Bethlehem Press

Saturday, October 21, 2017

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.

Council approves prosecutors, Problem Court Administrator

Tuesday, March 21, 2017 by BERNIE O’HARE in Local News

When John Morganelli was first elected district attorney, he had a staff 13 part-time assistants. Though those attorneys are now senior prosecutors who can be counted on to try the most difficult cases, Morganelli has gradually replaced departing part timers with career prosecutors. On March 16, he asked county council to approve the elimination of two vacant part-time assistant DA positions so he could create two full-time positions for experienced prosecutors who will be paid a salary of $59,084 each. He said he could find the money for this within the approved budget for his office.

Who will fill this pulpit at First Presbyterian?

Tuesday, March 21, 2017 by BERNIE O’HARE in Local News

That’s an ecclesiastical matter in which courts refuse to involve themselves. But oftentimes, there are property questions. Who owns the real estate on which First Presbyterian Church of Bethlehem stands? Questions like that are decided by a judge.

That’s a question currently before President Judge Stephen Baratta. He has already had to play Solomon once and direct the two denominations on when they could hold their Sunday services. He’s urged them to work together and has given both factions reason to believe each could lose. But they remain at odds.