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Global demand and renewed popularity for the low-cost fuel have combined to put a strain on Pennsylvania anthracite supplies with a rather surprising result. People in the coal region are having trouble finding fuel for their stoves and furnaces.
It also shows how coal, which over the past 60 years has faded from its position as a dominant home heating fuel to a small niche market, is making a comeback in the face of high oil costs. A ton of coal, which can cost about $180 in the coal region, provides the same amount of heat as 180 gallons of heating oil, which would cost $630.
That price difference has encouraged many Pennsylvanians to use coal for heat. About 1.4 percent of Pennsylvania households have coal as a primary heat source in 2010, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
Read more: http://www.mcall.com/business/mc-allentown-coal-shortage-20111225,0,6042051.story
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Three Berks County fire companies that have fought fires together for decades will be merging to form the Eastern Berks Fire Department in January.
The Goodwill Fire Co. in Bally, Volunteer Barto Fire Co. and the Keystone Fire Co. of Bechtelsville will join for what they say will provide better service, according to a news release.
“After three years of talks, negotiations, forms, inventories and legal approval, the three will begin operating as a single department at 4 p.m. on Jan. 3,” Rev. Paul Bartlett of the fire department said in the release.
Read more: http://www.mcall.com/news/breaking/mc-berks-fire-company-merger-20111226,0,7133192.story
Happy second day of Christmas!
York, PA – Starting Tuesday morning, teens face new driving restrictions, including the number of passengers they can transport in their vehicle, according to the state Department of Transportation.
Here is a rundown of the new rules:
— Drivers under the age of 18 will not be able to transport more than one passenger younger than 18 for the first six months. After six months, junior drivers can transport up to three passengers younger than 18 as long as the driver has not been convicted of a driving violation or has not been partially or fully responsible for a reportable crash.
Read more: http://www.ydr.com/local/ci_19621137
The federally funded LIHEAP provides cash grants to help income-eligible homeowners or renters pay for home heating fuel. The state Department of Public Welfare expects the LIHEAP funding from the federal government to be cut in half. Last year, the state received $326 million in funding. The expectation for this winter is $163 million, said Carey Miller, the department’s spokeswoman. Thus, the department has changed the eligibility levels for funding, as well as the maximum amounts people can receive.
Read more: http://www.yorkdispatch.com/news/ci_19621104