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Phone: 610-625-2121 FAX: 610-625-2126 gtaylor@tnonline.com

Tuesday, March 19, 2019



March 20, 2019


COVER STORY-BATTLING ADDICTION


The littlest victims


 A baby boy born at Reading Hospital in 2017 came into the world the fourth child of a woman struggling with addiction to methamphetamine and heroin. The little one had a tough road ahead, but was blessed with a dedicated hospital staff and loving adoptive parents. The hospital staff held and soothed him as he was weaned from the drugs passed to him by his mother. Once home, his adoptive parents, Millicent M. and Steven C. Himmelreich, continued the love and patience he needed to thrive.


By Chris Parker



RELATED STORIES


Help available for addicted mothers


A cascade of illicit drugs


Opioid treatment bills in state house hearing


Gov. Wolf: Warm hand-offs help transition many overdose survivors


 


BETHLEHEM


Police dept. reports a decade of falling crime


Bethlehem Police Chief Mark DiLuzio released a report recently outlining his department’s many successes in recent years, beginning with what amounts to a 22 percent overall drop in crime from 2007-18.


By Nate Jastrzmeski


 


CLASSROOM


Moravian Academy presents ‘The Boyfriend’


Students of Moravian Academy performed “The Boy Friend” March, 1, 2 and 3 uder the direction of Jarrod Yuskauskas. Sandy Wilson’s musical, which takes place at a boarding school on the French Riviera in the 1920s, put a smile on everyone’s faces. The small cast and lively musical numbers made for an intimate and exciting experience. The performances took place on Moravian Academy’s campus in the Dyer Auditorium. Above: The young girls of Madame Dubonnet’s Finishing School sing “Perfect Young Ladies,” a song about how they must act based on society’s standards and their desire to find husbands.


By Leslie Regan


 


SPORTS


Becahi girls hoping to advance to state finals


Editor’s note: The Becahi girls semifinal game took place after Press deadlines.


Bethlehem Catholic’s girls’ basketball team cruised again this past Saturday when they defeated Danville, 60-37, in the PIAA State Class 4A quarterfinal at Hazleton High School. Becahi guard Jaleesa Lanier came out in the second quarter firing two consecutive threes, and the Hawks were off and running.


By Katie McDonald


 


FOCUS


Crowded Kitchen Players premier addresses ‘Unspeakable’ topic


“’Unspeakable’” describes a system that often finds itself inadequate to help the very individuals it has been created to serve,” says Ara Barlieb about the genesis of his new play.The Crowded Kitchen Players’ “Unspeakable” has its world premiere March 22, Charles A. Brown Ice House, Bethlehem, where it continues March 23, 24, 29, 30 and 31.


“Unspeakable” tells the story of a boy, Adam Shane (represented by a Doug Roysdon-designed and built marionette handled by Pamela Wallace), who is part of a fragile framework formed by a working single mother, Naomi (Florence Taylor), a trusted caregiver, Uncle Henry (David Oswald), as well as a stranger, and the authorities who try to find out the truth.


“It [the play] describes a society that often finds itself complicit in the endangerment of its most fragile members,” Barlieb says.“’Unspeakable’ has been created through years of interviews and collaboration with dedicated and caring child-welfare and law-enforcement professionals who themselves often share in these feelings of helplessness,” says Barlieb.“The purpose,” Barlieb continues, “is to encourage widespread involvement in the protection of children. It takes only the slightest disregard to endanger a child, but it takes constant effort, fearless accountability, and tireless vigilance to protect them.”


By Douglas Graves


 


OTHER STORIES


Bethlehem: State of the city ‘strong’ says Donchez


Bethlehem: Book sale opens March 27


Great Decisions Lectures: Roots of European populism complex


Hellertown: Lost Tavern expansion approved


High school musical calendar


Lenten events calendar


Lehigh County: Term limit referendum fails, 5-2
Northampton County: Gracedale passes inspection


Saucon Valley: Shoe collection


 


WEEKLY FEATURES


Around town community calendar


Police logs


Area obituaries


Center for Animal Health and Welfare


Volunteers


Student profiles


High school news reports


 


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Where to buy the Bethlehem Press


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Tuesday, March 12, 2019


March 13, 2019

BATTLING ADDICTION

An addict’s mother reaches out

Ruth Plebani used to feel shame over her sons’ addiction to drugs, but after one nearly died from an overdose, she decided it was worth sharing her story if it helps others get into rehab. Her son Keith Goosman had been confined to a hospital bed after an overdose of methamphetamine. He temporarily lost control of basic bodily functions. Thankfully, Keith has made considerable progress, but he still has a long way to go. As she looked at him hooked up to a ventilator, Plebani decided that she wanted to share her story and Keith’s, and hopefully reach at least one person and convince them to seek help for addiction.

By Chris Reber

 

BATTLING ADDICTION-BLUE GUARDIAN

County considers program an early success

As the drug crisis continues countrywide, legal and medical professionals at every level are seeking new means of reducing opioid prescriptions, monitoring their use, saving lives and promoting treatment for those becoming dangerously addicted. In Lehigh County, officials’ experiment with a support program has seen early success. Blue Guardian is a program devised more than a year ago to help guide addicts and their loved ones after near-tragedies through continued communication and broad support. In fact, officials said the support system on the governing end as encompassing the district attorney’s office, the Regional Intelligence and Investigation Center, Department of Drug and Alcohol, 15 municipal police departments, two state police barracks, six hospitals, treatment providers, certified recovery specialists and the Center of Excellence.

By Nate Jastrzemski

 

RELATED STORIES

Evolving drugs pose challenges.

Blue Guardian by the numbers

Blue Guardian: Working with several partners

Parent’s denial leads to unnecessary death

 

COMMUNITY

Feasting on fastnachts

For years Valley Farm Market has done a big business selling fastnachts on the days preceding Lent, and this year was no exception. Anticipating that they would not be eating sweets during the fourty days of Lent, people poured in to purchase a last treat - luscious doughnuts, also known as fastnachts. Customers could choose plain, powdered, glazed, or those with granulated sugar. And pick they did - among the roughly 2,000 fastnachts sold. By 10:30 a.m on Tuesday, the day before Lent began, the fastnachts shelves were emptying rapidly. Photo: Leticia Merceno, joined by a co-worker, takes a break from packing fastnachts to decorate cupcakes.

By Dorothy and Dennis Glew

 

SPORTS

Hawks win team state team title

Ryan Anderson is no stranger to a smile or having fun.  On Saturday night in Hershey, Anderson was able to do both of those things after winning his second-straight state championship at the PIAA 3A wrestling tournament. Anderson was the lone gold medalist for the Hawks on the night, as Kenny Herrmann made a run to the finals but lost to Northampton’s stalwart Julian Chlebove. The pair helped push Becahi to the team title with 93 points and closed an eventful season for the program in customary fashion - as champions.

Anderson, a senior, topped Council Rock North’s Cam Robinson 3-2 in their 145-pound championship, displaying a stark contrast in size between both wrestlers with Robinson having at least a six-inch height difference on the Becahi champion.

By Peter Car

 

FOCUS

Spring musicals

Northampton - 'Mary Poppins'
Catasauqua - 'Anything Goes'

By Ed Courrier

 

OTHER STORIES

Bethlehem HARB: Book shop to get exterial floor tiles

Bethlehem SSTF: Task Force walks through model

Bethlehem BASD: Power outtages caused no damage to buildings

Bethlehem NIMH: Pump house tour offered March 24

Classroom: Northeast MS presents ‘Lion King Jr.’

Lehigh County: Judge petitions for additional grandy jury power

Lehigh County: Commisioners talk term limits

Northampton County: Election commission chooses new machines

South Bethlehem: LUGA springs forwards with new exhibits

Student profile: Madeline Wickel, Bethlehem Catholic HS

High school news: Charter Arts

 

WEEKLY FEATURES

Around town community calendar

Police logs

Area obituaries

Center for Animal Health and Welfare

Volunteers

 

MEET THE PRESS





The Bethlehem Press online

Where to buy the Bethlehem Press

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Friday, March 8, 2019


March 6, 2019

SPECIAL SERIES

Too many opioid cases

Long before President Donald Trump declared the opioid crisis a national public health emergency, local authorities were dealing with the fallout. Drug overdose deaths had risen precipitously over several years as local authorities sought answers – both to why this was happening and how to stop it. In Bethlehem alone, reported overdoses increased from 79 in 2015 to 209 in 2018, according to Health Bureau Director Kristen Wenrich.

By Jarrad Hedes and Nate Jastrzemski

 

SPECIAL SERIES

Parents Left Behind

Silence filled the room and tears flowed as three parents spoke at Northampton Community College’s panel, “Parents Left Behind,” Feb. 26. Tina Ralls, Chuck Deprill and Donna Jacobson told their stories about living with addicted children. For Ralls and Deprill, their children lost their long-fought battles with opioid abuse. For Jacobson, her daughter is still here and in recovery after a long and difficult journey with addiction. Photo: Tina Ralls of Emmaus with a picture of her son, James Ralls.  She said his relapse was triggered when was treated for burns and given morphine at a hospital.  She later learned that a different medicine would have been more appropriate for an addicted patient. Ralls has found inspiration to write a book about her son’s experience. She said that her son’s legacy is in the form of lyrics that he wrote documenting his struggle. “He was trying.” Some of the lyrics were prayers and others were dedicated to his parents.

By Hanna O’Reilly and Douglas Graves

 

COMMUNITY

Church, chapel tours celebrate history

Historic Bethlehem’s Church and Chapel tour is a look at the Moravians who founded Bethlehem more than 270 years ago, and the churches and chapels they built.  These buildings represent some of the oldest in the city.  The tour begins with guide Loretta Hein, who outlines the creation of the 1741 Gemeinhaus, where the early Moravians lived, worshiped and conducted everyday life. The Moravian religion is the oldest Protestant denomination that is still in existence today.  Much of their traditions of worship and life revolve around music. They were the first to bring trombone musical instruments to the new world. Photo: The original Oriel Pulpit, which was removed in 1851 for design changes in the church.  As a way to preserve the pulpit, it was hung on a wall inside a winding staircase.  Pictured from ground level is a view looking up toward the pulpit that hangs on the wall (center) with the staircase that winds around it leading to an upper floor.

By Mark Kirlin

 

SPORTS-DISTRICT BOYS BASKETBALL

BC boys knock off rival Central

Scott McClary knew Bethlehem Catholic’s battle against Central Catholic in last Friday’s District 11 4A championship would be emotional. One thing he may not have predicted would be the contest being a blowout. The Hawks jumped on Central early and never looked back, coasting to a 65-49 victory at Freedom High School. It was the third straight district title for the Hawks, who improved to 25-3 this year and added another championship to their resume this season after winning the East Penn Conference title as well.

By Peter Car

 

FOCUS

More HS spring musicals

By Ed Courrier

 

OTHER STORIES

Bethlehem: City prepares for March 16 Parade of Shamrocks

Bethlehem: Demolition begins at Guardian Life site

Bethlehem: Van Wirt and Carpenter run for council seats

Bethlehem: Asa Packer ES student learn importance of helping others

Holy Name School: Author gives some storytelling tips

Lehigh County: Armstrong delivers State of The County … then apologizes for story that fell flat

Lehigh Valley: Polar plunge benefits Special Olympics

Northampton County: Governor wants voting machines updated

Northampoton County: Zrinsky wants farmers to grow hemp

Student profiles: Curtis Dai, Notre Dame HS

High school news:  Freedom HS by Carson Swick

 

WEEKLY FEATURES

Around town community calendar

Police logs

Area obituaries

Center for Animal Health and Welfare

Volunteers

 

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The Bethlehem Press online

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Tuesday, February 26, 2019


February 27, 2019

COMMUNITY

Isis Irizzary goes to Mexico


"I’m my mother’s daughter,” said new lawyer Isis [pronounced Ee-sis in Spanish] Irizarry when explaining why a local woman now working in Connecticut would go to the West Coast, and then to Tijuana, Mexico, to help asylum seekers. Irizarry is the daughter of Olga Negrón, a Bethlehem city councilwoman and high-profile spokesperson for the Latino community in the Lehigh Valley, “She’s not one to sit idle while there is an injustice,” Irizarry said of her mother in a recent interview. Irizarry, a 2006 graduate of Bethlehem Catholic HS, decided to take direct action. She flew to the border at Tijuana, Mexico, to help at-risk immigrant asylum seekers when the opportunity arose late last year. She appealed to friends via social media for help and raised most of her expense money for the trip. Photo: The Otay Mesa Port of Entry. The reddish cement is on the U. S. side of the border.  This is the area we were corralled into, where we waited overnight.

By Douglas Graves

 

ST. LUKE’S HEALTH NETWORK

Art as healing art

The healing properties of art, whether from making or participating in it, or from just observing and enjoying it, are well documented. The list of benefits ranges from alleviating depression to reducing stress, lowering blood pressure and actually alleviating symptoms.   With that in mind, the St. Luke’s University Health Network officially established a Healing Arts Program last fall for cancer patients at its Bethlehem, Allentown and Anderson campuses.  That was only the beginning, though. In addition to the cancer centers, the program is being expanded to the St. Luke’s Baby and Me Support Center, where new mothers have worked on art projects. Soon it will also be available to the inpatient pediatric department at the Bethlehem campus. Photo: Vicky Picard and Heather Nieves-Ramos were cheerleaders together with Erica Curtis at Liberty HS. They were on hand for the dedication of “Erica’s Art Carts.”  Picard lives in Bethlehem, and is sports coordination for Service Access & Management (SAM). Nieves-Ramos, from Philadelphia, is Erica’s best friend. 

By Carole Gorney

 

ANOTHER VIEW

What did I learn from the March for Life

“Who loves babies?” “We love babies!” This was one of the many chants I heard one month ago when in Washington, D.C., for the March for Life. Along with about 20 of my fellow students from Bethlehem Catholic, I had gotten on a bus the morning of Jan. 18 prepared to walk, to pray, and to have (hopefully) a good time.We got to D.C. after the March had begun, racing to take a photo with Notre Dame and Central Catholic students before finding a spot to blend into the stream of protesters. To someone who had never attended a march before, it seemed like the whole nation had turned out to lobby for the unborn’s right to life. This obviously wasn’t the case, but a thousands-strong crowd impressed me in a way I doubt anything has. Photo: Senior Issaiah Lopez was one of 20 Bethlehem Catholic HS students making the trip to Washington, D.C., for the March for Life.

Mary Frances Scheidel

 

SPORTS-DISTRICT 11 WRESTLING

Hawks advance 9 to regionals

It was probably not a coincidence that Ryan Anderson and Jagger Condomitti were slated as the final matchup of last Saturday’s District 11 3A wrestling finals. The 145-pound showdown set up a rematch of Condomitti’s upset victory at the PIAA team championship and Anderson knew this would be an opportunity at redemption and he took care of business. Anderson scored a four-point in the second period with a takedown and two back points to control with a 4-1 lead and held on for a 5-3 decision to give Bethlehem Catholic their second gold medalist on the night, as Cole Handlovic (152) started the finals with a 16-7 major decision over Northampton’s Michael Kistler for his first district title.

By Peter Car

 

FOCUS

Shakespeare meets the classics

William Shakespeare is often considered the most influential writer in the English language. We studied Shakespeare in school and some of us can even recite famous quotes from his plays: “To be or not to be: that is the question” from “Hamlet”; or “O Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo?” from “Romeo and Juliet,” or ”If music be the food of love, play on.” from “Twelfth Night.”

By Diane Wittry

 

OTHER STORIES

Bethlehem: New city website brings promise of transparency

Bethlehem: Locals honored by 10,000 Friends of Pa.

Hellertown: Long-time public works director retires

Bethlehem Township: ‘Frozen’ comes alive

Classroom: MATHCOUNTS – even on weekends

Northampton County: Election commission looks to 2020

Northampton County: McClure questioned about Gracedale

State: Sunday hunting makes some progress

High school news – Liberty HS by Elisabeth Lee

 

WEEKLY FEATURES

Around town community calendar

Police logs

Area obituaries

Center for Animal Health and Welfare

Volunteers

 

MEET THE PRESS





The Bethlehem Press online

Where to buy the Bethlehem Press

To subscribe: New start

Send news to the Bethlehem Press

To advertise: Ad staff

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