Bethlehem Press

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Wild hosts town hall meeting

Tuesday, October 15, 2019 by DOUGLAS GRAVES in Local News

United States Representative Susan Wild, of Pennsylvania’s Seventh District, met generally friendly constituents in a town hall session Oct. 2 at Muhlenberg College’s Seegers Union Hall.

“I’m always happy to see young people involved in the political process,” said Wild, as she looked out at many younger citizens. However, there was an impressive cross section of ages at the event.

Enthusiasm was high, with mainly supportive attendees interspersed with a few who challenged her positions on several issues.

Budget passes with bipartisan support

Tuesday, October 15, 2019 by DOUGLAS GRAVES in Local News

Lehigh County Commissioners moved the proposed 2020 budget closer to the finish line Thursday when two Republican commissioners voted with the Democratic minority to pass County Executive Phillips Armstrong’s budget.

The 5–3 vote brought praise from Armstrong, who called Commissioners Nathan Brown and Marc Grammes, the Republicans, “statesmen,” not “partisan politicians.”

County ahead of game in election prep

Monday, October 7, 2019 by DOUGLAS GRAVES in Local News

Pennsylvania gave Lehigh County election officials a check for $380,868 that will partially pay the expense of new voting machines.

Secretary of State Kathleen Boockvar presented a mock-up oversize check to Lehigh County Executive Phillips Armstrong in a short presentation last week in the administration building on Seventh Street in Allentown.

She said the check is part of a $14.15 million packet of state and federal funds set aside in 2018 for just this purpose.

11-15 West Garrison City considers apartment structure

Monday, September 30, 2019 by DOUGLAS GRAVES in Local News

Emotional responses dominated the public hearing Sept. 17 to rezone the zoning map to accommodate a planned apartment building spanning 11 to 15 West Garrison St. Dennis Connell, an architect who owns the property, wants to erect a five-story apartment building that could have 72 units and a garage with 74 parking spaces.

The properties are currently in the RT or High-Density Residential District, but Connell wants city council to approve a re-designation of the zoning map to classify the properties back to CB, or Central Business District, as they had been until 2005.

Russian Orthodox Church

Monday, September 30, 2019 by DOUGLAS GRAVES in Local News

A taste of Russia comes to the city

The beautiful blue of the ornate Russian Orthodox Church on Bridle Path Road complemented a blue sky Sept. 7 as the church in Bethlehem was the scene of the Russian Food Festival.

George, Dimitra and Angelika came from Nazareth to browse the vendor’s tables at the St. Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church’s 37th annual Russian Days Food Festival.

“We are from St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church in Nazareth,” said George, who preferred not to give his last name. “We want to support other local communities in the Lehigh Valley.”

Council, admin have partisan fallout

Monday, September 30, 2019 by DOUGLAS GRAVES in Local News

The Republican members who dominate the Lehigh County Board of Commissioners 6–3 don’t trust the Democrats who head up Lehigh County Executive Phillips Armstrong’s administration.

An amendment establishing procedures to allow the Lehigh County Board of Commissioners to recommend health care provider vendors other than the one recommended by the administration had its first reading Sept. 25.

PPL trucks helped in storm aftermath

Monday, September 30, 2019 by DOUGLAS GRAVES in Local News

Fifty PPL Electric Utilities engineers, supervisors and line workers formed a convoy of 20 special-purpose trucks and other vehicles and headed out Aug. 30 for Florida to help local power companies deal with Hurricane Dorian.

However, before the convoy reached Florida, the storm track of Dorian changed and Florida was no longer threatened with a direct hit. The major power company in Florida, Duke Energy, released the PPL workers from their task. The workers were then ordered to return to their home base in Pennsylvania.

Executive’s predicted tax increase arrives in 2020 budget proposal

Tuesday, September 17, 2019 by DOUGLAS GRAVES in Local News

Perhaps hoping that wearing a purple shirt would predispose Lehigh County Commissioners into thinking that his 2020 proposed $514.6 million budget is bi-partisan, County Executive Phillips Armstrong unveiled his fiscal plan on Friday to department heads and staffers, attending commissioners and the public.