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CARNIVAL & FAIR NEWS
The 114th annual Kentucky State Fair welcomed 614,470 visitors for 2018. The turnout was said to be the second highest attendance on record since 2009. Cody Patterson, director of communications for the fair, says he believes that it was the good weather, amazing concerts, and unique attractions that drew out the crowds to the 11-day event. Perhaps the biggest draw was the musical entertainment. New for this year, a free fair-long event dubbed The Texas Roadhouse Free Concert Series was included in the admission price and seemed to be a big factor in the growth of the crowds. With paid admission to the fair, visitors had the fantastic opportunity to check out performances from well-known musicians such as Josh Turner, The Commodores and ......[read more]
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Few things improve the attitude of local and county fairs than a new infusion of governmental financial support. That was exactly was the good news that the annual gathering of the Illinois Association of Agricultural Fairs (IAAF) received, giving them much needed uplift.  Until 2018, Illinois Fairs languished for years with minimal funding, nothing much beyond minimal state support for 4-H prizes and premiums. The state was especially hit hard by the great recession and a series of state budget battles and austere spending policies pushed fair funding off the legislative radar for more than a decade. The tides turned last year with the passing of legislation designated $5 million in grants to county fairs for operational ......[read more]
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CARNIVAL & FAIR INDUSTRY BUZZ

UPDATED 2/14/2019 at 12:52PM

Ahead of Friday's deadline to pass a budget to keep the government open for 2019, it is being reported that Democrat and Republican leaders in the US House of Representatives drafted a bill to fund the Department of Homeland Security for the remainder of 2019 and expect President Trump to sign off on it. 

Pertaining to H-2B visas, the official language of the bill gives the Department of Homeland Security the ability to issue an additional 69,320 H-2B visas at their discretion.  This is the same language that was included in the FY2017 and FY2018 DHS bills.  During each of the last two years, DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen issued an additional 15,000 visas. 

In an interview last May, Nielsen said:

"We are once again in a situation where Congress has passed the buck and turned a decision over to DHS that would be better situated with Congress, who knows the needs of the program. As Secretary, I remain committed to protecting U.S. workers and strengthening the integrity of our lawful immigration system and look forward to working with Congress to do so," Nielsen added in her statement.


“Congress gave me the discretionary authority to provide temporary relief to American businesses in danger of suffering irreparable harm due to a lack of available temporary workers,” Kelly said at the time. 

Currently, the department of labor is continuing to process labor certifications for the second half of the cap for workers beginning on April 1.  Approximately 73,000 applications have been certified to date for the 33,000 available H-2B visas.

 

As details emerge, we will keep you informed.

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Posted by: Matt Cook on 2/13/2019

Paula R. Pavlick-Swika, 52, of Scott Twp., died Wednesday, January 30 at Allied Services Hospice, Scranton.  She was the wife of Stephen Swika, III.

Born in Allentown, daughter of Margaret Jump Heckman, Peckville, and the late Henry Heckman, Jr., she was a graduate of Dieruff High School, Allentown.  She was the operating partner in the family business, SwikaS Amusements, Montdale.  She was also the owner and operator of Paula’s Pretzels.  Paula was a member of the Pennsylvania State Showmen's Association, the International Independent Showmens Foundation, and the Outdoor Amusement Business Association.

Also surviving are three daughters: Ursula Watts and husband Gavin, Columbus, OH; Melissa Martin and husband Danny, Mayfield; Justine Piacitelli and companion Kevin, Collegeville; two brothers: Henry Heckman, III; and James Heckman, both of Allentown; a sister: Susan Tate, Lawton, OK; 3 grandchildren: Austin Henry Watts, Peyton Grace Martin, and Bailey Emerson Martin; several nieces and nephews, including a special niece: Latasha Lloyd and a special nephew: Christopher Heckman; and several great nieces and great nephews.

The funeral will be Saturday, February 2nd in the Brennan & Brennan Funeral Home, Inc., 55 Lincoln Avenue, Carbondale, with services at 4 pm by Pastor Norm Demming.  Interment will be held at a later date in Valley View Memorial Park, Montdale.  Friends may call Friday, from 4 to 7 pm and on Saturday, from 2 pm until service time.

Memorial donations may be made to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, 1525 Valley Center Parkway Suite 180, Bethlehem, PA 18017.

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Posted by: Obituary on 2/2/2019
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