July 12, 2017
Community reads the Declaration
The sixth annual Fourth of July reading of the Declaration of Independence took place at Bethlehem’s Payrow Plaza in the late morning of Independence Day with over one hundred area residents in attendance. Readers for 2017 were Northampton County Court of Common Pleas Judge Emil Giordano, Lehigh Valley dentist Tom Gyory, Bethlehem Councilman Eric Evans, Northampton County Councilmen Glenn Geissinger, Matthew Deitz, Hayden Phillips and Seth Vaughn, Bethlehem Mayor Bob Donchez, Bethlehem Police Chief Mark DiLuzio and former Lehigh County Commissioner Dean Browning. The Gilbert family provided vocal accompaniment on the singing of the national anthem and “God Bless America,” and Bethlehem based Boy Scout Troop #59 led the Pledge of Allegiance. Photo: The Fourth of July in Bethlehem concluded with the city’s traditional fireworks display. Launched from the centrally located Sand Island along the Lehigh River, the pyrotechnics give residents many vantage points from which to enjoy the sounds and colorful bursts as the nation celebrates its independence. This view is from St. Michael’s Cemetery.
By Dana Grubb
Becahi principal goes home
Bethlehem Catholic’s principal for the past seven years, John Petruzzelli, has taken the next step of his career, returning to his hometown of Philadelphia as principal of St. Joseph’s Preparatory School, where he once worked as dean of students. Petruzelli made an impression and was well liked by the students. From his quirky morning announcements to taking cameos in school plays to setting up opportunities for the student body to hoot out SpongeBob Squarepants references during assemblies, he helped change the culture and attitude at the school. Despite the excitement about starting the new job, “I’m very sad about leaving,” he said in an email from Philly. “It’s tough to leave a place that you have loved and invested so much time and energy into. The kids have been amazing. I will really miss them.”
By Nate Jastrzemski
Moravian Day celebrates city’s founding
Moravian Day, a festival for Moravians and the community, was held June 17 on the grounds of Central Moravian Church and the nearby Moravian community in historic downtown Bethlehem. The event featured entertainment, food, music and family-oriented activities. The admission-free celebration was sponsored by the Bethlehem Area Moravians (BAM) and other Moravian entities as part of a 2016-17 schedule of special events marking the 275th anniversary of the Moravian founding of Bethlehem in 1741. A 275th anniversary Moravian Lovefeast followed on June 25 in Johnston Hall, Moravian College. Photo: Madeleine Atwood, a Central Moravian Church member and Liberty HS graduate, attempts a 19th century wooden hoop and stick game. The Moravian Historical Society provided the game “Graces,” especially for girls “to teach them poise and grace,” said Suzanne Keller of the MHS.
By Tim Gilman
Sister City program marks 21st year
Gray skies and drizzle forced the annual Slovenian flag-raising ceremony from Payrow Plaza into the Rotunda on June 23, but the spirit of those in attendance was not dampened. Bethlehem-Murska Sobota Sister Cities Association founder Stephen Antalics Jr. acted as master of ceremonies, and Robi Poredos of the Slovenian Press Agency gave the invocation and benediction. The guest speaker was Deputy Chief of Mission at the Republic of Slovenia Embassy, Vladimir Kolmanic, who attended with his wife Vesna and son, Amir. Kolmanic noted the 26th anniversary of Slovenian independence and 21st anniversary of the Sister City relationship between Bethlehem and Murska Sobota. Photo: Attendees at the ceremony join in singing “God Bless America” at its conclusion.
By Dana Grubb
Charter Arts students present ‘Dance Quilt’
The Lehigh Valley Charter HS for the Arts stitched together a graceful “Dance Quilt” of ballet, modern, and tap styles with the help of visiting alumnus Nicholas Heffelfinger May 19 and 20. Heffelfinger, recently graduated from Boston Conservatory. According to artistic director of dance Kim Maniscalco, “For me a quilt represents many hours of work put forth from the hands of many people. The outcome is always a thing of beauty …” “Our quilt was not only to please the eye and soul, but for its own practical purpose; to serve as a training ground for our young dance students.”
For more information on the school, visit charterarts.org. Photo: From left, Karina McKenna, Josh Frumkin and Hailey Fleming join Malcolm Burton and Emerson Ahn during “Le Papillon,” a student-choreographed work by Kaitlyn Fritz.
By Ed Courrier
Larimar new Liberty boys soccer coach
Former Liberty High School soccer player and Moravian College graduate Ian Larimer is the new head coach for the Hurricanes’ boys’ soccer team. Shortly after he was hired earlier this year and shortly after the team’s strength and conditioning work had been done, Larimer held a group meeting with Liberty soccer players to outline his philosophy, among other things.
By Katie McDonald
‘Cirque It’ City
Touchstone Artistic Director JP Jordan was in Peru when he first decided to create the Jakopa’s Punch Band. “I was in Peru when I got word that David Bowie had passed,” Jordan explains, “and I was told that The Lesson Center planned to host a benefit for leukemia patients in honor of Bowie. “Now, I didn’t have a band at the time, but I asked if I could play a set if I could pull a band together in time, and they said sure. So we ended up getting together this group of musicians.” The name of the band stems from Jordan asking his niece what she thought “JP” stood for. “It just fit. I like to think that the band itself, the music, is the punch.”
By Luke Muench
Bethlehem: Little progress made advancing ethics proposal
Bethlehem: Summer book sale opens July 19
Bethlehem: BASD longtime ESOL teach retires
Fountain Hill: Borough performs summer cleaning
Northampton County: Council passers on greater contract oversight
Lehigh Valley: 31 added to are volunteer fire depts.
Lehigh Valley: PCFLV dedicates ‘Ray of Sunshine’
Around town community calendar
Center for Animal Health and Welfare
High school news reports
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