Northampton County Council voted Dec. 7 to award $10 million in hotel taxes for a new Easton-based DaVinci Science Center. But it’s unclear whether this $130 million project, whose centerpiece is a salt water aquarium, will ever see any of this money. This grant is the dying gasp of a lame duck council. Ken Kraft has already promised to repeal this measure once a new Council is seated next month.
Gretchen Naso, a principal officer from RKL LCC, briefed commissioners on the a five-year financial forecasting model at the Nov. 21 meeting. She analyzed the county’s finances for the last five years to give planners an idea of how financial decisions today may affect the future.
“One of our goals was to allow the commissioners to take the financial information that’s out there and kind of distill it until it becomes more manageable.”
The Historical and Architectural Review Board issued a certificate of appropriateness for the installation of a replacement roof and two new low profile skylights for 238 E. Wall St. Homeowners Patrick and Hanna Conroy were represented at the Nov. 1 meeting by contractor Bill Adams from Mark J. Fisher Roofing.
Onlinecollege.net has named Northampton Community College’s online associate degree in criminal justice #11 in the nation. Rankings are determined by academic quality, online offerings, cost and student aid offered.
“There’s a lot more to learning than just books. That’s why we include a heavy dose of real world perspective in our program,” said Professor of Criminal Justice John F. Spirk Jr., JD.
City council voted unanimously to pass an ordinance taxing and restricting the burgeoning temporary rental industry Dec. 5.
The ordinance, Article 1741 of the Codified Ordinances of the City of Bethlehem, is to enhance “accountability of property owners and transient visitors, minimize risk of communal disturbances and conflicts,” ensure “safe, healthy and nondiscriminatory housing arrangements for Transient Visitors,” an to minimize “excessive noise, on-street parking” and “inappropriate conduct.”
Two outgoing school board members received special recognition for their years of service.
Members Ralph Puerta and John Dowling are leaving the board. Puerta served from 2005-17 and in a previous stint during the 80s and 90s. Dowling served from 2013-17.
Both members were presented with a plaque of recognition by Superintendent Dr. Craig Butler.
The plaques read, “To honor your service to education by word and deed, your presence has enriched the lives of students and served as example for all.”
The Bethlehem School Board welcomed a special guest at its Dec. 4 meeting. Northampton County President Judge Stephen G. Baratta was in attendance to swear in the newest members of the board.
One by one, Board President Michael Faccinetto, Director Rogelio Ortiz, Vice President Shannon Patrick and Director Angela Sinkler were called to raise their hand and take the oath. Each was asked to swear that they would perform their duties in compliance with the laws of the Commonwealth.
Gary Tuggle, Special Agent-in-Charge of DEA’s Philadelphia Field Division announced the release of its Analysis of Overdose Deaths in Pennsylvania, 2016 report at a news conference this past summer.
Key findings from the report indicate that in 2016, 4,642 drug-related overdose deaths were reported by Pennsylvania coroners and medical examiners, an increase of 37 percent from 2015. In 2016, approximately 13 people died of a drug-related overdose in Pennsylvania each day.