Bethlehem Press

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Is 911 dispatching closest emergency responder?

Monday, September 30, 2019 by BERNIE O’HARE in Local News

On Sept. 10, John Pequeno’s Upper Nazareth home, at 3300 block of Rising Sun Court, was destroyed by fire. No human lives were lost, but Pequeno did lose a pup named Marshall, whom he referred to as his “fur baby.” “The rest of what was lost was mostly just stuff,” he said. Nine different fire departments ultimately responded. Pequeno has been so touched by their heroic efforts that he organized a fundraiser for what he calls the Rising Sun Fire Brigade.

Probation officers get retroactive raise

Tuesday, September 24, 2019 by BERNIE O’HARE in Local News

Northampton County Council reversed itself Sept. 5 on a pay raise for the county’s probation officers. All nonunion workers received a two percent pay hike at the beginning of the year, but probation officers were in limbo because they were in the middle of decertifying their union. That union was decertified in late January. County administrators proposed a new pay scale, identical to the old pay scale, for probation officers. This included a 2 percent increase. Probation officers wanted it made retroactive to the beginning of the year, like the rest of the county’s nonunion workforce.

State rejects voting challenge

Tuesday, September 17, 2019 by BERNIE O’HARE in Local News

Under Pennsylvania’s Election Code, 10 or more citizens have the right to challenge the Department of State’s certification of a voting system. That’s exactly what happened to the ExpressVote XL voting system, a hybrid combining a voter-verified paper trail with the simplicity of a touch screen. This system was certified by both the federal and state governments in November 2018. Eight months later, a consortium of paper ballot purists filed a challenge. This triggered an automatic re-examination, which was conducted off-site in August.

Norco Judge McFadden to resign Nov. 30

Tuesday, September 3, 2019 by BERNIE O’HARE in Local News

Judge F.P. Kimberly McFadden, Northampton County’s first female judge, was up for retention in November. But on Aug. 19, she notified Governor Tom Wolf of her withdrawal from the retention election. She also advised she would be resigning, effective Nov. 30.

She’s a graduate of Bryn Mawr College (1974) and received her Juris Doctor degree from Villanova University in 1978.

After her appointment to the bench in 1988, she was elected in 1989 and retained in 1999 and 2009.

She’s been a judge for 31 years.

NorCo bench going Mediterranean?

Tuesday, September 3, 2019 by BERNIE O’HARE in Local News

Next year, all but one of Northampton County’s nine judges will be either Italian or Lebanese. John Morganelli has already been picked by both parties for Judge Giordano’s vacancy. The executive committees of both Democratic and Republican parties decided to keep the Mediterranean influence Aug. 29 when they chose the party nominees to succeed retiring Judge F.P.Kimberly McFadden.

Sen. Casey: ‘America doesn’t surrender to a problem’

Tuesday, August 27, 2019 by BERNIE O’HARE in Local News

U.S. Senator Bob Casey visited Northampton Community College’s Lipkin Theatre Aug. 21 for a town hall attended by a friendly but small audience of about 100 people, including Democratic area elected officials. Over the course of an hour, the usually soft-spoken legislator responded to a host of questions on topics extending from the electoral college to infrastructure.