Bethlehem Press

Saturday, December 14, 2019

Southside BYOB club Rowdy patrons brought to council’s attention

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

Drunken and rowdy behavior on Third Street near a BYOB (Bring Your Own Bottle) club in South Bethlehem has gotten the attention of local residents, Chief of Police Mark DiLuzio and Mayor Robert Donchez.

Resident Tyler Buck, who spoke to council on Jan. 2 about loud and aggressive behavior in the parking lot used by patrons of the lounge and said shots have been fired, with bullets hitting a nearby pizza shop and a cigar store.

He said a shooting occurred in late December and that one person had been put in an ambulance. “There was blood everywhere,” said Buck.

Council races through brief agenda

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

In a short meeting Jan. 9 Lehigh County Supervisors appointed Dennis Nemes to serve on the Lehigh County Election and Registration Commission. He replaces Gail Coffin. Nemes is a former principal at Northwestern HS; he later served as the principal at Allentown Catholic HS.

Commissioner Percy Dougherty was back in his seat after a hospital stay resulting from a fall at his home; he had missed two previous meetings. He thanked his fellow commissioners and members of the public who had visited him while he was in the hospital.

2 West Market Contentious zoning amendment okay’d

Monday, December 31, 2018 by DOUGLAS GRAVES in Local News

Bethlehem City Council approved the 2019 municipal budget Dec. 18. The budget of $78 million was passed unanimously.

Under the budget, council set the millage rate for Northampton County residents at 8.61 mils; the rate for Lehigh County residents was set at 2.72 mils.

In other business, council members split 4–3, but approved the amendment to the zoning ordinance to further define the uses suitable for corner commercial lots in high density residential (RT) and medium density residential (RG) zoning districts.

Russell named new prison warden

Tuesday, December 18, 2018 by DOUGLAS GRAVES in Local News

Lehigh County Jail has a new warden. Lehigh County Commissioner recommended Kyle Russell’s appointment Nov. 28. A final vote was to confirm the position at the next regular meeting of the commissioners Dec. 12.

Russell, already a long-time Northampton resident, is currently a Deputy Warden in Berks County. He has 17 years’ experience in corrections management.

“He is the right man for the job,” said Lehigh County Executive Phillips Armstrong in remarks to the commissioners.

Russell said he “fell in love with corrections” as a career early on.

BETHLEHEM COUNCIL-2 West Market; 4-3 vote seen as failure of council members to protect city’s integrity

Monday, December 10, 2018 by DOUGLAS GRAVES in Local News

After a long evening of testimony on both sides of the issue Dec. 4, Bethlehem City Council voted 4-3 to approve a revision of the zoning code that approves the existing office and residence complex at 2 West Market St. to allow the owners – Quadrant Private Wealth owned by the Herman Rij family – to continue using the property for commercial purposes. They converted a residential home to an office space after receiving previous approval from the city – approval that had since been challenged by neighbors and in court.

LEHIGH COUNTY-Russell named new warden

Monday, December 10, 2018 by DOUGLAS GRAVES in Local News

Lehigh County Jail has a new prospective warden. Lehigh County Commissioner setting in committee recommended Kyle Russell’s appointment Nov. 28. A final vote will confirm the position at the next regular meeting of the commissioners on Dec. 12.

Russell, already a long-time Northampton resident, is currently a Deputy Warden in Berks County. He has 17 years’ experience in corrections management.

“He is the right man for the job,” said Lehigh County Executive Phillips Armstrong in remarks to the Commissioners.

Valley’s Festival of Lights begins in Bethlehem

Monday, December 10, 2018 by DOUGLAS GRAVES in Local News

Local Jewish leaders and congregants gathered Dec. 4 in Bethlehem for the 10th annual Hanukkah Menorah lighting ceremony.

Rabbi Yaakov Halperin and Rabbi Michael Singer joined Bethlehem Business Manager Eric Evans on the third day of Hanukkah for a lighting of the huge Menorah that has been temporarily erected on Payrow Plaza. Evans represented Mayor Robert Donchez.

While standing beside the nine-armed hanukkiah, Rabbi Halperin re-told the story of how one day’s worth of olive oil had lasted seven more days while more oil could be brought from outside Jerusalem.

What is Hanukkah?

Monday, December 10, 2018 by DOUGLAS GRAVES in Local News

Hanukkah is observed for eight nights and days, starting on the 25th day of Kislev according to the Hebrew calendar, which may occur at any time from late November to late December in the Gregorian calendar. The festival is observed by lighting the candles of a candelabrum with nine branches, called a menorah or hanukkiah. One branch is typically placed above or below the others and its candle is used to light the other eight candles. This unique candle is called the shamash or attendant.

LEHIGH COUNTY: Tax rate decrease approved

Tuesday, November 27, 2018 by DOUGLAS GRAVES in Local News

In a party-line 6–3 vote Lehigh County Commissioners overturned the administration’s Oct. 31 veto of the Lehigh County 2019 budget Nov. 14. Democrats Dan Hartzell, Amy Zanelli and Geoff Brace voted against the amendment, which reduces the tax rate for Lehigh County citizens for 2019.

The action effectively put to rest the disagreement about what the millage rate will be for 2019. The commissioners approved a 3.64 millage rate marked down from 3.79 mils that County Executive Phillips Armstrong had wanted.