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This e-newsletter is designed 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.
Student Aid Applications Now Available
The 2012-13 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is now available. The FAFSA is used to determine students' eligibility for almost all types of student aid, including state grants, Federal Pell Grants, Keystone Stafford Loans, regular Federal Stafford Loans and other federal and institutional programs.
Families are encouraged to visit www.pheaa.org/fafsa to access the 2012-13 online FAFSA and a FAFSA on the Web Worksheet to help walk them through the application process step by step. Students may also file online at www.fafsa.ed.gov.
Students planning to enroll in baccalaureate degree programs – including those enrolled in college transfer programs at community or junior colleges -- must file the FAFSA by May 1, 2012. Students planning to attend business, trade and technical schools; hospital schools of nursing, or two-year non-transferable programs at community, junior or four-year colleges must file the FAFSA by Aug. 1, 2012.
Applications Being Accepted for ECO Camp - Exploring Careers Outdoors
High school students considering careers outdoors can apply now for ECO Camp - a week-long residential camp for students focusing on careers in recreation, conservation and natural resources.
Held July 8-13, ECO Camp -- Exploring Careers Outdoors -- is conducted at the Kirby House near Wilkes-Barre, Pa. The site offers experiences in a variety of outdoor careers including forestry, fisheries, park management, geology, outdoor recreation and more. The free camp is run by the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.
The application deadline is April 1.
Professional staff from DCNR, including those working in state parks, geology and forestry, act as counselors and educators, exposing students to a variety of careers and outdoor recreation activities while interacting with students on a daily basis.
High school students must be entering 10th grade through 12th grade and have a C average or better. Students attend free of charge and are selected by committee based on their application, essay and recommendation.
Information and applications are available on the DCNR website or by writing: ECO Camp Coordinator, Bureau of State Parks, Outdoor Programming Services Division, PO Box 8551, Harrisburg, PA 17105-8551.
You Can Stay on Top of Food Safety Recalls
Do you or someone in your family suffer from food allergies? Or perhaps you heard the end of a report on a new food contagion but are unsure where or how to verify the information?
The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture is now reporting on Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recalls, increasing food safety in PA. The unlisted inclusion of milk, eggs, and nuts or a suspected contamination, such as listeria, salmonella, and other organisms are now posted to protect unsuspecting Pennsylvanians.
Bookmark and consult the page regularly whether you are buying meat, eggs, cheese, fruits and vegetables, or processed foods to avoid serious or life-threatening allergic reactions and illness.
PA Turnpike Travel Alerts – There's an App for That
You can install "Trip Talk" on your smartphone today to prepare for your next excursion on the Pennsylvania Turnpike. The Turnpike Roadway Information Program can now deliver up-to-the-minute, customized alerts and information, where and when you need it.
Pennsylvania Turnpike advisories are generated based on your choice of settings for both distance and frequency. Relying on the internal GPS, this hands-free, eyes-free app automatically updates and activates when approaching an area with a reported roadway condition on the Pennsylvania Turnpike.
Roadways included are I-76 and I-276 or the Main Turnpike, as well as the Northeast Extension (I-476), the Beaver Valley Expressway (I-376), the Mon-Fayette Expressway (RT-43), the Hutchinson Bypass (RT-66) and the Southern Beltway (I-576).
Information includes plaza availability, alternate service plaza locations, highway construction, the direction of slowed traffic, traffic speeds, length of planned interruptions and weather alerts.
Dual Openings for the 2012 Pennsylvania Trout Season
Pennsylvania trout season is just around the corner, according to the Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission.
Opening day for the 18 early counties, located in southeast Pennsylvania – including Delaware and Chester counties -- falls on Saturday, March 31, 2012. The first day of trout season for the remainder of the state begins on Saturday, April 14, 2012.
Obtain your fishing license and take a moment to review the Summary of PA Fishing Laws and Regulations, distributed free with each license, for more details. Search on the Adult Trout Stocking link to see the Commission's stocking schedule in your area.
Landscaping for Wildlife in Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania's varied and abundant wildlife provides hours of discovery to residents living throughout the state.
The Pennsylvania Game Commission (PGC) can help you develop your backyard into beneficial habitat for wildlife. You can create the ideal habitat for a variety of species, from hummingbirds to bats along with getting construction plans for a number of wildlife nesting boxes through "Landscaping for Wildlife in Pennsylvania."
The 160-page book written by noted outdoor and nature writer Marcus Schneck is available through the PGC's Outdoor Shop for $9.43 (plus state sales tax and shipping and handling). Locate Books under the Merchandise section of the PGC website or call 1-888-888-3459 to order your copy as springtime temperatures approach.