Politics

Ag Committee Holds Hearing on Fireworks Bill

The Senate Agriculture & Rural Affairs Committee today (Feb. 10) held a public hearing on a bill that would legalize the sale of fireworks in Pennsylvania, according to Committee Chairman Senator Elder Vogel (R-47). Senate Bill 1055, legislation introduced by Senator Vogel and his colleagues Senators Don White (R-41) and Gene Yaw (R-23) would lift the ban on the sale of “consumer” fireworks, known as “Class C” fireworks, and allow businesses legally operating in the state to sell consumer fireworks — such as bottle rockets, roman candles and mortars — to Pennsylvania residents without the need for a permit. “It’s…


Fifth Grade Scheduling Causes Extended School Board Debate

On Monday’s agenda meeting, most members of the Ellwood City Area School Board accepted a fifth grade schedule proposal as the best possible option. However, board president Renee Pitrelli didn’t accept the change, resulting in an extended circular conversation. Currently, the fifth-graders are divided into two classroom “pods” each rotating between three teachers. Frank Keally, the principal at Hartman Intermediate, felt this was a fine model and several school board members agreed, including Pitrelli, Jeniffer Tomon, Danielle Woodhead and Erica Gray. Unfortunately, this year’s fourth grade class is smaller than normal and as a result, Keally will have to move…


Marketing Consulting Company Presents Proposition to Skeptical EC School Board

The Ellwood City Area School Board listened to a business proposition by Image Consultants, an Ellwood-based company, during their agenda meeting on Feb. 8. Earla Marshall offered her professional services via Image Consultants to organize a fundraising campaign for two STEAM labs in Hartman Intermediate and Lincoln Jr/Sr High School. Marshall had previously visited the board representing the Kitchen Cabinet, a volunteer community activist organization. Marshall had said that Cabinet members would volunteer their services to raise money for the STEAM labs. In January, the board passed a motion to give the administration $150,000, which was the minimum estimated cost…


Senior Privilege is Working Well, According to Administration

The Lincoln High School administration reported that senior privilege, a scheduling policy for the 2016-17 school year, has been working fantastically. At the Ellwood City Area school board agenda meeting on Tuesday, Lincoln assistant principal John Sovich presented the board with statistics and feedback on the policy. Following the feedback, the board, which was skeptical of the policy last year, overwhelmingly approved of senior privilege. Senior privilege is a scheduling policy in which seniors may opt to come in at 10 a.m. or leave two hours early rather than taking electives. This is not due to a lack of elective…


Senator Vogel Seeking Ideas for Saving Tax Dollars

Senator Elder Vogel Jr. (R-47) has launched a webpage, SenatorElderVogel.com/Save-PA, where taxpayers can offer their suggestions to cut state spending as an alternative to Governor Wolf’s tax increases. “Like all families and businesses, state government needs to cut costs and set priorities when budgets are tight,” Senator Vogel said. The announcement comes days after the Senate voted to cut the size of the Legislature, a measure that Senator Vogel has long-advocated to save taxpayer dollars. “Pennsylvania has the tenth-highest tax burden in the country,” remarked Senator Vogel, citing independent analyses by the Tax Foundation. “Before reaching into Pennsylvania taxpayers’ wallets,…


Committee to Hold Hearing on Fireworks Bill

The Senate Agriculture & Rural Affairs Committee will hold a public hearing on Wednesday, Feb. 10, to gather testimony on a bill that would permit the sale of fireworks to Pennsylvania residents, according to Committee Chairman Senator Elder Vogel (R-47). The hearing, set for 9 a.m. in Room 8E-B in the State Capitol East Wing, will focus on Senate Bill 1055, legislation introduced by Senator Vogel and his colleagues Senators Don White and Gene Yaw that would legalize the sale and use of consumer fireworks for Pennsylvanians. The hearing will be streamed live at: www.pasenategop.com. Click here for Senator Vogel’s…


Iowa Caucus Results: Clinton Wins Democratic, Cruz Wins Republican, Both by One Delegate

Iowa- The results for the first primary of the 2016 presidential election season are in. In the Democratic race, Hillary Clinton won, if by the smallest margin, grabbing 22 delegates while Bernie Sanders claimed 21. Sanders only tailed Clinton by 0.2 of a percent. Thus, only two candidates remain viable contenders for the Democratic ticket. The third Democratic candidate, Martin O’Malley, dropped out of the race this morning. Iowa has 27 delegates for the Republican Party, which were more evenly distributed. Ted Cruz won, claiming eight. Donald Trump and Marco Rubio each had seven. Three of the other nine candidates…


Former U.S. Rep. Melissa Hart Endorses Bernstine in 10th District Campaign Releases Strong Fourth Quarter Fundraising Results

Former Congresswoman Melissa Hart today endorsed conservative Lawrence County businessman and farmer Aaron Bernstine for the Pennsylvania State House of Representatives, 10th district. This marks the first major endorsement in the Republican primary. Hart, who served the 4th Congressional District, which encompasses the 10th State House district, was the first Republican woman to serve in the state’s congressional delegation. She also served in the Pennsylvania State Senate, winning the seat in an upset race in 1990. “The ongoing scandal and budget gridlock in Harrisburg demands a fresh voice to speak to the conservative values and traditions of western Pennsylvania. In…


Local Businessman Aaron Bernstine Announces Run for State House

New Beaver Borough – Businessman and farmer Aaron Bernstine announced that he will seek the Republican nomination for the Pennsylvania House of Representatives in the 10th District. The district comprises parts of Beaver, Butler and Lawrence Counties, and embraces what Bernstine termed “core Western Pennsylvania values that have been ignored for too long by Harrisburg.” “The unprecedented budget gridlock and continuing ethics scandals in Harrisburg are an insult to the hard-work and high-principles found in places like the 10th District,” Bernstine said. “I am running because the special interests and bureaucrats in state government need to hear our voices, not…


Mayor’s Advisory Meeting Brief

Mayor Anthony J. Court’s Advisory Committee recently met in Council Chambers with the discussion surrounding the recent incidents within the Borough at the Line Avenue/Patricia Drive area. Mayor Court expressed the quick thinking and professionalism of the Police Department and the extended help from emergency response personnel within the community to resolve this issues before circumstances turned for the worse. Another topic of discussion was the new local radio station and newly appointed council members that the Advisory Committee believes will be helpful in addressing Borough problems. The committee also spoke about the newly hired full-time and part-time officers that…