BY BERNIE O’HARE
Special to the Bethlehem Press
Mark Twain once observed that the only difference between a tax man and taxidermist is that “the taxidermist leaves the skin.” That was the sentiment of most of the over 200 people who crammed into Bethlehem Township’s meeting room Wednesday night for a town hall on property taxes.
Wednesday marks the dawn of a new era of health care in the area as Blue Mountain Health System officials announced it would be merging with St. Luke’s Health Network.
The two sides announced the deal during a press conference on the Gnaden Huetten campus in Lehighton.
One day earlier, Blue Mountain President and Chief Executive Officer Andrew Harris penned a letter informing the system’s 1,000 employees of what he called a “win-win” affiliation.
In its 27th year, National Recovery Month is continuing its climb out of the darkness that is the stigma of addiction and into headlines around the globe. This year, Recovery Month follows only a few weeks after President Trump declared the opioid epidemic in America a national emergency.
Local Lehigh Valley news has been plagued with stories of tragic deaths from overdoses and families torn apart by addiction. There is no one path to recovery and no one way to erase this problem, but there are millions of voices that are willing and able to help, and here are just a few of them.
Tuesday, September 19, 2017 by PAUL WILLISTEIN AND DEBBIE GALBRAITH DGALBRAITH@TNONLINE.COM in Local News
Nearly one month after a woman was reported missing from a home for senior citizens in Salisbury Township, the search is over.
Audrey Penn, 78, was pronounced dead 3:44 p.m. Sept. 17 by Deputy Coroner Jack Fliter after her body was found in a drainage ditch in the area of Hamilton Boulevard and Kressler Road, Lower Macungie Township.
Initially identified as Jane Doe by Fliter, she was positively identified as Penn in a news release to the media 9 p.m. Sept. 18 following testing earlier in the day.
An autopsy was performed Sept. 19 to determine the cause of death.
Total children (less than 18 years): 13,540
Children receiving in-home service: 1,326
Children in foster care system: 60
Total children: 82,680
Children receiving in-home service: 10,361
Children in foster care system: 355
Total children: 40,574
Children receiving in-home service: 4,232
Children in foster care system: 354
Total children: 65,177
Children receiving in-home service: 4,085
Children in foster care system: 434
Total children: 29,738
Christine Ussler from Artefact, Inc., was granted certificates of appropriateness for project proposals for the four proprieties she represented at the Historical and Architectural Review Board hearing Sept. 6.
With Chairman Fred Bonsall unable to attend, vice chair Philip Roeder took charge of the meeting held in the Rotunda.
Representatives of Moravian College -- from the president to incoming first-year students -- gathered at the corner of Main and Laurel streets Aug. 20 to take part in the informal opening of the the Sally Breidegam Miskiewicz Center for Health Sciences. Built over the last year, the 55,000-square-foot center will support Moravian’s programs in health-related fields including nursing and public health, among others.
A lengthy report from the state Auditor General on the child welfare system is calling out numerous pitfalls in the relevant agencies that can have deadly results.
“In 2016, 46 children died and 79 nearly died in Pennsylvania from abuse and neglect. Of those 125 children, nearly half of their families were already in the child-welfare system. Pennsylvania’s child-welfare system is broken.
“This is not hyperbole or exaggeration,” Auditor General Eugene DePasquale said in the report that concluded a yearlong study of the state’s child welfare system.
Authority board members and administrators spent much of the Sept. 14 meeting discussing refinancing and the rest attending to typical business, but news regarding big projects such as the PennEast pipeline and Carbon County wind energy project is still up in the air.
Board President John Tallarico, regarding the pipeline, said only that Executive Director Steve Repasch had recently met with PennEast’s “technical people,” but what revelations there may have been from that meeting were left for a closed-door executive session.
Tentative details about the Freedom HS 50th anniversary rededication event were released at the school board curriculum committee meeting Sept. 11. The event will be held at Freedom Oct. 15, from noon until 5 p.m. Plans for the outdoor event will include a large selection of food trucks, outdoor sports activities for kids, as well as guided tours and a slide show presentation inside the building.