Auditions set for ACT show

MOUNT CARMEL - Anthracite Citizens Theatre has scheduled an "ACT Review Show!," a collection of numbers from past ACT shows, for 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 17, at the Mount Carmel Junior-Senior High School auditorium.

Auditions will be held at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday at First United Methodist Church, 46 N. Hickory St.

Visit www.actheatre.org look to see a list of past productions. Those auditioning should plan to perform their favorite song.

Rehearsals are planned for 6:30 p.m. Aug. 13 and 15 at the auditorium.

For more information, call 570-276-6603.

Barletta 'Legislator of the Year'

MECHANICSBURG - U.S. Rep. Lou Barletta, R-11, on Tuesday received the "Legislator of the Year" award from the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) for "his work in protecting volunteer fire companies from the Affordable Care Act," according to a press release from the congressman's office.

The award represents Barletta's "success in preventing volunteer fire companies and emergency response agencies from incurring costs and fines under Obamacare that could have caused them to close their doors."

Barletta said the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) had been counting volunteer firefighters as employees for federal tax purposes, which could trigger the Employer Mandate Provision of Obamacare. Barletta introduced HR 3979, the Protecting Volunteer Firefighters and Emergency Responders Act, Dec. 10, 2013, to specifically exempt volunteer firefighters and volunteers providing emergency medical services from the Employer Mandate Provision. The bill has not passed, but Barletta said he would continue to push the cause.

Barletta was presented with the award at the Washington Fire Company in Mechanicsburg by Fairview Township firefighter Bob Timko, who first alerted Barletta to the problem during a parade in 2013.

Barletta said the award proves to him that many of the best ideas do not emanate from Washington, but tend to come from people back home.

"This fight was especially important in Pennsylvania, where 97 percent of fire companies rely either entirely or mostly on volunteers," he said.