Jul. 09, 2024

Please do not reply directly to this email, as it returns to an unmanned account.
You are welcome to contact me through this link
The Moving Wall Will be in Tioga County, July 10-15

Our hearts and prayers up to and through this day will continue to honor the men, women and families of the Vietnam War. It was a nearly 20-year war waged between North and South Vietnam during which Americans lost 58,220 of our own as of 2008 per the National Archives, with many other combat personnel alive yet impacted to this day, fighting for their lives and searching for healing.

In 1982, John Devitt, a former helicopter door gunner and Army veteran who served during the Vietnam War, was changed by his experience when he stood at the Vietnam Memorial located in Washington, D.C. He knew there are many veterans, families, and American supporters across our great nation, from sea to shining sea, who may not be able to make the trip to Washington, D.C., to pay honor, respect and homage to the American fighters of the Vietnam War. With the help of friends, family and fellow veterans, Devitt spent two years conceptualizing, financing and creating The Moving Wall.

For over 30 years this small replica of the Vietnam War Memorial has been transported throughout the United States for many people to honor, recognize and remember the sacrifices of our troops.

Our region has prepared well for The Moving Wall to stop right here in Tioga County. I would like to thank the many people who have volunteered their time, talents and service in preparing the location and donating to the Tioga County Moving Wall that makes it possible to experience here in our district.

I invite you and your family, loved ones, and neighbors to come out, participate, and commemorate our Vietnam veterans by joining us this Wednesday, July 10, as the event kicks off at 8:30 a.m. at the Williamson High School, 33 Junction Cross Road, Tioga. The opening ceremony is set for 3 p.m. that day, with special guest speaker Capt. Guy Gruters, a Vietnam POW who spent five years at the Hanoi Hilton. A Huey (Bell UH-1 Iroquois helicopter) is scheduled to be there.

The Wall is open 24 hours a day; it’s free to visit and volunteers are available to help visitors find names or make a rubbing of a particular name. A candlelight vigil is scheduled for 8 p.m. Friday, July 12, and a religious service will be held at 10 a.m. Sunday, July 14. The closing ceremony is 5 p.m. July 14 with special guest speaker Gen. Sar Phouthasack, who served with the Special Guerilla Unit under the direction of the CIA during the Vietnam War inside Laos. Gen. Sar will talk about the American “Secret War.” The final day will offer a family and friends service. A full schedule and additional information is available at the Tioga County Moving Wall Facebook page.

A special thank you to Jessica Barron, project coordinator; the Northern Tioga School District; and the many businesses and volunteers who have made this event possible. The demonstration and outpouring of our community togetherness shows true passion for family, friends, our military and the next generation. Thank you for keeping the significance of our nation's history in front of us, for those of us to experience here at home. May those who lost their lives, their loved ones, and current veterans know our community has the utmost gratitude and honor for your sacrifice in keeping our freedoms and protecting our liberties.

Check out Wellsboro Gazette for more details on the Tioga County Moving Wall Project.
Victaulic Makes Major Commitment to Tioga County

We got some great news last week when Victaulic joined the governor’s office in announcing a $100 million-plus expansion project at its Lawrenceville foundry here in Tioga County.

Victaulic received a funding proposal from the state Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) for a $1.07 million Pennsylvania First Program grant and up to a $428,000 Workforce and Development Network grant to train workers. The project is expected to create 214 new jobs.

The company plans to construct a 150,000-square-foot addition to its Lawrenceville foundry to accommodate new molding lines, melt furnaces, core machines, and automated finishing and paint equipment to help produce larger scale products. The expansion will also include a 60,000 square-foot machine shop with state-of-the-art Computer Numerical Control equipment.

The company’s decision to stay here, invest here and grow here is a testament to the company’s loyalty to our community, as well as the outstanding work force and quality of life our region offers.

I am excited by the opportunities this creates for us and hope it will encourage other long-time businesses, as well as potential new businesses, to invest in Tioga County and the Northern Tier.

Read more here.
Extra, Extra, Read All About It! Senior Expo 2024 is Almost Here!

Our Annual Senior Expo is coming up on Friday, August 2. Join us between 9 a.m. and noon. Admission is FREE!

It is with great excitement that my staff and I are preparing for our district’s annual Senior Expo that has been going on for over 25 years. The event offers our age 50-plus residents the opportunity to connect with professionals, services and government agencies that are here for their needs as a new chapter in life continues. Health screenings will be available.

Our senior guests, their family members and caregivers will have the ability to obtain pertinent information, ask questions, and connect with close to 80 different exhibitors ranging from a diverse selection of government agencies, health care services and providers, insurance/financial and legal services, long-term care professionals, travel and transportation services, utility companies and representatives from offices within the federal, state and local governments. This is all being offered within one space, under one roof, located at the Wellsboro Area High School Gymnasium. The morning is filled with connections, education, fun and door prizes!

New this year, we are offering a free service to help protect you from identity theft through shredding of personal documents. All residents (no businesses, please) are invited to bring up to two grocery-style bags of documents with sensitive information, such as Social Security and bank account numbers, to be securely shredded.

We would like to thank our co-sponsors, as this could not be done without your assistance. Thank you to Wellsboro High School for allowing us the use of their facility. It’s a great location, easy parking, accessible and air conditioned! If you would like to be a co-sponsor, exhibitor or volunteer, please contact my office at 570-724-1390 and ask for Kim Johns.
A Hunting We Will Go! White-Tailed Deer Focus of PA Game Commission Night

Mark your calendars and register here to reserve your seat at our next PA Game Commission Night where we will hear from our white-tailed deer biologist and our white-tailed deer habitat management specialist.

The event will be held Thursday, Sept. 12, from 6-8 p.m. at the Wellsboro Fire Company Annex, 21 East Avenue, Wellsboro. Please be sure to reserve your seat: they fill up fast.
2024-25 State Budget Update

The state House and Senate are back in session at the state Capitol again this week, as work continues toward the adoption of a state budget for the 2024-25 fiscal year.

While some progress has been made toward agreement on a total spending amount, the devil is in the details of determining how much money will be directed toward things like education, health, public safety, human services and more.

I remain concerned about the level of spending being discussed and the long-term impact it could have on current and future taxpayers. I will keep you posted and hope to have more news by next week’s edition!
New State Law to Offer Added Protections for Victims of Data Breaches

A new state law will help protect consumers impacted by data breaches. 

Act 33 of 2024, which received unanimous support in both the House and Senate, requires an impacted organization to provide a free credit report and one year of credit monitoring to affected consumers. It also strengthens notification requirements and mandates notification of the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General if a data breach occurs in the Commonwealth.

The measure would cover instances in which an individual’s first and last name or first initial and last name have been accessed in combination with any of the following information: Social Security number, bank account number, or driver’s license or state ID number.

A record 3,122 data breaches occurred nationally in 2023, affecting hundreds of millions of Americans and costing billions of dollars, according to the Identity Theft Resource Center. It marked a 72% increase in data compromises from the previous all-time high in 2021.

The law will take effect in late September. 

Fun for All Ages Awaits at PA Fairs

Summer is in full swing, and so is Pennsylvania fair season! Communities across the Commonwealth are hosting dozens of fairs featuring food, fun and entertainment, as well as competitive exhibits highlighting animals, produce, crops, crafts, baking and more. Please come out and support our local farmers, vendors, and artisans at the Bradford and Tioga County fairs!

  •   Troy Fair, Bradford County, July 22 - 27
  •   Tioga County Fair, Tioga County, August 5 –10

Be sure to check out their website for details and great events happening. Wishing all our participants the best of luck and a good time by all!

Check out the 2024 PA Fair Guide here, to experience fairs throughout our Commonwealth.
Growing PA’s Meat-Processing Businesses

The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture is now accepting applications for its 2024-25 Very Small Meat and Poultry Processor Reimbursement Grant Program.

The grant program supports the development and expansion of current or future meat and poultry processing operations across Pennsylvania, offering reimbursement funds to cover costs associated with opening or expanding operations, or obtaining a grant of inspection from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety Inspection Service.

A total of $500,000 is available for 2024-25, with a maximum grant amount of $100,000. Applications can be submitted through the Single Application for Assistance online applications system and are due by 5 p.m. Friday, Aug. 2.

Additional information is available here.