Bethlehem Press

Monday, September 16, 2019

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

Nursing home conditions: Pa. fares poorly

Tuesday, June 18, 2019 by BERNIE O’HARE in Local News

Families For Better Care, a national watchdog group that creates public awareness of nursing home conditions, has released its latest report card. Pennsylvania not only gets a failing grade, but is ranked near the bottom of the barrel, at number 46 overall.

This “F” is based on ratings from The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), annual state Department of Health inspections and staffing level.

Commissioners aim at intersection

Tuesday, June 11, 2019 by BERNIE O’HARE in Local News

At their June 3 meeting, all five Bethlehem Township commissioners gave Engineer Brian Dillman a green light to study how best to straighten the busy Freemansburg Avenue/Farmersville Road intersection. Funding for the design alone is estimated at $110,000-120,000, but can be paid out of transportation impact fees imposed on developers.

“There’s been way too many deaths and accidents at that intersection,” said Board President Michael Hudak, who supports a study. “It’s the worst intersection in the township,” echoed Commissioner John Merhotten.