  Two weeks are required for the vaccination to become effective.

Pet Preparedness for Your Family

The needs of our furry four-legged and feathered family members require specific preparation and planning before an emergency, according to the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency.

ReadyPA offers tips on preparing for and enduring the aftermath of a disaster, including a checklist (p. 10 of the Preparedness Guide) to assist in planning for at least the recommended three days’ worth of pet food, bottled water, and supplies.

Include all medications and medical records for your pets.  Store the name and phone number of your veterinarian along with other necessary items.  Print a copy of the Pennsylvania Emergency Preparedness Guide or call 888-973-2397 to obtain your copy of the 35-page easy-to-follow manual.

Report Potholes and Poor Road Conditions Year Around

Potholes and other highway maintenance issues on state routes are reportable year-round to the Customer Care Center for the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.

Motorists may also express concern with construction projects, signs and signals, speed limits, and personal property damage by calling 1-800-FIX-ROAD (1-800-349-7623).  Be prepared with details on location and a description of the issue whether calling or completing the simple reporting form.

Urgent roadway concerns before 8 a.m. and after 5 p.m. should be reported directly to the appropriate PennDOT Regional Office.

PennDOT 2018 Holiday Schedule

A number of holidays appear on the 2018 autumn calendar.  The following list will help avoid delays in meeting critical deadlines for state-related business, including Driver and Vehicle Services for the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation:

  • October 6 & 8, 2018 – Columbus Day
  • November 10 & 12, 2018 – Veterans Day
  • November 22, 2018 – Thanksgiving Day
  • November 23, 2018 – Day after Thanksgiving
  • December 25, 2018 – Christmas Holiday
  • January 1, 2019 – New Year’s Holiday
  • January 19 & 21, 2019 – Martin Luther King Jr. Day

PennDOT’s Riverfront Office Center in Harrisburg and Driver and Photo License Centers statewide will be closed in observance of those holidays.  Go to the Locations Info Center and enter your zip code or county to locate available services.