In this update:
Report: Two Thirds of Released Prisoners Reenter Legal System
A new report from the PA Department of Corrections shows that 64.7% of prisoners released from state prisons are rearrested or return to DOC custody within 3 years of release.
As Pennsylvania continues to grapple with a severe rise in crime, it’s clear we need to do more to reduce this cycle.
Saturday: Family Promise Bike Trail Ride
On Saturday, I will ride in the 5th annual Family Promise Bike Trail Ride to raise money for services that have a lasting impact on homeless families. Biking on our local trails is one of my favorite activities.
Registration for the ride begins at 9 a.m. at Weissport Borough Park. Thanks to Family Promise of Carbon County for hosting this great event.
Bipartisan Roundtable to Feature Schuylkill County Legislators since the 1960s
The Schuylkill Chamber of Commerce and the Schuylkill County Historical Society will host a first-ever roundtable on September 15 featuring State Representatives who have served since the 1960s.
We’ll be discussing the ways that Harrisburg has changed over the years and how this evolution has affected our region. If you’re interested in joining us, please contact the Schuylkill Chamber, as noted above.
New Housing at the Former St. Joseph’s Hospital?
I recently took a tour of the former St. Joseph’s Hospital in Hazleton with State Rep. Bobby Schnee and Halzeton Mayor Jeff Cusat to discuss potential uses for this long vacant and blighted building.
There’s a significant housing shortage in the Hazleton area and we’re hearing more and more from local employers that their employees need places to live to avoid long, expensive, daily commutes. One of the options we discussed was utilizing the building for market-rate housing, perhaps with additional health care options.
Read more about the future of the building here.
Dustin’s Adventureland Officially Open in Minersville
The official opening of Dustin’s Adventureland, an all-inclusive playground that is accessible for those with handicaps and disabilities, was celebrated with a ribbon cutting ceremony this week in Minersville. This multi-year efforts would not have been possible without the generosity and dedication of members of the community and state grant funding.
Read more about the ribbon cutting ceremony here.
Meeting with Seniors in Carbon County
I joined Senator John Yudichak and Rep. Doyle Heffley at their very busy Senior Expo in Carbon County this week and met with many of the seniors who stopped by to learn more about the services offered to them by local, county, and state agencies.
The new 29th senate district, as drawn by the Legislative Reapportionment Committee, will include all of Carbon County.
Rep. Twardzik to Host Veterans Benefits Informational Seminar
On Thursday, September 15, Rep. Tim Twardizk will be hosting a Veterans Benefits Informational Seminar at the Fairlane Village Mall in Pottsville. Experts will be on hand to help determine if you are eligible for a pension or benefits that can help with health care, education, a service disability, and more. The doors will open at 5:30 p.m. and the event will begin at 6 p.m.
Visit this link to register.
Virtual Town Hall to Focus on Transportation Issues Veterans Face
The Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs will host the fourth in a five-part series of virtual Veteran Town Halls on Wednesday, Sept. 14, from 6-7:30 p.m. The town hall will focus on resources to assist veterans facing transportation issues.
Attendees can participate by using this Microsoft Teams link. Participants will have the opportunity to ask questions during the program through the chat feature.
Older veterans and those with a disability often have problems accessing health care because of not having proper transportation available to them. The town hall will outline community resources ready to provide veterans with transportation to and from the federal VA and other health care providers.
Assistance Available for Fire & EMS Companies to Help with Costs
First responders have until Oct. 21 to apply for assistance through the state Fire Company and Emergency Medical Service Grant Program.
It helps fire and EMS cover the rising costs of training, equipment, recruitment, retention and more.
The financial challenges facing first responders are especially serious for volunteer companies. Each new generation sees fewer volunteers, increasing the workload on those willing to step up. This grant program is one of the most important that the General Assembly funds each year and I hope it provides some relief to our local first responders.
Hunger Action Month Food Collection at my District Offices
As part of Hunger Action Month, my district offices are accepting donations of non-perishable food items. If you have any additional questions, please don’t hesitate to contact any of my offices.