Kerry Benninghoff

County leaders stand with PennDOT secretary
Anne Danahy / WPSU

Politicians, business leaders and Centre County officials came together Tuesday to celebrate a $35 million federal transportation grant that will go toward the Interstate 80 and 99 interchange project.

PennDOT Secretary Leslie Richards said the federal money will be the catalyst to get the entire project moving forward.

“It is not often that we get tens of millions of dollars in federal funds to help us with a major project," Richards said. "That’s exactly what we’re celebrating here today.”

Pennsylvania’s Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition program — known as ARD — is meant to give participants a “fresh start.” If they complete the program, they can get a clean record.

Under a new Pennsylvania law, someone charged with a sex offense against a child can not qualify for the state’s first-time offender program. 

State Rep. Kerry Benninghoff said ARD was set up for non-violent offenses — maybe a first-time DUI.

“I don’t think it was ever intended to be used for sexual offenders, especially sexual offenders of minors," Benninghoff said.