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Bizzarro announces more than $166k to district in Fire Company, Emergency Medical Service Grant Program awards

(Jan 17, 2020)

Volunteer fire companies and emergency service providers were awarded state funding from the Office of the State Fire Commissioner’s Fire Company, Emergency Medical Service Grant Program, announced Rep. Ryan Bizzarro, D-Erie. Read more

 

Bizzarro, Harkins, Merski: More than $100,000 in funding to expand computer science in Erie schools

(Jan 17, 2020)

ERIE, Jan. 17 – Erie students will see more computer science in the curriculum, thanks to three state grants totaling $105,000, state Reps. Ryan Bizzarro, Pat Harkins and Bob Merski, all D-Erie, announced today. The PAsmart targeted grants from the state Department of Education will provide $35,000 apiece to the Millcreek Township, Fort LeBoeuf and Iroquois school districts. “With the advent of the digital age, computers are an essential part of every industry – not just the tech sector,” Bizzarro said. “Software applications are used in nearly every modern industry, from health care and transportation to education and finance, so making sure our students develop tech skills is essential to keeping our industries competitive and our economy thriving.” Harkins agreed, noting, “ As our reliance on technology continues to increase, the need for a tech-savvy workforce becomes more and more important to our economy. For this reason, a solid foundation in computer science skills is essential for our next generation of workers.” Merski added that adding computer science to the curriculum provides kids with the important problem-solving skills they need to succeed. “Computer science teaches students of all ages how to think logically and gives them the confidence of knowing that they can rely on their own skills to solve problems, which is an incredibly valuable lesson as they go through Read more

 

Two Teens Who Abused Dying Deer In Facebook Videos Charged With Animal Cruelty Under Libre’s Law

(Jan 17, 2020)

U.S. Senator Pat Toomey, Governor Tom Wolf, and state Reps. Todd Stephens and Ryan Bizzarro all spoke out calling for these two men to be charged both with state and federal laws for the shocking behavior they displayed openly in the videos. Read more

 

PUC designation will allow Velocity.net communications to expand Erie County broadband

(Jan 17, 2020)

There could be good news coming for visitors to Presque Isle State Park who dream of having internet access while still enjoying the popular state park has to offer. Read more

 

$144,000 in Grants Awarded to Fire Stations and Emergency Services

(Jan 17, 2020)

12 Fire stations and Emergency Services Awarded by Rep. Ryan Bizzarro in Grant Money Read more

 

PUC designation will allow Velocity.net Communications to expand Erie County broadband

(Jan 16, 2020)

ERIE, Jan. 16 – State Rep. Ryan Bizzarro today announced that thanks to the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission designating Velocity.Net Communications as an Eligible Telecommunications Carrier, Erie County broadband will soon improve. The petition will promote efforts to provide voice and broadband services in underserved parts of northwestern Pennsylvania by authorizing Velocity.Net to receive federal universal service funding. “Many take for granted easy and swift access to voice and streaming services. Some communities in Erie still aren’t receiving the high-speed access needed to remain competitive in business negotiations and in providing quality educational experiences. This investment will put Erie in a better position to have quality telecommunications access,” Bizzarro explained. VNCI intends to use the federal funds to extend existing fiber optic network and provide telecommunications and broadband internet access services. As a condition of the designation, VNCI will also participate in the federal Lifeline program, offering Lifeline service to qualified low-income customers or households in those census blocks, in accordance with applicable federal and state law. Bizzarro thanked the PUC for taking action to ensure we don’t lose federal high cost support in Pennsylvania. “This support will help ensure our community remains a Read more

 

Bizzarro, Harkins, Merski: $120,000 grant to promote school-business partnerships, real-world learning for students

(Jan 16, 2020)

ERIE, Jan. 16 – A state grant of $120,000 will bolster career readiness for Erie students and improve the pool of talented job candidates for area businesses, state Reps. Ryan Bizzarro, Pat Harkins and Bob Merski, all D-Erie, announced today. The grant from the state Department of Labor and Industry will fund the Northwest Workforce Development Board’s “Student in the Workforce” project – designed to bring students from Erie and several other counties into the workplace for real-world experiences with high-demand jobs. “T he funding announced today allows us to build incredibly valuable connections between our schools and area businesses,” Bizzarro said. “Giving students a chance to interact with area employers in real-world settings can provide once-in-a-lifetime opportunities and open new doors to career pathways. It prepares students to hit the ground running when they venture out into the working world.” Harkins agreed, noting, “A connection between the classroom and the workplace is invaluable – particularly for students from lower-income households, who might not otherwise have an opportunity to develop these connections. It’s a way to level the playing field and ensure that all students have a meaningful chance to compete for high-demand, good-paying jobs.” “ Experiential learning is the most effective tool for educating our young people, Read more

 

Bill introduced in the House, Alina’s Law, would strengthen PFA orders

(Jan 16, 2020)

The murder of a University of Pittsburgh student in 2017 has sparked Pennsylvania lawmakers to act. A bill has been introduced in the House to establish Alina’s Law, named after a young woman who was murdered by her ex-boyfriend a little more than two years ago. Read more

 

$120,000 Grant to Help Schools, Businesses Prepare Students for Careers

(Jan 16, 2020)

The grant was provided through the Business-Education Partnerships grant program, which is funded by the federal government. Read more

 

Pennsylvania charges two teens who abused a dying deer with animal cruelty under Libre’s Law

(Jan 10, 2020)

n November, Americans were stunned by a viral video that showed two teenagers kicking and stomping an injured white tail deer they had just shot. In the 30-second clip, Alex Smith, 18, and his companion could be seen laughing and ripping off one of the deer’s antlers as the injured animal tried to get away. Read more

 

LECOM Opens New Institute for Behavioral Health

(Jan 06, 2020)

Leaders cut the ribbon Monday morning with the help of Congressman Mike Kelly, State Sen. Dan Laughlin and Representatives Ryan Bizzaro and Bob Merski. Read more

 

Bizzarro, Harkins, Merski offer support to Erie Coke employees

(Dec 19, 2019)

ERIE, Dec. 19 – Reacting to news that Erie Coke permanently closed its doors today, state Reps. Ryan Bizzarro, Pat Harkins and Bob Merski, all D-Erie, are advising workers who were turned away from the plant this morning that their offices can provide important support and services. “This is why our offices are here – to support our community in difficult times when the future is uncertain,” Bizzarro said. “The workers who showed up this morning and were turned away through no fault of their own deserve the best support we can offer, and we don’t plan to let them down.” Harkins agreed, saying, “Our hearts are with the employees who were caught off guard this morning, a week before Christmas, when they showed up at Erie Coke, only to be told that their services are no longer needed. It’s important for people to know that our offices can provide valuable assistance – from helping people find new job opportunities to assisting them in filing unemployment insurance claims or applying for children’s health insurance.” Merski added that these resources are available down the line, as well. “Although residents may not need these resources immediately, we want everyone to know that we are prepared to help at any time in the future,” he said. “Whether it’s now or down the line, we want people to know that we will be there to support them with state Read more

 

Bizzarro, Harkins, Merski: More than $420,000 in tax credits to fund regional food bank

(Dec 18, 2019)

ERIE, Dec. 18 – Tax credits of $420,563 under the state Neighborhood Assistance Program will boost the efforts of Erie-based Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest Pennsylvania to alleviate food insecurity throughout the region, state Reps. Ryan Bizzarro, Pat Harkins and Bob Merski, all D-Erie, announced today. “Second Harvest has been playing a huge role in addressing hunger in our region for more than three decades,” Bizzarro said. “Keeping their operations running strong is essential because the issue of food insecurity undergirds so many critical life issues, from staving off sickness and disease to enabling parents to provide for their children. “No family should ever have to choose between keeping food on the table and affording other essentials, such as housing, utilities or medications. Securing this help is going to help eliminate those devastating choices for families.” Harkins agreed, adding, “Widescale food distribution by organizations such as Second Harvest is more complicated than many people realize. From cultivating partnerships and securing donations from retailers, restaurants, growers, packers and government agencies to coordinating the distribution of food to area pantries and shelters, it’s a complex operation. I’m thankful that this help will help keep this vital regional provider running strong.” Merski said that he was especially glad that the funding Read more

 

Bizzarro, Harkins, Merski encourage Erie residents, businesses to apply for low-interest disaster loans

(Dec 12, 2019)

ERIE, Dec. 12 – State Reps. Ryan Bizzarro, Pat Harkins and Bob Merski, all D-Erie, are urging residents and business owners who suffered property damage from area storms Oct. 31-Nov. 1 to apply for a low-interest Small Business Association loan. Federal assistance from the SBA’s Disaster Loan Program is now available after the agency approved Gov. Tom Wolf’s request to declare a disaster based on the severe storms, high winds and flooding that damaged numerous buildings and businesses. “Unexpected storm damage can wreak havoc with residents’ lives and cause interruptions that impact a small business’s bottom line,” Bizzarro said. “I strongly encourage residents and business owners who suffered property damage from these storms to take advantage of this program, which can provide access to critical resources for rebuilding – especially when that damage is not covered by insurance.” Harkins agreed, saying, “Homeowners may borrow up to $200,000, and owners and renters may be eligible for up to $40,000, to repair or replace personal property. In addition, businesses and nonprofits that suffered damage to their buildings, equipment or inventory can apply for up to $2 million in assistance. This is funding that can help residents put their affairs back in order and help businesses get back on their feet.” Merski added that the SBA will be establishing a help center at the North Read more

 

Bizzarro, Harkins, Merski: Nearly $461,000 to strengthen protection and advocacy for victims of child abuse

(Dec 11, 2019)

ERIE, Dec. 11 – Grants totaling $460,735 will expand protection and advocacy services for children throughout Pennsylvania and enhance those supports and services for Erie-area children and families, state Reps. Ryan Bizzarro, Pat Harkins and Bob Merski, all D-Erie, announced today. The funding – administered by the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency – includes $400,000 to an Erie-based organization that trains support professionals on best practices and adherence to national standards in investigating and treating child abuse. “We’ve worked hard to secure this funding, which will allow us to broaden the reach of child protection and advocacy services throughout Pennsylvania – especially to unserved and underserved areas,” Bizzarro said. “I saw the effects of abuse while working as a witness coordinator and victims’ advocate, and I know how important access to those services can be. They need to be available to all children, regardless of where they live.” Harkins added that some of the funding will go to promote best practices in the Erie region. “Investigating and prosecuting abuse can place huge stresses on children who have already suffered unthinkable trauma,” Harkins said. “This funding will help ensure that children have a safe, supportive environment for evaluation and counseling and that professionals are trained on Read more

 

Rep. Bizzarro announces more than $11k award to Northwest Tri-County Intermediate Unit 5

(Dec 11, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Dec. 11 – Homebound students who receive services from Northwest Tri-County Intermediate Unit 5 will benefit from a Keystone Telepresence grant, announced state Rep. Ryan Bizzarro, D-Erie. IU5 can use the $11,045 grant to acquire audio and video equipment to help educate students homebound for extended periods due to serious medical conditions. Funds may also be used to train staff on how to adequately use the equipment. School districts within the regional education service agency may borrow the equipment to enable students to participate in classroom activities and curriculum in real time with classmates and teachers. “I am glad to see that the state is willing to invest in technology to improve students’ access to quality education. Kids dealing with medical setbacks will now have the opportunity, as able, to stay connected and not fall behind on learning with their peers,” explained Bizzarro. The grant is funded through the Pennsylvania Department of Education’s Special Education state appropriation from the 2019-20 Fiscal Year budget. Read more

 

Lawmakers speaking out regarding future of Minor League Baseball franchises

(Dec 06, 2019)

The Erie SeaWolves today praised congressional efforts to save Minor League Baseball. A task force has been created by members of Congress to prevent Major League Baseball from eliminating 42 Minor League franchises. Read more

 

Rep. Bizzarro resolution urges MLB to save minor league teams

(Dec 04, 2019)

Erie, Dec. 4 -- State Rep. Ryan Bizzarro, D-Erie, said he is introducing a resolution calling on Major League Baseball to reconsider eliminating select Pennsylvania minor league baseball teams. According to a recent announcement from MLB, Pennsylvania teams at stake are the Erie SeaWolves, State College Spikes and the Williamsport Crosscutters. Bizzarro cited the economic and community benefits these teams bring to their regions, specifically Erie. “I was taken aback that the MLB would even consider eliminating these teams. They offer an affordable experience for baseball enthusiasts and families, create jobs, boost economic activity and community revitalization. The economic impact to downtown Erie, including restaurants and hotels, could be more than $10 million annually,” Bizzarro explained. Erie Events, UPMC Park facility manager, was recently awarded $12 million from the Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program for much-needed upgrades to the ballpark. The total project costs will tally $16 million. “The state made great investments in UPMC Park, and it’s important that this team stay open for our community to fully realize the benefits of that investment.” Read more

 

Our view: Abuse laws protect pets and people

(Dec 03, 2019)

Not that long ago, humane officers would have had scant legal recourse in the case of Izzy, an 11-month-old Erie Labrador retriever beaten so severely in October she had to be euthanized.But in 2017, state lawmakers advanced and Gov. Tom Wolf signed into law Libre’s Law, a comprehensive overhaul of the state’s animal cruelty laws.Named after Libre, a starving Boston terrier left for dead in Lancaster County, it made animal abuse resulting in severe injury or death a felony, and toughened other aspects of the law, including the conditions under which dogs could be left tethered outside. State Rep. Ryan Bizzarro, D-3rd Dist., was a co-sponsor. Read more

 

Wolf asks MLB not to cut ties with minor league teams in Erie, State College and Williamsport

(Dec 02, 2019)

Gov. Tom Wolf is going to bat for three Pennsylvania minor league baseball teams that could lose their affiliations as Major League Baseball looks to trim the ranks of those feeder clubs. Read more

 

Bizzarro announces more than $166k to district in Fire Company, Emergency Medical Service Grant Program awards
Jan 17, 2020

Bizzarro, Harkins, Merski: More than $100,000 in funding to expand computer science in Erie schools
Jan 17, 2020

Two Teens Who Abused Dying Deer In Facebook Videos Charged With Animal Cruelty Under Libre’s Law
Jan 17, 2020

PUC designation will allow Velocity.net communications to expand Erie County broadband
Jan 17, 2020

$144,000 in Grants Awarded to Fire Stations and Emergency Services
Jan 17, 2020

PUC designation will allow Velocity.net Communications to expand Erie County broadband
Jan 16, 2020

Bizzarro, Harkins, Merski: $120,000 grant to promote school-business partnerships, real-world learning for students
Jan 16, 2020

Bill introduced in the House, Alina’s Law, would strengthen PFA orders
Jan 16, 2020

$120,000 Grant to Help Schools, Businesses Prepare Students for Careers
Jan 16, 2020

Pennsylvania charges two teens who abused a dying deer with animal cruelty under Libre’s Law
Jan 10, 2020

LECOM Opens New Institute for Behavioral Health
Jan 06, 2020

Bizzarro, Harkins, Merski offer support to Erie Coke employees
Dec 19, 2019

Bizzarro, Harkins, Merski: More than $420,000 in tax credits to fund regional food bank
Dec 18, 2019

Bizzarro, Harkins, Merski encourage Erie residents, businesses to apply for low-interest disaster loans
Dec 12, 2019

Bizzarro, Harkins, Merski: Nearly $461,000 to strengthen protection and advocacy for victims of child abuse
Dec 11, 2019

Rep. Bizzarro announces more than $11k award to Northwest Tri-County Intermediate Unit 5
Dec 11, 2019

Lawmakers speaking out regarding future of Minor League Baseball franchises
Dec 06, 2019

Rep. Bizzarro resolution urges MLB to save minor league teams
Dec 04, 2019

Our view: Abuse laws protect pets and people
Dec 03, 2019

Wolf asks MLB not to cut ties with minor league teams in Erie, State College and Williamsport
Dec 02, 2019