Preventing child abuse and neglect is everyone’s responsibility

(Apr 30, 2020)

With many of us staying at home during the COVID-19 health crisis, one of the biggest concerns I have is that there are fewer people who are interacting with children – including those who may need our help – due to schools and many childcare facilities being closed.Our children count on us to look out for their wellbeing. And during this time, it is imperative we continue to do all we can to keep them safe and prevent abuse and neglect. Read more

 

Preventing Child Abuse and Neglect – It is Everyone’s Responsibility

(Apr 27, 2020)

April is Child Abuse Prevention Month, a time when Pennsylvanians are reminded to be aware of signs of abuse and neglect in children and about the resources available to help our youngest citizens. With many of us staying at home during the COVID-19 health crisis, one of the biggest concerns I have is that there are fewer people who are interacting with children – including those who may need our help – due to schools and many childcare facilities being closed. Our children count on us to look out for their wellbeing. And during this time, it is imperative we continue to do all we can to keep them safe and prevent abuse and neglect. Some signs of potential child abuse or neglect can include, but are not limited to: Numerous and/or unexplained bruises or injuries. Chronic or pronounced anxiety and expressed feelings of inadequacy. Flinching, or an avoidance of being touched. Poor impulse control. Cruelty to animals or others. Demonstrating abuse behavior or talk. Fear of parent or caregiver. If you see any of these signs or behaviors in a child, please contact ChildLine, the state Department of Human Service’s 24-hour toll-free hotline, by calling 1-800-932-0313. Calls to ChildLine are constantly monitored and information regarding suspected cases of abuse or neglect are being promptly reported to county agencies for investigation. You do not need to prove Read more

 

Petrarca: More state liquor stores to begin call-in, curbside service Monday

(Apr 24, 2020)

LATROBE, April 24 – Area residents will soon have expanded access to call-in and curbside pickup service at area Fine Wine & Good Spirits stores beginning Monday, state Rep. Joseph Petrarca, D-Westmoreland/Armstrong/Indiana, announced today. “The decision to offer curbside pickup for liquor sales and the more recent move to expand participating stores should help eliminate some of the frustration consumers have been experiencing when attempting to place an order,” Petrarca said. “The pandemic has disrupted our lives in so many ways. While these recent moves won’t bring a return to normalcy, they are steps in the right direction.” Petrarca said the expanded list of stores – which includes stores in Latrobe, Leechburg and Vandergrift – can be found here. Read more

 

Petrarca: $319,000 in housing and transportation funding to address pandemic

(Apr 24, 2020)

HARRISBURG, April 24 – State Rep. Joseph Petrarca, D-Westmoreland/Armstrong/Indiana, announced Armstrong and Indiana counties received funding for community development and affordable housing activities to address the COVID-19 pandemic under the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act. Petrarca said both counties were awarded $159,506. These funds will be made available from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development programs, where a total of $5 billon will be made available under the Community Development Fund for prevention, preparation and response to the coronavirus and $4 billion in Homeless Assistance Grants to aid individuals and families who are homeless and to prevent homelessness resulting from impacts created by the coronavirus. “It’s vital we do all we can to protect the health and safety of our residents during these uncertain times,” Petrarca said. “We want to provide the funding our local communities need to ensure our most vulnerable populations are not discounted as we face the challenges of COVID-19.” This is the first distribution of HUD funding under the CARES Act. The Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development received $24.69 million in the first of three total tranches for distribution using its small cities entitlement allocation formula. A full list of distributed funds can be found here . Read more

 

Petrarca: Apollo-Ridge School District awarded PDE grant to assist with resources, equipment, to ensure continuity

(Apr 22, 2020)

VANDERGRIFT, April 22 – The Apollo-Ridge School District has been awarded a $24,500 state grant to be used to ensure students receive access to educational materials and related resources while schools are currently closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, state Rep. Joseph Petrarca announced. Petrarca, D-Westmoreland/Armstrong/Indiana, said the Continuing of Education Equity Grant for the 2019-20 academic year will help bridge the gap for students who are unable to attend school, due to the closure of all school districts statewide due to the COVID-19 pandemic. “These funds can be used to purchase laptops, tablets or other instructional materials that students need, including internet hot spots,” said Petrarca. “Our school districts are facing several unprecedented challenges as they continue to adjust to remote learning, and this grant gives them the financial resources to help students continue to learn, despite being unable to attend classes in person at their school, and ensure they can stay connected with their teachers.” Petrarca added that school districts with the highest percentages of students lacking access to resources were given priority in receiving these grants. Read more

 

Petrarca: ChildLine remains available to report possible child abuse, neglect during COVID-19 pandemic

(Apr 16, 2020)

HARRISBURG, April 16 – April is Child Abuse Prevention Month, and state Rep. Joseph Petrarca wants to remind residents that ChildLine, the statewide 24/7 hotline for reporting suspected child abuse or neglect, is fully operational and available. Petrarca, D-Westmoreland/Armstrong/Indiana, who serves as the Democratic chairman of the House Children and Youth Committee, said as Pennsylvanians continue to navigate the current public health crisis, it’s vital they do all they can to keep all children safe and prevent child abuse. “Our children count on us to look out for their wellbeing, and with social distancing and the closure of schools across Pennsylvania, there are fewer people that may be interacting with children who may need help,” Petrarca said. “If you see or suspect a child is being abused or neglected – please call ChildLine and make a report.” Petrarca said signs of potential child abuse or neglect can include, but are not limited to: numerous and/or unexplained bruises or injuries. chronic or pronounced anxiety and expressed feelings of inadequacy. flinching, or an avoidance of being touched. poor impulse control. cruelty to animals or others. demonstrating abuse behavior or talk. fear of parent or caregiver. Anyone can make a report to ChildLine by calling 1-800-932-0313, and if you are not a mandated reporter, Read more

 

Trout Season Information and Resources

(Apr 07, 2020)

Effective April 7 at 8 a.m., the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission has opened the statewide trout season for 2020. This decision is intended to discourage concentrated gatherings of people that can occur on traditional trout season opening day and to also to minimize intrastate and interstate travel. Anglers and boaters must abide by social distancing guidelines provided by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Governor Tom Wolf’s Stay-at-Home Order regarding COVID-19. Information from the PA Fish and Boat Commission can be found at this link: https://www.pahouse.com/files/Documents/2020-04-07_104216__2020%20Trout%20Season%20Open%20FINAL.pdf . A list of FAQs regarding trout season can be found here: https://www.pahouse.com/files/Documents/2020-04-07_104558__PFBC%20COVID-19%20Fishing%20FAQs%20FINAL.pdf Read more

 

COVID-19 support for PA business

(Apr 03, 2020)

COVID-19 business resources Read more

 

Fill out the 2020 census!

(Mar 30, 2020)

In Pennsylvania, everyone counts and April 1 is National Census Day! If you haven’t already, don't forget to fill out your census form. Our population count determines our voice in government and how much federal funding we’ll receive for education, health care, transportation and more. Whether you respond online, mail or by phone , participate and help shape PA’s future. Your responses are anonymous and protected by law. To learn more, visit pa.gov/census #PAcounts #2020Census Read more

 

Petrarca and staff continuing to provide constituent services

(Mar 23, 2020)

HARRISBURG, March 23 – State Rep. Joseph Petrarca, D Westmoreland/Armstrong/Indiana, announced that he and his staff are continuing to provide services to residents, despite the closure of his Harrisburg and district offices in Vandergrift, Derry and Latrobe. Petrarca said the closure is in response to the COVID-19 pandemic affecting our state, nation, and countries worldwide. "We want to do all we can to protect the health and safety of our residents during these uncertain times,” Petrarca said. “My staff and I will be working remotely and still available for any assistance or questions from residents via phone and email.” Petrarca said district residents can reach him and his staff via phone at the following numbers: Harrisburg: 717-787-5142 Vandergrift: 724-567-6982 Derry: 724-694-5298 Latrobe: 724-539-7560 In addition, Petrarca and his staff are also reachable by email: Rep. Petrarca: RepPetrarca@pahouse.net Harrisburg: Kristen Bernard (Harrisburg): kbernard@pahouse.net Derry district office: Gina Scheller (Derry): gscheller@pahouse.net Latrobe district office: Shannon Cypher (Latrobe): scypher@pahouse.net Vandergrift district office: Jillian Olszewski (Vandergrift): jolszewski@pahouse.net Leslie Ziemianski (Vandergrift): Read more

 

COVID-19 Helpful Resources

(Mar 23, 2020)

In light of the current COVID-19 pandemic affecting Pennsylvania, we wanted to provide you with the following resources and information to help you and your family in the days ahead. Please note that this webpage will be updated as needed with additional information and resources. State Services and Resources The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has created a COVID-19 guide to assist everyone. It includes information on social distancing, mental health resources, unemployment, food assistance, changes from PennDOT and resources for small business: https://www.pa.gov/guides/responding-to-covid-19/ For individuals : https://www.pa.gov/guides/responding-to-covid-19/#ForIndividuals For families : https://www.pa.gov/guides/responding-to-covid-19/#ForFamilies For businesses : https://dced.pa.gov/resources COVID Support for PA Businesses : The following provides information and and links to federal, state, local and private resources. https://www.pahouse.com/News/?id=113388 **Self-employed, independent contractors, gig economy workers: Apply here for federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) benefits .** https://www.pa.gov/guides/responding-to-covid-19/#ForBusinessesUtilities Information from the PA Dept. of Labor and Industry on the federal CARES Act: https://www.uc.pa.gov/COVID-19/CARES-Act/Pages/default.aspx The following link provides you with Read more

 

Petrarca: $12,500 in grants awarded to assist communities in census outreach

(Mar 19, 2020)

HARRISBURG, March 19 – Armstrong County and the Apollo Memorial Library are among several entities awarded grants designed to promote awareness and participation in this year’s U.S. Census, state Rep. Joseph Petrarca announced today. Petrarca, D-Westmoreland/Armstrong/Indiana, said the Apollo Memorial Library received a $4,500 grant, and Armstrong County was awarded an $8,000 grant through the state Department of Community and Economic Development as part of its Census 2020 outreach grant program. “Our census occurs every decade, but it’s so vital that everyone participates,” said Petrarca. “It helps the federal government determine the amount of federal funds that are provided to our communities to help maintain our roads and schools, but also provide a variety of other public services, including transportation and emergency readiness needs. I encourage all residents to take part, and this year, it’s easy to do by going online.” The Census 2020 outreach grant program is designed to support grassroots efforts promoting awareness and participation in the census across the state, with the primary goal of targeting hard-to-count populations, including those who don’t speak English as their primary language, immigrant and rural communities, elderly, and people experiencing homelessness. Find out more by visiting this link: Read more

 

Coronavirus updates

(Mar 13, 2020)

I wanted to provide you with updated information on COVID-19 in Pennsylvania. Read more

 

Petrarca: Westmoreland County nonprofit awarded $24,000 to use for security, safety enhancements

(Mar 11, 2020)

HARRISBURG, March 11 – A nonprofit organization in Latrobe that provides treatment and services for at-risk youth has been awarded a $24,510 grant to use toward a variety of security and safety improvements at its facility, state Rep. Joseph Petrarca announced today. Petrarca, D-Westmoreland/Armstrong/Indiana, said Adelphoi Education in Latrobe was awarded the funds by the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency at its quarterly commission meeting today. “These funds will help Adelphoi Education in their ongoing efforts to keep their clients and staff safe, allowing them to focus on providing treatment, education and other services to at-risk youth in the community,” Petrarca said. “Adelphoi can use these funds in several ways, including safety and security training for staff, the purchase of security-related equipment, or any needed security or safety-related upgrades to their facility. These are the types of proactive investments I am proud to support as a commission member.” The grant is provided through PCCD’s Nonprofit Security Grant Fund Program following the passage of Act 83 of 2019 . The act directs PCCD to administer grants to nonprofit organizations who have been or who are likely to be targets for hate crimes. Priority consideration for funding was given to organizations that indicated they – or their membership – were victims of a hate crime or had a credible hate-crime threat. Read more

 

Petrarca: $162,000 regional investment to help young people gain experience for high demand careers

(Mar 05, 2020)

HARRISBURG, March 5 – The Tri-County Workforce Development and Westmoreland/Fayette Workforce Development boards have been awarded $162,860 in state funding to provide summer internships through the State/Local Internship Program, state Rep. Joe Petrarca announced today. Petrarca, D-Westmoreland/Armstrong/Indiana, said the SLIP grants, awarded by Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry and funded through the federal Workforce Innovative and Opportunity Act, helps young adults develop vital workforce skills by providing them with their first work experience. The Westmoreland/Fayette Workforce Development Board received $134,860 in funding, while the Tri-County Workforce Development Board, which oversees workforce development, education and economic development efforts in Armstrong, Butler and Indiana counties, received $28,000. “This program will provide young people in our area with the valuable real-world experience they need that can potentially lead them toward a successful, rewarding career,” said Petrarca. “In turn, our local employers will benefit from a career-ready talent pool of potential employees to choose from.” The 2020 SLIP will operate for an eight-week period between May 1 and August 28, offering wages at a minimum of $10.35 an hour for young adults between ages 16 and 24. More information on SLIP can be found at the following link: Read more

 

Petrarca: $468,000 in school safety, community violence prevention grants awarded by Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency

(Feb 26, 2020)

HARRISBURG, Feb. 26 – Approximately $468,292 in state grants to promote school safety and reduce community violence have been awarded to six school districts and a domestic violence center in the district, state Rep. Joseph Petrarca announced today. Petrarca, D-Westmoreland/Armstrong/Indiana, said the following school districts have received school safety and security grants, which can be used to purchase security-related technology and equipment, support school safety-related and behavioral trainings, and for hiring school personnel, including resource officers, police officers, counselors, social workers and psychologists: Apollo-Ridge School District, Armstrong County: $35,000. Blairsville Saltsburg School District, Indiana County: $35,000. Derry Area School District, Westmoreland County: $35,000. Greater Latrobe School District, Westmoreland County: $40,000. Kiski Area School District, Westmoreland County: $40,000. Leechburg Area School District, Armstrong County: $85,000. In addition, the Alice Paul House in Indiana, which provides services to victims and survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault, was awarded a $198,292 community violence prevention/reduction grant for its Healthy Relationships Project. These grants are designed to support programs to reduce community violence and increase access to behavioral health and related intervention services. “As a Read more

 

Capacity crowd at Petrarca's Latrobe concealed-carry event

(Jan 31, 2020)

LATROBE, Jan. 31 – Nearly 400 people attended state Rep. Joseph Petrarca's first informational discussion Thursday night on concealed-carry and other firearms laws. The two-plus-hour event in Huber Hall allowed attendees to ask local law-enforcement, judicial and hunting officials questions about the state's firearms laws. "It was a great event with a great turnout," Petrarca said. "The presenters were thorough, and the questions were thoughtful. I'd like to thank everyone for attending and learning more about our Second Amendment rights in Pennsylvania." The presenters were Westmoreland County Assistant District Attorney Leo Ciaramitaro, Capt. Jennifer Shipley from the Westmoreland County Sheriff's Office, Pennsylvania State Trooper Steve Limani, Latrobe Police Chief John Sleasman, and Officer Bill Brehun from the Pennsylvania Game Commission. They covered such topics as the Castle Doctrine, "open" carry vs. "concealed" carry, firearm safety and registration, and firearms law and safety related to hunting. Petrarca said that the question-and-answer session was the most popular feature, which lasted a couple of hours. "The questions ranged from when and where can you carry a concealed firearm, to how to properly interact with police officers when you are armed, and what crimes may prevent someone from owning a gun," he said. "I think everyone left Huber Hall with some Read more

 

Petrarca announces nearly $318,000 in fire and EMS state grants

(Jan 22, 2020)

HARRISBURG, Jan. 22 -- State Rep. Joseph Petrarca, D-Westmoreland/Armstrong/Indiana, announced a total of 24 fire and emergency medical services companies are slated to receive state grants totaling $317,598. “We rely on our local firefighters and emergency services personnel to respond quickly to dangerous situations, including fires, accidents and other events, on a daily basis,” Petrarca said. “These grants can be helpful in paying for training, purchasing needed equipment, and for construction or repairs to their facilities.” Petrarca said the grants are as follows: Armstrong County Apollo Volunteer Fire Department Hose Company No.2 -- fire company - $11,783. Apollo Volunteer Fire Department Hose Company No. 3 -- fire company - $11,783. Leechburg Volunteer Fire Company -- fire company - $11,509. Lower Kiski Ambulance Service Inc -- EMS - $9,192. Parks Township Volunteer Fire Department -- fire company - $11,646. Indiana County Saltsburg Volunteer Fire Department -- fire company - $10,251. Westmoreland Avonmore Volunteer Fire Department -- fire company - $11,509. Bell Township Volunteer Fire Department -- fire company - $11,920. Derry Volunteer Fire Department – fire company - $11,509. Derry Township Volunteer Fire Department #1 of Bradenville -- fire company - $12,194. Hyde Park Volunteer Fire Read more

 

Petrarca to hold two concealed-carry events in district

(Jan 21, 2020)

HARRISBURG, Jan. 21 – To help ensure that residents are aware of their Second Amendment rights, state Rep. Joseph Petrarca, D-Westmoreland/Armstrong/Indiana, will host two free informational events in the district regarding concealed carry. The first event will be held from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 30 at Huber Hall, 300 Alexandria St. in Latrobe. The second concealed-carry event will be held from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 6 at the West Leechburg Fire Hall, 1116 Gosser St. in West Leechburg. “I believe it’s vital for residents to know their rights as law-abiding gun owners, and both of these seminars will provide information on the rules and regulations regarding firearm transport and use in Pennsylvania,” Petrarca said. “The seminar also will provide residents with the opportunity to ask questions about concealed carry, gun registration, gun safety and more.” Representatives from the county sheriff’s office, Pennsylvania State Police, local law enforcement and the PA Game Commission will attend both events. For more information, those interested can call Petrarca’s Vandergrift office at (724) 567-6982, his Latrobe office at (724) 539-7560, or his Derry office at (724) 694-5298. Read more

 

Petrarca: $100,000 investment to assist schools and employers in preparing students for high demand careers

(Jan 17, 2020)

HARRISBURG, Jan. 17 – The Tri-County Workforce Development Board, which oversees workforce development, education and economic development initiatives in Armstrong, Butler and Indiana counties, has been awarded $100,000 in state funding to help businesses and schools collaborate to better prepare students for in-demand careers, state Rep. Joe Petrarca, D-Westmoreland/Armstrong/Indiana, announced today. Petrarca said the grant, awarded to the board via the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry’s Business-Education Partnership program, will connect students, employers and schools to provide career-related experiences and opportunities. In addition, the grant will be used to address gaps that exist between education and employers, with the goal of better preparing students for regional career and employment educational opportunities. “These student/employer experiences include job shadowing, internships, career mentoring and soft-skill development, ensuring our students are better prepared to enter the local workforce,” Petrarca said. “This investment creates a viable connection between the employer and students, helping these students build the skills they need to succeed, combined with solid workforce experience in high-demand jobs.” The BEP grants are 100 percent federally funded through the Workforce Innovation and Opportunities Act. For more information about these awards, please visit the following link: Read more

 

Preventing child abuse and neglect is everyone’s responsibility
Apr 30, 2020

Preventing Child Abuse and Neglect – It is Everyone’s Responsibility
Apr 27, 2020

Petrarca: More state liquor stores to begin call-in, curbside service Monday
Apr 24, 2020

Petrarca: $319,000 in housing and transportation funding to address pandemic
Apr 24, 2020

Petrarca: Apollo-Ridge School District awarded PDE grant to assist with resources, equipment, to ensure continuity
Apr 22, 2020

Petrarca: ChildLine remains available to report possible child abuse, neglect during COVID-19 pandemic
Apr 16, 2020

Trout Season Information and Resources
Apr 07, 2020

COVID-19 support for PA business
Apr 03, 2020

Fill out the 2020 census!
Mar 30, 2020

Petrarca and staff continuing to provide constituent services
Mar 23, 2020

COVID-19 Helpful Resources
Mar 23, 2020

Petrarca: $12,500 in grants awarded to assist communities in census outreach
Mar 19, 2020

Coronavirus updates
Mar 13, 2020

Petrarca: Westmoreland County nonprofit awarded $24,000 to use for security, safety enhancements
Mar 11, 2020

Petrarca: $162,000 regional investment to help young people gain experience for high demand careers
Mar 05, 2020

Petrarca: $468,000 in school safety, community violence prevention grants awarded by Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency
Feb 26, 2020

Capacity crowd at Petrarca's Latrobe concealed-carry event
Jan 31, 2020

Petrarca announces nearly $318,000 in fire and EMS state grants
Jan 22, 2020

Petrarca to hold two concealed-carry events in district
Jan 21, 2020

Petrarca: $100,000 investment to assist schools and employers in preparing students for high demand careers
Jan 17, 2020