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The Four Seasons 4-H Club recently took an educational tour of the Binghamton Regional Airport. Pictured (l-r) above: back - Lillian Taylor, Alex Benjamin, Nathan Benjamin; front - Rowan Hertzog, Robert Hertzog, Elijah Benjamin and Arthur Taylor.
(Mechanicsburg, PA) - Maybe you’re updating your current homeowners insurance policy; maybe you’re considering buying a new car; or maybe you’re thinking about switching providers. Whatever the situation, the Pennsylvania Insurance Fraud Prevention Authority (IFPA) encourages consumers to understand their policies so that they don’t risk committing insurance fraud.
The IFPA began the “Know the Risks. Know the Penalties.” campaign in June of 2009 after research showed that although 7 in 10 Pennsylvanians say they would never commit insurance fraud, many of them do not know what insurance fraud is. Now, a year later, the IFPA has once again hit the airwaves to remind consumers that sometimes a split-second bad decision can have life-long results.
“The research showed that consumers lack the background knowledge of what constitutes insurance fraud and that few Pennsylvanians know that insurance fraud is a serious crime,” said Ralph Burnham, executive director for the IFPA. “As a result, we set out to educate consumers about the risks and the penalties of committing this crime.”
Is the message getting through? Reported fraud continues to trend upwards with fraud complaints increasing 22 percent in the first half of 2010. Auto insurance fraud was the leading type of fraud, accounting for 45 percent of complaints in the 2nd quarter. An IFPA study of some 800 arrests found 145 cases of uninsured drivers purchasing insurance after an accident and lying to an insurance company about when the accident occurred hoping to have vehicle damage covered. Fifty-six percent of those uninsured offenders were male, 44 percent were female, and most of the offenders lived in Allegheny and Philadelphia Counties.
Although these numbers show that insurance fraud is still a serious problem in Pennsylvania, the “Know the Risks. Know the Penalties.” campaign has shown some preliminary, positive results. “We’ve already seen a 67 percent increase in the number of consumer tips being reported since the beginning of the campaign,” said Burnham. “Consumer tips especially grew in the areas of auto and homeowners insurance fraud - a result of two of the campaign’s television spots.”
Burnham advices consumers who want to protect themselves from this crime to be honest with their insurance providers. “It’s important to understand that telling a ‘white lie’ to your insurance company - whether it is to your auto insurer, to your employer’s health insurer, or to your homeowners or renters insurer - is a crime,” said Burnham. In Pennsylvania‚ this type of dishonest act is classified among the most serious of crimes - it’s considered a felony.
To learn more about insurance fraud, go to helpstopFRAUD.org.
(Camp Hill) – Legislation sought by Pennsylvania Farm Bureau (PFB) to relieve local agricultural vehicles drivers from stringent federal commercial trucking standards have been approved as part of a transportation bill passed by the General Assembly and sent to Governor Rendell. The changes were made in an effort to restore exemptions from commercial trucking regulations provided to vehicles and drivers of vehicles used around the farm, which were recently taken away by state regulations changes.
The legislation will remove state authority to impose federal trucking standards on intrastate farm trucks and drivers of farm trucks (operated alone or in combination) with an actual weight or weight rating of 26,000 pounds or less. It will also remove authority to impose federal standards on intrastate farm machinery designed and predominantly used for off-road farm use and drivers of farm machinery will also be exempt (regardless of weight or operation as part of a combination).
“The legislation will relieve farmers from some costly and time-consuming federal trucking regulations to the maximum degree allowed under federal law,” said PFB President Carl T. Shaffer.
The legislative changes were initially sidetracked by representatives of state agencies who were concerned that they would somehow impact funding from the federal government.
“Pennsylvania Farm Bureau worked directly with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to ensure the final language in the bill would be consistent with federal standards and would not jeopardize loss of federal funding for Pennsylvania,” added Shaffer.
Farm Bureau notes that since federal regulations only allow states to exempt intrastate operation of farm trucks and farm truck combinations of 26,000 pounds or less, PFB will continue to work with Pennsylvania’s Congressional Delegation to enact federal legislation to fully restore exemptions in place before the recent changes to state regulations. The changes came about as a result of a 2007 audit by federal transportation officials.
PFB specifically recognized Senate Transportation Committee Chairman John Rafferty for his sponsorship and leadership and House Transportation Committee Chairman Joseph Markosek for his full and cooperative support in achieving final passage of the legislation.
This July, the sea scouts of Ship 90, New Milford, PA, embarked on their annual Chesapeake Bay sailing trip. The group arrived at the boat, a 46 foot ketch rigged sailboat, docked in Baltimore, Maryland on July 27.
Eleven sea scouts and officers sailed around the bay for ten days, visiting the towns of Annapolis, Cambridge, and Solomon’s Island and anchoring in a creek one of the days. As well as shopping, relaxing, and getting tans, all of the scouts leaned compass bearings, navigation, engine maintenance, sail handling, knot tying and teamwork/leadership skills. The crew even got to sail overnight from Annapolis to Cambridge. Even though many nerves were frayed by navigation light malfunctions, the group got to Cambridge safely. Everyone agreed that it was a great experience.
The group arrived back in Baltimore on the 4th of August, and got a good night’s sleep before waking up early to pack gear, clean the boat and drive back to Susquehanna County.
It was a great trip; all sea scouts had a great time and learned a lot. This year’s crew consisted of Skipper Chuck Jaget, First Mate Helen Reed, Boatswain Christian Chludzinski, Chris Powers, Austin Chludzinski, Brittany Birtch, Tiffany Spencer, Tyler Chidester, Eric Potter, Josh Warner and Katey Grubb.
The scouts plan to go on another sailing trip next summer; it will be a blast and more are welcome to join the group. Currently there are 22 sea scouts in the crew and there is room for more. For more information on Sea Scouting, contact Bo-sun Christian Chludzinski at (570) 756-3067 or Commodore Ron Hall at (570) 465-3218.
Montrose, PA - Waste Management has again contributed to the K-12 scholarship program of The Community Foundation of Susquehanna County, which helps low to moderate income families send their children to tuition based schools and programs.
The $5,000 donation to the Educational Improvement Tax Credit Program (EITC) program was provided by Waste Management and its local hauler, Apex Waste Services of Dunmore. Over the past several years Waste Management has contributed a total of $20,000 for this scholarship program. The scholarships are used for tuition to private schools, career and technology training, and scholarships to advanced learning camps and programs for local students from Kindergarten through 12th grade
Peter Quigg, Foundation President, expressed his gratitude for Waste Management’s donation. “The students, families, and schools who benefit from this tuition assistance program very much appreciate Waste Management’s assistance. The corporation’s participation again this year has been very helpful and we welcome their continued support.”
“Education is the key to the future. Waste Management has a strong record of supporting education across Pennsylvania and nationwide,” said John Hambrose, Waste Management spokesman in Northeast Pennsylvania. “Waste Management is privileged to do business in Susquehanna and Wyoming counties and is proud to support the Foundation and its programs.”
For more information on this and other programs of the Community Foundation please visit www.community-foundation.org.
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