In this update:
Senator Ward appointed as new member of the Advisory Council for the Southwestern Veterans’ Center
Senator Ward has been appointed to the Advisory Council for the Southwestern Veterans’ Center. Opened by the Pennsylvania Department of Military Affairs in 1997 and located in Pittsburgh, the center provides health care and related services to approximately 236 veterans and spouses who are disabled, chronically ill, or in need of specialized care. With 196 full nursing care beds and 40 beds for residents with Dementia/Alzheimer’s disease along with specialized services, the center assists veterans in functioning independently and at their optimal levels within the limitations of their illnesses.
The Advisory Council specifically oversees the center by providing input and making recommendations on its management, operation, and the adequacy of its facilities and services. Senator Ward joins the 15-member voluntary council as the appointee of the President Pro Tempore of the state Senate and will serve at least through November, 2020.
“Providing and ensuring quality care for our veterans and spouses as they age or when facing debilitating injuries or illness, is just one small way we can help honor and thank them for their sacrifice and service to our nation.” said Ward.
Senator Ward, recently participated on a transportation-related panel at the Council of State Governments (CSG) Eastern Regional Conference in Pittsburgh.
Ward Appointed to Multi-State Transportation Policy Committee
Senator Ward, chairman of the state Senate Transportation Committee, was recently appointed to lead the Transportation Policy Committee of the Council of State Governments Eastern Regional Conference (CSG-ERC), which facilitates the exchange of ideas and information among elected officials, business leaders, and academia from eleven northeastern states, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and five eastern Canadian provinces. Senator Ward will first serve as Vice Chair of the CSG-ERC Transportation Policy Committee then assume the distinguished role of Chair. She will be the first female to serve in a leadership position on this committee. In this capacity, Senator Ward will be tasked with forging consensus on policies and priorities impacting transportation systems that require multi-state problem solving and state-federal advocacy. Senator Ward will also be integral in the planning and development of policy seminars and other events hosted by the CSG-ERC Transportation Policy Committee that promote the interests of CSG-ERC in Harrisburg, Washington, D.C., and beyond.
Banana Split Day
Senator Ward sponsored a resolution (SR187) designating August 25, 2019, as “Banana Split Day” in Pennsylvania. This year marks 115 years since the banana split was first made by apprentice pharmacist David Strickler at the former Tassell’s Pharmacy on Ligonier Street in Latrobe, the nationally recognized official birthplace of the banana split. The Greater Latrobe-Laurel Valley Chamber of Commerce hosts the annual “Great American Banana Split Celebration” to honor the heritage of the banana split within the Latrobe Community, bringing thousands of visitors to the area for the festival’s three-day event every August.
A federal mandate requires a REAL ID (or other federally-accepted identification such as a valid passport) by October 1, 2020, if you need to board domestic commercial flights, enter a military base, or enter a federal facility that requires identification at the door. Current state law allows individuals the option to get a REAL ID. PennDOT is issuing REAL IDs to individuals who visit a special REAL ID center or any Driver License Center with the right documents. The closest REAL ID center, which is where you can walk-in, walk-out with a REAL ID in-hand, is at 1025 Washington Pike, Rt. 50, Bridgeville, Allegheny County. However, you can also apply for a REAL ID at any Driver License Center and receive a REAL ID in the mail within 2 weeks. Remember, if you received your first Pennsylvania learner’s permit, driver’s license or photo identification after September 1, 2003, you are eligible to apply for REAL ID pre-verification online.
Out and About
“What size fry with that?”
Senator Ward recently toured and met with the owner and employees of the McDonald’s located at 985 E Pittsburgh St, Greensburg, even working the drive thru and putting together a Big Mac. This McDonald’s is one owned and operated by a family deeply rooted in McDonald’s history. Owner Mike Delligatti’s father, Jim, invented the Big Mac in 1967 by placing two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame-seed bun. Jim also started serving a hot breakfast to steelworkers coming off the night shift, leading to the hot cakes and sausage breakfast found at McDonald’s today. He also co-founded the Pittsburgh Ronald McDonald House in 1979, the seventh one to ever open. Jim passed away in 2016 but his McDonald’s legacy lives on through his sons and grandchildren who operate as a family over 20 franchises offering employees, including the 48 at their Greensburg location, above minimum-wage starting salaries and college tuition programs, while also supporting and volunteering at the Ronald McDonald House.
Agriculture is a major industry in Westmoreland County and across Pennsylvania that generates more than $7.5 billion in cash receipts annually. There are 59,000 farm families in PA that manage more than 7.7 million acres of farmland. PA farm’s produce more than 10.8 billion pounds of milk annually ranking 6th in total milk production nationally and ranks number one in the production of export grade hardwood.
Senator Ward’s granddaughter, Josie Jane met Marian, a calf that was born on the opening night of the Westmoreland County Fair. This calf was named after longtime fair information secretary Marian Parker who has worked at the fair for the last 33 years.
Pleasant Lane Farms, also known as the land of milk and honey.
It is summer fair season and Senator Ward loves the opportunity to visit them. The annual Derry Township Agricultural Fair was held in July and Senator Ward had a chance to hear from constituents, including this floppy and furry guy. The fair does a great job at bringing the community together to showcase and experience local agriculture, home economics and craftsmanship. Several scholarships are also awarded through the fair to young people attending college or a trade, business, or vocational school.
“Helping to Make Pennsylvania Competitive for the Standardbred Breeding Racing”
Senator Ward was honored to have been selected as Legislator of the Year by the Meadows Standardbred Owners Association. The association is a non-profit trade association of owners, trainers, and drivers of Standardbred horses racing at The Meadows Racetrack and Casino in nearby Washington, PA. It promotes the sport of harness racing which is an economic driver across Pennsylvania and Senator Ward is a strong advocate of the industry.
Senator Ward joins with the whole Hempfield community in mourning the loss of resident and Spartan super fan, Terry Ranieri who passed away recently at the age of 64.
Terry, a 1975 graduate of Hempfield Area High School, was a fixture at weekly football games and the number one fan of both the Spartan football team and the marching band. His enthusiasm and support was recognized recently when he was named an honorary member of the Hempfield Area Wall of Fame.
Born with a developmental disorder called Williams syndrome, Terry was a friend to everyone he met and hardly ever without a smile and something funny to say.
To understand just how beloved Terry was to Hempfield and within the Greater Greensburg area, check out this Facebook fan page created in 2013 to “pay homage to the man who has for generations greeted and entertained many thousands of people all throughout the community and continues to touch the lives of others.”
Congratulations to U. S. Air Force Senior Airman Courtney Wagner, a 2011 Jeannette High School graduate, who was named the 2018 Staff Sgt. Henry E. “Red” Erwin Outstanding Career Enlisted Aviator of the Year. Courtney is a 61st Airlift Squadron loadmaster stationed at Little Rock Air Force Base in Arkansas and has flown support airlift missions all over the world, including aeromedical evacuations. The “Red” Erwin Award is considered the highest honor for a career enlisted aviator and Courtney received it in recognition for her outstanding accomplishments, leadership and self-improvements in relation to aviation service.
Johnathan Pushkar, a North Huntington Township native and former Main Street Music & Sound employee, is now making his mark in Nashville with his 60’s pop-inspired sound. Johnathan was recently signed by JEM records, had two of his songs recently hit #1 on the Global Top 40 Radio Indie Alliance Chart, and has his debut album, “Straighten Up” dropping on September 27th. Check out the video for Johnathan’s song, “The Girl Next Door.”
Congratulations to Author Lara Prescott from Westmoreland County, on her first published novel!! Lara is the daughter of Bob and Patti Sanders of Greensburg. She graduated from Greensburg Central Catholic High School, and as a child Lara would frequently visit the Greensburg Hempfield Area Library and worked at a bookstore when she was a teenager. Rights to her first novel “The Secrets We Kept” has sold in 30 countries, and it was optioned in a major movie sale by Marc Platt Productions and The Ink Factory. Reese Witherspoon has announced her September book club selection will be Lara Prescott’s “The Secrets We Kept”. Lara was named after a character from her mother’s favorite movie directed by David Lean “Doctor Zhivago”, which is based on the 1957 Boris Pasternak novel “Doctor Zhivago”, which ironically has been an influence to Lara during her writing career. https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/29/books/lara-prescott-secrets-we-kept.html?searchResultPosition=2
In The News
Save the Date
Senior Expo sponsored by Senator Kim Ward
This free informational fair will include:
Representatives from state and local agencies will be on hand to provide useful information for seniors on health care, government services and more.
FREE ADMISSION • DOOR PRIZES • REFRESHMENTS • ENTERTAINMENT • FREE HEALTH SCREENINGS • REAL ID info
Thursday, October 17, 2019