September 20, 2017
The voices of recovery
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.
By Heather Nigrone
UPDATEMissing woman’s body found
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.Penn, who had Alzheimer’s disease, lived in Woodland Terrace at the Oaks Senior Living Community, Salisbury Township. She was last seen Aug. 23.
By Paul Willistein and Deb Galbraith
Senators say property tax #1 complaint
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. The forum was hosted by state senators Lisa Boscola (D-Northampton), Mario Scavello (R-Monroe) and Dave Argall (R-Schuylkill). Each is a co-sponsor of the Property Tax Elimination Act, which was defeated in 2015 when Lt. Governor Mike Stack broke a 24-24 tie to send this reform measure to perdition. But Argall has resurrected the legislation and is conducting town halls statewide to whip up support.All three state senators agreed that the public is clamoring for a change. Photo: It was standing room only at Bethlehem Township’s meeting room as over 200 people cascaded into a town hall on school property tax reform.
By Bernie O’Hare
Child welfare workers: Overworked, under paid
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.
By Brian Myszkowski
New shining star on campus
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. Sally Breidegam Miskiewicz was a graduate of Moravian College in the Class of 1994. She was the chairperson and chief executive officer of East Penn Manufacturing in Berks County. She also served on Moravian College’s Board of Trustees from 2008 till her death in an accident in 2014.
Photo: Seen from Monocacy Street, the Center for Health Sciences sits just beyond the Priscilla Payne Hurd Academic Complex (foreground, left) and next to the Collier Hall of Sciences (distance, left). The lawn and walkway offer open space on a fairly busy campus.
By Dennis Glew
Memorial Day parade 2018 celebrates state’s musical roots
Washington, D.C., has its National Memorial Day Parade, Philadelphia marks the occasion with Penn’s Landing Waterfront Day, and in 2018 for the first time, Northeast Pennsylvania will observe the holiday with the “The Great Allentown Memorial Day Celebration” on May 27 and 28 at the historic Allentown Fairgrounds.The plans for the annual event were announced at a news conference Aug. 21 by Jeffrey Tapler, president of the board of directors of the Pennsylvania Music Preservation Society (PAMPS), sponsor of the celebration, and Alex Meixner, Grammy Award nominee and nationally acclaimed musician, performer, bandleader, educator and leading advocate of polka music. Photo: William Allen HS Marching Band tuba players high-five each other after award-winning musician and Lehigh Valley native Alex Meixner compliments their playing. The students had only been playing the tuba for three weeks.
By Carole Gorney
Partnership provides school supplies
ArtSkills, a local arts and crafts company, for the second year donated hundreds of backpacks filled with fun goodies to the Freemansburg ES student body Sept. 1. Teachers got packages for their rooms, too. ArtSkills worked with The Kids in Need Foundation, a nonprofit whose purpose is to keep kids and teachers alike stocked with school supplies. KINF Executive Director Dave Smith said, “We know that when children and teachers get the tools they need, it creates a more equal learning environment and promotes confidence in the classroom.” Photo: ArtSkills co-owner Bradford Demsky hands a backpack to Ruben Fantauzzi as Marinellys Ibanez receives her own. Both students are fourth graders.
By Nate Jastrzemski
Pates upend Northampton
Getting a win in East Penn Conference football is a goal every week and that’s what Freedom was able to do in last week’s 26-13 home victory over Northampton. The win pushed Freedom to 3-1 on the season and that was the most important take-away for head coach Jason Roeder.
By Peter Car
Bethlehem Catholic blows by Eagles
It was a test of grit and resiliency on Saturday night for Bethlehem Catholic and Hawks answered against Nazareth in resounding fashion. Trailing 20-13 at halftime against the Blue Eagles, Becahi exploded in the second half, outscoring Nazareth 38-7 en route to a 51-27 victory.
By Peter Car
Pain awareness month
For Julian Phillips, chronic pain is an everyday fact of life. Nothing in Phillips’ active childhood years in England, where he was born, indicated that he would later be living a life of constant physical agony. September is “Pain Awareness Month” in the United States. Phillips again this year brought the American Chronic Pain Association awareness program to the attention of the board of commissioners in Salisbury Township, where he resides. Township commissioners agreed to allow “Pain Awareness Month” signs to be placed in the township.
By Ed Courrier
Bethlehem HCC: Business signage changes approved
Bethlehem HARB: Artefact scores four for four in Sept.
Bethelhem Area SD: Freedom HS’s 50th anniversary Oct. 15
Opinion: Equifax-Life will never be the same
Letter: Bethlehem gift ban still too loose
Lehigh Valley: Family fun at the fair
Around town community calendar
Center for Animal Health and Welfare
High school news reports
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