The ongoing dry spell in the Shenango Valley continued during the month of June. The area got only two-thirds of the normal amount of rainfall for the month, say statistics kept by the Shenango Valley Division of Consumers Pennsylvania Water Co.
Normal rainfall for June is 4.09 inches but the Valley received 2.64 inches, the water company said. Rainfall for the first six months of the year was just 14.74 inches compared with the normal 18.65 inches for that time period.
Internet for motorists: Pennsylvania motorists can now renew their driver's licenses, state photo IDs or vehicle registration over the Internet thanks to a new Web site set up by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.
The site can be reached through the Internet address of www.state.pa.us and clicking on the E-Government Services icon.
It requires the use of a major credit card, and temporary license and registration credentials can be printed out instantly. The formal documents should arrive within 15 days.
To renew licenses or photo IDs, people will need their copy of the state "Invitation to Renew," which is sent out at renewal time. That notice will include a personal identification number to be used in the Internet renewal process.
Watershed stewardship: The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection has honored two western Pennsylvania organizations with the Governor's Award for Watershed Stewardship.
The French Creek Project, active in Mercer, Crawford, Venango and Erie counties, was recognized for its interdisciplinary and intergenerational approach to environmental education.
The Slippery Rock Watershed Coalition in Butler County was recognized for its efforts in helping to develop solutions to reclaim mine lands and stop the discharge of pollutants into streams in that area.
Property tax rebates: The deadline to apply for Pennsylvania's Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program has been extended by six months. Applicants will now have until Dec. 31.
They must have owned and occupied or rented and occupied a home, apartment, nursing home, boarding home or similar residence in Pennsylvania in the last year. They must also be 65 years or older as of Dec. 31, 2000; a widow or widower 50 to 64 during all or part of 2000; or permanently disabled during all or part of 2000 and be 18 or older.
People who qualify can receive rebate checks of up to $500 based on property taxes or rent paid in 2000. The income eligibility limit is $15,000. For more details, contact your local state representative.
XCONTRIBUTORS: Harold Gwin, Vindicator Sharon Bureau, and Laure Cioffi, New Castle Bureau