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Tuesday, May 26, 2020
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Read the latest state, local and municipal government news from Franklin County Free Press

Wolf vetoed bill, then issues exec order

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Gov. Tom Wolf followed through on his promise to veto House Bill 2412 on Tuesday. Less than an hour later, he issued guidance that will allow real estate transactions to resume.

Mail-in ballots still available

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The Franklin County election board has been mailing out absentee and mail-in ballots for several weeks and already have 4,000 back.

Topper reopens two offices

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Bedford and Fulton transitioned to the COVID-19 imposed “yellow” zone this week. Franklin County remains in the state’s restricted “red” zone.

AG probes business waivers

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AG Eugene DePasquale said he’s heard from confused business owners frustrated by apparent inconsistencies in the state’s waiver decisions.

Wolf threatens rogue counties

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Over the weekend, several counties in the central region of the state announced intentions to progress their local economies to the yellow phase of the governor’s plan without his blessing.

State lawmakers demand apology

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At a news conference today, Wolf used a military analogy to lash out at lawmakers and Pennsylvania business owners critical of his coronavirus mitigation strategy.

Pennsylvania counties go rogue

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Officials from several counties across central Pennsylvania said over the weekend they will likely lift pandemic restrictions against Gov. Tom Wolf’s orders.

County legislators rebel

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Franklin County has met the requirement of Wolf’s original ”Stay-at-Home” order, and should get to move to “yellow” status.

Civilian Coronavirus Corps criticized

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Wolf told reporters the program will focus on testing and contact tracing. It will also provide jobs in the public health sector this fall, he said. He promised to release more information in the coming weeks.

Older Americans Month celebrated in May

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May is Older Americans Month, a time when senior citizens are recognized across the nation for their contributions to their communities.

Lawn, garden center waivers okayed by House

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Lawn and garden center waivers were state lawmakers latest effort to reopen more businesses, this time with bipartisan support. But the question...

AG audits business waiver process

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Senate Republicans have pushed – repeatedly – for the administration to publicize the list of waiver applicants after complaints about unfair and illogical denials flooded their district offices.

Drivers license expirations extended

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Driver licenses, photo ID cards and learner's permits expiring between March 16 and May 31 have been extended through June 30.

Chambersburg utility bills estimated

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To protect employees and customers, the borough is estimating this month’s bills instead of reading meters this month. Regular readings resume in May.

I-81 resurfacing resumes in Cumberland County

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The contractor also will perform barrier and parapet work daily from approximately 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. There will be no traffic restrictions during this daytime work.

County Property Tax Payment Deadlines Extended

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Commissioners extended the payment discount period as well as the face value payment period for those taxes. The action does not affect payment deadlines for municipality taxes.

Business waiver debate rages

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Multiple business leaders and lawmakers criticized the governor’s waiver process for its lack of transparency and apparent inconsistency. Similar businesses received different results when they applied, they said.

Bills to reopen pass House

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The Center Square Pennsylvania’s House lawmakers moved forward Tuesday on several bills meant to reopen certain businesses, despite...

Help for special class of unemployed

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Help is now available for a special class of unemployed, thanks to the federal CARES Act, including most who would not otherwise qualify.

Wolf outlines ‘reopening plan’

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The beginning of the phased, regional reopening approach will depend upon as-yet-defined “quantifiable criteria.”

Property tax relief bill sponsored by Mastriano

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Revenue from sports betting goes into the state’s General Fund. Mastriano believes those funds should go toward property tax relief instead.

Construction resumes on courthouse project

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The Franklin County Court Facility Improvement Project construction went on hold while county officials appealed their case to the governor’s office.

Bill headed to governor’s desk

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The Pennsylvania House passed a measure Tuesday evening to allow remote notarization of documents, remote public meetings, and give municipalities flexibility to postpone property tax deadlines.

Jeff Sarver honored by Franklin County

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The Sheriff's Office has received numerous emails and phone calls from teachers, administrators, and citizens in the community and in schools expressing how well Sarver represents the Sheriff's office and the County.

Annual bulky item days postponed

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Annual bulky item days are almost a spring rite of passage in Greater Chambersburg. Now those events have been postponed until at...

Pennsylvania tax revenues slide amid coronavirus pandemic

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Pennsylvania tax revenues came in 6.2% below expectations last month, providing a glimpse into the state’s fiscal future as the coronavirus pandemic further squeezes the economy.

SERVICE Value Award winners recognized

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Franklin County’s SERVICE Value Awards are Franklin County government’s highest employee honor. Commissioners recently honored its 2019 winners.

Franklin County’s message to its citizens

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Franklin County Emergency services Director Jacob Crider wants county residents to have a list o critical numbers to call if they don’t Hve an emergency but just ant information or help in non-emergency situations.

Pennsylvania Governor Reconsidering Liquor Store Closures

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Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf said Sunday night he’s reconsidering his order to shutter liquor stores as part of the state’s coronavirus mitigation effort.

Franklin County Modifies Operations in Response to COVID-19

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Franklin County is closing its buildings to the public beginning Monday, except in rare cases, until the current Coronavirus crisis is over.

Chambersburg Closes Borough Offices to Public

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Chambersburg closed its government offices to the public Friday as the county reeled under a state of emergency aimed at trying to halt the spread of the growing Coronavirus pandemic.

PA Republicans Question Governor’s Shut Down Order

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Legislative Republicans questioned the constitutionality of Gov. Tom Wolf’s sudden shutdown order for non-life-sustaining businesses, arguing that it caused nothing but chaos and panic across the state.

Non-Compliant PA Businesses Ordered to Shut Down to Contain Coronavirus Spread

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Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf ordered non-life-sustaining businesses to close their doors by 8 p.m. Thursday lest they face serious consequences, from losing their state licenses to forfeiting disaster aid to risking criminal prosecution.

Wolf Calls for Emergency Small Business Loans Amid Coronavirus Outbreak

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Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf called on the federal government Wednesday for help sustaining small businesses and nonprofits during the novel coronavirus outbreak.

Chambersburg Suspends Disconnections on Late Utility Bills

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Chambersburg won’t disconnect residents' utilities if they get behind on their bill during the Coronavirus pandemic emergency.

Republicans Hold Onto Three Seats in PA Special Elections Amid Coronavirus...

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Pennsylvania Democratic Party Chairwoman Nancy Patton Mills criticized Republicans for holding the elections despite the ongoing epidemic, leading to what she called skewed results.

Turnpike Commission Offering Summer Jobs

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The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission is accepting applications for its summer employment program. Available positions include toll collector, maintenance, clerical, engineering and information technology.

PennDOT Secretary Asks Homeland Security to Extend REAL ID Deadline

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The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) sent a letter today to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, asking them to consider extending the October 1, 2020 REAL ID enforcement deadline.

PennDOT to Remove, Replace Cumberland County Bridge

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Pennsylvania's Department of Transportation (PennDOT) announced today that starting at 7:00 AM Monday, March 23, weather permitting

Franklin County Residents Urged to Respond to 2020 Census

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Invitations to respond to the 2020 Census will be delivered March 12-20. Once received, residents can use their unique identifier (included with the invitation) to respond online, by phone, or by mail.

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Rescue at High Rock

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A 25-year-old woman who fell 75 feet from an overlook at High Rock has been rescued and is being airlifted to Meritus Medical Center in Hagerstown, Md.
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House freezes General Assembly’s pay

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Freezing annual cost-of-living adjustments for members of the General Assembly requires legislative action. House Bill 2487, authored by Rep. Frank Ryan (R-Lebanon), would do just that. It also freezes increases for senior members of the executive branch and the judiciary.