Bethlehem Press

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Vatican rejects Panther Valley congregations’ pleas

Tuesday, June 27, 2017 by CHRIS REBER in Local News

A high-ranking priest has turned down a request to reopen two Panther Valley-area Catholic Churches.

The Congregation of Clergy, the church’s equivalent of an appeals court, recently decided on two separate cases involving St. Katharine Drexel in Lansford, and St. Francis of Assisi in Nesquehoning.

The two parishes were consolidated last year by the Allentown Diocese. Most members now attend St. Joseph’s of the Panther Valley in Summit Hill.

Police costs would hurt rural towns

Tuesday, April 18, 2017 by CHRIS REBER in Local News

Should municipalities that get their police coverage from the state police pay a fee for the service?

Gov. Tom Wolf believes so, and a new proposal takes the idea even further.

Understandably, elected officials from those communities, many of them small and rural, are not wild about the idea.

Rep. Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster, has proposed charging municipalities that use state police part time or full time.

His proposal is for a fee that would increase each year.

Lawmakers are trying to wean the state police off state transportation funds.

Ten face charges in drug operation

Thursday, March 30, 2017 by CHRIS REBER in Local News

Two doctors are among 10 people who were charged in connection with prescription fraud in Lehigh County on Friday.

The charges were the result of a joint investigation by the state Attorney General’s Bureau of Narcotics Investigation and Drug Control.

Three of the people were employed at health care facilities. Six of the other defendants were involved with a prescription drug ring that operated in the Allentown area between December 2016 and January. They include:

Feeling fluish? You’re not alone

Monday, February 13, 2017 by CHRIS REBER in Local News

Patients are filling up emergency rooms around the state with flu-like symptoms.

The statistics show that Pennsylvania is entering the height of flu season. The severity of this year’s flu won’t be known until the number of cases peaks.

More than 5,000 new cases of the flu were reported during the first two weeks of 2017, according to the department of health.

“Flu is a big deal, it’s jamming up emergency rooms. And it’s not too late to get the vaccine,” Dr. Luther Rhodes of Lehigh Valley Health Network said.

Good hygiene can help ward off flu, other bugs

Monday, February 13, 2017 by CHRIS REBER in Local News

Emergency departments are the front line when it comes to determining whether you have a flu, a stomach bug or just a regular old cold.

At Blue Mountain Health System, they’ve seen a definite uptick in cases of all three, as winter rolls on.

“Influenza A, and now B are coming around. It’s kind of ramped up over the last few weeks. Viral gastroenteritis. You obviously have a lot more viruses circulating with people returning to school,” said Steve Albrich, a physician assistant in the emergency department.

State court jeopardizes casino grants

Tuesday, November 8, 2016 by CHRIS REBER in Local News

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has found that the tax that funds the popular Local Share Account grant program is unconstitutional.

However, legislators will have 120 days to come up with a new law before the decision takes effect.

The Local Share Account grant program is one of the most popular in the state. Boroughs, nonprofits, and economic development groups across the state count on it to purchase police cars and rehabilitate structures. Pennsylvania casinos have paid tens of millions of dollars to their host communities. The loss will have great impact locally.