News for Constituents

Prime Time for Elk Watching in PA

Welcome to year two of the PA Game Commission’s Elk Webcam, offering the sights and sounds of Elk County.

If you have no time to spare this fall for a trip to Elk country, the PA Game Commission is urging you to log onto the webcam site at dawn and dusk during elk feeding times.  Don’t forget to tune in throughout the rest of the day for a glimpse of native wildlife and the changing palette of fall in Elk County.

If you are considering a road trip, in search of the great bugling beasts, VisitPA can direct you to the Visitor Center for a multimedia experience, interpretive exhibits, and wildlife watching areas.  Benezette, PA is home to the largest herd of free-roaming elk in the Northeast.

Farmers Market Guide to PA’s Finest Produce

Fall into a Farmers Market near you or turn to the Pennsylvania Farm Market Guide, organized by county, for a list of hundreds of vendors located across the state and awaiting your visit, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture.

From apples to wines produced throughout the year, the “When to Buy Guide”, located on page 277, indicates availability of Pennsylvania produce.  Or, locate just what you desire through the PA Preferred interactive products map.

VisitPA would like to introduce you to farming’s best, largest, oldest and much more.  Join PA’s popular farm-to-table movement attracting everyone from moms and dads to foodies looking for clean, fresh cuisine.

Keep Children Safe as School Buses Return to the Roads

As school begins, more than 1.5 million children will be transported daily along some 4 million miles of roadways to attend school, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.

Encountering a school bus on a narrow rural road versus a multi-lane highway requires differing responses by the driving public to ensure each child’s safe return home.  The Pennsylvania School Bus Stopping Law outlines the requirements for motorists when encountering a stopped school bus.  For example, drivers are required to STOP when:

  • Meeting or overtaking a stopped school bus with red signal lights flashing and the stop arm extended; and
  • Approaching an intersection where a school bus is stopped with red signal lights flashing and stop arm extended.

Motorists must stop at least ten feet from a stopped school bus and remain stopped until the red lights have stopped flashing and the stop arm has been withdrawn before moving.

Engage your students in preparing for the hours ahead spent on the school bus with PennDOT’s “School Bus Safety Activity Book” to promote safe, respectful school bus behavior.


Tackle Back-to-School Assignments with “POWER”

As the school doors swing open welcoming students to the 2016-17 school year, the POWER Library, Pennsylvania’s Electronic Library, shines a light on its available resources.

Use a local library card or obtain one online through the POWER Library, allowing use of the resources from the comfort of home or through a visit to your local library.  PA residents may also CHAT with a librarian to get started in the right direction or for guidance along the way.

Students can rely on the POWER Library to assist in accurately completing homework and conducting research assignments.  The types of information available to students include biographies, business facts and figures, special children’s resources, books, general reference materials, literature, and health and science reports, not easily accessible from outside sources.


Is It Bullying?

Bullying effects 28 percent of students in grades 6 to 12 and 20 percent of students in grades 9 to 12, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Education.

Along with the “Is It Bullying?” Quiz, Pennsylvania is providing a Bullying Prevention Toolkit and Guides for parents, educators, and professionals to help differentiate between bullying and conflict.  The Toolkit discusses how to respond to cyberbullying and the potential legal implications of bullying-type behaviors.

A toll-free Bullying Consultation Helpline is manned by individuals trained to help develop strategies to cope with and end bullying.  Students, parents, guardians, and professionals in PA school districts may call 1-866-716-0424 to get help in addressing bullying.


Be Prepared for Emergencies 

What do a whistle, a wrench, and a manual can opener have in common?  Three key items, according to the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency, to include in a basic emergency kit in anticipation of any of a wide variety of disasters and emergencies.

Focus on the essential items you and your family will need for at least three days.  PEMA offers a printable checklist for your convenience in preparing your emergency kit.  Consult page three and the list for children and another checklist for older Pennsylvanians outlining additional special items to include.

Don’t forget your four-legged family members when preparing.  Your pet’s emergency kit should include extra food, kitty litter, and medications.  Discuss with your veterinarian recommendations for safely caring for your pets in emergencies.