Bethlehem Press

Saturday, January 18, 2020

Memories keep her going; Centenarian Sea Demas shares aging secrets

Thursday, March 28, 2013 by CAROL SMITH Special to the Bethlehem Press in Local News

What does it take to reach 100 years of living?

Recent centenarian and Greek immigrant Sea Demas shared her secrets.

Live well. Eat well. Drink red wine.

The petite, dark-haired Sea Demas said celebrating her 100th birthday surrounded by 20 members of the Herron family was simply wonderful. Some of her good health she credits to red wine and Hershey kisses. All in moderation, of course.

Northampton County: Residency requirement fails to pass

Thursday, March 7, 2013 by CAROL SMITH Special to the Bethlehem Press in Local News

Northampton County Controller Steve Barron and blogger Bernie O'Hare were on opposite sides of Northampton County's proposed residency requirement.

At county council's Feb. 21 meeting, a requirement for future sheriffs, coroners, recorder of deeds and register of wills to be county residents failed to pass by a 3-6 vote.

Council members Bruce Gilbert, Scott Parsons, Barbara Thierry, John Cusick, Tom Dietrich and Peg Ferraro decided a residency requirement was not good law.

NORTHAMPTON COUNTY: Council approves centralized human services building lease

Thursday, February 28, 2013 by CAROL SMITH Special to the Bethlehem Press in Local News

Location. Location. Location. And an impressive PowerPoint presentation made by Governor Wolf Building employees helped Northampton County Council approve a lease-agreement for a centralized human services building.

By an 8-1 vote, a previously divided council gave the Stoffa administration the go-ahead to move forward with a lease-purchase agreement for a 66,375-square-foot, three-story building with 256 parking spaces at 2801 Emrick Boulevard between Freemansburg Avenue and William Penn Highway. The lease, with an option to purchase in five years, would cost $1 million a year.

Northampton County: Council declines Stoffa's gift

Thursday, February 21, 2013 by CAROL SMITH Special to the Bethlehem Press in Local News

Northampton County council members had opposing reasons for declining a $700 gift from the county executive. By an 8-0 vote, council refused John Stoffa's $700 donation to the county's Department of Fiscal Affairs. Councilman John Cusick was absent from the Feb. 7 meeting.

While some council members viewed Stoffa's intent as a kind gesture that could not be accepted, others saw it as a ploy to absolve himself from guilt, and still others saw it not as a gift but as a reimbursement for misuse of taxpayer money.

Northampton County: Council considers residency requirement

Thursday, February 14, 2013 by CAROL SMITH Special to the Bethlehem Press in Local News

Northampton County Council will vote on a requirement for future sheriffs, coroners, recorder of deeds and register of wills to be county residents.

Councilman Ken Kraft, who introduced the ordinance, wrote in an email interview that he wants these positions to be like other elected positions, where you need to be a resident to run.

"I have to live in my district. If I bought a house in Bethlehem Township, I could not be the rep for district 1," Kraft said.

Northampton County: Building plan divides council

Thursday, February 14, 2013 by CAROL SMITH Special to the Bethlehem Press in Local News

Northampton County Executive John Stoffa hopes he will see a centralized human services building before he finishes his term in office.

According to Stoffa, 18,000 residents use the county's human services at two different buildings and the county needs to do a better job of providing these services and protecting the people who live and work in these buildings. The Governor Wolf Building in Easton and the Martin J. Bechtel Building in Bethlehem are currently owned by the county, but both buildings need millions of dollars in capital improvements.

Cafe the Lodge offers more than a job to those with mental illness

Thursday, February 7, 2013 by CAROL SMITH Special to the Bethlehem Press in Local News

Abraham Lincoln. Robin Williams. These famous people's large-framed portraits on the Lodge's café walls send a powerful visual message: Many people with a mental illness make positive contributions to society.

News headlines paint an alarming picture of violent actions by individuals with a mental illness that stigmatize and isolate all the mentally ill. But recently the Mental Health Recovery Lodge was recognized for offering affordable housing, along with activities and work opportunities for individuals with mental illness that help them become self-sufficient taxpayers.

Cusick elected for a third term

Wednesday, January 23, 2013 by CAROL SMITH Special to the Bethlehem Press in Local News

Northampton County Councilman John Cusick will serve a third term as council's president.

Schedule conflicts, vacations and illness resulted in a five-person council reelecting Cusick by a 3-1 vote with one abstention from Councilman Scott Parsons.

As required by the county's Home Rule Charter, county council held its reorganization meeting Jan. 7, the first Monday of the new year. The early afternoon Monday rather than Thursday evening meeting caused some scheduling conflicts for the nine-member council.

Northampton County: Council reviews its 1974 charter

Thursday, January 17, 2013 by CAROL SMITH Special to the Bethlehem Press in Local News

An initiative that would allow voters to elect county positions such as the sheriff will go to committee as part of a review, and possible overhaul, of the county's Home Rule Charter. The county adopted its Home Rule Charter framework of government in 1974. While it was set up to empower the county executive to function as the CEO of a corporation and county council to function as a board of directors, some council members think it is out of date.

No tax increase, but 2013 budget takes $15.8 million from savings

Thursday, December 20, 2012 by CAROL SMITH Special to the Bethlehem Press in Local News

Northampton County Council approved county government's $328 million 2013 budget with only one dissenting vote and some staffing request refusals.

For 2013, the millage rate will remain at 10.8. For a taxpayer with a property assessed at $50,000, that means $540 in county taxes.

The majority of council supported the balanced budget because of the no-tax increase.