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Rollover in Franklin Township

A one-vehicle rollover accident occurred on Alexander Road in Franklin Township around 3:30 p.m. on Monday afternoon. Franklin Township Fire, State Police and Guthrie emergency medical services responded to the scene but did not find an operator of the vehicle after the wreck was reported by a nearby resident. One emergency responder told The Review that the assumption was that the operator fled the scene after the accident occurred. State Police are investigating.

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Two crashes reported within an hour of each other kept emergency responders busy Monday evening in South Waverly. The first crash between a car and motorcycle took place around 5 p.m. on Pitney Street, drawing response from firefighters from the borough and Athens Township, as well as Greater Valley EMS. There appeared to be no serious injuries. Another crash involving two vehicles was reported around a half-hour later at the intersection of Pitney Street and Pennsylvania Avenue (pictured). Additional information was not immediately available.

Stage: Staffing service has 90 days to show improvement

ATHENS – A substitute staffing service that drew heat from Athens Superintendent Craig Stage last month for not fulfilling its contractual obligation has 90 days to show improvement, according to the superintendent.

Stage provided an update to the school board Monday, saying he met with a new representative from Employment Staffing Solutions – formerly Source4Teachers – and “I’ve been told that they’re going to make some wholesale changes. They’re adding staff to meet our needs. You’re going to see more hiring events, quicker on-boarding, and you’re going to see fulfillment of the 12 building-based subs that have been promised throughout the year.” Last month, Stage reported that they only had two building-based subs.

Stage will also receive reports from the company twice a month going forward, and told school board members that he would keep them updated.

During a report in October, Stage expressed frustration with the service, saying its “terrible fill rate” had left the school district in need on several occasions, which then hindered opportunities for professional development and caused staff to go “above and beyond to help out” when faced with teacher or aide shortages. These fill rates have ranged between 38% and 67%.

“None of those percentages are adequate,” said Stage, who added that he was partnering with all school districts in the intermediate unit that are experiencing similar issues.

According to meeting minutes, the Athens Area School District renewed its agreement with Source4Teachers in March of 2017, extending service through June 30, 2021.

During a report about a recent educational conference, Stage noted that he had the opportunity to introduce himself to representatives from some other staffing agencies.

Pennsylvania lawmakers consider bill aimed at changing Games of Chance Act

A Pennsylvania House panel is considering proposed legislation that could lead to further changes in the state’s Local Option Small Games of Chance Act.

State Rep. Dan Moul, R-Gettysburg, introduced House Bill 1598 this summer.

The legislation addresses a number of issues related to the act, which was passed into law in 1988 and has served as a mechanism for smaller organizations – veterans groups and fraternal clubs being among them – to operate gaming machines as a revenue generator.

In his bill, Moul introduces a number of proposed amendments to the act, including a plan to increase the current maximums in place for winnings, which include $35,000 for weekly prizes and $2,000 for specific games.

At a House Gaming Oversight Committee meeting last week, Moul said his changes would benefit the state as a whole since clubs holding gaming licenses direct at least 60 percent of their proceeds toward a designated fund known as “public interest purposes.”

“This legislation really has been in the making for many years,” Moul said. “What we need to get under control is the payoff.

“The commonwealth is leaving a ton of money on the table by not addressing this.”

Moul’s bill also takes up other issues, including enforcement and investigation of establishments in violation of state law.

During testimony, Kevin O’Toole, executive director of the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board, expressed concerns with some aspects of the bill, including funding changes linked to enforcement and investigating alleged offenses.

One aspect of HB 1598 could take ambiguity out of the legalization and regulation of skill-based machines.

There are reportedly thousands of them at establishments across Pennsylvania, though their legality has been questioned.

“Should the General Assembly decide that the [Gaming Control Board] needs to be involved in the regulation of games of skill, a funding mechanism needs to be established,” O’Toole said. “It would be inherently unfair to require the board to cover the cost with funds from the other casino and VGT [video gaming technologies] regulated entities.”

The House panel also heard from Maj. Scott Miller of the Pennsylvania State Police, who heads the Bureau of Liquor Control Enforcement. Miller said changes to the act would be prudent.

“Illegal gambling is growing in the commonwealth, outside traditional venues, clubs, restaurants and bars, to convenience stores and malls and storefronts,” Miller said. “The gambling devices remain unregulated and unmonitored. The operation of these devices … are ripe for corruption. There is no consumer protection.”

Several representatives of the fraternal clubs and other organizations also went before the panel and shared how proceeds from gaming machines have been an important lifeblood into operations.

Ted Mowatt, executive director of the Pennsylvania Federation of Fraternal and Social Organizations, said proceeds from the gaming machines have benefited Pennsylvanians and the entities themselves in a number of ways.

Mowatt shared with the panel how his organization has attempted to work with lawmakers “to pass legislation updating small games of chance and bingo laws, based on the premise that these bills were not an extension of gambling, but a mechanism for these nonprofit organizations to increase the amount of money they can raise and contribute to other local charities.”