Sen. Toomey to speak
U.S. Sen.Patrick Toomey, R-Lehigh Valley, will be the featured guest of the Greater Hazleton Chamber of Commerce Red Carpet Breakfast program on March 22 at Genetti’s, 1341 N. Church St. The program, sponsored by Wagner Whitaker & John LLC, will begin at 8:45 a.m. and conclude at 10 a.m.
Toomey was elected on a platform of limited government, economic and job growth, and restoring fiscal responsibility. He serves on the Finance, Banking, Budget and Joint Economic committees, and is the chairman of the Senate Steering Committee — the coalition of Republican senators that advocates for innovative, conservative policies.
Toomey’s comments will focus on economic issues, specifically how to improve the job climate, encourage economic growth and reduce regulation. A question-and-answer period will follow the senator’s comments.
Fire grants available
Applications are now available for Volunteer Fire Assistance Grants through the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.
The grants are available to help organize, train and equip local forces in preventing, controlling and suppressing fires that have the potential to threaten human life, livestock, crops, pastures, woodlands, orchards and farmsteads. The grants are available to rural areas or communities with fewer than 10,000 residents.
Grants can be used for wildfire suppression equipment, wildfire or structural protective gear, wildfire prevention and mitigation, wildfire training and related necessary tools. Funds may also be used for certain projects involving the conversion and maintenance of federal excess vehicles received from the Bureau of Forestry and used for fire suppression.
Financial assistance on any project during any fiscal year cannot exceed 50 percent of the actual expenditures, including expenditures of local, public and private nonprofit organizations participating in the agreement.
Because of high demand and limited funding, there is a five-year waiting period between the years a fire company is eligible to receive grants.
Tax filing help available
Taxpayer assistance will be provided for all residents of Kingston Township for filing 2012 local tax returns for residents of Dallas School District. A representative from tax agency Berkheimer will be available at the Kingston Township Municipal Building, 180 E. Center St. on Tuesday at 2 p.m.
Residents with questions may call the township administrative office at 696-3809 between 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.
Slots revenues down
Total revenue generated through the play of slot machines at Pennsylvania casinos in February was down 9.2 percent compared to the amount generated a year ago, according to a report on the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board website.
This February’s gross revenue at the 11 operating casinos from slot machine play was $195,945,210 compared to $215,687,739 in February 2012. Tax revenue generated in February of this year just from slot machine play was $105,113,514.
In a comparison of just the 10 casinos operating in February 2013 that were also open for the full month of February 2012, revenue was 11.5 percent lower this year. Revenue decreased in all of the 10 casinos this February.
Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs in Plains Township had the third largest decrease in revenue for February, down 13.88 percent, from $20,170,535 to $17,370,134.
The board noted that gross revenue from slot machine gaming in February 2013 was produced over a 28-day period, while February 2012 was a 29-day “Leap Year” month, resulting in one of the top three revenue-producing months to date.