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Honoring Marienville VFC’s Milestone Anniversary
I was pleased to help Marienville Volunteer Fire Company celebrate its 125th anniversary. The proud history and vital role the Marienville Fire Company holds in the community are a tribute to its leaders and members who have carried it to its present heights.
Iron Mountain Opens New Customer Welcome Center
I had the pleasure of joining Congressman Mike Kelly, state Representative Tedd Nesbit and Butler County Commissioners Kevin Boozel, Kim Geyer and Leslie Osche at a ribbon cutting ceremony for Iron Mountain’s new $4.5 million, 11,600 square-foot customer welcome center at its Boyers facility in Butler County. Iron Mountain's continued investment in the Boyers Underground is important for the many employees of the facility and the communities they call home.
Department of Labor & Industry Updates Career Guide
The Department of Labor & Industry recently unveiled the updated Pennsylvania Career Guide, a valuable resource for students and job-seekers alike.
The guide includes employment, wage, and job outlook data for more than 250 occupations. Students will find a helpful month-by-month checklist for their senior year as well as material related to their post-graduation plans such as finding a job, entering the military, or continuing on to postsecondary education. A new feature in this edition is an article on budgeting and a sample budget worksheet.
The Pennsylvania Career Guide is available online through the Center for Workforce Information & Analysis (CWIA) website, www.workstats.dli.pa.gov.
PUC Releases Annual Electric Service Reliability Report
The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission recently released its annual Electric Service Reliability Report, detailing the performance of the state’s electric distribution companies (EDCs) during 2016.
The reliability report measures the performance of the state’s 11 EDCs, including Citizens’ Electric, Duquesne Light, Metropolitan Edison, PECO, Pennsylvania Electric, Pennsylvania Power, Pike County Light & Power, PPL Electric Utilities, UGI Utilities, Wellsboro Electric and West Penn Power.
Performance measurements documented in the report include the frequency and duration of outages; the frequency of momentary and sustained outages; and utility-specific information and analysis of outages causes; and major events that impacted power customers during 2016.
State Working to Raise Awareness of Illegal Gas Pump ‘Skimmers’
To combat the use of illegal credit and debit card “skimmers” at gas stations and ATMs in Pennsylvania, the state is working to raise awareness on the use of these devices. Skimmers are malicious card readers often attached to an actual payment terminal that can gather data from a credit or debit card’s magnetic stripe when inserted or swiped.
Here are six tips for consumers:
Choose gas pumps that are closer to and within the line of vision of the cashiers.
Use ATMs in well-lit, secure locations and avoid using ATMs that are stand-alone units in corners of stores or other out-of-the-way locations.
Look at the card reader slot and surrounding areas to see if anything looks out of place, mismatched, or loose.
Make sure no one is watching you enter your PIN (or possibly filming you on a cell phone).
Consider using your credit card instead of your debit card to avoid compromising your PIN and to gain other consumer protections.
Check your bank and credit card statements frequently to watch for fraudulent activity and report any unfamiliar activity immediately.
More information is available at www.dobs.pa.gov/Documents/Publications/Handouts/SkimmingAlertCard.pdf.
Beware of Pension Advance Scams
The state Department of Banking and Securities is warning consumers about doing business with any company offering an advance on a retirement pension.
These so-called lump sum “pension advances” are thinly disguised loans with no contractual or financial relationship with the consumer’s pension or pension plan. The total payments made on the “advance” often far exceed the initial loan amount.
In almost all cases, the payments made by the consumer are more than a lender can legally charge on a loan to a Pennsylvania resident. The Department issued a cease and desist order in May against one such company that was acting as an unlicensed lender in Pennsylvania.
Consumers who have questions regarding one of these companies or believe they have been unlawfully charged interest or fees should contact the Department’s Consumer Services Office toll-free at (800) PA-BANKS (722-2657) or file a complaint online at: www.dobs.pa.gov/Consumers/Pages/File-a-Complaint.aspx.
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Here to Serve You
Senate Box 203021
170 Main Capitol
Harrisburg, PA 17120
FAX: (717) 787-6088
22045 Route 6
Warren, PA 16365-7952
FAX: (814) 728-2102
110 East Diamond Street
Butler, PA 16001
FAX: (724) 282-6852
229 Elm Street
Oil City, PA 16301
FAX: (814) 677-6331