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CREP Forum set for Feb. 9

| Monday, Jan. 15, 2007

Rural landowners and farmers are invited to the 2007 Southwest PA Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program Forum.

The event is set for 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Feb. 9 at Giannilli's II in Greensburg.

CREP is a voluntary federal program designed to improve water quality and wildlife habitat by financially rewarding landowners for implementing conservation practices on their land. Enrollment is open to any producer or landowner with eligible marginal crop land, pastureland or non-forested streams.

The program is administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Farm Service Agency and implemented by the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service in conjunction with local partners, including the state Department of Environmental Protection, Ducks Unlimited Inc., the Pennsylvania Game Commission, Pennsylvania Association of Conservation Districts and the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy.

The forum provides information for those who have never participated as well as those who are under contract. The forum will provide information about herd health; environmental and financial benefits of CREP; practice installation and maintenance questions.

Registration is $12 and includes snacks, coffee breaks and lunch. Registration forms must be postmarked by Feb. 2, 2007. For more information, contact Leanne Griffith at the Westmoreland Conservation District, 724-837-5271, extension 211 or via e-mail at


Mon Valley Hospital

to upgrade

State Rep. Peter J. Daley, D-Washington/Fayette, announced the Pennsylvania Economic Development Financing Authority's unanimous approval of Monongahela Valley Hospital for the Hospital Enhancement Loan Program.

The $3 million will be applied to help create a safer and more comfortable environment for patients and employees.

"The HELP program has enabled Mon Valley Hospital to access the capital they need to upgrade and expand their equipment in the facility," said Daley. "Patient safety is the number-one priority of hospitals and this low-cost financing program makes it able to provide patients with high-quality care."

New equipment purchases include state-of-the-art beds that prevent patient falls and employee injury; bariatric beds, which are specialty beds for obese patients; and ultrasound units.

Also included will be the installation of a new telephone system, which will include integration of an updated nurse call system, and upgrading of clinical lab systems.

PennDOT provides

crosswalk signs

PennDOT reminded municipal officials they can improve pedestrian safety by installing free crosswalk signs.

Since 2001, PennDOT has distributed more than 3,400 fluorescent yellow-green, free-standing crosswalk signs to municipalities across the state. The signs, which are placed in the center of a roadway directly before the crosswalk, are offered to municipalities upon request.

In order to receive the sign at no cost, the municipality must have either an area with a high car/pedestrian crash history, or roadways that are difficult to cross because motorists fail to yield.

Pennsylvania law states when traffic signals are either not present or not operating, motorists must yield to pedestrians within a marked crosswalk, or any unmarked crosswalk, at an intersection. Violators of the law are subject to a $50 fine.

According to PennDOT, roughly 10 percent of fatalities on Pennsylvania roadways during 2005 involved a pedestrian. Of the 1,616 fatalities reported in 2005, 162 were pedestrians.

Municipalities interested in receiving crosswalk signs should contact their local PennDOT district office.

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