December 28, 2016
Light the Night
The 19th annual Luminaria Night which decorates Bethlehem area homes and businesses with white paper bags lighted by mini-candles and anchored with sand was held Dec 10. Often set up to line sidewalks and buildings, the luminaria kits are sold by New Bethany ministries as a Christmas fundraiser. This year’s estimated luminaria sales should reflect a $7,000 increase over 2015 sales of $83,330. The fundraising efforts are accomplished mostly by some 300 volunteers. The South Bethlehem facility and programs provide opportunities for the homeless, hungry, poor and mentally ill of the Lehigh Valley. Photo: Christine Davies helps decorate the Market Street Townhouses complex where she lives in the Bethlehem Historic District.
By Tim Gilman and Dorothy and Dennis Glew
A different Christmas story
This past October, Bethlehem resident Forrest Taylor was surprised to receive a letter from the French Embassy in Washington, D.C., informing him that as a veteran of the liberation of France, he had been named a “Chevalier,” or Knight, of the Legion of Honor, the highest honor – civilian or military – that the Republic of France awards for service to the nation. Forrest received the award during a special ceremony at the French Embassy in Washington,D.C., Nov. 10. Forrest was told that recipients of the Legion d’Honneur only wear the medal on national occasions. From respect for that tradition Forrest declined to pin the medal to his chest, instead holding it for a photograph.
By Dorothy and Dennis Glew
Fountain Hill hosts Wreaths ceremony
The first Wreaths Across America memorial event honoring American veterans was held Dec. 17 at the Fountain Hill Cemetery. Some 300 wreaths were placed on most of the veterans’ graves in the large cemetery overlooking the borough of Fountain Hill. Despite freshly fallen snow on a cold morning, more than 150 participants showed up for the ceremony at the pavilion in the 1882 cemetery. Photo: Paul Praschillo, Cub Scout leader of Pack 306 in Nazareth and a Navy veteran, salutes a wreath of honor during the Wreaths Across America ceremony. After the ceremony, Cub Scouts helped place some of the 300 wreaths on the graves of service men and women in the armed forces.
By Tim Gilman
Bethlehem #1 place to retire in Northeast
We’ve always known it, but now it is official. Bethlehem is one of the best retirement destinations in the country. In fact, it is #1 in the Northeast, according to Money magazine. Bethlehem was named among Money magazine’s six “Best Places to Retire” in various regions of the United States. The other cities are Hollywood, Fla. (Southeast), Sugar Land, Texas (South); Iowa City, Iowa (Midwest); Reno, Nev. (Mountains); and Spokane, Wash. (West).
In publishing its list, the magazine said one critical factor in its selection this year was the amount of local taxes retirees have to pay. “We went in search of the tax friendliest small cities in the country – places big enough to have the amenities that retirees prize, such as access to great health care and recreation, but still affordable and compact enough to be manageable.”
By Carole Gorney
Christmas acts of kindness
For the fourth year, East Hill MS students are sending holiday greetings to area seniors in nursing and assisted living facilities in the Bethlehem area. The initiative is coordinated by the school’s student council and 8,000 cards were delivered in 2016. Individual homerooms collected cards donated by family and friends throughout the year. The incentive is two-fold: to support others, according to student council member Madison, a seventh grade student; and to earn a hot chocolate and cookie homeroom party. One party is given to each grade’s homerooms through a raffle. One raffle ticket is given for every 50 cards collected, according to student council adviser Carolyn Roman. Photo: East Hills MS students set up a production line for coloring homemade cards, signing cards, sealing them in envelopes and counting them into packets of 50 for distribution to Bethlehem area nursing and assisted living facilities such as Country Meadows, Westminster Village and Holy Family Manor.
By Dana Grubb
Locals among 2016 All State football players
The 2016 Pennsylvania Football Writers’ All-State football teams were announced last week and 11 players from the area were honored by their respective classes. Liberty senior defensive end Jaohne Duggan was the only Bethlehem player named to the class 6A team, as he was joined by Parkland senior defensive lineman DJ Hohman and junior linebacker Jahan Worth. Emmaus kicker Carson Landis also made the team.
By Peter Car
Disney’s ‘Beauty and the Beast’ comes to Symphony Hall
For its 10th anniversary season, Sing for America is presenting “Disney’s Beauty and the Beast,” opening Dec. 28 and continuing through Jan. 8, Miller Symphony Hall, Allentown. Sing for America was founded by Taryn Gilbert and her four siblings in 2005. The choral and theater troupe provides an artistic outlet for under-served communities. The Gilbert Family, which hails from the Easton area, raise money for families of active-serving military. “One thing we’ve noticed in our many years doing live theater was the amount of ‘traditional’ casting that occurred among theater companies, particularly in this area,” says Taryn Gilbert.
By Erin Ferguson
Bethlehem: Faccinetto elected PSBA president
Bethlehem: City budget finalized with $1M for streets
Bethlehem: New school funding formula could bring windfall
Bethlehem: Braving a cold winter day
Bethlehem: HCC approves new sign for coffee shop
Around town community calendar
Center for Animal Health and Welfare
High school news reports
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