News for Constituents

Capture the Height of PA’s Fall Foliage

Hike a seven-mile trail and be rewarded with the sights and sounds of 21 gorgeous waterfalls against an array of autumnal colors. Peddle a 20-mile pathway along the banks of the Susquehanna River and enjoy gardens filled with fall flowers and picnic areas surrounded by colorful foliage.

Climb aboard an authentic steam locomotive to capture autumn’s hues across the Commonwealth’s rolling hills and valleys. Board a sightseeing cruise for dinner and the spectacle of foliage reflecting off the lake.

By keeping an eye to the weekly foliage reports from the PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, leaf peepers can plan now to capture the height of PA’s flourish of color.

Scam Alert Sounded by PA Department of State

The PA Department of State is alerting the business community, particularly recently-formed businesses, of a scam requesting a credit card payment to obtain a “certificate of existence,” which according to the Department’s Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs, does NOT exist.

Valid companies registering with the Department are issued documentation reflecting an entity number, filing date, and the name of the current Secretary of the Commonwealth. However, the bogus operation seen in recent months attempts to secure a payment ranging from $100-$150 to comply with “non-existent” Commonwealth regulations from a non-existent entity referred to in the scam mailing as the “Division of Corporate Services.”

Other bogus requests include officer and director information, accounts, and minutes. Contact the PA Department of State at 717-787-8503 if you believe you may have first-hand experience with a scam and require direction and assistance with a related matter.

Food Safety Tips for Tailgating

Whether tailgating in cool autumn winds or picnicking during warm summer breezes, the Penn State Cooperative Extension offers a few food safety tips to observe during your outdoor activities.

Basic food safety tips for tailgating at outdoor events include:

  • Establishing the buffet area in the shade.
  • Storing food until time to eat.
  • Serving perishable foods in dishes on large bowls of ice.
  • Following USDA guidelines for internal temperature for hamburger (160 degrees) and chicken breasts (165 degrees).
  • Never reusing utensils or platters previously in contact with uncooked meat.
  • Packing and using hand sanitizer for food handling.
  • Observing the 2-2-4 rule for storing leftovers: 2 hours-2 inches-4 days

Professional, college, high school and local league teams deliver outdoor sports year around in PA. Join your friends and family for a fun day of fall sports and safe tailgating.

Your Transportation Dollars at Work

Today, tomorrow and in twelve years, Pennsylvania will continue to invest in multiple modes of transportation to facilitate the movement of people, goods, and services, enhancing the Commonwealth’s economic growth, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.

Highway, bridge, transit, rail, aviation, and port projects are mapped by time frame:

Mapping tools allow you to sort by specific address, county, PennDOT District, legislative district, statewide, and interstate. Act 89 of 2013 increased transportation funding by $2.3 billion annually and addresses all modes of transportation.

Sodium Consumption and Your Family’s Health

How many packets of salt do you consume daily? The average American’s sodium intake is approximately 3,300 mg, the equivalent of 11 packets (one half tablespoon) per day instead of the recommended adult maximum equivalent of 5 to 7 packets of salt, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Health’s second quarter edition of “Statistical News.”

While approximately 90 percent of Americans aged two years and older consume too much salt, Pennsylvania’s segment of phone survey results, broken down by age, indicate an ever-increasing desire to reduce salt intake. Respondents also indicate an increasing number of physicians recommending decreased consumption of sodium.

Good nutrition lowers risk for heart disease, stroke, some types of cancer, diabetes, and osteoporosis, among the chronic illnesses linked to high sodium diets. Increase consumption of PA Preferred fresh fruits and vegetables, meat and poultry, home-prepared foods and meals and read nutritional facts on packed and prepared foods to decrease salt intake. “Statistical News” is a quarterly newsletter published by the Pennsylvania Department of Health breaking down the facts on health-related topics.

PA Immunization Requirements and Successful Disease Reductions

“A greater than 90% reduction in the reported incidence of disease has occurred over the past 5-6 years,” according to the Division of Immunizations of the PA Department of Health.

Fourteen serious and potentially life-threatening diseases are being kept at bay with an immunization schedule specific to a student’s age. Charts breakdown requirements for those from birth through 4-6 years of age through preteens and teens.

While you are planning for the purchase of notebooks, pencils and pens, be sure to schedule the required immunizations. Families with an inability to cover the cost of vaccines, may contact the Pennsylvania Vaccines for Children program or call 717-787-5681 for additional assistance.