Bethlehem Press

Monday, February 17, 2020

Isis Irizarry goes to Mexico

Tuesday, February 26, 2019 by DOUGLAS GRAVES in Local News

“I’m my mother’s daughter,” said new lawyer Isis [pronounced Ee-sis in Spanish] Irizarry when explaining why a local woman now working in Connecticut would go to the West Coast, and then to Tijuana, Mexico, to help asylum seekers.

Irizarry is the daughter of Olga Negrón, a Bethlehem city councilwoman and high-profile spokesperson for the Latino community in the Lehigh Valley.

“She’s not one to sit idle while there is an injustice,” Irizarry said of her mother in a recent interview.

New website brings promise

Tuesday, February 26, 2019 by DOUGLAS GRAVES in Local News

Are you curious about how much the city spent on maintaining the streets last year? How about for the last four years?

How about pension or snow removal expenses for the last three years?

If you want to know exactly where your tax dollars are being spent, you will be able to find and analyze all things financial when the new city website is rolled out.

According to City of Bethlehem Business Manager Eric Evans, that’s when phase one of the new program,, will be available to the general public via a link on the new website.


Monday, February 18, 2019 by DOUGLAS GRAVES in Local News

‘An unforgettable prom night experience’

The Riverbend Community Church went all out to give some of the community’s most excluded people a chance to dress up, be feted, and have fun at a prom just for them. The Night to Shine celebration at the Palace Center on Hanover Street in Allentown gave 140 special needs guests the chance to dance, eat and socialize.

The lobby of the Palace Center was transformed to create the atmosphere of a grand hotel lobby, complete with red carpet, where arriving guests strutted their finery as they entered the building.

Callahan’s proposal targets disparity

Tuesday, February 5, 2019 by DOUGLAS GRAVES in Local News

Councilman Bryan Callahan introduced the local press corps and supporters to an amendment Jan. 31 that will make it illegal for employers to ask job candidates about their salary for past jobs.

He said he expects the measure, if approved by the city council, to be challenged in court by the business community.

Callahan’s amendment would modify the existing ordinance Section 145.01, of the Codified Ordinances of the City of Bethlehem, which deals with human Rrsources.

Community business grads celebrate

Tuesday, February 5, 2019 by DOUGLAS GRAVES in Local News

“The entrepreneurial spirt is alive and well in the Lehigh Valley,” Pa. Rep. Steve Samuelson told a motivated group of mostly young businesspeople who received certificates for mastering one or more business courses taught by Community Action Development Corporation of Bethlehem last month,

As inspiration, Samuelson quoted one of America’s most famous early businessmen, Benjamin Franklin: “Energy and persistence conquers all things.”

School board asks for support

Tuesday, January 22, 2019 by DOUGLAS GRAVES in Local News

Bethlehem Area School District’s Board of School Directors President Michael Faccinetto addressed Bethlehem City Council Jan. 15 to urge a “yes” vote on a resolution titled “Fair Funding Formula for Pennsylvania Schools,” which was on the agenda. The resolution was sponsored by Councilman William Reynolds, who is a teacher. The draft resolution requests that the state “pass legislation in support of the full implementation of the Fair Funding Formula by rerouting all or substantially more state basic education dollars through the formula.”

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.