Archive for category Bethlehem

Bethlehem halts Airbnb operating in historic district

The enforcement notices received by the property owners on Monday give them 30 days to appeal to the zoning hearing board.

A Bethlehem couple using Airbnb to rent out a hom…

2 in apparent murder-suicide: ‘Addiction overwhelmed him and her’

Autopsies are expected to be completed later Monday on the bodies.

UPDATE: Pair in break-in, standoff were both shot in head
The man who engaged authorities in an all-d…

2 killed in apparent murder-suicide are identified

Court records indicate the pair had lengthy criminal backgrounds.

The Lehigh County Coroner’s Office has identified the two people killed Saturday evening in what authorities are…

Standoff ends in apparent murder-suicide, reports say

The tense standoff gripped a Lehigh County neighborhood off Lanark Road in Upper Saucon Township.

UPDATE: Victims of apparent murder-suicide ID’d
A man and a woman who fled polic…

Fugitive from Warren County apprehended in Bethlehem

Michael Marra was wanted on a theft charge.

A fugitive wanted in Warren County for more than a year was arrested Friday in Bethlehem, according to the Northampton County She…

In search of the highest-quality trout streams in Pa.

The state’s streams, including those in the Lehigh Valley, have been part of a trout survey for the last several years.

Pennsylvania has about 86,000 miles of flowing waters, and a state program has been working to determine which are home to wild trout populations.

In 2010, the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission launched the Unassessed Waters Initiative, which involves state officials, conservation groups and citizens attempting to study the rivers, streams and creeks statewide that support wild trout.

So far, more than 3,000 streams totaling over 21,000 miles have been surveyed by the fish and boat commission.

Streams with large numbers of wild trout are a sign of excellent water quality, according to Trout Unlimited Mid-Atlantic Policy Director David Kinney. They’re also popular with anglers.

Trout Unlimited is a national conservation group that has been helping the state survey streams.

“The water has to be exceptionally clean for there to be a naturally producing population of trout,” Kinney said.

The waters receive different classifications based on the size and number of trout counted in a particular section of a stream.

Streams designated as Class A trout waters — those that support a significant population of naturally produced trout — receive special protections from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection during permitting processes. Nearby wetlands and associated tributaries also are eligible for increased protections.

“Whatever work you do around that water, you need to make sure that water remains to be high quality,” Kinney said.

Horseshoe hall of fame: Blacksmith wins national honor

Trout are measured and counted by using a method called electrofishing. A surveyor will typically go into a stream wearing a backpack containing a 40-pound battery- or gas-powered generator connected to a large “wand.” The wand emits a low voltage current in the water, which stuns and immobilizes the fish so they can be more easily collected and counted.

The fish are then released back into the water.

While wild brown trout and even rarer wild rainbow trout populations have been found, 95 percent of the wild population counted are wild brook trout, according to a state report.

Northampton County currently has 14 stream sections considered to be Class A trout waters and Lehigh County is home to 16 of the same designation. One designated section of Monocacy Creek runs through both counties.

Next month, the fish and boat commission will consider designating an unnamed tributary of the Little Bushkill Creek as a wild trout water.

Terry Kleintop, who is on the Plainfield Township Planning Commission, Environmental Advisory Council and is a Bushkill Stream Conservancy member, said the wild trout designation for the tributary that runs through Plainfield Township would be a good thing.

“The program could be a benefit to many municipalities so they can see what is going on in their streams,” Kleintop said.

Here’s a rundown of the Lehigh Valley stream sections given Class A designation:

NORTHAMPTON COUNTY
Bushkill Creek from Tatamy’s southern border to a private bridge off Route 2019;
Bushkill Creek from the dam at Binney & Smith to the 13th Street bridge in Easton;
Frys Run;
Martins Creek from its headwaters to the Bangor sewage treatment plant;
Martins Creek from the dam 0.6 km upstream from intersection Route 1015 and Old Franklin Hill Road to its mouth;
Monocacy Creek from the Route 987 bridge to the Route 248 bridge;
Monocacy Creek from the upstream boundary of Gertrude Fox Conservation Area to Illick’s Mill dam;
Monocacy Creek from the Illick’s Mill dam to the Schoenersville Road bridge;
Nancy Run;
Saucon Creek;
Unnamed tributary to the Delaware River;
Unnamed tributary to the Lehigh Canal;
Unnamed tributary to the Lehigh River;
Waltz Creek

Video tour of the Valley’s covered bridges

LEHIGH COUNTY
Catasauqua Creek;
Cedar Creek;
Hosensack Creek;
Iron Run;
Little Cedar Creek;
Little Lehigh Creek from Smith Lane bridge to Spring Creek;
Little Lehigh Creek from Spring Creek to Wild Cherry Lane bridge;
Little Lehigh Creek from 0.4 km upstream of Country Club Road to the Fish Hatchery Road bridge;
Little Lehigh Creek from Fish Hatchery Road Bridge to just upstream of Bogerts Covered Bridge;
Ontelaunee Creek;
Saucon Creek;
Schaefer Run;
Spring Creek;
Trout Creek;
Unnamed tributary to Ontelaunee Creek;
Unnamed tributary to Saucon Creek

TRAVERSING BOTH COUNTIES
Monocacy Creek from Schoenersville Road to the Lehigh River

John Best is a freelance writer. Find lehighvalleylive on Facebook.

Man accused of exposing himself near Hellertown daycare

Rick Musgnung served prison time for rubbing items with his crotch in a 48 Hour video.

A man who served jail time for lewd acts in a video store is now accused of exposing h…

Street light scammer denied bid for work release

Robert Kearns said he wanted to get a landscaping job to help pay court costs but hasn’t paid a penny in restitution to date.

A Northampton County senior judge denied work-release Friday for one of two men convicted of taking $832,000 for street lights they failed to deliver to Bethlehem Township.

Robert Kearns asked for permission to take a landscaping job to start paying back the money handed over more than 10 year ago to his company, Municipal Energy Managers.

But District Attorney John Morganelli pointed out that the 53-year-old Lackawanna County man hasn’t paid back a cent in the five years since he was convicted of theft by failure to make required disposition of funds.

On top of that, Kearns filed court papers challenging the state’s authority to seek restitution because the money is owed to a government entity.

When asked by the judge whether he was dropping that claim, Kearns said he wants to work to pay back court costs, not restitution.

“Mr. Kearns is the ultimate con man,” Morganelli said. “He continues to con here this morning your honor that somehow he’s going to work for some lawn company when he hasn’t paid one cent in court costs and he hasn’t paid one cent in restitution in five years.”

Kearns appeared in court with a full beard and mustache. He had a thin frame and wore brown prison coveralls.

“I would love to be able to take care of my family,” Kearns said. “I would love to be able to take care of some of the obligations of the court.”

Defense attorney Brian Monahan said inmates convicted of more violent crimes are made eligible for work-release. It’s rare for a judge to overstep the administrative policy in the prison, which typically dictates when an inmate is eligible for work-release.

Neither of those factors matters, Morganelli said.

“The case law is absolutely clear,” Morganelli told Zito. “Prison inmates have no constitutional right to work-release. In Pennsylvania that privilege of work release is up to your honor.”

Valley crooks who stole $1M (or close to it)

Kearns, 53, of Scranton, and Patrick “P.J.” McLaine, 70, of Dunmore, Lackawanna County, were each convicted in 2012. They fought their convictions until their appeals ran out in April.

Zito sentenced each of them on May 12 to start serving his six month-to-one year county prison sentence.

Kearns and McLaine were convicted of making similar deals in three other Pennsylvania counties but only sentenced to prison in Northampton County.

They took $165,000 from Richland Township, Bucks County, but failed to install or maintain street lights there. They took $160,000 from Coplay in Lehigh County and took $1.3 million from Hampden Township, Cumberland County.

In each of those cases the men were sentenced to house arrest or probation. Monahan said Kearns’ sentences have expired in all of his cases except the one in Northampton County.

Rudy Miller may be reached at rmiller@lehighvalleylive.com. Follow him on Twitter @RudyMillerLV. Find Easton area news on Facebook.

Coordinated Health looks to expand in Pa.

The South Whitehall Township-based health care provider is acquiring a Lackawanna surgical practice.

Coordinated Health is setting its expansion sights up north.
The South Whiteh…

Woman breaks into ex’s home, falls down stairs, cops say

The woman was banned from the property previously, court records indicate.

A Carbon County woman is accused of kicking in the basement window of her ex-boyfriend’s home and then …