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I have developed this e-newsletter to keep residents of the 26th District updated on state and local issues. It is a more timely and less costly way to keep constituents informed than traditional mailers, and I hope you find it useful. If you know of someone else who might want to receive it, please feel free to forward this email. If you'd prefer to not receive the e-newsletter, just click the unsubscribe button at the bottom of the page.
Prevent Heat-Related Illness
Staying cool in the midst of a summer heat wave is critical for certain segments of Pennsylvania's population, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Health. For those over 65, infants and young children, and those with heart disease, high blood pressure, breathing problems or chronic conditions, escaping the very hot temperatures and high humidity can prevent serious illness or death.
Heat exhaustion can occur after sun exposure or inadequate replenishment of fluids after spending time outside. Symptoms of heat exhaustion include heavy sweating, paleness, muscle cramps, tiredness, weakness, dizziness, headache, nausea or vomiting, and fainting. If you experience these symptoms, immediately cool off, rest and drink water. If left untreated, heat exhaustion may advance to heat stroke.
Heat stroke, which can be fatal, occurs when the body is unable to regulate its temperature due to overheating and, in turn, loses the ability to sweat. Symptoms include a body temperature above 103°F; red, hot, and dry skin; rapid, strong pulse; throbbing headache; dizziness; nausea; confusion; and unconsciousness. If someone is experiencing heat stroke, call for emergency medical assistance and try to cool the person off in a shady place.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, your best defense against heat-related illness is prevention. Visit the CDC website on combating extreme heat and recognizing and responding promptly to the warning signs of trouble.
West Nile Virus Detected in Delaware County
Pennsylvania's West Nile Virus Control Program has detected the disease in 10 counties, including Delaware County, and is continuing its statewide monitoring and detection efforts, according to the state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).
The virus turned up in mosquito samples, but no residents locally or statewide have tested positive.
The mosquito-borne disease can cause flu-like symptoms typically lasting only a few days and not causing any long-term health effects. In severe cases, WNV can cause encephalitis, a brain inflammation accompanied by headache, high fever, neck stiffness, stupor, disorientation, coma, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness, and paralysis. It is estimated that 1 in 150 persons infected with the West Nile virus will develop a more severe form of the disease lasting several weeks and causing permanent neurological effects.
While there is no specific treatment or vaccine for WNV, DEP recommends we reduce the number of mosquitoes around our homes and neighborhoods. Because mosquitoes breed in standing water, it is important to note that even a small bucket that has stagnant water in it for seven days can become home to up to 1,000 mosquitoes.
Consult the WNV website, West Nile Virus County Coordinators, or call 1-877-PA-HEALTH toll-free for more information or other health-related questions.
PA Moves to Online Vanity Plate Check
If you are considering joining the more than 276,000 Pennsylvanians with personalized vanity plates on their vehicle, you will no longer have to wait to see if your idea already appears on another vehicle, according to the state Department of Transportation.
Check the availability of a personalized plate before submitting and possibly receiving a notice of duplication. Go to the Department of Motor Vehicles and select the Online Driver and Vehicle Services link. Choose Personalized Vanity Plate Availability from the list of available online Vehicle Registration Services.
Complete Form MV-904, Application for Special Registration Plate and submit it to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, Bureau of Motor Vehicles, Special Tag Unit, P.O. Box 68293, Harrisburg, PA 17106-8293 along with a $20 check or money order payable to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
Before You Go, Consult 511PA
August finds travelers heading out for vacation, shopping for back-to-school supplies, and transporting the college-bound in anticipation of that first day at a new institution. Throw into the mix those commuting to work, and the highways take on another dimension for motorists, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.
Smooth traveling begins at 511PA, Pennsylvania's official travel information service. The service provides motorists with reliable, current traffic and weather information, as well as links to other transportation services. 511PA helps motorists reach their destination in the most efficient manner when traveling in the Commonwealth.
Access the list of roads included in the 511PA System before the tires hit the macadam. Then, consult the statewide list of highway and bridge construction and maintenance projects that may cause detours or delays. Rely on real‐time traffic information accessed through your computer, by dialing 511, or calling 1-877-511-PENN if your telephone carrier does not support the 511 service.
Motorists may also choose to receive 511 PA Personalized Traveler Alerts, a free service that notifies subscribers of accidents, incidents and construction on state highways and toll roads. Alerts are sent to subscribers' cell phones, PDAs or email accounts to keep motorists on top of relevant travel conditions.
Boating Under the Influence is a Crime
The Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission (PF&BC) is issuing a reminder -- boating under the influence (BUI) is a crime.
During 2009, PF&BC officers arrested 57 individuals for boating under the influence. So far this year, 24 individuals have been charged with boating under the influence.
The Commission and the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (PLCB) want to remind boaters the legal limit for BUI is the same as DUI – a .08 percent blood alcohol content (BAC). Note that an individual may be convicted of operating a boat or motor vehicle under the influence at a BAC of .05 percent and above if there is supporting evidence of impairment.
The Liquor Control Board offers blood alcohol charts for females and males unaware of the limits for both boating and driving under the influence. Because alcohol can affect each person differently depending on gender, the pace of consumption, and food intake, the BAC charts serve merely as a guide but not a guarantee of an individual's metabolism of alcohol.
2010 Pennsylvania Farm Market Guide Available Online
A guide to area farm markets and other local agricultural products and events is now available online.
Compiled by the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, the 2010 Pennsylvania Farm Market Guide lists area farm markets and providers of fresh fruits and vegetables, flowers, jams and jellies, as well as agriculture adventure farms and pick-your-own-fruit opportunities.
There are 45 farm markets listed for Delaware and Chester counties, and the
guide provides the location, days and hours of operation, and product