News For Constituents

From Senate Republican Policy Development & Research Office


Visit Wine Country

“Visiting Wine Country” no longer means a long cross-country flight, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture and the PA Winery Association.

Pennsylvania’s 150-plus wineries and 11 wine trails are hosting more than one million visitors annually. PA ranks 4th nationally in the amount of grapes grown and 7th in the production of wine.

VisitPA can help you find places to stay and other activities to top off your trip to wine country. Be sure to check out PA’s numerous road trips focused on art, history, sports, hiking, biking and so much more to begin planning some fun fall excursions. Don’t forget to take advantage of the beauty of Penn’s Woods and plan your Leaf Peepers outing.

Don’t Be the Last to Know!

Whether a natural or manmade disaster is on the horizon, time is of the essence, according to AlertPA .

Making informed travel decisions as torrential rains, floods, high winds, tornados, or heavy snow are about to strike can be the difference between life and death. Add to the mix child abductions, state corrections facilities incidents, highway or skyway delays, food or drug contaminations, and toy recalls for a long list of events and conditions that may be disruptive, dangerous, and avoidable by subscribing to AlertPA.

Sign up for the Latest Alerts to be sent to your cell phone, pager, Blackberry, PDA, or an email account and stay on top of conditions directly affecting you and your family.

Picnic & Tailgating Food Safety

Food poisoning affects one in six Americans. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, of the 48 million people annually contracting a food-borne illness, approximately 128,000 will require hospitalization and 3,000 will die.

Take steps to protect your family and friends at your next summertime picnic or autumn tailgate party. A mixture of 1 tablespoon of chlorine bleach to 1 gallon of water kept handy in a spray bottle and used liberally at your picnic or tailgate is recommended by the FDA to help prevent the spread of potentially fatal contaminants. Moist disposable wipes should also be utilized when soap and water are not available.

During preparation, use two different colored cutting boards to help avoid cross-contamination of meat, poultry, and fish with fruits, vegetables, and prepared foods. Then, follow a few simple tips for packing the cooler (Slide 3) and grilling safety (Slide 4) for a safe picnic and tailgating season. Note the Safe Food Temperature Chart to ensure grilled foods reach the table safely.

Take a look at the FDA’s Safe Food Handling recommendations or an approximately 10 minute webinar followed by a 10 minute “Q&A” to help you avoid a foodborne illness at your next gathering.

Hunter/Trapper Education Classes

Hunter/Trapper Education Classes are coming to a location near you, according to the Pennsylvania Game Commission (PGC). Those 11 years of age and older considering either sport for the first time this fall are required to complete the training before purchasing the requisite license.

Simply locate and sign up for one of the 900 classes offering the free 6-hour training. Be sure to save a copy of the downloadable Calendar of PA 2013-14 Hunting & Trapping Seasons to plan your outdoor experience.

The PGC also offers training in bow and turkey hunting. Special women’s programs rely on expert instructors in a noncompetitive environment in support of outdoor skills development.

For additional information, contact a PGC Regional Office or the PGC Headquarters at 2001 Elmerton Avenue, Harrisburg PA, 17110-9797 or by phone at 717-787-4250.

Ready for School Buses to Return to the Roadways

According to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, U.S. students enter and exit a school bus some 20 billion times each year.

The Department’s top 10 safety measures for bused students include:

1. Be on time.

2. Never run to or from the bus.

3. Stand back from the curb.

4. Don’t push or shove.

5. Stay in your seat.

6. Don’t yell or shout.

7. Always obey the driver.

8. If you must cross the street, always do so at least 10 feet in front of the bus.

9. Never crawl under a school bus.

10. Never try to pick up a dropped article near the bus.

Parents and teachers will find a variety of tools including word scrambles, crossword puzzles, hidden word games, coloring pages and a craft idea to help reinforce student school bus safety. Meanwhile, motorists are encouraged to contribute to the safety efforts and review the School Bus Stopping Law Fact Sheet.

“Stories from the Homefront: Pennsylvania and the Civil War”

On the heels of numerous activities and events this summer recognizing the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg, the commemoration of the Civil War and Pennsylvania’s role in the conflict will continue in September as the State Museum presents “Stories from the Homefront: Pennsylvania and the Civil War”.

Learn of the crucial role played by the Commonwealth’s women and children, some who stayed home on the farms and others who toiled in Pennsylvania’s industries. PA supplied 80 percent of the federal war machine’s iron, all of its anthracite coal, and much of its textiles, flour, and meat.

Enhanced by a burst of Pennsylvania-made locomotives, rail and freight car manufacturing expanded, along with the fledgling oil industry of western Pennsylvania. Cannon, rifle, and gunboat manufacturing contributed to the growth in the number of wage earners from 98,397 in 1860 to 160,000 in 1866 with women and children entering the work force.

Less often told stories will include that of Camp William Penn and Pittsburgh’s Allegheny Arsenal Explosion which killed more than 70 workers, most of whom were women.

Artifacts and images from the museum’s collection will form the basis for illuminating interactive exhibits reflecting the bravery and sacrifice at home and on the front line.

Pennsylvania’s rich history and culture are always on display at the State Museum and along Pennsylvania’s Trails of History .