Pa. business receives more than $103K from USDA Rural Energy program | Five for the Weekend

Pennsylvania will receive more than $1M for 22 similar projects across the state, according to a statement from the USDA.

By: - December 4, 2021 6:45 am

Happy weekend, all.
Saubel’s Markets in Shrewsbury, Pa., will receive more than $103,000 from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) as part of its Rural Energy for America Program, USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack announced from the York County grocery store on Friday.

The grant, is part of a $633 million investment by the USDA to “reduce the impacts of climate change on rural communities,” according to a statement from the department.

“Rural America is on the front lines of climate change, and our communities deserve investments that will strengthen all of our resilience,” Vilsack said. “President [Joe] Biden has created a roadmap for how we can tackle the climate crisis and expand access to renewable energy infrastructure, all while creating good-paying jobs and saving people money on their energy costs. With the Build Back Better agenda, USDA will be able to fund more and more critical projects like those announced today in the coming months and years.”

At Saubel’s Markets, solar panels will be installed on the roof of the family-owned grocery store using the grant funding.

This project is expected to save $30,852 per year and will replace 395,539 kilowatt hours (kWh) per year, which is enough energy to power 36 homes annually.

Pennsylvania will receive more than $1 million for 22 similar projects across the state, according to a statement from the USDA.

As always, your Top 5 Most-Read Stories of the week start below.

British Capt. Simeon Ecuyer, portrayed by Colonial Williamsburg interpreter Ken Treese, second from right, offered blankets infected with smallpox to the American Indians besieging Fort Pitt. From left, Patrick Simmonds, Christopher Jones, Ted Boscana, Treese and Patrick Andrews interpret the exchange at Colonial Willimasburg in 2003 (Image courtesy of The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation/The Philadelphia Tribune).

1. Celebrating Thanksgiving is celebrating racist genocide | Michael Coard

Exactly 400 years ago on Nov. 9, 1621 (or as early as Sept. 21 as some scholars believe) in Plymouth, Mass., Pilgrims from England supposedly celebrated their first so-called Thanksgiving feast with the Wampanoag Nation a year after their arrival on the land of those indigenous red people.

Tragically, those trusting red men, women, and children had no idea that the unimaginable hell of widespread death and massive land robbery would soon follow.

When the Pilgrims arrived on the Mayflower in 1620, they didn’t bring thanks. They didn’t even give thanks. Instead, they brought racist genocide and gave nothing.

And they eventually succeeded in mass killing and mass land robbery not because they were smarter or stronger but because they were sadistically evil racists who initiated the use of a weapon of mass destruction that previously had been unheard of on this land.

Mehmet Oz’s donation page

2. Despite their millions, GOP hopefuls Dr. Oz, White using pre-checked boxes for extra campaign cash

Mehmet Oz rose to fame telling millions of viewers to hand over their money to supplement companies selling products of questionable medical value.

Now, the Garden State resident and heart surgeon is asking for money for himself to underwrite his 2022 bid for the Republican nomination for Pennsylvania’s open Senate seat

And just like viewers hoping for a healthier life, if Oz’s political supporters aren’t mindful of the fine print, they may not know what they are agreeing to.

Oz, along with fellow Republican Dave White, who’s running for governor, are the latest GOP candidates who have included pre-checked boxes on their fundraising solicitations that set up donors to make indefinite campaign contributions.

The Pennsylvania Turnpike (Douglas Muth/Flickr)

3. To prevent future toll ‘leakage,’ Pa. Sen. Marty Flynn introduces Turnpike reform package

After more than $104 million in Pennsylvania Turnpike tolls went uncollected last year, a state senator says he’s come up with a way to prevent future losses.

“This number is unacceptable, and it demands a targeted approach to increase enforcement and penalties for those that consistently evade paying applicable tolls,” Sen. Marty Flynn, D-Lackawanna, wrote in a memo seeking support from colleagues earlier this month.

Flynn, a member of the 14-member Senate Transportation Committee, says he plans to introduce a package of bills to prevent future uncollected tolls, commonly referred to as “leakage.”

In three pieces of legislation, the Scranton lawmaker proposes increased penalties for drivers who do not pay their tolls, mandated finance reporting from the Turnpike Commission to the General Assembly, and reinstated staffing at Turnpike interchanges.

The intersection of Montrose and North 3rd Streets in Susquehanna Township, Dauphin County (Capital-Star photo by John L. Micek)

4. Who you calling ‘sleepy?’ Suburban HBG neighborhood unites to fight development | Wednesday Coffee

If there is a textbook definition for ‘sleepy suburban neighborhood,’ it could very well Montrose Park, an enclave of well-kept homes and broad lawns that sits just on the other side of the Harrisburg city line in Susquehanna Township, Dauphin County.

But if you drive through the neighborhood these days, the chances are pretty good you’ll take note of the yard signs, planted at regular intervals, that read “They said nobody walks here;” “Don’t sue your neighbors,” and “Save Montrose Park.”

As our friends at TheBurg report, the signs are a very visible manifestation of a dispute between local officials, residents of the neighborhood at the intersections of North Third and Montrose Streets, and developers who want to plop a medical office building among the pre- and post-war homes that became a locus of Harrisburg’s vibrant Jewish community.

What started as a zoning dispute, and has since turned into a court fight waged in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, has brought residents together in an unexpected way, TheBurg reports.

Gov. Tom Wolf speaks at a rally for public education funding on June 8, 2021. (Capital-Star photo by Stephen Caruso)

5. Wolf vetoes bill to allow permitless concealed carry in Pennsylvania

Gov. Tom Wolf has vetoed a bill that would have allowed anyone over the age of 18 who can legally own a firearm to carry a concealed weapon without a permit.

It also would have repealed a state law that banned the open carrying of firearms in Philadelphia.

In his veto message, the Democratic governor said the bill would “only exacerbate gun violence and jeopardize the safety of all Pennsylvanians.”

The bill, a top priority for gun rights groups, zoomed through the Republican-controlled General Assembly last  month. It passed the Senate 29-21 in early November, and the House 107-92 two weeks ago.

Under current state law, Pennsylvania gun owners 21 and older can only carry a concealed weapon if they successfully obtain a permit from their county sheriff.

And that’s the week. See you all back here next weekend.

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Cassie Miller
Cassie Miller

A native Pennsylvanian, Cassie Miller worked for various publications across the Midstate before joining the team at the Pennsylvania Capital-Star. In her previous roles, she has covered everything from local sports to the financial services industry.