Bethlehem Press

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Northampton County--Cusick remains council president

Monday, January 16, 2017 by BERNIE O’HARE in Local News

John Cusick was easily re-elected as president in a brief council meeting Jan. 3.

It was a 7-1-1 vote. Democrat Ken Kraft voted to install fellow Democrat Bob Werner as president, but Werner abstained. The seven Republicans supported Cusick, who was nominated by Matt Dietz.

Cusick said he’d like to see the county move forward this year with a new jail, 911 merger with Bethlehem and an overdue but politically unpopular re-assessment. He added that an overhaul of the Administrative Code is needed.

Northampton County-Council questions licensing change

Monday, January 16, 2017 by BERNIE O’HARE in Local News

As recently as last year, you could get a dog license at any number of locations aside from the courthouse in Easton or Centralized Human Services Building on Emrick Boulevard in Bethlehem Township.

You could also get one at The Center For Animal Health and Welfare (Williams Township), Sandy King’s Pet Supplies (Easton), Affordable Pet Center (Northampton), AVH Veterinary Group (Pen Argyl), Neighbors Home and Garden Center (Hellertown), Super Petz and Canine Grooming Shoppe (both in Bethlehem), and Mike’s Bait and Sport Shop (Nazareth).

Bridge renovations suffer roadblocks

Monday, January 9, 2017 by BERNIE O’HARE in Opinion

At their Jan. 5 meeting, Northampton County commissioners discovered that an innovative bridge-bundling project, under which 33 of the county’s 119 bridges will be repaired or replaced, will be about $1.5 million more expensive than originally thought. It will also take at least a year longer to complete, thanks to litigation pending in Commonwealth Court. But Executive John Brown told council it is still the way to go.

Bethlehem--Morganelli threatens Sands over $10M host fee

Monday, January 9, 2017 by BERNIE O’HARE in Local News

Bethlehem Sands has been warned that if it persists in its refusal to pay the $10 million annual host fee, as other casinos have pledged, Northampton County District Attorney John Morganelli just might exercise “prosecutorial discretion” and direct the gaming house to pursue civil remedies for petty crimes like bad checks. Sands has bristled at Morganelli’s threat, pointing to a $1 billion investment in Bethlehem, including the creation of 2,500 jobs.

What has happened?

Negrón-Dipini, Colón introduce ethics proposal for city government

Monday, January 9, 2017 by BERNIE O’HARE in Local News

When Olga Negrón-Dipini and Michael Colón were elected to Bethlehem City Council a little over a year ago, neither had any monetary support from the usual gaggle of developers, lawyers and engineers who have business dealings with the city. That’s a claim few other council members or Mayor Bob Donchez can make.

Negrón-Dipini and Colón would like that to change, and have introduced a 31-page good government ordinance that takes aim at the pay-to-play practices so common in government. It was introduced Jan. 3.

Revisiting Christmas Day 1776

Monday, January 2, 2017 by BERNIE O’HARE in Local News

On Christmas Day 2016, a huge crowd of about 10,000, brought out by mild weather, left their homes to watch or participate in a re-enactment of what is known as Washington’s Crossing, a daring raid on a Hessian encampment at Trenton. This event took place at Washington Crossing Park, located on both sides of the Delaware River, less than an hour’s drive from Bethlehem.

Gen. George Washington, whose army of 20,000 had disintegrated to a scant 2,400, gambled everything on the success of this attack. “Victory or Death!” was the password.

No COLA for retirees

Monday, January 2, 2017 by BERNIE O’HARE in Local News

Instead of a COLA (cost of living adjustment), Northampton County’s 1,200 or so retirees will be getting a lump of coal this Christmas.

According to Council President John Cusick, a COLA was voted down at the most recent retirement board meeting. Retirees have no representative on the board, despite having presented three names to Executive John Brown in October. Former Executive John Stoffa had been serving retirees, but was forced to step down for health reasons.

The last time retirees received a COLA was in 2013, Stoffa’s last year in office.