Bethlehem Press

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Controller wants to clamp down on county travel, training expenses

Tuesday, May 2, 2017 by BERNIE O’HARE in Local News

What happens in Vegas is supposed to stay in Vegas, they say. But when word reached NorCo Controller Steve Barron that two human resources staffers went there for training, followed by another trip by one of them to New Orleans, he began to look at training budgets of departments throughout the county. Just as he blows the whistle at the football games he refs on weekends, he’s blowing the whistle on the potential for waste and abuse. In a lengthy memo to council, he is suggesting that county employees require council approval for trips that are more than 100 miles away.

BETHLEHEM TOWNSHIP--Brodhead Road work begins in July

Monday, April 24, 2017 by BERNIE O’HARE in Local News

Sometime in mid or late July, Bethlehem Township will finally begin work on the reconstruction of Brodhead Road. That’s a 9,000 foot long, two-lane township road that extends east from Township Line Road until it intersects with Route 191. Located in Lehigh Valley Industrial Park, the road is heavily traveled by tractor trailers, and has been the subject of numerous complaints. Commissioners set aside $1.3 million for this project in this year’s budget, and a $400,000 grant has been secured.

Cartwright faces friendly town hall

Monday, April 24, 2017 by BERNIE O’HARE in Local News

When Congressman Charlie Dent faced 400 angry people at Hanover Township Community Center a few weeks ago on a cold and rainy day, it was hard for him to speak more than a few words without being interrupted by numerous catcalls over Trump’s attempt to repeal and replace Obamacare with something that Dent himself refused to support. But the weather and mood was much brighter on April 18, when Congressman Matt Cartwright faced a friendly crowd of about 90 people at Northampton Community College’s Alumni Hall. One of the messages he repeated frequently is that “democracy really works.”

Bethlehem Township: Traditions, Green Pond site arguments heard

Tuesday, April 18, 2017 by BERNIE O’HARE in Local News

Developer Traditions of America (TOA) wants to build an active senior community at Green Pond Country Club. What makes this development controversial is its location. It’s adjacent to environmentally sensitive wetlands, in the middle of an Audubon-designated “Important Bird Area” called Green Pond Marsh.

Cusik strikes out again on car fee

Tuesday, April 18, 2017 by BERNIE O’HARE in Local News

One of the annual rites of spring is baseball. Though it’s still chilly outside, kids all over the Lehigh Valley have left the batting cages housed in old warehouses for the diamonds that dot parks all over the Lehigh Valley. But April 6 was a bad night in Mudville for the Northampton County Nine. Council President John Cusick struck out in a seemingly Quixotic quest to shackle Northampton County residents with a new tax in the form of a $5 vehicle registration fee that would make its way from the state to county coffers.

Female leaders of the Civil Rights movement to be honored April 28

Tuesday, April 18, 2017 by BERNIE O’HARE in Local News

Local civil rights leaders Esther Lee and Sharon Lee refused to let pouring rain prevent them from drawing attention to the female leaders of the freedom movement at a recent news conference. Standing in front of the statues honoring Coretta Scott and Martin Luther King, they announced their own march, scheduled for April 28 at 4 p.m. It will start at Miller Symphony Hall in Allentown, make its way to the Freedom Memorial and then return for a banquet.

Drug Court celebrates another graduate

Tuesday, April 11, 2017 by BERNIE O’HARE in Local News

The court celebrated its third graduate last month with ice cream cake.

The graduate’s name is Alysha. She’s a person who has struggled with heroin and who had been in and out of the system since 2010. She’d attend a few meetings with her probation officer, Cynthia Greene-Wimmer, but would start using again and abscond. Friendless, she described hiding in a bathroom with her son in her arms when deputy sheriffs came looking for her. At the time, she was pregnant with a daughter who would be born addicted to heroin.

Commissioners approve $1.8M for center’s repairs

Tuesday, April 11, 2017 by BERNIE O’HARE in Local News

Bethlehem Township Commissioners have awarded $1.8 million in contracts to renovate the township’s 11-year old community center. They did so with little discussion at their April 3 meeting.

Last July, Entech Engineering’s Ryan Kennedy reported that gutters were improperly sloped on the metal roof over the facility’s natatorium, leading to pockets of standing water that seep into the building. He identified about $2.5 million in repairs for a 50,000 square-foot building that cost $10.3 million to build and is shackled by a mortgage requiring a $725,000 annual payment.