Monthly Archives: March 2009

College to Host Precision Heavy-Equipment Course

Pennsylvania College of Technology

Pennsylvania College of Technology

Williamsport – “Precision Heavy Equipment Operational Efficiency,” a course provided through Workforce Development & Continuing Education at Pennsylvania College of Technology, will be offered April 3 and May 22 at the college’s Schneebeli Earth Science Center near Allenwood.The four-hour noncredit course will be offered on both days from 1 to 5 p.m. in room 159 of the Earth Science Center. The cost is $125.

Due to ever-rising fuel costs and a host of environmental issues, getting everything from personnel — as well as equipment — is crucial to a company’s success. The smallest items, such as the placement of a truck in relation to a machine, can save an organization hundreds of dollars. Machine performance and proper sizing for a job can also make or break a budget.

The course will provide participants with a comprehensive understanding of heavy equipment with a focus on safety, earth-moving fundamentals, track-type tractors, backhoes, loaders and haul units. Common inefficiencies with heavy equipment will be explored, and techniques to minimize them in the field will be provided.

For more information, or to register, call WDCE at 570-327-4775 or e-mail

For general information about Penn College, visit, e-mail or call toll-free 800-367-9222.



State Sen. Gene Yaw

State Sen. Gene Yaw

Williamsport – Agriculture is Pennsylvania’s number one industry, and a huge job creator, but the current budget shortfall and the governor’s proposed budget cuts could have a serious impact on farmers, according to Senator Gene Yaw (R-Loyalsock). Yaw, who serves on the Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee, heard testimony on the governor’s proposed agriculture budget during a hearing today at the state capitol.

Yaw, who has been a strong advocate for the agricultural industry, said the Governor’s proposed agriculture budget calls for an overall 17 percent cut, while all other areas are reduced by only 8.8 percent.

“The governor is proposing increases in Education, Public Welfare and Corrections, and yet he is investing significantly less in an industry that produces important products, creates jobs, and is vital to our economy,” Yaw said. “We need to fund research and development, particularly with regard to the exploration of Marcellus Shale, which could be a huge asset to this state.”

Despite that fact, for the seventh year in a row the governor has proposed either a decrease or a zero percent increase for the Penn State Research and Agricultural Extension Service – which many farmers rely on.

The Future Farmers of America Program (FFA) would be cut by 60 percent under the governor’s budget plan – a serious blow to the farming industry. “By cutting this program by more than half, we are essentially pushing our next generation of farmers to the side,” Yaw said. “Our state has a huge farming tradition, and one that we are very proud of. It’s one of the reasons that this industry is so strong.”

Yaw also voiced concerns about other cuts proposed by the governor, including:

  • Animal Health Diagnostic Commission- 19% cut from last year
  • Crop Insurance – 60% cut from last year
  • Ag Research – 73% cut from last year
  • County Fairs- cut nearly 50%
  • Hardwoods and Research Promotion — funding zeroed out

Yaw said he is committed to working with other legislators to restoring funding in the upcoming budget for key programs and ensuring that the agriculture industry does not take the brunt of the state’s fiscal crisis.

“Farmers are being very realistic and responsible in their requests. Our goal is to restore $7.7 million dollars to agricultural programs – that is not too much to ask for out of a $29 billion dollar budget,” Yaw said. “I understand we face tough economic times in this state and a huge shortfall, but investing in all areas of farming is an investment in our future and will only create more jobs and opportunities for state resident in the years ahead.”

Rep. Richard Mirabito Announces That Financial Aid Is Available For Individuals With Autism

Rep. Richard Mirabito

Rep. Richard Mirabito

Harrisburg – I am pleased to inform you that people with Autism Spectrum Disorder, as well as families with a member who has it, can apply for state grants of up to $500 to help offset the costs of certain services or activities. The deadline to apply for this program is April 17.

Priority will be given to individuals who did not receive this grant from the Bureau of Autism Services in the past. Remaining grants will be offered on a first-come basis. Total funding for these mini-grants is limited.

To apply, visit the bureau’s Web site. You may also call toll free 1-866-539-7689 (Select Option #2) and leave a message requesting a paper application be mailed to you.

In addition, I would like you to know that applications for the Adult Community Autism Program begin on April 1. This program is a way for adults living with Autism Spectrum Disorder to get needed services.

Feel free to pass this information on to anyone you know who may find it helpful and, as always, don’t hesitate to contact me if I may be of further service to you or your family.

Women’s soccer honors players at annual banquet

WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. — The 2008 Lycoming College women’s soccer team held its annual banquet on Saturday, March 28. During the event, several players were honored for their efforts on the field, and the captains for the 2009 season were announced.

The Most Valuable Player award was given to senior midfielder Rebekah Shipe. She went a perfect 2-for-2 in penalty kicks and was the team’s leading scorer, putting up 22 points on nine goals and four assists. Shipe started all 17 contests, and was named to second-team All-Commonwealth for the second straight season and was a captain for the Lady Warriors.

Shipe, as well as fellow senior Dana Steinbruch, were named by the coaching staff as the Women of the Year. Steinbruch, a defender and captain, was a major player in a defense that held its opponents to just 25 goals all season.

Rookie of the Year accolades was given to freshman forward/midfielder Kelly Prendergast. Playing in every contest, as well as starting in nine, she scored one goal and had two assists for four points. She put up 15 shots, placing nine on goal.

Brie Pepe, a junior netminder, was selected as the Most Improved Player. She spent her first two seasons playing behind standout goalie Jessica Bennett before having a breakout season in 2008. Pepe started in 10 games and saw action in 12, playing in 1,014 minutes, allowing only 18 goals and making 45 saves. She also tallied five shutouts.

Second-year head coach Joe Balduino also announced the 2009 captains. Four players were selected, three of them will be seniors; Hallie Weakland, Taylor Ramsay and Samantha Jo Bell, while rising junior Kaitlin Horn was also nominated.

The 2009 Lady Warrior schedule is set to begin on Wednesday, Sept. 2 when they host local rival Susquehanna University. The season is set to kick off at 5 p.m. at the Robert L. Shangraw Athletic Complex.

New Program Prepares Children for Reading Success

James V. Brown LibraryWhether a child knows the names and sounds of alphabet letters at the beginning of kindergarten is a strong predictor of reading ability in 10th grade.

There is nearly a 90% probability that a child will remain a poor reader at the end of the fourth grade if he or she is a poor reader at the end of the first grade.Learning to read and write is essential to school success. Children who are good readers are usually the most successful learners.

Parents can prepare children for reading and school success long before they start kindergarten. Studies show that children who enter school knowing certain language and literacy skills learn to read more easily.

Experts have identified six skills that children must know before they can learn to read, and as parents and caregivers read to children, they help develop these kills.

Parents can learn about the six critical pre-reading skills through an exciting new program series offered by the Lycoming County Library System. The “Every Child Read To Read”® programs are based on national research about brain and language development in young children.

Parents learn:

How to read to babies, toddlers and preschoolers in ways that develop the six pre-reading skills.
Tips on how to talk with your child about what you’re reading in order to get the most from the experience.
Titles of some of the best books to read to each age group.
Literacy activities that you can easily incorporate into your daily routine.
A parent guide for each age level also is available with information about each skill and suggested reading activities.

According to Jeff Swope, Youth Services Coordinator for the library system, many children who read below grade level in kindergarten and first grade never catch up. Helping to get “Every Child Ready To Read”® starts well before the first day of kindergarten.

Swope and Beth Smith, both trained by nationally certified instructors, are coordinating the programs which will be presented at three library sites across the county.

“The earlier parents begin reading to children, the better language and literacy skills they will develop,” said Swope. “As parents and other caregivers read to children they help them learn the six critical pre-reading skills.”

The spring series of workshops are scheduled for:

  • Tuesday, April 7th from 5:30 PM to 7:30 PM at the James V. Brown Library
  • Saturday, April 18th from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM at the Hughesville Area Public Library
  • Tuesday, May 19th from 5:30 PM to 7:30 PM at the Jersey Shore Public Library
  • Caregivers are also encouraged to attend the workshops and those attending will receive DPW CE credits.
  • Everyone who participates will receive a FREE book, and a chance to win a $50 Target gift card.

Public libraries are centers for early childhood literacy. In addition to the “Every Child Ready To Read”® programs, libraries in Muncy, Hughesville, Montgomery, Montoursville and Jersey Shore offer books, storytimes and other resources to help parents nurture reading skills along with a love of reading.

Programs are FREE. For more information, or to register, contact Beth Smith, Family Place Coordinator at 326-0536 ext. 138 [or email]