|Farm Show Attracts Thousands
The 101st Farm Show will wrap up Saturday, with hundreds of thousands of visitors expected to walk through the doors at the Farm Show Complex near Harrisburg. There’s still time to stop by if you haven’t yet visited the largest indoor exposition of its kind along the East Coast.
This week, I visited the Farm Show and had the chance to meet up with several residents who either entered their animals or products in competitive exhibits, participated in the many interactive contests, took in the entertaining and educational displays or tasted the hundreds of different food items made right here in Pennsylvania.
Locally, the 102nd District is boasting a lot of blue-ribbon entries in this year’s Farm Show. Be sure to check out list of winners on the Farm Show website. The site also includes hundreds of photos from the week, categorized by competition, and recipes from the award-winning baking contests.
I have several videos and photos available for viewing. Below is my conversation with Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding.
To view my other videos and photos, visit my website at RepDiamond.com and click on photo or video in the left column.
LIHEAP Can Help with Home Energy Bills
Residents who are struggling with their home heating bills can apply for assistance from the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) this winter.
LIHEAP is a federally funded program that helps individuals and families pay their heating bills through home heating energy assistance grants. It also provides crisis grants to help in the event of an emergency or if a resident is in danger of losing his or her heat due to broken equipment, lack of fuel or termination of utility service.
The income eligibility guidelines for LIHEAP are set at 150 percent of the federal poverty level income. For an individual, the income limit is $17,820; for a couple, the limit is $24,030; and for a family of four, it is $36,450.
Residents may apply for LIHEAP online or by contacting the County Assistance Office in their county of residence. Click here for details.
Prepare Now for Driving in Winter Weather
Motorists are being encouraged to prepare their vehicles and take time to familiarize themselves with winter safety laws as part of Winter Driving Awareness Week.
Drivers should plan and prepare their vehicles ahead of time, as weather patterns can change rapidly. Drivers should frequently check all fluid levels, lights and wiper blades. Tires should also be examined often for the correct level of air pressure and adequate tire-tread depth to perform on ice and snow. Finally, the traveling public should also prepare or restock a vehicle emergency kit.
All vehicles should be fully clear of ice and snow before winter travel. If snow or ice is dislodged or falls from a moving vehicle and strikes another vehicle or pedestrian causing death or serious bodily injury, the operator of that vehicle could receive a $200 to $1,000 fine.
When winter weather does occur, drivers should be extra cautious around operating snow-removal equipment.
For more detailed tips on winter weather emergency preparedness, click here.
Testing Your Home for Radon
As part of national Radon Action Month in January, the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) reminds residents that radon – a colorless, odorless, and radioactive gas -- is a known human carcinogen and the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States.
Radon occurs naturally from the breakdown of uranium in soil and rocks and enters homes through cracks in the foundation or other openings. Due to its geology, Pennsylvania is prone to high radon levels, and has been detected in all 67 counties, with about 40 percent of homes having levels above national safety standards.
Winter is an ideal time to test, because doors and windows are generally closed, producing the most conservative results. High levels of radon tend to be found in basements, but the gas can be found anywhere in the home. Simple radon test kits are inexpensive and available at home improvement and hardware stores.
For more information on radon, testing and daily tips, visit the Pa. Department of Environmental Protection website.
Beer Sales Changes Start Saturday
Under a new law aimed at improving customer convenience, consumers will be able to buy six-packs and refillable growlers at the state’s beer distributorships this Saturday.
The law also allows retail licensees to start selling on Sundays at 9 a.m. instead of 11 a.m.; permits a person licensed by another state to apply for a “malt or brewed beverage shipper license,” which allows the direct shipment of up to 192 fluid ounces of beer to be delivered to a customer per month, though only 96 fluid ounces of a specific brand of beer may be shipped per year to an adult resident; and allows liquor to be sold (in shatterproof containers) before, during and after professional and amateur athletic events in the same manner that is currently permitted for the sale of malt or brewed beverages.
The new law is the latest in a series of steps taken by lawmakers to make beer, wine and liquor sales more convenient to consumers. Other recent changes allowed the sale of wine at approved grocery stores.