News for Constiuents

PA Home Energy Assistance Program Accepting Applications 

Pennsylvania’s 2019-2020 Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) is accepting applications to help income eligible families, whether renting or owning a home, to pay their heating bills.

Enter your fuel type and county into the LIHEAP Benefit Table to access benefit amount by household size.  You do not have to be on public assistance or have an unpaid heating bill to be eligible. 

Apply online, by paper application, or through your County Assistance Office between November 2019 and April 10, 2020 for cash or crisis grants

Finnegan Foundation Accepting Applications for Paid Summer Internship Program

Competition for paid summer internships in Pennsylvania state government is open, according to the Finnegan Foundation.  PA undergraduates attending an in- or out-of-state accredited college or university and who have completed at least one semester are eligible to participate. 

Winners earn a weekly salary while working in the executive, legislative, or judicial branches of government.  The Foundation also bestows honorable mentions, individual awards of $1,000, and the $1,500 James A. Finnegan Award during the annual awards banquet at the Governor’s Residence. 

Applicants must submit a 1,500 to 2,500 word essay designed to serve as an answer to this year’s state government policy question. 

Complete the application along with transmitting the required documents no later than 11:59 p.m. on January 31, 2020 or mail the required materials, postmarked no later than January 31, 2020, to Finnegan Foundation; Kathy Speaker MacNett, Treasurer; 320 Market Street, Suite 600W; Harrisburg, PA 17101.  For additional questions, contact a Foundation representative at 717-233-1000 or send a message

Will You Need Real ID? 

Will you need Real ID beginning October 1, 2020?  Do you typically fly for the holidays and vacations?  Does your job require flying?  Will you need to access services inside a federal courthouse or military installation? 

Consult the list of Frequently Asked Questions to determine your needs and required documents to obtain a federally accepted Real ID.  The Real ID online wizard can help you decide your need to apply.  Those with a U.S. Passport, military ID, or other federally-accepted forms of ID may board a commercial flight or visit a secure federal building on or after October 1, 2020. 

If you will require a Real ID, begin by selecting from each subcategory of documents for required proof to obtain a Real ID: 

  • S. Citizenship Identity or Lawful Permanent Resident – One of eight documents.
  • Social Security – An original card.
  • Pennsylvania Residency – Provide two of seven options.
  • Legal Name and Date of Birth – Marriage certificate, name change court orders, and original or certified copy of an amended birth certificate showing a name change.
  • Gender designation – Certified, amended birth certificate with a raised seal and a completed DL-32 form.

Applicants may pre-verify documents, apply online if verification is complete, or go to one of eleven Real ID Centers located across the state to have verification completed and receive a Real ID at the time of service.  Locate a convenient Driver License Center that will accept and process your documents to receive your Real ID within 15 days, according to PennDOT. 

DCNR Offers Grant Assistance Workshops 

Individuals and groups interested in applying for Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) grants for recreation, conservation, riparian buffer, trail, and community-based projects can register for free, in-person workshops scheduled for six convenient locations around the Commonwealth during November. 

Community leaders, municipal officials, consultants, land trusts, volunteer board members, trail managers, and park and recreation professionals will receive technical assistance for the 2020 grant program running from January 15, 2020 until April 22, 2020. 

Teacher workshops scheduled throughout the fall and winter focus on K-12 watershed education.  The instruction also qualifies teachers for Act 48 credits

Avoid an Uninvited Holiday Dinner Guest

You survive the holiday dinner countdown.  You stuff and safely roast the turkey.  Dinner is served.  The collection of pies, cookies, and desserts thins out. 

Now it’s time to wrap it up, literally, before bacteria ascends upon your gathering.  Thriving at room temperature, bacteria can grow quickly at temperatures between 40*F and 140*F.  Make sure your refrigerator is 40* or below and your freezer should be 0*F or lower, then store the leftovers. 

Leftovers require cooling from 135*F to 70*F within 2 hours and to 41*F within an additional 4 hours, for a total of 6 hours of cooling time.  Bacteria can survive freezing.  Thawed food also requires cooking to the proper internal temperature to kill harmful bacteria. 

Prepare Now for Ice and Snow 

We should expect the unexpected during winter driving and prepare now for ice and snow emergencies, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation

Organize and refresh your vehicle’s emergency travel kit.  Replace flashlight and radio batteries, bottled water, and other items with a shelf life.  Ensure gloves, warm clothing, and blankets are included. 

Get your vehicle winter road-.ready before the first flakes fall.  Regularly check fluids, wipers, heater, defroster, radio, lights, tires, and brakes, along with the battery, hoses, and belts. 

Gain easy access to traffic delay warnings, weather forecasts, traffic speed information, and a live view of the roads from more than 850 traffic cameras accessible through 511PA.  Snow plow locations can help you determine conditions before leaving your driveway.  Download the iPhone or Android version of 511PA to help you with your year round travel needs. 

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