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Robert Tommy Tomlinson
Application Period for Volunteer Fire Company, EMS Grants Opens Next Month
Volunteer fire and EMS companies can apply for state grants for construction projects, equipment purchases, training and debt reduction beginning next month. The application period for the Fire Company and Emergency Medical Service Grant Program will open on September 4.
Applicants must complete all Final Reports for the 2018-2019 grant year by September 3 in order to be eligible for another grant during the 2019-20 grant process.
More details on the program, including application guidelines, are available online at www.osfc.pa.gov.
Helpline Available to Assist Grandparents Raising Grandchildren
A new hotline is now available to assist grandparents raising their grandchildren.
The KinConnector hotline, created by Act 89 of 2018, provides families with information on health, financial and other services designed to help caregivers. Kinship Navigators can also help families apply for federal, state, and local benefits such as Social Security, public assistance, or CHIP.
KinConnector can be reached by calling 1-866-KIN-2111 (1-866-546-2111). Assistance is available Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Safe2Say Program Receives Nearly 23,500 Tips in First Six Months
Nearly 23,500 tips about potential threats were reported through the Safe2Say program from its start on January 14 through June 30, according to a recent report.
The complete report is available here.
As the school year begins, please remember that PA laws require motorists to stop when a school bus has its red lights flashing and stop arm extended on all roadways with painted lines or grooved dividers, as well as all intersections. Drivers on the opposite side of a highway with a physical barrier do not have to stop.
More information on the laws, plus student and parent safety tips can be found here.
Attorney General Announces Deal with Phone Companies to Combat Robocalling
Twelve major telecommunications companies have agreed to take steps to make it easier for people to block illegal robocallers, Attorney General Josh Shapiro announced Thursday.
The companies — AT&T, Bandwidth, CenturyLink, Charter, Comcast, Consolidated, Frontier, Sprint, T-Mobile, US Cellular, Verizon, and Windstream — have pledged to adopt eight principles targeted at improving prevention and enforcement of illegal robocalls.
Under the agreement announced Thursday, the phone companies agreed to help both prevent robocalls and help law enforcement crack down on illegal robocallers.
Among the planned steps:
The telecommunication companies will offer free call blocking services for customers and monitor their networks for robocall traffic;
They will also implement new technology to authenticate that callers are coming from a valid source;
To help law enforcement bust illegal robocallers, the companies have also agreed to alert authorities when they see evidence of illegal robocalling and to help trace calls once they are deemed suspicious;
The telephone companies will also require any service providers they contract with also cooperate with efforts to trace the identity of robocallers.
Residents who want to file a complaint about phone calls that appear to be violating the state’s Do Not Call law should document the name on Caller ID if available or the name of the caller as identified on the phone, said Karissa Hand, a spokeswoman for Shapiro’s office. In addition, the caller should document the time and date of the call, and what the caller was offering, she said.
To file a complaint, consumers registered on PA’s Do Not Call List can visit www.attorneygeneral.gov and select the Do-Not-Call complaint form.
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