Bethlehem Press

Monday, July 16, 2018
Press file photo by Bernie O’Hare“I do think we need to give a stronger voice to the center at the moment,” Congressman Charlie Dent told supporters as he announced his retirement. “The sensible center is being left behind in too many cases. I tend to bring that voice outside of Congress as well as inside.” He also warned of a “growing trend towards nativism, isolationism, protectionism and at Press file photo by Bernie O’Hare“I do think we need to give a stronger voice to the center at the moment,” Congressman Charlie Dent told supporters as he announced his retirement. “The sensible center is being left behind in too many cases. I tend to bring that voice outside of Congress as well as inside.” He also warned of a “growing trend towards nativism, isolationism, protectionism and at
Press file photoLocal resident Tony Simao attends the DeploraBall at the National Press Club. The ball was named for Hillary Clinton’s campaign comments disparaging some of Trump’s followers as “deplorable.” Press file photoLocal resident Tony Simao attends the DeploraBall at the National Press Club. The ball was named for Hillary Clinton’s campaign comments disparaging some of Trump’s followers as “deplorable.”
Press file photoLinda Robertson of Bethlehem and husband Don participate in the Women’s March. Linda said she bought tickets to go on one of the buses five days after the election, but later decided to drive to Washington, D.C. Press file photoLinda Robertson of Bethlehem and husband Don participate in the Women’s March. Linda said she bought tickets to go on one of the buses five days after the election, but later decided to drive to Washington, D.C.
Press file photo by Tim GilmanPeople’s Choice winner Michael Dontas of Bethlehem holds up the Souper Bowl Champion Spoon alongside chef Phuong Nguyen who made the winning “Vietnamese Pho” beef soup. Dontas is the co-owner of the Copperhead Grille in Allentown. The People’s Choice award is selected by the Souper Bowl attendees. Press file photo by Tim GilmanPeople’s Choice winner Michael Dontas of Bethlehem holds up the Souper Bowl Champion Spoon alongside chef Phuong Nguyen who made the winning “Vietnamese Pho” beef soup. Dontas is the co-owner of the Copperhead Grille in Allentown. The People’s Choice award is selected by the Souper Bowl attendees.
Press file photo by Dana GrubbBethlehem residents and volunteers George Kondash and Dan Bossert slice tomatoes and carrots for salads as Chef Jim Bologna oversees food preparation in the Trinity Soup Kitchen. “Replacing the stove would mean everything,” said Bologna, who cited inaccurate settings and uneven heating as huge problems when preparing 150 hot lunches each weekday. Press file photo by Dana GrubbBethlehem residents and volunteers George Kondash and Dan Bossert slice tomatoes and carrots for salads as Chef Jim Bologna oversees food preparation in the Trinity Soup Kitchen. “Replacing the stove would mean everything,” said Bologna, who cited inaccurate settings and uneven heating as huge problems when preparing 150 hot lunches each weekday.
Press file photoR.K. Laros and his longtime friend and former mayor, the late Gordon Mowrer, at their last meeting in November 2014. Laros passed away Feb. 17, 2017, in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. Press file photoR.K. Laros and his longtime friend and former mayor, the late Gordon Mowrer, at their last meeting in November 2014. Laros passed away Feb. 17, 2017, in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii.
Press file photo by Carole GorneyThe number and visibility of police, as well as crime rates, were analyzed to determine the Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton safety ranking. Bethlehem’s mounted patrol works downtown and in parks and other areas where quick and easy access is needed. On horseback, police officers can see and be seen at greater distances. They also serve as city ambassadors, interacting Press file photo by Carole GorneyThe number and visibility of police, as well as crime rates, were analyzed to determine the Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton safety ranking. Bethlehem’s mounted patrol works downtown and in parks and other areas where quick and easy access is needed. On horseback, police officers can see and be seen at greater distances. They also serve as city ambassadors, interacting
Press file photo by Carol SmithCafé the Lodge receives a $5,000 Wells Fargo Foundation gift at a June 1 presentation at Café the Lodge, 427 E. Fourth St., Southside Bethlehem: Left: Rich Adams, Wells Fargo Foundation Committee member; Allen Singer, Café the Lodge chef; Ian Panyko, The Lodge director; Café barista Gregory Dutt; Mike Pany, Wells Fargo senior community development director; Laura Press file photo by Carol SmithCafé the Lodge receives a $5,000 Wells Fargo Foundation gift at a June 1 presentation at Café the Lodge, 427 E. Fourth St., Southside Bethlehem: Left: Rich Adams, Wells Fargo Foundation Committee member; Allen Singer, Café the Lodge chef; Ian Panyko, The Lodge director; Café barista Gregory Dutt; Mike Pany, Wells Fargo senior community development director; Laura
Press file photo by Nate JastrzemskiAccording to the release from Chief Mark DiLuzio, the Bethlehem Police Deaprtment’s new child pornography investigative unit is in response to a growing need to combat crimes against children and the public’s concern for their safety. Press file photo by Nate JastrzemskiAccording to the release from Chief Mark DiLuzio, the Bethlehem Police Deaprtment’s new child pornography investigative unit is in response to a growing need to combat crimes against children and the public’s concern for their safety.
Press file photo by Dana GrubbCosting $500,000 and built entirely with private funds, the Bethlehem Mounted Patrol’s new headquarters is now operational. The new stable includes eight acres of pasture as part of the lease with the Allentown Diocese. “It’s like their own little getaway,” said Mounted Patrol Officer Eric Waldeck. Press file photo by Dana GrubbCosting $500,000 and built entirely with private funds, the Bethlehem Mounted Patrol’s new headquarters is now operational. The new stable includes eight acres of pasture as part of the lease with the Allentown Diocese. “It’s like their own little getaway,” said Mounted Patrol Officer Eric Waldeck.
Press file photo by Jim MarshFire department and search and rescue teams continue their search activities for 78-year-old Audrey Penn, a missing Woodlands Terrace dementia patient late into the night of Aug. 23. Penn’s body was found Sept. 17 in Lower Macungie Township. Press file photo by Jim MarshFire department and search and rescue teams continue their search activities for 78-year-old Audrey Penn, a missing Woodlands Terrace dementia patient late into the night of Aug. 23. Penn’s body was found Sept. 17 in Lower Macungie Township.
Press file photo by Mark KirlinNitschmann MS hosted an open house Oct. 4 for the public to showcase the new $53.1 million, 180,000-square-foot building. The new school offers bright, spacious rooms with a modern touch throughout. Press file photo by Mark KirlinNitschmann MS hosted an open house Oct. 4 for the public to showcase the new $53.1 million, 180,000-square-foot building. The new school offers bright, spacious rooms with a modern touch throughout.
Press file photo by Tim GilmanDr. Martin Luther King Civil Rights Movement March proceeds along Broadway Street in South Bethlehem, led by event founder John Baker, Jasius Allen of Clearview ES, Samad Thorne and march coordinator Frankie West. Press file photo by Tim GilmanDr. Martin Luther King Civil Rights Movement March proceeds along Broadway Street in South Bethlehem, led by event founder John Baker, Jasius Allen of Clearview ES, Samad Thorne and march coordinator Frankie West.
Press file image by Ed Courrier Press file image by Ed Courrier

2017: A year in review

Tuesday, January 2, 2018 by Nate Jastrzemski njastrzemski@tnonline.com in Local News

It was a year of continued tragedies and devolving political and social discourse nationwide, yet the Lehigh Valley and Bethlehem in particular remain quiet and prosperous. But that is not to say there have not been many highs and lows.

Here is a reminder of what we at The Bethlehem Press have covered in 2017:

JANUARY

• Northampton Country District Attorney John Morganelli at loggerheads with Sands Casino over state legal concerns regarding its annual $10 million in host fees to local municipalities

• City Council member Olga Negron-Dipini and Michael Colón lead yearlong effort to revamp the city’s ethics ordinance

• Former Norco Human Services employee Sara Packer is charged with participating in the alleged rape, murder and dismemberment of her own adopted daughter, Grace

• Bethlehem Area School District sweats possible $12.5 million deficit for the upcoming year, but is already implementing plans to shrink that number

FEBRUARY

• Busloads of city and valley residents share their recent experiences in Washington, D.C.; some who visited for the presidential inauguration and others for the Women’s March the following day

• Borough of Freemansburg Mayor Gerald Yob says 36 years as mayor isn’t enough, and he’ll run for one more term

• Mayor Bob Donchez announces he will seek a second term

• Bethlehem Township commissioners again ponder how to leave the Bethlehem Area Public Library family, but can’t decide on proper wording for a referendum

• CHEMO Bag nonprofit helps comfort local cancer patients

• WGPA celebrates 70 years on the air

• Fountain Hill okays construction of new public works facility

MARCH

• Bethlehem Township Council member Pat Breslin causes contention in the community and on the board with comments made on WAEB-FM, and lawyers for Save Green Pond Marsh want him disqualified for operating out of his office to advance a planned retirement community on the protected land.

• Local physician and philanthropist Russell K. Laros Jr. dies at age 81

• Ten people, including three employed at local hospitals, are charged in a prescription drug sales ring by the state attorney general’s office

APRIL

• Fountain Hill ES students are given a behind-the-scenes tour of historic Hotel Bethlehem and shown how it operates

• The Becahi girls basketball team is lauded with fanfare in an assembly after a March 23 state championship win

• Congressman Charlie Dent addresses large town hall meeting in Hanover Township, during which citizens shouted about plans and actions of the presidential administration, with calm and calls for bipartisan action. He announces in September that he will not seek re-election

• Police Chief Mark DiLuzio offers a lengthy interview on his concerns for the community, including the ever-increasing opioid crisis, and what direction he’s taking the department

• Southside-raised Dr. Virginia Gonzalez retires after 43 years as a teacher and career councilor at Northampton Community College

MAY

•A Northampton County grand jury recommends criminal charges in the death of an infant at a Lehigh Township daycare

• Historic commissions review mural and art projects planned for the Southside as part of neighborhood improvement projects, such as Southside Vision 2020. This includes a partnership with ArtsQuest to design a number of artistic bike racks

• A consumer research company, ValuePenguin, names the A-B-E area the 17th safest city for children in the U.S.

• Five local Rotary Clubs had recently joined forces to pack thousands of pre-packed meals for the hungry

• Developer Lew Ronca agrees to pay for a third of the Brodhead Road reconstruction in Bethlehem Township to aid the 513,000 square-foot warehouse he plans to build

JUNE

•The National Museum of Industrial History has become successful enough to consider expansions of its facility and engaging in more children’s programs in the community

• Café the Lodge, which employs many adults with mental illness, thrives after five years and receives a Wells Fargo grant to help expand

• Throughout the month, the Press covers eight different high school graduations

JULY

• City council members argue the proposed ethics ordinance has too many working parts to function well and sends it back to the drawing board

• City police introduce new unit to engage child pornography peddlers

• The Reverend Monsignor Alfred A. Schlert of St. Theresa Church in Hellertown is named Bishop of Allentown Diocese

• City Mounted Patrol opens new $500,000 stable built entirely from private funds and community donations

• City announces 2017 will feature the last city Christmas seal, as program is no longer beneficial or sustainable

• A DeSales University/city police survey reveals overall positive responses, though most on residents’ minds is lack of communication between the department and community

AUGUST

• An NAACP summer camp at Saucon Park is interrupted by the appearance of a plastic dark-skinned baby doll head impaled on a stick. Chapter President Esther Lee said she believed it was deliberately left to be found by children, and police prceeded to investigate the incident as a hate crime

• Pa. Senate passes Bill 383, which allows school teachers and staff to carry firearms so long as they meet prerequisites. BASD administrators are against the measure

• Audrey Penn, a 78-year-old woman from the Salisbury Township Woodland Terrace living facility, goes missing. A door is revealed to have been left unlocked, and a massive search of the valley is undertaken. Penn is found dead near a bus stop almost a month later

• The great solar eclipse of 2017 is enjoyed in the city and throughout much of the country as the first such since 1979. The next will be April 8, 2024

SEPTEMBER

• Bethlehem’s Gertrude Kuhnsman celebrated her 106th birthday with friends and family at the Moravian King’s Daughters Home on West Market Street

• St. Luke’s University Hospital opens new specialty pavilion on Anderson Campus

• State Rep. Daniel McNeill (D-133rd) dies Sept. 8. He was 70 years old

• An in-depth report details the challenges faced by child welfare workers, and why a damaged system leads to high employee turnover

OCTOBER

• Molly Troxell, a local teacher and author, credits her success and faith in humanity to her 40-year friendship with John Garrity, a Northern Lehigh ES teacher who showed her the ropes when she was a student teacher

• Freedom HS celebrates 50th anniversary

• We take a tour of the new and improved Nitschmann MS

• Hotel Bethlehem announces it hopes to participate in the revitalization CRIZ designation to construct a new addition on the back of the property, which would include a new car park, additional guest rooms and an elevated walkway to the original hotel

• An audit uncovers nearly $4,000 was spent by Northampton County Human Resources employees on unaccounted-for gift cards

• Jeanne McNeill accepts the nomination to take over the 133rd district for her late husband, Dan

NOVEMBER

• The closing of New Bethany Ministries’ Restoration House Program propels a story series about the loss of funding and unaffordable nature of housing in the Lehigh Valley

• City council hopes technology will make transparency easy for all

• The Mayor’s South Side Task Force works throughout the community to help displaced residents from still-ruined Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria nearly two months earlier; are joined by many other organizations throughout the Lehigh Valley

DECEMBER

• City police announce new programs to help those suffering dependence in the ongoing fight against rampant opiod addiction as overdose deaths locally continue to climb

• Christkindlmarkt enjoys 25 years with great popularity and growth

• Northampton County awards $10 million to the DaVinci Science Center for a new aquarium, though there are still hurdles to jump

• Longtime Borough Council member Carolee Gifford will be the next mayor of the Fountain Hill

• Nearly a year and a half after an internal schism began within Bethlehem’s large First Presbyterian Church membership, President Judge Stephen Baretta released his 42-page decision that the national denomination retains ownership of the huge Center Street facility. A majority of the local membership wished to follow a more conservative branch of the church which opposes gay marriage, gay ordination, and other ideas recently made acceptable by national church administrators.