Bethlehem Area School District officials discussed long-term financing options and the impact of possible plans for Nitschmann MS at their Oct. 8 meeting.
As board members and consulting engineers continue to analyze and refine plans largely laid four years ago, one thing became clear for the first time; the board is now leaning away from offering a referendum on the school's future.
It's become apparent that even the most expensive option – building a new school and leveling the current one – is well within the district's budget.
Attending to borough business Oct. 9 degenerated into a caterwauling free-for-all between residents, council and fire department representatives.
More than two months after an argument over council and borough employee use of a break room staked out by the fire department, Freemansburg's public meetings have become a hotbed of rumor-mongering, imagined slights and charges of disenfranchisement and unfairness.
A local resident has organized a blood drive at ArtsQuest SteelStacks Nov. 4 in honor of her daughter, Tonya Rosado, who died in 2010.
Judy Negrete last year organized a 5K race and this year is continuing to help the community to honor Rosado's memory. "It involved a lot of work and time," said Negrete, "but it helped me with my grieving process because I was able to spend my days preparing and organizing, and putting this together with the help of friends and family members allowed me the support I needed to deal with her loss."
The Southside Ministries, a collective of four Southside churches working together in community-building efforts since 1983, ended Oct. 11 as a transition team met to officially dissolve the organization and give away the last of its cash reserves.
Those churches were Cathedral Church of the Nativity at 321 Wyandotte St., University Parish of Holy Ghost Roman Catholic at 417 Carlton Ave., St. John's Windish Evangelical Lutheran Church at 617 E. Fourth St. and St. Peter's Evangelical Lutheran Church at 474 Vince St.
They coast through dark alleys in the dead of night and can race down running suspects and speeding cars. But in a city that's seen more than its fair share of automobile vs. bicycle accidents recently, are Bethlehem's bike patrol officers visible enough not to get themselves squashed?
November's election is now officially unconstrained by Pennsylvania's oft-debated voter ID law.
Commonwealth Court Judge Robert Simpson decided on an injunction Oct. 2, which will allow residents to vote without photo ID, but does not entirely take the law off the table after November.
The uncushioned fold-down seats in Nitschmann MS's auditorium, far fewer than one might think of seeing at a school with 900 students, are every bit as uncomfortable as they look. The cavernous room is also filled with an array of band equipment and generally looks shabby.
And it was the site of the Bethlehem Area School District's board of directors' facilities meeting Oct. 1, which followed a tour of much of the equally-dingy building.
Point well made.
Bethlehem Area School District Board of Directors voted Sept 24 to increase an after-school bus route from two to four days a week in support of student programs.
Board member Eugene McKeon supported all the agenda items listed under finance except the bus extension, citing the prohibitive cost, but Irene Follweiler disagreed. She said expanding that 4 p.m. bus run – but no others – would be very useful for students in after-school activities and show support for the programs.
School Board member Basilio Bonilla Jr., at the Sept. 24 meeting, made a personal statement condemning a recent comment by the State Dept. of Education which effectively blamed teachers for high levels of cheating in several districts statewide, including Bethlehem.
Superintendent Dr. Joseph Roy said in a phone interview Sept. 26 the BASD has been vindicated.
Roy said it was reported in a local daily newspaper Bethlehem's was one of six districts named as suffering grade drops due to cheating and the district could be in for intense state monitoring.
The first green cemetery in the Lehigh Valley will officially open Oct. 10 at 1121 Graham St. in Fountain Hill.
Green Meadow will be the sixth such site in Pennsylvania, and is part of the larger and historic Fountain Hill Cemetery. It is a burial ground of wild flowers and grasses in which the unembalmed dead can be interred in a wholly natural way. This includes vaultless graves and caskets made from readily biodegradable materials.