News for Constituents

Drought Conditions Trigger Voluntary and Mandatory Water Restrictions

Limited rainfall this summer has triggered voluntary and mandatory water restrictions in 34 counties across the Commonwealth, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.

Whether confronted by a drought watch, warning, or emergency, questions may arise on best water conservation tips.  PA DEP offers tips and the effect each can have on your family’s water consumption.

Know inclusions and exclusions for water use, including home vegetable gardens, fountains, fish ponds and more.  A number of Fact Sheets for specific types of businesses can help keep commerce moving ahead during drought conditions.

Whitetails and Trail Cams Spawn PGC’s Big-Buck Photo Contest

The Big-Buck Trail Cam Photo Contest is now underway, according to the Pennsylvania Game Commission (PGC).  Gather your best summer and fall big-buck, white-tail, trail cam photos for consideration.

Beginning September 1, 2016, the PGC will select from a number of white-tail, trail cam photo entries to be released on its Facebook page for users to pick a monthly winner, with an eye toward selecting one overall victor on December 5, 2016, the conclusion of the Big-Buck Photo Contest.

Monthly submissions should be sent to  Include the photographer’s first and last name, hometown, and county where the photo was captured.  Photographers agree to the PGC’s use of the photos.

Along with a photo assuming a spot on the PGC’s Facebook page, the monthly and the overall winners, selected by Facebook users, will each win a new trail cam to continue capturing the wondrous sights of wildlife in Penn’s Woods.


2016 PA Fair Guide Leads to Good Food and Fun 

August and September are chock full of county and local agricultural fairs, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture (PDA).

A review of The 2016 Pennsylvania Fair Guide list of events and a corresponding map can help you select your next trip to a PA fair.  Take it a step, or two, further with VisitPA’s Fairs and Festivals list of more than 100 events broken out into eleven regions.

In addition, the PDA “Markets and Farm Stands” database provides for searches by county.  Other search options include products, pick-your-own scenarios, and tours.


Avoid Dangerously High Temperatures and Humidity

Mid-summer, late summer, or early fall, high temperatures and humidity call for close attention to children, seniors, and individuals with chronic medical conditions, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Health (PDH).

Whether experiencing an extended period of high temperatures and humidity or more sporadic extremes, follow these steps to keep yourself and others safe and healthy:

  • Seek out air conditioned venues.
  • Remain hydrated.
  • Increase water intake if working outside.
  • Avoid fluids with caffeine, alcohol or large amounts of sugar.
  • Conduct outdoor activity in the mornings or evenings.
  • Seek shade.
  • Wear light colors and loose fitting clothing, while donning a hat and sunglasses.
  • Use sunscreen with an SPF15 or higher.
  • Maintain contact with heat-susceptible neighbors, friends, and family.
  • Never leave vulnerable individuals, especially children and pets, in a vehicle. Even during cooler outdoor temperatures, the sun can send temperatures soaring to dangerous levels.

The PDH recommends becoming familiar with the symptoms of heat-related conditions for added protection.

August is for Turkey Counting

During August, the Pennsylvania Game Commission (PGC) is encouraging public participation in the Turkey Sighting Survey to help analyze spring turkey production.  Participants will record and report the turkey’s general location, the date, and their contact information for any necessary follow-up.

From early less successful efforts with turkey farms and breeding pens, to successful habitat improvements and trap-and-transfer programs, today’s self-sustaining wild turkey population returned from an estimated 3,500 to 5,000 birds.

The results of lumbering, forest fires, and turkey over-harvesting occurring more than a century ago, prompted the Pennsylvania Game Commission to undertake and continue turkey restoration and management efforts.

“Get Smart” Competition Open to Young Health-Conscious Artists and Writers

The “Get Smart about Antibiotic Resistance Program” is a cooperative effort between the Pennsylvania Department of Health, the University of Pennsylvania and the Centers for Disease Control recognizing the more than two million Americans who annually experience complications from antibiotic resistance (ABR).

A shot of creativity could land your child in the Program’s winner’s circle.  Your youngster can paint a picture, design a poster, develop a comic book, create a new superhero, or write a story or a poem about keeping healthy.

Artwork may highlight good prevention practices including:

  • Handwashing
  • Recognizing which symptoms are responsive to antibiotics
  • Instructing pharmacy students about ABR
  • Promoting increased vaccination rates

Enter by the 10 p.m. October 31, 2016 deadline for a chance to see your child’s winning entry displayed on the Get Smart website.