By Bill O’Boyle - [email protected]

State Treasury holds dozens of Purple Heart decorations for veterans

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WILKES-BARRE — Pennsylvania Treasurer Joe Torsella announced this week — on the observance of Purple Heart Day on Aug. 7 — that Treasury holds 16 unclaimed Purple Heart medals and 18 Purple Heart pins, ribbons, and other related decorations for the veterans who earned the distinguished service award or their rightful heirs.

“The Purple Heart may be the clearest symbol of American military sacrifice, and each unclaimed Purple Heart in Treasury’s possession should be cherished by the service members that earned them, and by their families,” Torsella said in a news release. “That is why — as the steward of Pennsylvanians’ lost or missing property — I am deeply committed to finding the veterans whose acts were deemed worthy of this decoration.”

Since Berwick native Torsella took office, Treasury has returned 40 service decorations, some of which have been in Treasury’s custody for decades — including four Purple Hearts — to the rightful owners. Treasury continues to search for the owners of over 500 unclaimed military awards.

“Often times, Purple Hearts are reported to Treasury with little or no details about their origins,” Torsella said. “One thing is certain, however — these medals represent immeasurable sentimental value and we will utilize every tool available to us to find the owners or their heirs.”

Unclaimed property also includes items such as abandoned bank accounts, forgotten stocks, uncashed checks, and contents of safety deposit boxes.

Potential claimants may search Treasury’s website for unclaimed property. Treasury’s Bureau of Unclaimed Property is also available toll-free at 1-800-222-2046 and via email at [email protected] to help conduct a thorough search for unclaimed property.

Pa. officials announce

CareerLink upgrades

Department of Labor & Industry (L&I) Secretary Jerry Oleksiak this week announced enhancements to the PA CareerLink system.

PA CareerLink is re-launching as a partner of the American Job Center network. And L&I is aligning the online job-matching system to PA CareerLink physical locations to assist both job seekers and employers in identifying and accessing the many employment and training services offered by L&I. In addition, some brick-and-mortar services will now be available online, saving time for customers.

Current and future enhancements to the system include:

• Better matching of employers with individuals who have specific skill sets.

• Improved job seeker control over who views their resume.

• Online referral system to better connect customers to community support services.

• Increased sharing across state agencies to streamline services.

• More job postings.

• Increased vetting capabilities for posted jobs.

Customers will also be able to share their experiences with L&I via the upgraded website.

Education Dept. expanding

school-improvement program

As part of Governor Tom Wolf’s plan to help schools and improve education across the state, superintendents from Pittsburgh, Juniata County and Allentown joined Department of Education Secretary Pedro A. Rivera this week to highlight their early participation in Pennsylvania’s comprehensive System for District and School Improvement.

“Our new school improvement system is built upon an evidence-based framework to support schools and increase focus on key practices associated with sustained improvement in teaching and learning,” Rivera said. “By engaging with stakeholders, evaluating promising practices from other states, and examining PDE’s own earlier school improvement initiatives, we are setting conditions that empower educators and communities and ensure strong accountability for results.”

Rivera was joined by Pittsburgh Public Schools Superintendent Anthony Hamlet, Juniata County School District Superintendent Keith Yarger and Allentown School District Superintendent Thomas Parker. The three districts piloted the program in 19 schools in the 2017-18 year. Eleven schools participated in Pittsburgh, seven in Allentown, and one in Juniata County.

Each of the participating districts assembled diverse teams of educators to help PDE field-test school improvement tools and identify opportunities to align school and district-level planning with the state’s emerging school improvement framework.

The program will be expanded this fall and will be led by the Allegheny Intermediate Unit (IU) 3, in collaboration with Lancaster-Lebanon IU 13, Berks County IU 14 and Chester County IU 24. The program will include schools that are classified for Comprehensive Support and Improvement, or Title I schools that fall in the bottom 5 percent of performance statewide, as outlined in the state’s Every Student Succeeds Act Plan.

For more, visit the Department of Education’s website at

Tuesday’s state auction

includes almost 300 vehicles

Nearly 300 vehicles will be available for public purchase at the state’s fourth vehicle auction of the year on Tuesday, Aug. 14, at Manheim Keystone Pennsylvania, 488 Firehouse Road, Grantville.

Vehicles seized by state law enforcement agencies include: a 2013 Dodge Avenger, 2013 Buick Regal Hybrid, 2008 Honda Odyssey, 2003 Volkswagen Passat and more.

This auction will also feature vehicles no longer used by state agencies, including a variety of pickup trucks, sedans, SUVs, utility trucks, state police cruisers and other police vehicles.

By Bill O’Boyle

[email protected]

Reach Bill O’Boyle at 570-991-6118 or on Twitter @TLBillOBoyle.

Reach Bill O’Boyle at 570-991-6118 or on Twitter @TLBillOBoyle.