Josh Shapiro

Josh Shapiro, state attorney general

Attorney General Josh Shapiro today announced that First Commonwealth Bank, headquartered in Indiana, has agreed to join the PA CARE Package, Pennsylvania’s consumer relief initiative. By joining these efforts, First Commonwealth Bank, along with the Office of Attorney General, will ensure Pennsylvania consumers impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic are eligible for additional economic relief.

Under the PA CARE Package initiative, banks and financial institutions are working with the Office’s Bureau of Consumer Protection to both comply with the recently-passed CARES Act and offer additional important protections for consumers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Pennsylvanians need financial protection during this emergency, which is why we launched PA CARE Package to provide relief right now. I thank First Commonwealth Bank for joining this effort to help consumers. We can beat this crisis, but consumers and small businesses need to know their rights and use the resources available to them,” said Shapiro. “This commitment will help consumers and businesses in western and central Pennsylvania who are facing lost wages, lost jobs, and lost income focus on what’s important — staying safe and healthy during this emergency.”

“We quickly took the path of extending payment relief to our customers by offering three months of loan payment deferral on consumer or small business loans, including credit card payments, without credit bureau impact,” said Dave Reed, regional president of First Commonwealth Bank in Indiana County. “We’ve taken a reprieve on initiating any repossession activity until further notice. Assisting consumers facing financial hardship due to this pandemic is a top priority and we’re proud to be here to help our customers and their businesses through these challenging times. And, as a SBA preferred lender, we plan to participate at the highest level possible in the CARES Act Paycheck Protection Program to help our business customers apply for the funding recently made available to help businesses keep workers employed.”

To commit to the PA CARE Package initiative, financial institutions and banks must offer additional assistance to Pennsylvanians facing financial hardship due to impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, including:

• Expansion of small and medium business loan availability.

• 90-day grace period (at least) for mortgages not already covered by the CARES Act’s 180-day grace period.

• 90-day grace period for other consumer loans such as auto loans.

• 90-day window for relief from fees and charges such as late, overdraft fees.

• Foreclosure, eviction and motor vehicle repossession moratorium for 60 days.

• No adverse credit reporting for accessing relief on consumer loans.

First Commonwealth Bank customers experiencing COVID19-related financial hardship should visit the dedicated webpage that First Commonwealth Bank has created to assist impact customers seeking financial assistance. Customers can access this dedicated page by visiting https://www.fcbanking.com/why-us/contact-us/coronavirus-update/.

In many cases, impacted customers can request relief simply by completing an online form, and impacted customers are encouraged to do so. Consumers should only use First Commonwealth Bank’s official website to access this information and not use websites offered by third parties purporting to connect consumers with their bank or benefits under the CARES Act. Customers may also contact First Commonwealth Bank’s toll-free customer service line at (800) 711-BANK(2265).

HOMER CITY CHANGES

To Homer City Borough residents and Central Indiana County Water Authority customers: The borough/CICWA office will not be open to walk-in business until at least April 30 due to the pandemic and related restrictions. The office is available by telephone at (724) 479-8005 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday-through-Friday.

April’s CICWA water bill will be mailed out approximately on April 3 and will have a due date of April 21. There will be late charges assessed starting with the April water bill and moving forward. Those with problems paying their bill because of restrictions from the COVID-19 pandemic should call the office.

RIBBON CUTTING POSTPONED

A planned ribbon-cutting celebration that had been set for Saturday to mark the construction of a new fire station for the Coal Run/McIntyre volunteer fire company has been postponed. A new date has not been announced.

WEAPONS CERTIFICATION

Gov. Tom Wolf has granted a six-month extension of certifications held by private security officers and others who carry lethal weapons as part of their duties. Certifications are valid five years and may be renewed upon completion of updated education and training.

Those agents include “individuals employed by hospitals, health care facilities and other life-sustaining businesses vital to the ongoing fight against COVID-19” and those whose certification expires between March 6 and September 7 have been granted a six-month extension of Act 235 certification due to the unavailability of recertification training courses during the current state of emergency.

INDIANA LIONS CLUB

The Indiana Lions Club announced the cancellation of a turkey dinner buffet set for April 18 at the Lions Health Camp and the postponement of the Theodore Productions’ “Las Vegas Style Magic and Illusion” show set for Friday.

The next dinner is set for May 16, and if it has to be canceled, notifications will be made in the newspaper and on the radio.

The magic show has not been rescheduled at this time, but any money donated for, and tickets received will be good for the next performance, whenever that occurs. The new date will be published when available.

LIBRARY ONLINE

Indiana Free Library is offering a three-month, temporary access to its online library for free. Send a request by email to reference@indianafreelibrary.org for a digital library card and you will get back an access number that will enable you to create an account for all of the digital resources on the library website.

Children’s activities include Miss Humblebees for preschoolers and kindergarteners. They offer access to many games and activities that are fun to play and help build foundational skills. Also BookFlix has some story time options for young readers.

The library FaceBook page will also release a Story Time in the Hen House with children’s librarian Val Shuppe reading to her chickens Monday through Thursday at 10:30 am, It can be played back anytime you need a story.

The newly released cloudLibrary offers e-books and audiobooks for all ages and has quadrupled the number of titles on the library’s Overdrive. Download the app and start browsing under Johnstown District Libraries.

There are also over 50 free magazine subscriptions available through RbDigital. Download an article to any device or cellphone.

For a limited time, the library is offering a trial to six different viewing options that are normally pay-per-view. You view is your vote on what will continue. The options are:

• Acorn TV — Streams world class British TV mysteries, dramas and comedies.

• The Great Courses — Fascinating subjects taught by world-class professors and experts.

• Indieflix — Independent movies, foreign films and high-quality shorts and festival award-winners.

• LearnItLive — Live and on-demand classes and many health, wellness and nutrition topics.

• Qello — The world’s largest collection of full-length performances, concert films and music documentaries.

• Freegal offers downloadable and streaming music.

If you are off work for a time and not sure where you are headed, some skill-building courses are available through Gale Courses.

For those studying for tests, there is online training through Learning Express that offers prep materials for many “life-changing” exams such as GRE, GED, civil service, nursing and LSATS.