Senator Argall E-Newsletter

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In this update:

  • Reading & Northern Breathes New Life, Brings Train Rides to Nesquehoning
  • Supporting Quality Childcare Centers
  • Saint Clair Borough Awarded State Grant to Prevent Blight, Repair Homes
  • Meeting a Bear Cub in Carbon County
  • Schuylkill, Carbon, Luzerne County ALL See Population Growth
  • Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
  • March 23: Sportsmen’s and Outdoor Expo in Jim Thorpe
  • Help for Struggling Homeowners
  • Argall Report: Hazleton Area High School Honored by Special Olympics
  • Protect Your Family from Dangerous Radon

Reading & Northern Breathes New Life, Brings Train Rides to Nesquehoning

The Reading & Northern Railroad’s brand-new Nesquehoning station will be opening in June. Three Iron Horse Rambles train excursions will be taking place this summer to commemorate the opening. The restored T-1 class steam locomotive #2102 will be traveling from Reading to Jim Thorpe on Saturday, May 25; from Nesquehoning to Tunkhannock on Saturday, June 22; and Nesquehoning to Pittston on Saturday, August 17.

The Narrow Valley Sportsplex also recently opened nearby at the former KME offices. They have batting cages and indoor golf simulators, with pickleball courts, basketballs courts, and more coming soon.

In an article by the Republican Herald, Kathy Henderson, the executive director of Carbon Chamber & Economic Development, noted that “we hope it will kick-start new growth in Nesquehoning.”

The article continued: “Henderson said the railroad’s new Nesquehoning passenger station, which is patterned after one opened last year in Pittston, reflects the railroad’s commitment to the region. ’It’s a good thing,’ she said. ‘It should alleviate congestion and traffic in neighboring Jim Thorpe and spread some wealth to a neighboring community.’”

When Rep. Doyle Heffley and I hosted a summit in Jim Thorpe a few months ago focused on breathing new life into Carbon County, this is exactly the sort of local development we hoped to see!

Supporting Quality Childcare Centers

Quality childcare is a necessity. The Center for Rural Pennsylvania traveled to the Schuylkill Technology Center’s South Campus near Pottsville for a public hearing about the serious issues facing local childcare providers.

We heard directly from local centers, including Mary Ann Devlin from Child Development, Inc. and Michelle Dallago from Perception Early Learning. I’ve had the chance to meet their students and tour their centers – they do amazing work. Also testifying were Bob Carl and Samantha Chivinski from the Schuylkill Chamber of Commerce, who have been strong local advocates for supporting childcare centers.

When we have quality Pre-K education, we’re helping parents return to and remain in the workforce. As the chair of the Senate Education Committee, I will support the dedicated teachers and childcare professionals who do this important work day in and day out.

Many of the local representatives I work with on a bipartisan basis every day joined us at the hearing: Jamie Barton, Eddie Day Pashinski, JoAnne Stehr, Tim Twardzik, and Dane Watro.

Saint Clair Borough Awarded State Grant to Prevent Blight, Repair Homes

A program run by the Borough of Saint Clair to assist seniors and others with making needed renovations to their homes, was awarded a highly competitive state grant for $500,000 this week.

In making the announcement, Rep. Twardzik and I stressed how blight affects us all – it lowers our property values, it strains the real estate market, it hurts our schools, it breeds crime, and it poses a serious threat to our safety and well-being. This is very important program, one that other local governments should implement.

Meeting a Bear Cub in Carbon County

I met a black bear cub this week as part of the Senate’s update from the Pennsylvania Game Commission about their work with black bears and other wildlife. Rep. Heffley and I welcomed the group to northern Carbon County.

The Game Commission works to prevent conflicts between humans and bears by partnering with BearWise, a national organization that studies how best to coexist with bears. If you’ve ever wondered how to react if you’re confronted by a bear, check out their website.

Schuylkill, Carbon, Luzerne County ALL See Population Growth

According to analysis from the Center for Rural Pennsylvania, Schuylkill, Carbon, and Luzerne Counties all saw population growth from 2020-23 – a reversal of local trends stretching back for decades. In Schuylkill County in particular, population has been decreasing steadily since the decline of the coal industry in the 1930s.

This exciting news is thanks to the MANY dedicated members of the community who work hard every single day to bring new family-sustaining careers and breathe new life into our area.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Rep. Heffley and I started celebrating St. Patrick’s Day by visiting Bright Path Brewing last weekend, as part of the East Side Jim Thorpe Bar O’ Crawl. All proceeds from this great event supported the Jim Thorpe Volunteer Fire Department, Carbon County Special Olympics, and the Special Needs Fishing Derby.

“May your troubles be less and your blessings be more, and nothing but happiness come through your door.” – Irish blessing

March 23: Sportsmen’s and Outdoor Expo in Jim Thorpe

Mark your calendars: Rep. Heffley will be hosting a Sportsmen’s and Outdoor Expo on Saturday, March 23 from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. in Jim Thorpe. My office will have a table with information about firearm laws, wildlife, and the services offered at my district offices.

Help for Struggling Homeowners

The Pennsylvania Homeowner Assistance Fund is reopening on Monday, March 18, to homeowners struggling as a result of pandemic-related financial hardships.

The program provides financial help to eligible homeowners for mortgage and housing-related expenses to address delinquency and avoid default, foreclosure or displacement from their homes.

More information about the program, eligibility and how to apply is available at If you have questions, call 888-987-2423, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Argall Report: Hazleton Area High School Honored by Special Olympics

The March edition of my monthly tv program focuses on a recent ceremony at Hazleton Area High School that celebrated its recognition as a National Banner Unified Champion School by the Special Olympics. Rep. Watro and Rep. Mike Cabell joined me at the ceremony.

Some events, like this one, are so important that they require you to clear your schedule. We should all be proud of Hazleton Area High School’s efforts to provide opportunities for ALL students.

National Banner Unified Champion Schools are chosen based on ten criteria focused on providing opportunities for students with intellectual disabilities to participate in sports, clubs, and other activities with their classmates without disabilities.

Protect Your Family from Dangerous Radon

Radon is an odorless, invisible, radioactive gas that can enter your home from the ground through cracks in the foundation. It increases cancer risks and is the second leading cause of lung cancer.

Pennsylvania has one of the most serious radon problems in the country. Approximately 40% of Pennsylvania homes have radon levels above the Environmental Protection Agency’s action guideline.

Find information how to test your home’s radon level and find certified radon mitigation contractors here.

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