In this Update:
Luzerne County Child Advocacy Center’s Pinwheel Planting
Luzerne County Child Advocacy Center’s Pinwheel Planting, took place at the Luzerne County Courthouse Lawn earlier this week. This is a kick off to Child Abuse Prevention Month, which takes place in April. Thank you to everyone who comes together to help make this annual event a success. This year, 460 pinwheels have been planted on the courthouse lawn in Wilkes-Barre and 460 pinwheels will be planted on the lawn at City Hall in Hazleton. The Luzerne County Child Advocacy Center does tremendous work to help children who have become victims of physical abuse, sexual abuse, and neglect. Anyone can get involved. Plant Pinwheels at your home or business for Child Abuse Prevention Month. Learn more here.
Back Mountain Chamber Spring Food Drive
There is still plenty of time to participate in the Back Mountain Chamber’s Spring Food Drive, which takes place through April 2. My Dallas office at 22 Dallas Shopping Center, Memorial Highway, is a drop off location for non-perishable food items and cleaning supplies. For any questions or if you’re looking for more information on this worthwhile outreach, contact Brenda (Brenda.Pugh@ampgs.com), Jennifer (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Amanda (email@example.com).
Revenue Department Extends Call Center Hours for Tax Season
With the April 18 tax filing deadline approaching, the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue is extending its customer service hours for taxpayers to get help by phone.
Personal income tax assistance will be available between 8 a.m. and 7 p.m., Monday through Friday, by calling 717-787-8201.
Personal income tax assistance is also available through the department’s Online Customer Service Center. It contains answers to hundreds of common income tax questions and allows taxpayers to securely submit a question to the department through a process that is similar to sending an email. Department of Revenue district offices are also open to provide customer service. Taxpayers are encouraged to call ahead to schedule an appointment.
Winter Utility Disconnection Moratorium Ends March 31
Reminder to residential electricity customers: the winter utility disconnection moratorium will end March 31, meaning on April 1 shut-offs for nonpayment of bills will resume.
Between Dec. 1 and March 31, Pennsylvania has special rules for winter utility terminations for income-qualified households served by utilities regulated by the Public Utility Commission (PUC). During this seasonal termination moratorium, eligible households cannot have electric, natural gas or heat-related water service turned off for non-payment unless the utility receives permission from the PUC.
According to the PUC, the best action any at-risk consumer can take right now is to call their utility’s customer service hotline and ask for information about their customer assistance programs designed to make energy bills more affordable.
Adult Education Grants Available
State funding is now available to support lifelong learning through competitive Adult Basic Education Direct Service grants.
The grants are awarded to local adult education programs to provide free adult education and literacy activities to help adults improve their reading, writing, speaking, comprehension and mathematics skills, earn a high school equivalency credential, and develop the knowledge and skills for employment and economic self-sufficiency.
Applications must be submitted by April 7. For more information, you can view the Adult Basic Education Direct Service Grant Competition Information Webinar and access Frequently Asked Questions.
Saturday is Mentored Youth Fishing Day
Saturday, March 26, is Mentored Youth Trout Fishing Day across Pennsylvania, an opportunity for young anglers and their adult mentors to fish for trout prior to opening day of the season.
Youth anglers must obtain a Mentored Youth Permit or a Voluntary Youth Fishing License and be accompanied by a licensed adult angler to participate. Adult anglers (age 16 or older) must possess a valid Pennsylvania Fishing License and a current Trout/Salmon Permit.
Unlike previous years with regional and statewide days, there is now only one, statewide Mentored Youth Fishing Day and one, statewide Trout Opening Day (April 2).
Vietnam War Veterans Day March 29
On March 29, 1973, U.S. combat and combat support units began to withdraw from South Vietnam.
It marked the beginning of the end of a conflict that cost the lives of more than 58,000 Americans. Returning veterans did not receive the welcome they deserved, and many dealt with the effects of war alone. National Vietnam War Veterans Day was established in 2017 for us to express our heartfelt admiration and to pay these veterans the respect they earned.
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