KEYSTONE CLIPS Making a return to drought?

After a year of wetter-than-normal weather, the Shenango Valley appears to be slipping back into the arid conditions that affected the area in 2000 and 2001. Total precipitation for January 2003 was 1.51 inches, according to the Shenango Valley Division of Consumers Pennsylvania Water Co. That's well below the normal 2.21 inches for the month. The Shenango Valley got a total 45.85 inches of precipitation in 2002, well above the normal 39.55 for a year.
Volunteers needed
The Mercer County Unit of the American Cancer Society is looking for volunteers for its 2003 Daffodil Days fund-raising campaign, which will run March 17-22. Help is needed for bouquet preparation, flower delivery and direct sales at various Mercer County locations. Anyone willing to help should contact Pam Voisey or Cynthia Hall at (724) 346-3529. Proceeds support services to cancer patients and families in Mercer County.
Planning guides available
Pa. State Rep. Chris Sainato of New Castle, D-10th, says that groups planning a meeting or convention can obtain the 2003 "Meet Me In PA" planning guides available through the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development. The guide showcases Pennsylvania's meeting and conference destinations. It includes information about commonwealth airports, conference facilities, hotels, restaurants and tourist attractions. A free copy is available by calling (800) 847-4872 or by visiting
New SSA office coming
U.S. Rep. Melissa Hart of Bradford Woods, R-4th, announced that in response to her request, the Social Security Administration will soon be opening a new full-service hearing office in Cranberry Township. The new office is designed to improve customer service and expedite reviews and appeals for Western Pennsylvanians who receive Social Security and disability benefits. The current SSA Office of Hearings and Appeals is located in downtown Pittsburgh, making travel difficult for those who are elderly or suffer from a disability. Hart noted that opening a new office in the Cranberry region would not only be beneficial to those who use the Office of Hearings and Appeals, but also its employees by splitting the work between two offices. The SSA is currently looking for an appropriate site for the new office, and a decision is expected in the near future.
XCONTRIBUTORS: Harold Gwin of the Sharon Bureau and Laure Cioffi of the New Castle Bureau.

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