After a rash of complaints about the noise and dust caused by all-terrain vehicles, Bethlehem Township Commissioners are on the brink of strictly regulating their use. A proposed ordinance, debated at Monday night’s meeting, would ban their use between dusk and dawn. They would also be required to stay at least 100 feet away from the property line of any adjacent owner.
Notre Dame Catholic HS of Green Pond graduated 122 seniors at its 51st commencement ceremony earlier this month in an outdoor ceremony attended by over 700 people at its Bethlehem Township campus. Unlike some previous years, in which periodic downpours soaked everyone, this year’s graduation was under sunny skies with no hints of rain. It truly is a school of faith.
Class of 2017 honorees included Dannielle Hibshman, the school’s valedictorian who will be attending Syracuse University. Salutatorian Sophia Macchia will attend Drexel University.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services maintain a five-star rating system for nursing homes. Those with five stars are considered the best. Gracedale, Northampton County’s nursing home, had a four-star (“above average”) rating in January. But that has gone on a downward slide to just one star, or “much below average.”
That’s its lowest rating. According to both Human Services Director Allison Frantz and Gracedale Administrator Rayond Soto, Gracedale may wear this black eye for as long as a year.
Bethlehem Catholic HS graduated its 2017 class of 202 seniors in a commencement ceremony at the school auditorium June 7. Though the school is mostly known for its athletic prowess in the East Penn Conference and District XI, this graduating class received 176 scholarships and awards to 52 different colleges and universities.
Northampton County Executive John Brown has signed an executive order for a no-bid contract to study a new jail. The deal is with DLR Group, a nationally based architectural firm. In doing so, Brown sidestepped the competitive bidding required under the county’s Administrative Code. At council’s June 1 meeting, solicitor Phil Lauer ruled that it is a sole source contract with no competitive bidding, and hence is contrary to what is required under county law.
In a few weeks, Pennsylvania’s Department of Health will issue up to 12 permits for medical marijuana grower/processors and as many as 27 dispensaries. One of these may be in Bethlehem Township. At their June 5 meeting, commissioners voted 3-0 in favor of a medical marijuana dispensary in a flex building at 2467 Baglyos Circle.
DaVinci Science Center Executive Director Lin Erickson updated Northampton County Council June 1 on a 170,000 square-foot facility she hopes to build in Easton. It includes a science center, a 500,000 gallon aquarium with large view panes, an Aquarium Restaurant and with seating for 500, an immersion theater, a creativity studio or “Fab lab,” classrooms and offices. It is proposed at the Days Inn property on Third Street. That property is located in the floodplain.
Moravian College is currently in the middle of building a $23 million Health Sciences building at its Main Street campus. It’s a 55,000 square-foot three-story facility named after alumna Sally Breidegam Miksiewicz, and should be finished by July. But Mark Reed, vice president for finance and administration at the college, was before Bethlehem’s Zoning Hearing Board May 31 to discuss a 2,500-square-foot restaurant also planned at the site.
Though the restaurant itself is permitted, Moravian needed permission for an exterior entrance facing onto Main Street.
In a unanimous vote during its May 18 meeting, Northampton County Council approved a new $6 million food service contract at the jail with GD Correctional Services. The contract is for a period of three years, with two one-year extensions. GD, the food service provider at nine other penal institutions, was selected as the low bidder among four firms submitting proposals.
In an effort to deliver natural gas more efficiently to its Lehigh Valley customers, UGI is planning to build a 98-foot high, 78-foot wide liquefied natural gas facility in Bethlehem at 2470 Ringhoffer Road on an 83.91 acre tract of former Bethlehem Steel land that is now part of Lehigh Valley Industrial Park. Represented by Allentown Attorney Tim Siegfried, company representatives were at the Zoning Hearing Board May 24 for a special exception and dimensional variances. So were Lower Saucon Township officials, who were represented by prominent environmental attorney Charles Elliott.