Bethlehem Press

Friday, May 25, 2018

NORCO--Regional investigative center get gaming grant

Tuesday, May 31, 2016 by BERNIE O’HARE in Local News

It’s been a long wait for Lehigh County District Attorney Jim Martin. Since it was first established in 2012, Martin has had to ask Lehigh County Commissioners, year after year, to fund a Regional Intelligence and Investigative Center (RIIC), which is also called a Regional Crime Center. Though he made its resources available to police departments in Northampton County, Lehigh County had to pick up the tab.

Article By: Bernie o’hare Special to the Bethlehem Press

Tuesday, May 31, 2016 by BERNIE O’HARE in Local News

Certified Public Accountant Todd Bushta has completed his 2015 audit of Hanover Township’s finances and informed supervisors at their May 10 meeting that he was unable to find any instances of noncompliance with governmental accounting standards. He offered a clean and unqualified opinion.

He also reported the township has no debt.

“I can’t remember a time when we had no debt,” marveled Chairman John N. Diacogiannis.

DCED director Donaher resigns

Monday, May 23, 2016 by BERNIE O’HARE in Local News

NorCo DCED (Department of Community and Economic Development) Director Diane Donaher, has resigned. Executive John Brown announced her departure at Council’s May 5 meeting.

One of Executive John Brown’s first appointments, Donaher spent 15 years with SkillsUSA, a nonprofit that focuses on job training school students. She also worked in Bethlehem’s DCED as a deputy director for three years. She has also been employed by United Way LV Business Education Partnership. She has even worked as a voice-over artist.

Counties back airport authority renewal

Monday, May 23, 2016 by BERNIE O’HARE in Local News

At their last meeting, Lehigh County’s Commissioners voted 8-0 to extend the Authority’s Charter until 2051. Northampton County Council unanimously followed suit at its May 5 meeting.

The Rev. Mike Dowd, a former Northampton County Council member and the board’s new chairman, told council the Airport Authority has made significant strides in achieving transparency and accountability. Starting in April, the board began to televise meetings. The budget, contracts and meeting minutes are all available online. There will even be occasional evening meetings.

Future Eagle Scout honored by Miller-Keystone Center

Monday, May 23, 2016 by BERNIE O’HARE in Local News

This is a story about MacKenzie Cleffi, the two-year old daughter of popular Freedom HS gym teacher Michael Cleffi. Last July, MacKenzie was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. That’s a rare type of cancer that attacks the white blood cells.

And this is a story about Christopher Fereno, 17, a senior at Freedom who plans to study biopharmaceutical engineering at Lehigh University next year.

This is also a story about the Miller-Keystone Blood Center, which needs 450 donors every day to supply area hospitals with the blood needed to treat sick children like MacKenzie.

Township police to try body cameras

Monday, May 23, 2016 by BERNIE O’HARE in Local News

At a brief and sparsely-attended meeting on May 16, Bethlehem Township Commissioners approved a $5,755 payment to WatchGuard for the purchase of several body-worn cameras for the police department. Michael Hudak cautioned that only some officers will be equipped. “If it works out, we’ll look at equipping them all,” he said.

Under current law, police officers can record oral communications using a body cameras, but must tell citizens that they are being recorded when “reasonably practicable.” The devices are banned inside of a residence.

Planners adopt new rules

Tuesday, May 17, 2016 by BERNIE O’HARE in Local News

Meetings will be more informative, less repetitive

At its May 12 meeting, Bethlehem’s Planning Commission decided on new rules to streamline the review process during what in recent months have become marathon meetings, with some lasting over four hours.

If the first hearing under these new rule is any indication, the meetings will be more informative, less repetitive and quicker.

Under this new system, commissioners voted 4-0 to support plans providing for a three-story medical office building for St. Luke’s University Hospital at 834-43 Eaton Ave., at the northeast corner of Eighth Avenue.

Planners adopt new rules

Tuesday, May 17, 2016 by BERNIE O’HARE in Local News

Meetings will be more informative, less repetitive

At its May 12 meeting, Bethlehem’s Planning Commission decided on new rules to streamline the review process during what in recent months have become marathon meetings, with some lasting over four hours.

If the first hearing under these new rule is any indication, the meetings will be more informative, less repetitive and quicker.

Under this new system, commissioners voted 4-0 to support plans providing for a three-story medical office building for St. Luke’s University Hospital at 834-43 Eaton Ave., at the northeast corner of Eighth Avenue.

Cunningham: Manufacturing Alive and well in the Lehigh Valley

Tuesday, May 17, 2016 by BERNIE O’HARE in Local News

Whether Democrat or Republican, Northampton County Council has historically been a very harsh critic of the Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation (LVEDC). They have long complained that Northampton County is Lehigh’s ugly stepsister, and is too often overlooked by LVEDC when it comes to economic development. LVEDC, which is funded with hotel tax dollars from both counties, has also been slammed over the years for its complete lack of transparency and secretiveness.

Morganelli wants teacher bill of rights

Tuesday, May 17, 2016 by BERNIE O’HARE in Local News

John Morganelli is Northampton County’s district attorney. Allentown is outside his jurisdiction. But he walked into a hastily called news conference recently with a copy of The Morning Call in his hand. Over the weekend, he read a Watchdog report detailing over 3,000 incidents involving unruly students last year, including assaults on other students and staff.