Bethlehem Press

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Annual MLK breakfast draws 130

Tuesday, January 29, 2019 by BERNIE O’HARE in Local News

MLK day was the coldest day of the year so far. Despite bitter temperatures, approximately 130 people bounced along icy roads in grumbling cars for something of an annual tradition.

It’s the annual Martin Luther King breakfast at the stately Cathedral Church of the Nativity. Civil rights leader Esther Lee usually leads these things, but she was actually in the kitchen, cooking up free breakfasts.


Tuesday, January 29, 2019 by BERNIE O’HARE in Opinion

Project needs a serious developer

Let’s say you wanted to buy 200 acres from someone. You’re willing to pay $2.57 million. Let’s say the Seller is willing but tells you it must first spend $15 million to knock down all the buildings located there. What’s more, the Seller is going to give you three years to get a few investors to join you. During that time, it is spending $2.2 million a year to maintain the buildings it wants to knock down. You’d say that Seller is nuts and belongs in a state hospital. That Seller, unfortunately, is the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Local election candidates update

Tuesday, January 15, 2019 by BERNIE O’HARE in Local News

In this years municipal races, more candidates are stepping forward.

NorCo District Attorney: Bethlehem Attorney Nuria DiLuzio, announced her candidacy recently. She has served as both a full-time and part-time public defender, and is currently Chief Public Defender. She has maintained a private practice since 2001, focusing on criminal defense and family law. She is married to Bethlehem Police Chief Mark DiLuzio. She is a Democrat.

The only other candidate at this stage is Republican Tom Carroll.

Heckman to preside over council

Tuesday, January 15, 2019 by BERNIE O’HARE in Local News

Ron Heckman was unanimously elected president at Northampton County Council Jan. 6 meeting. He was the only person nominated. A social worker, Heckman previously served two terms on county council. He spent another eight years under former Executive Glenn Reibman as director of Human Services. He also worked in Lehigh County’s administration.

The usually loquacious council member was uncharacteristically laconic after his election, when most Presidents deliver inaugural addresses. “I will work hard to earn your confidence,” he said to fellow council members.


Monday, January 7, 2019 by BERNIE O’HARE in Local News

In the 2017 municipal races, Northampton County elected five Democrats for the six seats up for grabs: Ron Heckman, Lori Vargo Heffner, Bill McGee and Tara Zrinski, and Lamont McClure toppling incumbent John Brown in the executive race. The only Republican to hold onto office, and just barely, was Peg Ferraro. This dominance by Democrats was a statewide phenomenon. Will the blue wave continue in this year’s races? The following seats are up for grabs.

County Judge

Treasurer advocates investment strategy change

Monday, December 31, 2018 by BERNIE O’HARE in Local News

According to Newsweek, the U.S. stock market is experiencing its worst December since 1932, during the Great Depression. The Federal Reserve has announced its fourth interest rate hike this year. In this economic climate, and in a township that has just decided to raise real estate taxes 9 percent, is now the right time to relax the investment strategy on township pensions?

Bethlehem Township Treasurer Rosalia Italiano and a Wells Fargo Bank representative think so, and advocated for a formal change at commissioners’ Dec. 17 meeting.

NORCO-Six union contracts approved

Monday, December 24, 2018 by BERNIE O’HARE in Local News

At its last meeting of the year on Dec. 13, Northampton County Council unanimously approved six union contracts for a large portion of the county’s 2,200 employees .

“They are the greatest!” said Executive Lamont McClure.of the workforce. “They’re worth more money than we’re about to pay them.” He added workers understand “the taxpayers are not a money tree.”

Former Lehigh student charged in poisoning

Monday, December 24, 2018 by BERNIE O’HARE in Local News

A former Lehigh University senior chemistry major has been charged with attempting to murder his roommate with thallium.

Yukai Yang, 22, has been charged with attempted murder and related offenses. According to Northampton County District Attorney John Morganelli, who announced the charges Dec. 20, Yang admitted to Lehigh University police that he had purchased thallium online and intended to use it on himself if he did poorly on exams. He admitted to mixing it with food and beverages in a refrigerator he shared with his roommate.

Bethlehem Township increasing tax rate; Hanover Township holds line

Monday, December 24, 2018 by BERNIE O’HARE in Local News

At their Dec. 17 meeting, Bethlehem Township Commissioners voted 4-1 for a 9 percent property tax hike in 2019. Voting ‘Yes’ were Vice President Malissa Davis and commissioners Kristine Blake, John Gallagher and John Merhotten. Voting ‘No’ was President Mike Hudak. He voted against both the budget and a fire tax policy that restricts the anticipated fire tax revenue to the acquisition of fire vehicles.