Northwestern Press

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Retired state police sergeant discusses sovereign citizens

Thursday, May 18, 2017 by JENNIFER BODISCH in Local News

Retired Pennsylvania State Police Sgt. Robert Bemis recently presented a discussion concerning sovereign citizens at Kutztown University.

Co-sponsored by the Association for Campus events and the Criminal Justice Department, the presentation was aimed at providing information to the criminal justice students but it was also open to the public.

Bemis, a retired Marine, discussed the origins of the sovereign citizens’ movement, ways to recognize their beliefs and suggestions on how to decrease any violence on their part.

Board discusses bridges

Thursday, May 18, 2017 by JENNIFER BODISCH in Local News

After months of planning and review, the Mini Cell Tower Ordinance, was passed by the Lowhill supervisors at their May 4 meeting.

The ordinance provides township regulations regarding possible future cell tower installations by communications developers.

Similar ordinances have recently been passed in neighboring townships.

In bridge updates, Chairman Rick Hughes reported a meeting was held with Lehigh County Commissioner Marty Nothstein and Director of General Services Rick Molchany to discuss the progress of the Bittners Corner Bridge replacement.

Board discusses bridge issues

Wednesday, April 19, 2017 by JENNIFER BODISCH in Local News

An update was given at the April 13 Lowhill supervisors’ meeting on the impending Bear Bridge repair.

Supervisor Rob Werley, Road Foreman Joe Kalusky and township Engineer Ryan Christman all met with state Rep. Gary Day, R-187th, to discuss funding and expediting the permits needed.

Christman advised the board that at this point, the best choice for replacement would be a precast arch.

The township’s original game plan had been repair of the bridge, but at this point, in order to meet regulations, the project is looking more like a replacement.

Lowhill discusses bridge

Thursday, March 23, 2017 by JENNIFER BODISCH in Local News

Lowhill Township supervisors recently discussed a letter received from Lehigh County regarding the replacement of Bittners Corner Bridge.

The letter, from the office of Rick Molchany, director of general services, affirmed the county is going to replace the bridge. In addition, a temporary bridge is possible, so no one would need to enter Route 100.

The county owns the bridge, Lowhill owns the road, and Route 100 is owned by PennDOT.

Kutztown University hosts Lunar New Year celebration

Wednesday, March 15, 2017 by JENNIFER BODISCH in Local News

Kutztown University’s Chinese Students and Scholars Association recently hosted its annual Lunar New Year Celebration.

The Lunar New Year, also called Spring Festival, has more than 4000 years of history.

The celebration is the grandest and most important annual event for many Asian people.

Steeped in tradition, the holiday is celebrated with decorations, dragon and lion dances, family reunions, house cleaning, and lucky money given to children.

The Lunar New Year date changes every year based on the Lunar Calendar.

Heidelberg discusses proposed state police fees

Wednesday, March 8, 2017 by JENNIFER BODISCH in Local News

Heidelberg supervisors debated state police fees proposed by Gov. Tom Wolf in his state budget during their February meeting.

According to Chairman Steve Bachman, the previous budget had a $52 state police fee per resident of any township that did not have its own police force providing at least a certain amount of coverage.

There was an increase to $104 and then $152 per resident in subsequent years.

Tom Muller endorses Armstrong as successor for county executive

Wednesday, March 1, 2017 by JENNIFER BODISCH in Local News

Supporters and friends gathered around Lehigh County Executive Tom Muller for what was thought to be a “campaign kickoff” at Brookside Country Club, Lower Macungie Township.

However, just minutes into his speech, Muller announced he would not seek re-election for a second term.

“As great as this chapter of my life has been and continues to be, it will come to an end this year,” Muller said at the Feb. 13 event.

“This is not the kickoff of my campaign tonight. I know that will come as a surprise to most of you.”

Muller explained the reasons for his decision.

Historic Rockdale Hotel destroyed by fire on Valentine’s Day

Thursday, February 23, 2017 by JENNIFER BODISCH in Local News

Just before 7 p.m. Valentine’s Day, a family lost their home and the community lost a historical landmark.

The former Rockdale Hotel at 1806 Rockdale Road, North Whitehall Township, caught fire very quickly and the entire structure along with years of history and memorabilia inside was consumed by flames.

The home built in 1885 originally opened as a hotel and became a frequent stop and rest area for coal miners transporting products on the railroad along the Lehigh River.

When the coal mines were no longer in service, the hotel became a residence.

Tax collector takes issue with commission decrease

Thursday, February 16, 2017 by JENNIFER BODISCH in Local News

Heidelberg Township supervisors recently adopted two resolutions, one more controversial than the other.

The first increased the fee from $3 to $5 for a duplicate tax bill, from $15 to $20 for a tax certification, and $50 for a returned check fee, up from the current $30.

The second established the tax collector compensation rate from Jan. 1, 2018, through Dec. 31, 2021.

Compensation for collection of local real estate and streetlight taxes was set at 2.2 percent of taxes collected by the tax collector.

This is a commission decrease from the current 5 percent.

Churches band together to aid homeless families

Thursday, February 16, 2017 by JENNIFER BODISCH in Local News

Several local churches have decided to tackle the problem of homeless children and their families in Lehigh County.

Family Promise is a nondenominational organization with a mission of building communities and strengthening lives.

The group is a nonprofit 501(c) 3 with more than 202 affiliates in 42 states.

The idea of launching Family Promise of Lehigh County was spearheaded a year-and-a-half ago by doctoral candidate and licensed social worker Diane Joy Irish.