When the thermometer hit the 90s this summer, it was quite common for the tired and heat-weary to seek respite in the cool waters of the Lehigh River.
Vu Nyugen, 34, of Bethlehem made it a regular routine. In fact, he's swum in the river countless times over the years. But for Nyugen, it was a recent dip that he won't soon forget, for it was then that he made his discovery.
While he was wading in the river opposite Sand Island, something caught Nyugen's eye.
Although there was a Methodist church on the north side of Bethlehem, Methodists living in South Bethlehem longed for a church closer to home. In 1891, John Fritz, the superintendent of the Bethlehem Iron Works, offered funds to the group to build a church at the corner of Packer and Montclair avenues. His donation covered the entire cost of the church and served to honor his parents, George and Mary Fritz. Architect A. W. Leh was hired to design their church in Gothic Revival style and to include an auditorium, the only church of its kind in South Bethlehem.
When his lecture was over, Alan Jennings expressed some surprise that nobody had tried to kill him. He needn't have worried. A few conservative thinkers like Hotel Bethlehem managing partner Bruce Haines and activist Al Bernotas delivered gentle jabs. But most of the 70 or so people who attended the first of the South Side Initiative 2012-12 Town Hall Lecture Series Sept. 24 were supportive. Liberals tend to attract other liberals and conservatives tend to attract conservatives, but this increasing polarization was the whole point of Jennings' lecture – we are a nation divided.
I've been a fan of the National Football League and the Green Bay Packers for just over 50 years. I'm so much a Packer fan that I've actually become a part owner, just like several hundred thousand other Packer fans who own at least a share of Green Bay Packer stock. Unlike other NFL teams, which are usually owned by multi-millionaires, average everyday people like me own a piece of that storied franchise.
Editorial cartoon by Ed Courier
In 1908, a group of Fountain Hill citizens met in the basement of the old Electric Laundry building, located at Bishopthorpe and Cherokee streets, to organize a new Evangelical and Reformed church. This would be the third church to organize in Fountain Hill. With the help of the Tohickon Reformed Church of Bucks County, the group was able to build their church within the year. In 1925, the congregation expanded the church with an addition. The congregation was renamed Grace Community United Church of Christ in 1965. Due to dwindling membership, the church was closed in 2003.