News Briefs 8/9/18
River rescue with NPS, DEP
TOWN OF DEERPARK, NY — At about 3 p.m. on August 4, Forest Ranger Richard Franke was on a joint patrol of the Delaware River with National Park Service rangers in a jet boat when a group of rafters notified the patrol that two people were calling for help.
The group then found a 62-year-old woman from Lee Center in the water with her foot stuck in a river obstruction and her head just above water. The woman’s 64-year-old friend was also struggling in a raft nearby. Due to recent heavy rains, the river level was high and the water was flowing fast.
Ranger Franke entered the water wearing his personal floatation device with a line attached. The ranger freed the woman’s foot and assisted her into the raft. A rope was attached to the raft and both subjects were brought on board the National Park Service boat.
Meanwhile, a second raft with seven individuals was caught in the same currents. Ranger Franke tied the raft to a tree and assisted each person, one by one, onto the National Park Service boat.
Later that day, a third party with two people also capsized their raft upstream and were swept into the water. The Rangers rescued the pair. A total of 11 people were rescued and brought safely to shore.
PA legislation to stop 3D-printed guns
HARRISBURG, PA — Looking to stop the spread of undetectable and untraceable 3D-printed guns, Sen. Vincent Hughes (D-Philadelphia) and Sen. Wayne Fontana (D-Allegheny) plan to introduce a bill to ensure Pennsylvania’s Uniform Firearms Act applies to 3D-printed guns.
The proposal from Sens. Hughes and Fontana would amend the definition of a “firearm” in Pennsylvania’s Uniform Firearms Act to include 3D-printed guns. The legislation would also prohibit anyone from printing a 3D firearm unless they have a firearm manufacturing license from the federal government.
“These guns are working weapons that do not have serial numbers, may be undetectable to school, airport and other security systems and are created by a 3D printer, which would allow individuals to circumvent federal and state background checks and other gun sale regulations,” Hughes said. “We can’t talk about keeping our schools and communities safe and then allow a company to create a back door to obtain guns by skirting federal background checks and other commonsense laws and regulation.”
Applications being accepted for Delaware Watershed grants
WASHINGTON, DC — Congressman John Faso highlighted the opening of the grant process for the Delaware Watershed Conservation Fund on August 7. The competitive grant program will provide funding for stakeholders committed to supporting the protection, restoration and conservation of fish and wildlife habitats in the Delaware River Watershed.
“The Delaware River Basin is a critical natural resource for Upstate New York, and I am committed to doing what I can to contribute to its conservation and restoration,” said Faso. “In Congress, I’ve been a persistent advocate for this funding. This competitive grant fund will go a long way toward ensuring our most precious natural resources and drinking water are clean and safe for Upstate families.”
The applications are due on September 27. More information about the grant can be found at tinyurl.com/yahzgd3u.
Wolf establishes PA LGBTQ commission
HARRISBURG, PA — Gov. Tom Wolf on August 6 signed an executive order to establish a commission to advise him on matters relating to members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer/questioning (LGBTQ) community.
The order said these Pennsylvanians “make unique, diverse and valuable contributions to the culture, society and economy of Pennsylvania, which have a beneficial impact on life in the Commonwealth and beyond.”
Among the functions of the commission:
“Develop, review and recommend to the governor policies in the areas of health and human services, housing, education, employment, business formation and other relevant areas which impact LGBTQ individuals and communities;
“Provide appropriate assistance and advice to the Departments of General Services and Community and Economic Development, and work with the Bureau of Workforce Planning, Development and Equal Employment Opportunity within the Office of Human Resources and Management, in the Governor’s Office of Administration, to strengthen the enforcement of the Commonwealth’s anti-discriminatory hiring, retention and promotion policies.”
The commission will have up to 40 members and is believed to be the only one in the U.S.