Bethlehem Press

Monday, March 30, 2020

Wolf tries to ease burden on hospitals across the state

Thursday, March 26, 2020 by CHRIS REBER in Local News

Gov. Tom Wolf says that the state needs to use every tool at its disposal to prevent COVID-19 from spreading at a rate that would overwhelm the state’s healthcare system.

“The difficult decisions we make now will make it possible for the healthcare workers to manage this crisis as we see the full brutality of the virus in the coming weeks,” Wolf said during a press conference Friday.

According to the Department of Health, the number of positive COVID-19 cases in the state more than doubled since last Wednesday.

State ramps up efforts to stop spread of virus

Thursday, March 26, 2020 by CHRIS REBER in Local News

The Department of Health expects Pennsylvania hospitals to see a surge in seriously ill patients due to the coronavirus, and are working with them to prepare.

However health officials are stressing that the ongoing mitigation efforts — including closing schools and nonessential businesses — is still critical to preventing the spread of the virus.

Virus testing increasing in area

Thursday, March 19, 2020 by CHRIS REBER in Local News

With one person each in Lehigh and Northampton counties testing positive for COVID-19, doctors and health officials in the area anticipate an increase in the number of people who will want to be tested for the illness.

The state’s lab is up and ready to process tests within a few hours, and more testing labs are joining the effort daily, according to officials.

But at this time the state is primarily testing people with high risk factors, like those who have been in contact with an infected person, or traveled to a place where the disease is more prevalent.

Pa. proactive about coronavirus

Tuesday, March 3, 2020 by CHRIS REBER in Local News

Pennsylvania currently has no confirmed cases of a new coronavirus first recorded in China, but the state is taking steps to be prepared if it does.

The state’s top health official held a press conference last Wednesday to discuss the steps being taken by the Department of Health to prepare for the possibility of the virus, officially known as “COVID-19,” spreading here.

Dr. Rachel Levine assured reporters that her department will be ready if the outbreak reaches the Keystone State.

An addict’s mother reaches out

Tuesday, March 12, 2019 by CHRIS REBER in Local News

Woman is trying to make peace by speaking out after son’s overdose

Ruth Plebani used to feel shame over her sons’ addiction to drugs, but after one nearly died from an overdose, she decided it was worth sharing her story if it helps others get into rehab.

Her son Keith Goosman had been confined to a hospital bed after an overdose of methamphetamine. He temporarily lost control of basic bodily functions.

Thankfully, Keith has made considerable progress, but he still has a long way to go.

Crashes up, but distracted driving is hard to quit

Thursday, April 19, 2018 by CHRIS REBER in Local News

Texting while driving is illegal, but people persist

Texting while driving has been illegal for five years in Pennsylvania, yet the number of crashes involving distracted driving has continued to increase since that time.

April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, and data from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation suggests that the law hasn’t gone far enough to get drivers to put down the phone.

While the number of citations under the state’s distracted driving laws has steadily increased, the number of crashes involving phones has also increased.

Plan to shrink Pa. House advances

Tuesday, February 6, 2018 by CHRIS REBER in Local News

Proposal would reduce number of representatives from 203 to 151

A local legislator’s proposal to give voters a chance to reduce the number of state representatives is moving forward in Harrisburg.

The Pennsylvania House state government committee recently voted in favor of HB 153 – which was introduced by state Rep. Jerry Knowles, R-Schuylkill.

The approval came after a hearing at which Democrats tried unsuccessfully to add an amendment that would appoint an independent commission to set the state’s legislative districts.

Flu onset has no warning; get shot now

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

After more than 40 years dealing with infectious diseases, Dr. Luther “Pat” Rhodes says you can’t predict when the peak of flu season will hit.

That’s why Rhodes, an infectious disease specialist at Lehigh Valley Health Network, encourages everyone to get a flu shot each fall, regardless of the outlook for the upcoming season.

“The only thing you can say about flu is there will be a sudden surge, an increase of cases, and calling it would be like predicting the weather,” he said.

It’s that time of year, when doctors warn the public of the upcoming flu season.

Flu onset has no warning; get shot now

Thursday, November 23, 2017 by CHRIS REBER in Local News

After more than 40 years dealing with infectious diseases, Dr. Luther “Pat” Rhodes says you can’t predict when the peak of flu season will hit.

That’s why Rhodes, an infectious disease specialist at Lehigh Valley Health Network, encourages everyone to get a flu shot each fall, regardless of the outlook for the upcoming season.

“The only thing you can say about flu is there will be a sudden surge, an increase of cases, and calling it would be like predicting the weather,” he said.

It’s that time of year, when doctors warn the public of the upcoming flu season.

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.