Senator Ward, J E-Newsletter

View this email in a browser

In this Update:

  • Participate in April 30 Telephone Town Hall Meeting
  • Minor delays expected starting April 23 on PA 994 for bridge project over Tatman Run in Huntingdon County
  • Increasing Penalties for Reporting False Threats at Schools
  • Senate Approves Bill to Protect Critical Infrastructure
  • Primary Election Day is Tuesday, April 23
  • New Crime-Fighting Tool for the Public
  • Youth Leadership Camp to be Held June 9-15
  • Five Steps to Safer Digging
  • Out and About in the 30th

Participate in April 30 Telephone Town Hall Meeting

I want to invite residents of the 30th Senate District to participate in a telephone town hall meeting on Tuesday, April 30, at 6 p.m.

I encourage district residents to join the phone call and participate in the discussion. I enjoy hearing from constituents about some of the most important issues they face.  I am looking forward to answering your questions and providing information about current state government-related topics.

I will provide updates about state government programs, policies and issues impacting families and communities in the district.  Participants will have an opportunity to ask questions, and I will answer as many as possible during the event.

Residents in the 30th District can sign up to participate by visiting my website at

Minor delays expected starting April 23 on PA 994 for bridge project over Tatman Run in Huntingdon County

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) is advising motorist of minor delays as work begins on Route 994 over Tatman Run in Huntingdon County next week.

The replacement of the bridge on Route 994 over Tatman Run is expected to begin on April 23 and conclude in September. Traffic delays are expected to be minimal but include sitting at a temporary signal light for up to five minutes and the use of a temporary road off and back onto Route 994. Motorists are advised to plan accordingly and allow for the minor delay.

Increasing Penalties for Reporting False Threats at Schools

In the wake of a school shooting tragedy and an uptick in hoax reports, the Senate approved legislation to enhance criminal penalties for false threat reports. Senate Bill 975 now moves to the House of Representatives for consideration.

The bill would make knowingly reporting a false threat at schools and higher education institutions a felony of the third degree, resulting in a prison sentence of up to seven years and a fine of up to $15,000. It would also allow courts to sentence anyone convicted to pay the costs of an evacuation or response that resulted from the threat.

These costs may include supplies, equipment or materials to respond to the threat; food that went unused because of the evacuation or diversion from standard operations of a school; and salary and wages – including overtime pay – for those who respond to the threat and any teacher, administrator or other educational facility employee who was paid despite the diversion.

Senate Approves Bill to Protect Critical Infrastructure

The Senate approved legislation to increase fines and penalties against those who intentionally vandalize or attack critical infrastructure, like the power grid. The bill now moves to the House of Representatives for consideration.

Under Senate Bill 819, those who willfully damage, destroy, vandalize, deface or tamper with equipment in a critical infrastructure facility will face a minimum of third-degree felony charges that come with a prison sentence of one to five years and a fine of no less than $10,000, along with the potential to face civil suits for damages to personal or real estate interests.

A destabilized power grid brings national security risks and disrupts our day-to-day activities – particularly among vulnerable populations. With the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security warning of increasing foreign and domestic threats to the power grid, protecting our critical infrastructure is more important than ever.

Primary Election Day is Tuesday, April 23

Primary Election Day is early this year: Tuesday, April 23, from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. If you are not registered to vote using a mail-in ballot but need to do so because of an emergency situation – such as an unexpected illness, disability or last-minute absence from your municipality – you may request an Emergency Absentee Ballot. The deadline to submit an Emergency Absentee Ballot Application to the County Election Board is April 23 at 8 p.m.

If you’re not sure where to report to vote, check here using the Department of State website. In addition to providing the address of your polling place, it will also tell you if you are an annual mail-in or absentee voter.

Voters who requested a mail-in ballot but would prefer to vote in person can do so if they bring their ballot and the pre-addressed outer return envelope to their polling place to be voided. If you do not surrender your ballot and return envelope, you can only vote by provisional ballot at your polling place.

New Crime-Fighting Tool for the Public

PSP Tips offers the public a new way to share information related to active investigations, cold cases, the apprehension of wanted persons or locating missing persons. It includes information about nearly 100 cold case homicides, missing persons and other unsolved crimes. New cases will be added frequently.

Featured cases include the 1973 homicide of an eight-year-old girl in Greene County, the unsolved killing in 1977 of a high school junior in Blair County, the 1981 disappearance of a Lackawanna County teenager and the search for the children of Susan Reinert, a Montgomery County teacher found murdered near Harrisburg in 1979. All cases in which the Pennsylvania State Police requests public assistance can be viewed on Facebook and Twitter.

Your tip could provide investigators with a long-awaited breakthrough that will finally bring closure and justice for the victims’ families. All information submitted to PSP Tips can be provided anonymously, if desired. Submit information using the toll-free phone number, 1-800-4PA-TIPS (1-800-472-8477) or online.

Youth Leadership Camp to be Held June 9-15

Teenagers who are interested in pursuing a career in law enforcement or the military are encouraged to apply to participate in a leadership camp to be held June 9-15 at Messiah University in Mechanicsburg.

The Pennsylvania State Police, Pennsylvania National Guard and Pennsylvania American Legion staff the camp. Cadets work on team-building exercises, physical fitness training, classroom activities involving police and military careers, and a marksmanship course. They will also visit the State Police Academy and Fort Indiantown Gap National Training Center.

The camp offers three $1,000 scholarships at the end of the week. Applicants must be between the ages of 15 and 17 prior to entering the camp and may not reach age 18 during the camp. Applicants should be physically fit, in good health and have a strong academic record. There is no cost to participants as their local American Legion post sponsors their attendance. Learn more and fill out an application here by May 15.

Five Steps to Safer Digging

April is Pennsylvania 8-1-1 Safe Digging Month, which is the perfect time to review the five steps for safely preparing for any outdoor project that requires excavation so you don’t hit an underground utility line.

Mark your proposed work site with white paint, flags or chalk. Then, as required by state law, contact PA One Call at least three to 10 business days prior to excavation. Pennsylvanians can dial 8-1-1 to connect with the One Call system and out-of-state residents or businesses can call 1-800-242-1776. Wait to begin work until the lawful start date. Track the progress of your request through the email that details what each utility company did to mark the location of their underground lines. Dig carefully.

Following the five steps to safer digging minimizes risk to the contractors or homeowners who are doing the digging; to utility workers and emergency responders who are mobilized to deal with the damage; and to bystanders who live, work or travel near the locations of the incidents. Learn more here.

Out and About in the 30th

My staff and I had a great time with the Pennsylvania Fish Commission helping stock trout at Canoe Creek State Park. Good luck to all our anglers this year and my little buddy, Geno, who helped us stock trout.

The Railroaders Memorial Museum in Altoona, along with the North American Railway Foundation, Lawruk Builders, and local officials, celebrated the dedication of the Luther G. Smith Memorial Yard with a reception and outdoor public ceremony. Project partners cut the ribbon in front of the Luther G. Smith statue, honoring the PA railroad locomotive engineer and Altoona native who is credited with creating a fund that provided job income protections for railroad workers. Thanks to the generosity of the North American Railway Foundation, the museum completed the renovation of this space, including a stage, concrete and turf, and lighting that will be a hub for community events and entertainment in the city.

Congratulations to Dr. Zane Gates on the grand opening of the Gloria Gates Care Clinic located inside the Green Avenue Towers in Altoona.

I was pleased to join Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) Secretary Mike Carroll and District 2 officials, along with my colleagues Sen. Wayne Langerholc and Rep. Kerry Benninghoff, as they highlighted more than 60 projects expected to bid this year in the nine-county region, including Mifflin and Juniata Counties. This event underscored PennDOT’s commitment to ensuring that Pennsylvania has a safe, reliable transportation network.

Congratulations to Celebration Villa on their ribbon cutting ceremony in Reedsville.

Secretary of State Al Schmidt visited the Blair County Elections Office. He is traveling throughout the Commonwealth to meet with county elections offices to ensure the primary election is secure.

State Treasurer Stacy Garrity spoke to students at the United We Can luncheon in Blair County this week.


If you are not already subscribed to this newsletter please sign up here.

Facebook Twitter Website

2024 © Senate of Pennsylvania | | Privacy Policy