May. 28, 2024

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A Message and Call for Action on Memorial Day

It was an honor to take part in two Memorial Day ceremonies yesterday. I started in Troy first thing this morning for their outstanding parade, and then served as a speaker at Sabinsville’s ceremony, which had to be moved indoors due to weather.

It was moving to see people come out in support and remembrance of our servicemen and women who made the ultimate sacrifice for us. I’d like to share a few words from my remarks in Sabinsville, because although this year’s Memorial Day has passed, the message is one we should keep in our hearts and minds every day.

But we are free ONLY BECAUSE of the soldiers who sacrificed so much for us, and it is our responsibility to pay Tribute, Respect, and Honor them every day, and certainly on this day.

Tribute is not a word we use often. It’s defined as an ACT, Statement, or a Gift that is intended to show Gratitude, Respect, or Admiration.
It’s an action word. It’s not just positioning of the heart, but an action. You being here today is putting the position of your heart into action.

What does gratitude look like???

It’s the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and return kindness.

How do we show that appreciation?

May I humbly suggest that SHOULD happen every time we see the stars and stripes.

The very flag that the American soldier stood beside when they took their oath.

The flag that was placed over their casket.

The flag that was folded and handed to their loved ones.


May we show appreciation every time we say the pledge or hear our anthem.

Yes, let our hearts be repositioned to show appreciation to the men and women who actively give; and those who gave; and those who we remember today who paid that ultimate sacrifice for YOU and for ME.

Congratulations to the 2024 Class of Leadership Tioga County

Congratulations and thank you to the 16 local participants on graduating from Develop Tioga’s Leadership Tioga County course. These graduates represented local businesses, nonprofits, higher education and the medical industry. They came together in pursuit of enhancing their personal leadership and are leaving with the tools, relationships and connections to impact the community. Their companies and organizations have given these leaders support and encouragement to say “yes” and continuously pursue growth. Thank you, Develop Tioga, for actively helping to strengthen our communities through investing in our people. It is inspiring to witness how a diverse group of talented people can work together with their gifts, connecting to strengthen our community and Commonwealth. Thank you to the graduates, their families, and Develop Tioga in making these growth opportunities part of our district. I wish all these leaders the best in their endeavors.

"The greatest leader is not necessarily the one who does the greatest things. He is the one that gets the people to do the greatest things.”– President Ronald Reagan.
Supporting Those in Need in Tioga County

The Tioga County Homeless Initiative (TCHI) located in Mansfield has been serving our community’s need through providing a warm, safe, and caring environment for individuals and families who experience homelessness. In 2019 TCHI started a Capital Campaign Committee focused on raising funds for a new facility. In November 2021 the Building Committee hosted the celebration to break ground. This past week I had the opportunity to explore the amazing progress of the facility and learn more about how TCHI is helping our community. The photo above offers you a quick teaser for what will be revealed at the new TCHI facility, as they are hoping to begin using it in late summer or early fall of this year!

Check out their program summary here to learn more about the operations of the initiative.

If you are feeling called to help with Tioga County Homeless Initiative, please don’t hesitate to reach out through their contact form here. There are so many ways one can selflessly serve and help to improve and encourage lives that are in need.
Comments on Fish and Boat Commission

Our region’s outdoor assets make it a popular destination for fishing, boating and all kinds of phenomenal water recreation. As a steward for many of these assets, the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission wants to make sure they are doing everything possible to provide positive experiences for our residents and visitors to the area. If you would like to share your positive or negative experiences with the commission, please contact my offices in Wellsboro (570-724-1390) or Troy (570-297-3045) to share your experiences or access their Complaint Verification Document.
Get Ready for REAL ID

The deadline for enforcement of the federal REAL ID Act is set to begin less than a year from now, on May 7, 2025.

As of that date, you will have to present a federally accepted form of identification to board a commercial domestic flight or visit a secure federal building that requires ID at the door. Federally accepted forms of identification include a Pennsylvania REAL ID driver’s license or ID card, a U.S. passport or passport card, or a military ID.

While all Pennsylvanians must comply with the new law, obtaining a state-issued REAL ID is not mandatory. PennDOT will continue to offer standard-issue driver’s licenses and photo IDs.

Full enforcement of the law has been delayed several times due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which was hindering efforts to process REAL ID applications across the country.

To learn more about REAL ID and how to obtain one, visit
Fighting the Ongoing Drug Epidemic

Working to ensure law enforcement has the tools it needs to keep another dangerous drug off the streets, the General Assembly passed a new law that permanently classifies xylazine, a powerful animal tranquilizer commonly known as tranq, as a Schedule III drug under the Controlled Substances Act.

Xylazine mixed with narcotic compounds and used in illicit drug trafficking has been identified as an emerging public health threat. However, it is also a common animal sedative used by veterinarians to facilitate safe handling and treatment of many species, especially large animals.

While the new law criminalizes illicit possession of xylazine, it allows for continued use by licensed veterinarians and requires them to safely store xylazine to protect from theft or improper access.

Act 17 of 2024 takes effect immediately.
Boating Safety Week

With summer on the horizon, the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission and the National Safe Boating Council marked National Boating Safety Week this week.

Boaters are encouraged to follow a checklist of basic safety guidelines before and during each boating adventure, including:

  •   Always wear a life jacket.
  •   Never boat while impaired by alcohol or drugs.
  •   Have a float plan to let someone know when and where you will be boating.
  •   Check the weather forecast for storms and high-water conditions.
  •   Take a boating safety course.
  •   Have proper registrations or launch permits for your boat.

For more information on safe boating; to take a safe boating course; or to purchase launch permits, boat registration renewals and fishing licenses, visit
Save with PA 529 in May for a Chance to Win $5,529!

The Pennsylvania Treasury Department is celebrating 529 Day (May 29) throughout the month of May! Families that save with the PA 529 College and Career Savings Program Guaranteed Savings Plan (GSP) have the opportunity to win some of more than $30,000 in total awards.

Families that open a new PA 529 GSP account and make at least $10 in contributions between May 1 and May 31, 2024, will be eligible to win one of two statewide awards of $5,529 – enough to pay for a year’s tuition at a Pennsylvania community college – or one of six regional awards of $2,529.

Families already saving with a PA 529 GSP account are also eligible to win a top award of $5,529 if their account had a balance of $10 or more as of April 30, 2024, and they make an additional contribution of at least $10 during the month of May.

With the tax-advantaged PA 529 GSP, families can save at today’s tuition rates to meet tomorrow’s tuition costs, meaning paying for a credit at today’s prices will result in enough to pay for a credit in the future, no matter how much tuition increases. PA 529 GSP accounts can be used to help pay for education costs at a wide variety of technical schools, colleges and universities, and apprenticeship programs.

Save with the PA 529 GSP in the month of May for a chance to win! For official rules and more about how to start saving, visit