Beware of student aid scams targeting unsuspecting students and their families

(Apr 05, 2018)

The Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA) is warning students and their families to be wary of financial aid scams that could expose them to significant financial loss and identity theft. In one recent example, scammers were fraudulently representing themselves as PHEAA employees in order to collect personal information by claiming that a student had “won” a PA State Grant award. The PA State Grant Program is funded by the Commonwealth and administered by PHEAA. PA State Grant awards are determined by a student’s financial need and can never be offered up as a prize - nor can anyone be promised or guaranteed to receive an award. Submitting an application is completely free and easily accessible, as are the other services provided by PHEAA in support of Pennsylvania students. The most effective way to avoid becoming the victim of a scam is to be alert and vigilant when asked by anyone to provide any form of personal information or when engaging in financial transactions. Recent scams include: Student loan payback scams - Companies or individuals claim to help reduce or eliminate student debt in exchange for money. However, many of these offers are fraudulent, while others are unnecessary and should be avoided when no-cost assistance is available from your loan servicer and other government resources. Tuition scams - These involve someone claiming to work for your school's administrative office. They call to warn that Read more

 

PLBC Scholarships available for minority students

(Mar 05, 2018)

Scholarships from the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus are now available for high school seniors and first-year college students who will be enrolled in an accredited two- or four-year Pennsylvania college or university. The deadline to submit an application is Monday, April 30. Students applying for the $1,000 scholarships must be a minority student, have a minimum grade-point average of 2.5 on a 4.0 scale, reside in the legislative district of and be sponsored by a PLBC member, and demonstrate leadership qualities. A 500-word essay on the student’s academic plans and career goals also must be submitted. Only the first 250 applications submitted will be considered. To obtain an application and more details about the program, students can visit http://pahouse.com/PLBC/Scholarships . Read more

 

Kirkland announces funding for stormwater project in Chester

(Jan 31, 2018)

CHESTER, Jan. 31 – State Rep. Brian Kirkland announced that the Stormwater Authority of the City of Chester was approved for a $4.8 million low-interest loan to upgrade infrastructure. The loan was approved by the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority (Pennvest) on Wednesday. The Stormwater Authority will use the funds for a project that aims to make improvements in a sewer area that is subject to flooding and overflows from excessive runoff and lack of capacity in the conveyance and storage system. The work includes construction of four bio-retention cells, which help remove contaminants from stormwater runoff, 7,250 square feet of permeable pavement, establishment of a storm drain catch basin retrofit project program and 70 storm sewer inlets. “Infrastructure work like this is necessary to keep our communities running,” said Kirkland, D-Delaware. “This project will help improve water quality in our local waterways, and the work is estimated to create 75 jobs. I’m pleased that the Pennvest board saw fit to award this funding.” Pennvest serves Pennsylvania communities by funding sewer, stormwater and drinking water projects. The projects contribute to improving Pennsylvania’s environment and residents’ health, as well as provide jobs and opportunities for economic growth. Read more

 

Kirkland announces state grants for local projects

(Dec 27, 2017)

HARRISBURG, Dec. 22 – State Rep. Brian Kirkland, D-Delaware, announced Friday that several local projects were awarded state Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program grants. A $6 million grant was awarded for the Jericho 1.0 project in Chester City. The project would modernize the mill and convert co-generation of electricity from coal-based to natural gas-based. Marcus Hook Borough was awarded $500,000 for improvements to the Delaware River Fishing Pier. The project will address structural repairs at the pier, which was labeled in serious condition because of deterioration of timber piles. And $500,000 was awarded for the Monroe Energy West Side Project, which includes mandated improvements and infrastructure at the Monroe Refinery to enable Monroe to reduce sulfur in its refined gasoline. “These are all valuable projects that will provide necessary work in our community,” said Kirkland, D-Delaware. “I’m glad that the state was able to provide funding for these projects.” RACP is administered by the Office of the Budget for the acquisition and construction of regional economic, cultural, civic, recreational, and historical improvement projects. RACP projects are authorized in the Redevelopment Assistance section of a Capital Budget Itemization Act, have a regional or multi-jurisdictional impact, and generate substantial increases or maintain current levels of employment, tax revenues, or other measures of economic activity. Read more

 

Kirkland announces Neighborhood Assistance Program awards

(Dec 20, 2017)

HARRISBURG, Dec. 20 – State Rep. Brian Kirkland, D-Delaware, announced Wednesday that tax credits were approved to support three local community investment projects. The local projects were included in $17.9 million in tax credits to support 125 community projects through the Neighborhood Assistance Program, which is administered by the Department of Community and Economic Development. NAP provides tax credits to enable businesses and community organizations to invest in projects that serve distressed areas or support conservation efforts. The local awardees are: The Boys and Girls Club of Chester – $11,000 in tax credits to support its Youth Achievement program that addresses social, educational and employment barriers for at-risk teens in Chester; Philabundance – $515,000 tax credit to support work aimed at reducing hunger in five counties, including Delaware County; Chester Community Improvement Project – $15,000 tax credit to support a blight elimination initiative in the 500 to 700 blocks of East 23 rd Street in Chester. “These are meaningful projects that will help to improve our community,” said Kirkland, D-Delaware. “I’m pleased that Gov. Tom Wolf and his administration have been able to approve these tax credits to encourage businesses to invest in this work and help strengthen our neighborhoods.” Read more

 

Kirkland announces $150,000 grant for Washington Park renovation

(Nov 14, 2017)

State Rep. Brian Kirkland, D-Delaware, announced today that the Chester Economic Development Authority will receive a $150,000 grant through the Greenways, Trails and Recreation Program to renovate Washington Park. Read more

 

Chester set to receive portion of $500K in secured funds

(Nov 01, 2017)

CHESTER, Oct. 27 – State Rep. Brian Kirkland, D-Delaware, announced that the city of Chester, along with other areas in Delaware County, will benefit from $500K in state money to combat gun violence and expand the Delaware County Gun Violence Task Force. Chester has recently been plagued with an increase in homicides, mostly due to gun violence, as reported by the Delaware County District Attorney’s office. The district attorney’s office has enforced sentencing illegal gun suppliers with a mandatory minimum of five to 10 years in prison. Kirkland said that he has supported the development of the Delaware County Gun Violence Task Force, which came together this year to combat area gun violence. Local council members, community leaders, members of the Delaware County District Attorney’s office, Chester’s mayor’s office and other law enforcement officials met to discuss how to reduce the incidents of gun violence and the source of the crimes being committed. The funds secured will be used to expand the anti-gun violence task force with the addition of special agents and independently funding other law enforcement personnel. For more information about this initiative or for help with state-related issues, please call Kirkland’s office at 610-876-6420 or email Malcolm Yates at myates@pahouse.com . Read more

 

Kirkland to host Family and Friends Community Day event Saturday

(Aug 30, 2017)

CHESTER, Aug. 30 – State Rep. Brian Kirkland, D-Delaware, and the City of Chester will host a Family and Friends Community Day event from noon to 5 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 2 at Memorial Park, Seventh and Engle streets, 19013. The workshop will provide attendees the opportunity to interact with local elected officials and first responders for a day of fun and games. Families and individuals who attend will be able to enjoy games, swimming, face painting, food and craft vendors, a DJ and music. Haircuts for the homeless will be offered as well. Kirkland and his staff will also be on hand to provide information about state government programs and services. For vending information, please contact Joy Taylor by calling 610-447-7724 . For more information about the event or assistance with state related issues, please call Kirkland’s office at 610-876-6420 or email Malcolm Yates at myates@pahouse.net . Read more

 

Pa. Produce Month spotlights economic, social benefits of local food

(Jul 12, 2017)

August 2017 is Pennsylvania Produce Month. I was proud to vote for the resolution recognizing the commonwealth’s vegetable growers, who continue to serve as national leaders in the production and processing of fruits and vegetables that feed families across the country. Family farms across the state produce nearly 300,000 tons of vegetables a year from approximately 50,000 acres. Late summer is a great time to find tomatoes, zucchini, broccoli, cabbage and more. More than 4,300 family farms are currently operating in Pennsylvania. With produce ranging from the mushrooms grown in Chester County to the potatoes in Erie and Potter counties, Pennsylvania growers offer a variety of locally grown food items. I hope you will consider visiting a farmers’ market in our region. When you buy local, fresh produce, you’re fueling our local economy and keeping our farmers in business. I encourage you to check out Chester Market each year July to October from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the second and fourth Thursdays of the month. It’s located at 3117 W. Ninth St., behind the Fare and Square parking lot. The Commonwealth has several programs in place to make sure as many residents as possible have access to fresh produce grown in their communities, regardless of income. The Farmers Market Nutrition Program provides qualified participants with vouchers to purchase Pennsylvania-grown produce at more than 1,130 farmers' markets and farm stands. More than 160,000 Read more

 

Kirkland, Gateway Health to host free senior health fair Tuesday, May 23

(May 18, 2017)

CHESTER, May 18 – Chester seniors are encouraged to learn more about healthy lifestyles and state programs at state Rep. Brian Kirkland’s Senior Health Day on Tuesday. The free event, in partnership with Gateway Health, will take place from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Mt. Olive Church, 2 Pershing Ave. in Linwood. Seniors will have the opportunity to learn more about Property Tax and Rent Rebates, SEPTA KeyCards, state health care programs and more. Light refreshments will be provided. For more information, those interested can call (610) 876-6420. Read more

 

Kirkland to host free Career Counselling and Resume Building Workshop

(Apr 24, 2017)

CHESTER, April 24 – State Rep. Brian Kirkland, D-Delaware, will host a free Career Counselling and Resume Building Workshop from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, May 5 at the Chester Salvation Army, 151 W. 15 th St., 19013. The workshop will provide attendees assistance with drafting a resume, interviewing techniques and career counseling. One-on-one support will be provided with assistance from the Delaware County Phi Beta Sigma Chapter and Pennsylvania CareerLink. “Helping constituents achieve gainful employment is one of my top priorities,” Kirkland said. “I am excited to be able to help ensure people have the resources and skills they need to find work and be a part of building a thriving local economy.” To attend, guests must bring a copy of a current resume and RSVP by calling Kirkland’s office at 610-876-6420 or emailing Malcolm Yates at myates@pahouse.net . Read more

 

Pa. Tax Amnesty Program runs from April 21 to June 19, 2017

(Apr 13, 2017)

A tax amnesty period for Pennsylvanians will run from April 21, 2017 through June 19, 2017. During this limited 60-day period, the state Department of Revenue will waive all penalties and half of the interest on eligible tax delinquencies for anyone who participates in the 2017 Tax Amnesty Program. For more information, please click here . Read more

 

Kirkland to host re-entry clinic for ex-offenders March 29

(Mar 21, 2017)

CHESTER, March 21 – State Rep. Brian Kirkland will host a re-entry clinic for ex-offenders from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday, March 29 at St. Luke’s Christian Church on the corner of Fourth Street and Central Avenue. The orientation will provide evidence-based services built on best practices designed to break the cycle of recidivism. This orientation was created especially for: Men and women recently released from prison looking to live a productive life in the community; Family members of prisoners who will be released in the next few months; Those who rectified past mistakes but consistently have doors shut on them because of those mistakes. Kirkland, D-Chester, and his staff will be on hand to make available a collaboration of government services, faith-based providers and business owners whose goal is to provide resources and options to those re-entering the community. Those with questions can contact Malcom Yates at (610) 876-6420 or myates@pahouse.net . Read more

 

PA's HealthyWoman program

(Mar 17, 2017)

The Pennsylvania Department of Health is offering a program to provide free breast and cervical cancer screenings to Pennsylvania residents. Early detection is, of course, key in fighting these debilitating diseases, so I strongly encourage anyone who has not had recent testing done to learn more about this opportunity. For those who meet eligibility requirements, HealthyWoman offers clinical breast exams, mammograms, pelvic examinations and Pap smears, and follow-up diagnostic tests for abnormal results. Eligibility is based on age, Pennsylvania residency, income and insurance status. For a full list of eligibility requirements and details on the program, please click here . Breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer death among women, and since the risk increases with age, it’s vitally important to schedule regular checkups with your doctor or use the HealthyWoman program. As always, if you had any questions or concerns about any state government-related issue, please don’t hesitate to contact my office. Read more

 

Kirkland announces free expungement clinic March 9

(Feb 23, 2017)

CHESTER, Feb. 23 – State Rep. Brian Kirkland will hold a free Criminal Record Expungement and Sealing Clinic from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday, March 9 in Chester City Hall, 1 E. 4th St., 19013. “Expungement and criminal-record sealing laws are complex and not everyone will qualify, but my goal is to give interested constituents an overview of recent state laws and resources,” said Kirkland, D-Chester. “Many people who have been convicted of crimes and paid their debts to society are within their right to move beyond their past, and I’m happy to share relevant state law with them.” Only those convicted in Delaware County are eligible to attend this clinic. Qualifications for an expungement include : only non-conviction charges or summary convictions with no arrests in the past five years can be expunged; some second- and third-degree misdemeanor convictions may be sealed if 10 years have passed; must have no current criminal charges; and must not be serving probation time. Read more

 

Kirkland to host office grand opening Friday, March 3

(Feb 21, 2017)

CHESTER, Feb. 21 – State Rep. Brian Kirkland will hold an official grand opening of his district constituent service office, from noon to 3 p.m. Friday, March 3. His district office, which is open now, is located at 401 Avenue of the States in Chester, 19103. Constituents of the 159 th Legislative District are invited to the free event. There will be door prizes, refreshments, music and opportunities to meet with Kirkland and his office staff regarding legislation and state services. There is no need to RSVP. “It’s really exciting to officially announce our open doors, services and staff here in Chester and for the surrounding region,” Kirkland said. “We’re here to serve people first, and I look forward to meeting as many constituents as possible.” Read more

 

Kirkland office offers SEPTA Key services for seniors

(Feb 07, 2017)

CHESTER, Feb. 6 – State Rep. Brian Kirkland, D-Delaware, announced today that older residents can obtain their SEPTA Key photo ID card at his district office. SEPTA Key is the modern fare payment and collection system being used by the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority. It offers seniors an alternative to using their Pennsylvania driver’s license or state-issued ID card. "Seniors rely on SEPTA to take them shopping, to appointments, and visit loved ones, so I want to help make their trips easier," Kirkland said. "My staff and I look forward to assisting our residents in getting their ID card." The new Key cards have contactless chips, so all riders will have to do is pass it across the face of the validator to pay for their ride. Kirkland said seniors should call his office at (610) 876-6420 to make an appointment to get their picture taken and get their ID card. The office is open from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday at 401 Avenue of the States in Chester. Read more

 

Chester receives $1 million to help reduce stormwater runoff

(Jan 25, 2017)

HARRISBURG, Jan. 25 – State Rep. Brian Kirkland, D-Delaware, announced today that the Stormwater Authority of the City of Chester has been awarded a $1 million grant to improve the quality of stormwater and reduce runoff. The grant, approved by the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority, will be used to design and engineer a new stormwater collection system, serving 12,068 low-income households. "Stormwater runoff contributes to erosion and introduces surface-driven pollutants, such as heavy metals and bacteria, into Ridley and Chester creeks and the Delaware River. This Pennvest award will mean improved water quality for residents, as the project will help reduce flooding and water runoff that can be hazardous to our health," Kirkland said. The project involves using what is known as green infrastructure, which involves planting trees and restoring wetlands, a more natural method of water management, rather than relying on something that is built. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, green infrastructure uses vegetation, soils and other elements and practices to restore some of the natural processes for managing water, which helps create healthier environments. An independent agency, Pennvest funds sewer, stormwater and drinking water projects throughout the state. These projects contribute to improving Pennsylvania's environment and the health of residents, as well as provide opportunities for economic growth and jobs Read more

 

Summer interns for PennDOT government services sought

(Jan 24, 2017)

As in years past, PennDOT will sponsor an extensive Summer Employment Program (SEP), which includes Government Services Interns. The program runs April through August 2017 to supplement the permanent workforce. The Government Services Interns are utilized primarily for summer maintenance and sign upgrade services, and they perform laboring duties in maintenance organizations as well as worksites along the highway. In order to be eligible for consideration, candidates must be enrolled as a full-time college student for Fall 2017 and have a valid Pennsylvania Driver’s License. The hourly rate is $12.97. Interested parties must apply online by Friday, February 10 th at www.employment.pa.gov under the Student Summer Employment Positions category. The technical support line is (717) 787-5703. Read more

 

Pa. granted extension on REAL ID compliance

(Jan 20, 2017)

Pennsylvania received a limited extension through June 6 to update driver’s licenses to meet requirements under the federal REAL ID Act of 2005, but the General Assembly must still act quickly to comply. Without action, Pennsylvanians could be denied access to federal facilities and eventually even airline travel. Specifically, Pennsylvanians will need federally approved ID for air travel beginning Jan. 22, 2018, and with the limited extension we will need a federally approved ID to access federal buildings, nuclear power plants and military bases beginning June 7, 2017. Rest assured, I am following this issue very closely and am doing everything possible to ensure that we pass comprehensive changes to comply with the federal government. Please visit https://www.dhs.gov/real-id/pennsylvania for the most up to date information on the requirements and remember that my office can help you obtain a birth certificate or driver’s license. Read more