Bethlehem Press

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Northampton County: Brown warns of tough times

Thursday, March 5, 2015 by BERNIE O'HARE in Local News

Northampton County Executive John Brown warns that the county is in "fiscally troubled waters" that he inherited when he took office.

In a rare report to council at its Feb. 19 meeting, Brown pointed out that revenue from real estate taxes remains flat. Though additional revenues will come in as a result of one mill tax hike approved late last year, those monies will be set aside in order to build up the rainy day found.

Brown is also projecting a $9 million drop this year in inter-governmental revenue provided by the state and federal government to fund human services.

Northampton County: Emmaus lawyer new solicitor

Thursday, March 5, 2015 by BERNIE O'HARE in Local News

Along party lines, Northampton County Council has confirmed Emmaus attorney Ryan Durkin as the county's new solicitor. He was nominated by Executive John Brown to replace Bethlehem attorney Vic Scomillio, who resigned so he could focus on his race for judge. All five Republican's supported Durkin's appointment at their Feb. 19 meeting, while all four Democrats were opposed.Hayden Phillips, who said he is proud to be referred to as a "conservative tea party member," is ironically often the swing vote for Democrats. But during Durkin's confirmation hearing on Feb. 18, he supported Durkin.

Bipartisan effort to limit spending fails

Thursday, February 26, 2015 by BERNIE O'HARE in Local News

A bipartisan effort that would give Northampton County Council more oversight over executive spending has failed. On Feb. 5, seven members of council voted for an ordinance proposed by conservative Tea Party member Hayden Phillips that would require council approval for any contracts over $25,000. "I just think it's better government," explained Republican Seth Vaughn.

The only council members opposed were Glenn Geissinger and Mat Benol, who have been Brown's most ardent supporters.

BETHLEHEM TWP: Board urged to repeal park gun ban

Thursday, February 5, 2015 by BERNIE O'HARE in Local News

This spring, Bethlehem Township's municipal parks will be a place for the local athletic association, known as the Bulldogs, to host baseball, softball and soccer games. But it will also be a place to sport a 454 Raging Bull revolver.

Resident Glenn Krier, who is with the Second Amendment Committee of the Lehigh Valley Tea Party, warned Commissioners that "[y]ou'll probably see people walking through the parks, carrying firearms."

Bethlehem: Elias wins another round in the never-ending case

Thursday, February 5, 2015 by BERNIE O'HARE in Local News

Like the recent snowstorm that never was, the Jan. 28 meeting of Bethlehem's Zoning Hearing Board bore all the signs of a very long night. Elias Market, located at 3131 Linden St., was on the agenda.

Though a Zoning Hearing Board decision allowing an expansion had been affirmed by three different courts, opponents sought and obtained an enforcement notice that would essentially require the busy store to remove part of its asphalt parking lot.

'A wonderful gift'

Thursday, February 5, 2015 by BERNIE O'HARE in Local News

Bethlehem City Controller David DiGiacinto, the fiscal watchdog who died unexpectedly on Jan. 26, was laid to rest Saturday. Funeral services were conducted by Father Abraham Ha at St. Anne's Roman Catholic Church at a Mass attended by more than 300 people.

Despite the sudden nature of DiGiacinto's death, a reading from Ecclesiastes told mourners there is a time for everything, "a time to be born, and a time to die."

Habitat for Humanity: Our house, in the middle of our street

Thursday, January 29, 2015 by BERNIE O'HARE in Local News

Sitting atop the Aaron Street hill is what Dionely Hance and her two daughters can now call "our castle and our keep." Nestled among other homes is a quiet neighborhood with South Mountain as a backdrop, it offers a spectacular view of the Southside, especially the casino. That home is there thanks to Habitat Lehigh Valley's Women Build program. The home was dedicated in early December, just in time for Christmas.