Feb. 20, 2024

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Congratulations to the Troy Junior Sportsmen Arrowheads


It takes training, practice, time, education and talent to achieve the Overall Senior Team title during the 2023 NRA Eastern Regional Youth Hunter Education Challenge. It is with experienced and passionate adult involvement and resources that helps make a youth team accomplish such a challenge. A hearty congratulations to the Troy Junior Sportsmen Arrowheads Team for their hard work and accomplishments in bringing home many team and individual awards.

Team Awards
• 1st place in Orienteering, Shotgun and Muzzleloader Events.
• 2nd place in Safety Trail, Archery and Wildlife events.
• Total score of 7,456

Dustin Krise
• 1st place in Orienteering and Responsibility Examination
• Amassing 1,679 points

A huge thank you to the parents and Head Coach Scott Krise for their time, care and provisions for this team. Congratulations to the team: Ethan Cole, Andrew Houseknecht, Dustin Krise, Scott Root and Clay Wrisley for your wins and representing well the community of Troy, Bradford County, PA!
   
 
A Grand Old Flag, A High-Flying Flag, Fulfills a Wish



What a fun time it was delivering a requested American Flag that has been previously flown over our state capitol to Mr. Alan Phillips. Alan has been and will continue to battle a very rare disease that has changed his life. He is a retired US Air Force veteran, who served as a Korean interpreter. Alan is originally from the Carolinas, and his southern accent is still prevalent to this day. You can only imagine when he spoke in Korean how it must have sounded with his southern drawl. He said it was the first introduction to a "southern" Korean drawl. Being from the south he appreciates wonderful hospitality and looks for the kindness in people. He shared with me that living within our PA district, the kindness of folks is genuine and friendly. You don't have to live in the south to experience community, hospitality and kindness -- it's right here in Tioga County, PA.

Amidst a battle with a very rare disease, Mr. Phillips is going to embark on this next chapter of life as he and his bride strive to complete his list that many refer to as their "bucket list." Susie has lovingly made the first mark off his bucket list, for Alan to be a recipient of the U.S. Flag which has previously flown over the capitol building. Alan has three more special wishes of things to do with Susie. I do hope they will continue to add to his list and be able to fulfill them, making lasting memories.

If you have a special someone in your life that would greatly appreciate and value a flag that has been flown over the State Capitol building, here is the link to the Department of General Services that will walk you through the request process.
   
 
Honoring Lonnie Campbell who Gives Service Above Self for More Than 35 Years and Beyond!


Born and raised in Wellsboro, Lonnie Campbell is a true community hero. As a little boy he enjoyed spending time playing at his grandparents’ home located in the borough, right close to the fire department where he would hear the loud sirens of the call for the firefighters to report for an emergency. His heart would pound with excitement and his little eyes would gleam with joy as he would watch the bright shiny red fire trucks leave the station and then return after their fight. He knew in his heart one day he would be on that truck answering calls for help in his community.

In 1989, Lonnie joined the Wellsboro Fire Department as a volunteer firefighter. He was ready, trained and put all his heart into being the best firefighter he could be, to protect the community and save lives. He did so while working for the Wellsboro Electric Company back at a time when sirens during the mid-day hours led to workers rushing out of their places of employment down the street to the fire station to suit up and head to the scene. He is grateful for the opportunity his employer gave him to serve and notes that Wellsboro Electric Company to this day still encourages its employees to volunteer and serve to help others during the day.

By 1995 the department knew Lonnie was a fully dedicated and passionate leader for all things fire company. He was offered the assistant chief position and by 2000 he had become the chief. For 23 years, Lonnie did more than fight fires. He was in a leadership position and worked tirelessly to meet the many needs of running a fire department, from volunteer training, equipment and building maintenance to budgeting, raising money and connecting not just to the Wellsboro community but the entire county.

Your chief of the Wellsboro Fire Department is not a one-man band. Lonnie attributes much of his success to his wife, Jennifer, who has stood beside him and behind him for the last 32 years, through all the sleepless nights, horrific emergencies, concerns about staffing and funding, and the list goes on. She has helped him to be successful as a husband, father, grandfather fireman and chief.

Looking back on his career, Lonnie is moved by the memories of lives he and his crew have saved, but he is especially touched when that young child who visited the fire department to learn about fire safety and firefighters returns to the station 10-15 years later to say they want to join the team.

Lonnie emphasized there are opportunities for anyone to help their local company. While firefighters are certainly needed, companies can also use help with fundraising, accounting, processing mailers, running technology and more. Everyone has something to offer based on their skills and their heart for service. He encourages each of us to reach out to our local fire company, spend time with someone in the department getting to know how it is you can serve, and be involved, be part of your community and do what is right in helping others.

Lonnie and his wife have raised two wonderful children who now continue the legacy of selfless service as their daughter is active in the Air Force Reserves and their son is an active volunteer firefighter. He and his wife are also proud grandparents of a sweet 4-year-old granddaughter and soon-to-be 1-year-old twin grandsons.

But as Lonnie continues to enter the next chapter of his life, mind you, he is not retired from the company. He is a tried and true firefighter and will continue fighting fires in service to the community! We would like to thank him, his wife, and their adult children for all the years of sacrifice, hard work, late nights, and dedication to the service of this community over yourselves. You are a true hero. We wish you all the best and time to enjoy the growing family!
   
 
Service Over Self



There are 41,000 people living in Tioga County and close to 60,000 living in Bradford County. What percentage of this population would need to serve in a fire and EMS role to provide you assurance, security and a peace of mind that someone will be available to help you in your time of desperate time need, be it a house fire, auto accident, threat, or personal health emergency?

In 2023, how many active call responses do you think our fire department volunteers responded to?

What about the number of EMS incidents in 2023 within Tioga and Bradford counties?

The numbers speak for themselves. We need more people in our communities to choose service over self so that we can provide the best help when emergencies arise throughout our district.

Please take a moment to learn more about this call to action; thank the men and women of our fire departments and emergency medical services for their dedicated hard work, for serving our communities over themselves; and consider how you can personally respond to the needs of your local community fire, rescue and ambulance departments. Please step out, step up and serve.

To check your numbers from the questions above and for greater details with an emotional view of selflessly serving, please take a moment to read an Op-Ed from and Rep. Tina Pickett and me: Service Over Self.
   
 
Supporting Our Local Fire, EMS Agencies


This is a welcomed grant program that has positively impacted our local Fire and EMS Agencies. Nearly two dozen of our local fire and emergency response organizations were awarded a combined amount of over $300,000 in grant funding through the Fire and Emergency Medical Services Grant Program.

As we work to adopt policies to encourage recruitment and retention of our first responders, these grants are a big help with the financial challenges our companies face.

Please check out the details here, including a list of the 68th Legislative District’s departments’ awarded grant funds.
 
 
US Renal Care Still Plans to Close its Doors on Feb. 24



It is with a heavy heart that I continue to report the U.S. Renal Care facility in Wellsboro is still planning on closing its doors to patients effective Feb. 24. Regardless of patient concerns, press coverage, and elected officials phone calls and desire to help the transition for our community members, U.S. Renal Care has been unresponsive.

Below are links to a joint press release, news articles and broadcasts that have been created to help spread the word about the need to help our residents with a more local resolution that will not interrupt their life-saving treatments. Please keep these patients in your thoughts and prayers as this greatly impacts their daily lives.


Your state and local officials Press Release:
Area Officials Seek Solutions for Local Dialysis Patients

Wellsboro Gazette: Donna LeSchander

WENY: Linsey Madison Reporting Initial Report

WENY: Linsey Madison Reporting Continuing Coverage
  
 
Digging into the Details: Budget Hearings Begin Tuesday


Following the budget proposal offered by Gov. Josh Shapiro earlier this month – a $48.34 billion plan that is long on spending and short on details – the House Appropriations Committee, on which I serve, will begin the process of dissecting the plan at budget hearings starting next week.

Today, Feb. 20, we will take testimony from the Department of Community and Economic Development beginning at 10 a.m. and from the Department of Revenue at 1 p.m.

Other agencies slated to testify this week include the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency, Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education, Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency, and the departments of Aging, Agriculture and Corrections.

The budget hearings will be streamed live at www.PAHouseGOP.com.

For a full schedule, click here.
 
 
Getting Government Out of the Way of Business Creation


State House Republicans unveiled our Main Street Entrepreneurship Initiative this week in recognition of National Entrepreneurship Week, which concluded Saturday, Feb. 17.

To help encourage people to create and grow new business in the Commonwealth, the initiative would include legislation to boost Commonwealth procurement opportunities for entrepreneurs; waive filing fees to help with finances; create a new business “startup” ombudsman in the Department of Community and Economic Development; establish a statewide program for entrepreneurship education among high school students; and modernize bankruptcy laws to provide fair protections for entrepreneurs’ assets.

The package also includes a measure that would require businesses that receive grants and loans from the Commonwealth to commit to staying in the Commonwealth.

The measures are another step toward fulfilling our “Keystone Commitment” to creating a thriving economy. Click here to view the co-sponsorship memos for the forthcoming package of legislation.
 
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