The Bethlehem NAACP’s 75th annual Freedom Fund Banquet will be held at Chique Catering at the Saucon Valley Meadows, 1770 Meadows Drive, Hellertown, March 15.
The 75th anniversary theme is “Keep Your Eye on the Prize… Hold On.”
The keynote speaker for this special occasion will be Representative Jordan Harris, the Democratic whip in the state house fo representatives.
In this contentious time for our country, in which access to factual and reliable information is critical to the process of democracy, PBS39 Bethlehem has partnered with Lehigh University to launch a new multi-platform all-news radio station, WLVR, which branches off the school’s popular longtime student station.
Cops ‘n’ Kids held another citywide event recently, bringing books and the joy of reading to children right to local schools. Bethlehem police officers and Moravian College athletes made up many of the volunteers during the school day visits. Moravian women’s basketball Coach Mary Beth Spirk said the college has been involved since the beginning, and it’s a great way to get the athletes out and busy in the community when there are no classes. “[Women’s and men’s teams] both lost yesterday,” she said Jan.
Last year, citing a disparity in law enforcement practice giving her headaches, Southside District Magistrate Nancy Matos Gonzalez wrote an open letter to city officials and city and Lehigh University police departments.
Police Chief Jonathon Itterly released his 2019 incident totals at the Feb. 4 council meeting, reporting another record year: 3,278 incidents.
Itterly says this amounts to about a 60 percent increase since the casino opened in 2009. The highest number of incidents include about 1,000 assorted traffic-related counts
Two new members were sworn in to borough council during the years’ first meeting Jan. 6.
Existing members Douglas Trotter Jr. and Annamarie Jordan recommitted to the oath of office while Jamie Johnson and Wilbert Rufe began their first term. Introducing themselves to the handful of resident witnesses, Johnson said she is originally from the borough and upon returning in 2013 moved into the house next door to her childhood home. Rufe has lived in the borough since 1994 and said he wished to be a conduit for the things his fellow residents want to get done on behalf of the borough.
In a letter to Bethlehem Police Chief Mark DiLuzio which has since gone public, Southside District Judge Nancy Matos-Gozalez last month criticized irreconcilable differences between city and Lehigh University law enforcement’s handling of marijuana possession cases.
Both departments operate on the Southside, but Matos-Gonzalez notes a disparity in charges by city officers are often more severe, so much so that she feels it has, “brought forth a situation which constricts my ability to dispense equitable justice.”
Fountain Hill’s final budget meeting in mid-December resulted in a .5 mil tax increase. Council member Helen Halleman insisted in a later interview that in 20 years on council she’d never voted for a tax increase, and she was vehemently against this one as it will compound issues of a large senior population on a fixed income and the fact that rental properties outnumber owner-occupied properties in the borough.
“This is going to put a big burden on our taxpayers,” she said.
Each year the Bethlehem Press reflects on the events, big and small, good and bad, that affected our community. Here are a few of the many stories and images we’ve covered in 2019:
• New local celebrity Einstein the Snow Camel visited the Bethlehem Police Mounted Unit to introduce himself to the community. Einstein became famous following a disastrous November snowstorm in which traffic throughout the valley was at a standstill and his Peaceable Kingdom zoo owners took him from his trailer for a walk along Route 22.
Citing rising costs to taxpayers and lack of ethical oversight, Governor Tom Wolf announced recently a three-part plan to address Pennsylvania’s flawed charter school law.
As part of his three-part plan to address Pennsylvania’s flawed charter school law, Wolf announced the Department of Education will institute new fees to fund the growing costs of administering the Charter School Law and recoup the rising costs to taxpayers.