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157059-161244-300x200The beginning of August fast approaches, and that means that summer is ending for students across the country. With the start of school comes increased road traffic from school buses and teen drivers, as well as plenty of children on bicycles, and young pedestrians hurrying to get to and from school.

Safe driving can save lives. Slowing down and paying extra attention to your surroundings, especially when you’re near a school, can help avoid tragedies. The National Safety Council has published a few recommendations to help make sure that back to school season is safe for everyone.

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fourth of july traffic

For the last several years various companies have worked to make self-driving cars a reality. Google has been working on a self-driving car since 2009. Automaker Tesla has gone a step further, their “Autopilot” feature has been available on consumer vehicles since 2014. Tesla CEO Elon Musk estimates that by 2019 “Autopilot” will allow vehicles to drive people to their destinations safely while the driver sleeps.

This sudden growth in self-driving car technology raises questions about safety, and many states, including Pennsylvania, have been working on laws to deal with the issue. The Pennsylvania legislature has been working on two bills that deal with self-driving cars.

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Social Security

More than one million Americans are waiting. They wait as their livelihoods hang in the balance. They wait an average of 575 days for a hearing about their Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability claims. During this waiting period, people struggle to pay rent, buy groceries, and merely survive.

 

Since 2010, Social Security’s budget has been cut by more than 10%. Between field and mobile offices, hundreds have been forced to close. But the cuts don’t stop there. A proposed $250 million more in cuts are being considered by Congress in a bill that could happen in 2017. This cut would not only affect Americans, but also SSA employees who would be off work for two weeks. The stall in hiring would only push delays and waiting time even further. Retirees, survivors and disabled citizens would all suffer. Funding would increase somewhat, but other basic resource needs would go untouched.

 

It’s up to us to act and fight for fairness. Encourage those around you to contact their members of Congress and urge them to make sure SSA’s budget is entirely funded for next year, and the future overall.

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cleanuprecycling
Schuylkill County has schedule a Fall Clean Up that will be open to all county residents.

The clean up is scheduled from September 12th to September 24th and will be funded through the County Commissioners Office at the State Department of Environmental Protection.
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summer sun tipsDangers in the workplace can come from many sources, and for those who frequently put in their hours outdoors under the hot summer sun, it is important to be familiar with crucial safety tips.

July is National UV Safety month, and what some people don’t realize is that skin is our largest organ that protects us against the heat and sunshine. Failing to protect our skin against the harmful UV rays from the sun can lead to more serious consequences than just sunburn and peeling skin. It can cause skin cancer, age spots and eye problems.

Here are some tips on how to battle against the UVs this month, and all summer long:

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super lawyersAttorney Michael J. O’Connor has earned a place on the 2016 Super Lawyers list for his work in the workers’ compensation field, and Attorney David Miller has been named to the Rising Stars list for his work in PI General: Plaintiff. Both are prestigious honors.

This is Attorney O’Connor’s thirteenth time on the Super Lawyers list Attorney Miller’s eighth time named to Rising Stars.

Both Attorneys O’Connor and Miller will have this achievement published in the June 2016 editions of Pennsylvania and Delaware’s Super Lawyers Magazine, Philadelphia magazine and Pittsburgh Magazine. This opportunity will allow thousands of people to learn about the impressive work the lawyers at Michael J. O’Connor & Associates provide.

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Imagine driving down the highway when all of sudden you have no control over your car. Someone, possibly thousands of miles away, is now in control of the entire car; the steering, the brakes, the audio, the locks; everything. That’s what happened to one man while two security researchers were demonstrating what could happen if a flaw is exploited in the computer system of the Jeep.

Owners of Dodge, Jeep, and Chrysler vehicles made after 2012 should check this link to see if their car is on the recall list. http://blog.fcanorthamerica.com/2015/07/24/unhacking-the-hack-ensuring-security/

Although no one was hurt by this hack, and the security researchers did this demonstration in attempt to show that these vehicles could be hacked, the Federal Highway Safety Committee has launched an investigation into the matter. If this is possible in these vehicles, it could be possible in others as well.

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September 14-20, 2014 is National Child Passenger Safety Week.  If you live in the Reading area you can go to the State Police Barracks at 600 Kenhorst Boulevard to get your car seats checked by the police between 8 AM and 8 PM on Sunday September 14, or from 8 AM to 2 PM on Saturday September 20.

 

National Child Passenger Safety Week is to raise awareness that having your child in the wrong type of child seat can be dangerous if you are ever in a wreck. Car crashes are a leading cause of death for children ages 1-13 and many of these deaths and serious injuries can be avoided if the child is in the right type of car seat or booster seat.

 

Keep your children safe and stop by the state police barracks to get your seats inspected.

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Thanksgiving is a time when we reflect and give thanks for the things we have. It often prompts us to think of others less fortunate. So our staff was proud to hear of the efforts of our marketing coordinator, Samantha Cody, and her aunt who are gathering donated items this holiday season to help families affected by domestic violence. But their efforts aren’t just helping those in need; it’s a way for their family to remember Sammi’s cousin, Dave Guzick, who died in March as a result of an accident involving a distracted driver.

Sammi and her aunt are collecting everyday necessities such as bathroom tissue, soap, and detergent and placing them into laundry baskets that will be donated to Schuylkill Women in Crisis (SWIC). SWIC is a non-profit organization that provides services to victims of domestic violence, here in Schuylkill County.

In an article on the RepublicanHerald.com, Sammi’s aunt said that since Christmas is a time for families to get together, they thought this would be a positive way to remember their nephew and cousin, who was only 24 when he died.