Bethlehem Press

Friday, December 15, 2017

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.

Jaindl Boulevard may see more traffic

Tuesday, March 14, 2017 by BERNIE O’HARE in Local News

After hearing Hanover Township resident Lorna Rossnagle complain about “extremely disruptive” truck traffic along Jaindl Boulevard, Hanover Township Supervisors on Feb. 28 heard that developer J.G. Petrucci is planning to build two more big boxes along the same road. Kevin Horvath, P.E., representing Petrucci, presented plans for what Petrucci prefers to call two flex warehouses (99,000 square feet and 94,300 square feet). Horvath said they would be 70 percent warehouse and 30 percent light industrial.

Will new Brooman sweep clean?

Tuesday, March 14, 2017 by BERNIE O’HARE in Local News

Controversial plans for a senior retirement community at Green Pond will be decided by an independent hearing officer from outside the Lehigh Valley. Attorney David Brooman, from Norristown, was the unanimous choice of Bethlehem Township’s board of commissioners at its March 6 meeting. He has three decades of experience in municipal law, land use planning and environmental law.