Happy Thanksgiving!
Happy Thanksgiving!

For nearly four centuries, Americans have come together in the spirit of thanksgiving. From the earliest traditions that began in Plymouth, Mass., to the first official national observance in 1863, families have gathered in November to celebrate bountiful harvests and all that has been given to them.

In honor of the Thanksgiving holiday on Nov. 22, state offices will be closed on Thursday, and my office will also be closed on Friday, Nov. 23. PennDOT Driver License Centers will also be closed Nov. 22-23. If you are traveling, be sure to check www.511pa.com for the latest traffic and weather information.

From my family to yours, may you all have a safe, healthy and happy Thanksgiving.
Presents from Police

As the holiday season begins, the Northern Regional Police Department will be hosting a Stuff The SRT Truck event from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the following dates and locations:

  • Saturday, Nov. 24, at the Walmart in Richland Township.

  • Sunday, Nov. 25, at the Market District in Pine Township.

  • Saturday, Dec. 1, at the Target in Richland Township.

  • Sunday, Dec. 2, at T-Bones in Marshall Township.

There will also be boxes set up for toy drop off at the Northern Regional Police Department, Pine Community Center and the Northern Tier Library in Richland Township.
Toys for Tots Drive

On Nov. 24 and 25 the McCandless Fire Departments will be hosting a Toys for Tots Drive to help provide toys for children in need in our community. You can drop off an unwrapped toy in the Pine Creek Target parking lot at 9805 McKnight Road during the following times:

  • Saturday, Nov. 24, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

  • Sunday, Nov. 25, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

You can also drop off toys any Tuesday evening in November from 6-7 p.m. at your local McCandless fire department.
Speaker of the House


It has been my distinct honor and privilege to have been entrusted to serve as Speaker of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives for the past two legislative terms, having been elected by unanimous bipartisan votes both sessions. Of course, I am just a steward of this historic position that dates back to 1682. I am humbled to report that my colleagues will once again entrust me with this responsibility for the 2019-20 legislative session. The formal election of Speaker will occur on Jan. 1, 2019, by vote of the full House of Representatives.
Protecting Children - Ensuring Their Safety

Throughout this session, we have placed a priority on protecting children and ensuring their safety. Several of the new laws we have passed include:

Act 88: Grants temporary guardianship to grandparents when the parents of the grandchildren are unable to care for them primarily due to substance abuse issues.

Act 110: Encourages institutions of higher education to establish student mental health and suicide prevention plans and requires the PA Department of Education to create a designation for schools to become a “Certified Suicide Prevention Institution of Higher Education.”

Act 116: Prohibits over-the-counter sales of dextromethorphan (DMX) to minors and creates a new summary offense, punishable by a fine of $250-$500, for a person who knowingly sells a DXM product to a minor, for a person who falsely misrepresents his or her age to obtain any quantity of DXM or for a person who purchases a DXM product with the intent to sell it.

Act 130: Creates a “safe harbor” for human trafficking victims and requires that sexually exploited children be diverted from the criminal justice system to more appropriate human services. Law enforcement will be required to report to the Department of Human Services any encounter with a minor who has been subject to sexual exploitation. The department will implement a statewide protocol to deliver services to these children.
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