Bethlehem Press

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Murder for rent money Bethlehem man charged in double homicide case

Tuesday, August 6, 2019 by BERNIE O’HARE in Local News

A Bethlehem man has been charged with a double-murder, arson, burglary and related offenses stemming from a January fire at 2901 Stephen St. in Palmer Township.

Drew Alan Rose, 37, was charged Friday with the homicides of 97-year-old Virginia Houck and her son, Roger Houck, 61, of Seattle. The motive for these alleged actions was Rose’s need for his half of $900 in rent at a Broadway apartment he shared with his mother.

NEWS ANALYSIS--Zrinski slams Bethlehem Twp. pipeline deal; commissioners respond

Monday, July 22, 2019 by BERNIE O’HARE in Local News

It’s no longer just nonbinding plastic straw bans. Northampton County Council member Tara Zrinski is now pursuing a new resolution, also nonbinding, taking aim at the PennEast Pipeline route through Bethlehem Tp. This one calls for an evacuation plan and asks PennEast to provide equipment for first responders.

Tara Zrinski is an at-large member of NorCo Council. Her resolution was discussed by Council’s Energy Committee July 17.

ANOTHER VIEW

Monday, July 15, 2019 by BERNIE O’HARE in Opinion

Wolf’s end run over voting machines

Last year, Governor Tom Wolf decreed that all 67 counties must have voting systems with voter-verifiable paper trails in time for next year’s presidential election. But on July 5, he vetoed a bill that would help them pay for it because it also eliminated straight-party voting. Now he’s attempting an end run. With no legislative authority, he’s attempting to borrow $90 million through the Pennsylvania Economic Development Financing Authority (PEDFA). Good luck with that!

Parking lot planned next to courthouse

Monday, July 15, 2019 by BERNIE O’HARE in Local News

They may have paved Paradise and put in a parking lot, as Joni Mitchell sings. But no one would confuse the Milides Building with paradise. Northampton County Council voted unanimously on June 20 to tear it down at a cost of $72,500. It will be replaced by a badly needed parking lot with room for 104 vehicles, including eight handicapped spots. Demolition will be done by Paul Giroux, Inc., a firm located locally in Wind Gap. Once permits are in place, the building will be down in a month.

“It’s no Martin Tower,” said County Administrator Charles Dertinger

Health Department drops two strikes

Monday, July 8, 2019 by BERNIE O’HARE in Local News

At Northampton County Council’s brief July 3 meeting, Executive Lamont McClure reported the state Department of Health recently visited Gracedale twice in response to anonymous complaints about staffing levels. Both were dismissed as unsubstantiated. Although the source of these complaints is unknown, McClure said employees should refrain from discussing these issues in front of family members.

Health Department drops two strikes

Monday, July 8, 2019 by BERNIE O’HARE in Local News

At Northampton County Council’s brief July 3 meeting, Executive Lamont McClure reported the state Department of Health recently visited Gracedale twice in response to anonymous complaints about staffing levels. Both were dismissed as unsubstantiated. Although the source of these complaints is unknown, McClure said employees should refrain from discussing these issues in front of family members.

Wolf vetoes voting machine assistance bill

Monday, July 8, 2019 by BERNIE O’HARE in Local News

Last year, Governor Tom Wolf ordered all 67 counties to use voting systems with voter-verifiable paper trails in time for the Presidential election. This was an unfunded mandate that cost both Lehigh and Northampton County around $5 million. The state legislature was willing to give counties up to $90 million to help reimburse this cost. Council member John Cusick thanked State Senators Lisa Boscola and Mario Scavello for their support at last week’s County Council meeting. But on Friday, Governor Wolf vetoed the funding bill.

Marijuana dispensery pitch heard

Tuesday, July 2, 2019 by BERNIE O’HARE in Local News

A medical marijuana dispensary, to be located at Bethlehem Village Shoppes on Route 191, was pitched to Bethlehem Township Commissioners June 17 during what is known as a “conditional use” hearing. Attorney Stanley Margle, representing Hayden Gateway, elicited testimony from Abbe Kruger, a principal in that firm. Testimony will resume once engineers put the finishing touches on a site plan.

Northampton County/Bethlehem City 911

Tuesday, June 25, 2019 by BERNIE O’HARE in Local News

Systems successfully integrated

If a tree falls in the forest, and no one is around to hear it, does it still make a sound? Philosophers have debated this riddle inconclusively for hundreds of years. There is no mystery, however, concerning emergency calls. If someone calls 911, and no one is there to hear it, rest assured that there will be numerous complaints. It’s happened before in Northampton County, when migration to a new emergency dispatch system was accompanied by loud criticisms, a lawsuit and an election in which several county officials lost their seats. So when Bethlehem