According to a report from the Federal Communications Commission, nearly half the calls made from US cell phones in 2019 were spam. Using data from the Federal Trade Commission’s National Do Not Call Registry, Provision Living analyzed complaints in every state to identify the highest frequency of robocalls. The study found Pennsylvania was the 12th hardest-hit state in 2019. PA residents filed more than 241,000 (241,397) complaints. Nationwide, robocalls have seen an average increase of 14% since 2015, with Pennsylvania slightly higher at 17%. Types of spam calls in the Commonwealth include debt reduction, imposters, and medical & prescription calls. Colorado was the hardest-hit state in terms of the most robocalls. Arizona was No. 2.
A Tioga County woman has been named to the Judicial Conduct Board of Pennsylvania. The Supreme Court recently appointed Nancy L. Clemens to the twelve-member Board. As specified in the Constitution, she serves as a lay member for a four-year term. The Judicial Conduct Board is an independent body of Pennsylvania citizens comprised of three judges, three lawyers, and six lay members. Half of the members are appointed by the Governor, and half by the Supreme Court. Ms. Clemens currently serves as the Administrator of the Tioga County Department of Human Services in Wellsboro. Her term on the Judicial Conduct Board began January 20th.
Pennsylvania state agencies that manage public forest lands have increasingly employed prescribed fire as a management tool, but significant challenges exist for private landowners to do the same. Now, Penn State Extension is launching a program to help. Using low-intensity fire to help manage forests offers many benefits, according to Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences. Among those benefits are promoting desired tree species such as oak, spurring new growth that provides food and cover for wildlife, controlling invasive plants, and suppressing ticks, which often carry pathogens such as the one that causes Lyme disease. Fire was used historically in Pennsylvania, and because there was interest in restoring the procedure, the General Assembly passed legislation called the Prescribed Burning Act in 2009. The law changed liability statutes and essentially gave land managers the ability to use prescribed fire as a forest-management tool. Initially, the extension program will focus on education for private landowners, offering training to foster compliance with state law.