In our Jan. 30 front page coverage of the observance of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, we misspelled Samad Thorne's name.
In bitterly cold weather just outside of Gracedale, the county-owned nursing home, Bethlehem Mayor John Callahan announced his candidacy for Northampton County executive Feb. 6. He chose that venue to signal his commitment to keeping Gracedale, which he called the "jewel of the county," in county hands.
In 2011, Northampton County voters decided overwhelmingly, in a hotly disputed referendum, to keep Gracedale. Callahan, who signed the referendum petition in 2011, made clear at his announcement that he considers the nursing home a "core function" of county government.
John Brown, 51,Bangor mayor, has announced his intention to seek the office of Northampton County Executive.
Recognized for his leadership and vision, Brown was named the 2011 Mayor of the Year by the Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce.
Brown said his business background and proven record of fiscal discipline will be key factors in the upcoming campaign.
Northampton County Council will vote on a requirement for future sheriffs, coroners, recorder of deeds and register of wills to be county residents.
Councilman Ken Kraft, who introduced the ordinance, wrote in an email interview that he wants these positions to be like other elected positions, where you need to be a resident to run.
"I have to live in my district. If I bought a house in Bethlehem Township, I could not be the rep for district 1," Kraft said.
Northampton County Executive John Stoffa hopes he will see a centralized human services building before he finishes his term in office.
According to Stoffa, 18,000 residents use the county's human services at two different buildings and the county needs to do a better job of providing these services and protecting the people who live and work in these buildings. The Governor Wolf Building in Easton and the Martin J. Bechtel Building in Bethlehem are currently owned by the county, but both buildings need millions of dollars in capital improvements.
Last month, Bethlehem Township's Zoning Hearing Board denied Marcus Dixon's dream of establishing a small retail beer distributor business at 3801 Nazareth Pike, just outside the K-Mart Shopping Center. Chairman Stephen Szy, speaking for the board, denied a requested variance, a zoning remedy that enables zoners to vary slightly from the strict requirements of a zoning ordinance.
"The law is the law," Szy said.
Hellertown borough Police Chief Robert Shupp told borough council members recently that 2012 was a "pretty good" year.
During 2012, the police department received 4,927 calls for service or 14 calls on average per day, Shupp reported. The department also received 15 sexual assault, 56 theft, 82 domestic/assault, 28 fraud and 10 burglary calls. The department responded to 133 traffic collisions and issued 1,550 citations.
During the year, the department filed 564 charges including 84 for DUI and 187 for narcotics related offenses, Shupp said.
By his own admission, David Martinez, 20, is addicted to sex. He told police he's "completely unable to control himself" around women. They are "just unable to say 'No" to him, he told Bethlehem investigators. Martinez faces rape and other charges after using Facebook to befriend two young women whom he lured to his Maple Street apartment in Bethlehem, Northampton COunty District Attorney John Morganelli said in a Feb. 6 press conference