Archive for category Bethlehem

Dad locked boy out of home while he went to work, cops say

Bethlehem police said the 12-year-old has special needs.

A 12-year-old boy with special needs was found by Bethlehem officers locked out of his house while his father went t…

Bethlehem shooting trial hinges on schizophrenic witness

Dan David Hernandez is charged with the attempted murder of Kinte King in Bethlehem

The one man who told police he saw Dan David “Dee Drop” Hernandez shoot Kinte King might …

Home invader’s hand cut off when victim fights back

A man was dumped late Saturday night at a Bethlehem hospital. He had a severed hand, police said.

A home invasion late Saturday night in Northampton resulted in serious inju…

2nd Larry Holmes golf outing just around the corner

Heart of a Legend is raising money for a computer lab at Third Street Alliance in Easton.

Watch video

Larry Holmes isn’t much of a golfer.
But he’ll be on th…

Lehigh Valley nonprofit’s center a 1st for special needs kids and families

Live Learn & Play’s spot at the South Mall will include a sensory gym, resource center, and space for classes.

A Lehigh Valley nonprofit is getting ready for a first in the region– a one-stop-shop center to help families with autistic and special needs children.

Live Learn & Play‘s space at the South Mall, 3300 Lehigh Street in Salisbury Township, will include a sensory gym, resource center, and space for classes, support group meetings and social events.

“There’s nothing like it in the valley,” said Jill VanKuren, the group’s president. “It will be a local place where people can come and get information, so if families have questions about where they can go get services, we’ll be able to send them in the right direction.”

Live Learn & Play is a nonprofit dedicated to helping families with autism and special needs children. The group is known for its annual Superhero 5K at SteelStacks.

VanKuren works in the behavioral heath field and said her experiences showed clients and families needed a site to connect them with resources and each other.

VanKuren said she didn’t know anything about autism until she had a client with the diagnosis. The client’s mother was a “huge advocate” for her child, and had found numerous programs and resources for him.

“When I starting working with more kids, I realized the huge difference between what she had in place for him versus a lot of other kids I was working with,” VanKuren said. “We’ll provide that little bit of extra support to make sure they’re getting the services they need.”

The center will fill that gap, not just by providing resources, but allowing parents to talk to each other.

“You network for business, why not as a parent?” she asked.

Speaking of business, the center will also collect a list of autism-friendly businesses as well as offer training opportunities, VanKuren said.

Classes for the kids will include social skills, movement and dance, yoga, art and music.

The classes and events will be inclusive, open to all kids. VanKuren said programs like social skills classes, summer programs and after-school programs, are mostly limited to just special needs children.

“They completely exclude the siblings and family friends that could really benefit from that type of program,” she said. “They can learn about kids that are a little bit different.”

Right now, the group is planning tours of the space in July. The nonprofit is depending on volunteer work to get the site ready, and the contractor is donating time.

The goal is for the center to open sometime in August, before school starts, with a grand opening in September, VanKuren said.

In the meantime, the group is looking for volunteers, is accepting donations on its website, and has a wish list of items and supplies on its Facebook page.

Sarah Cassi may be reached at Follow her on Twitter @SarahCassi. Find on Facebook.


Kids get piece of the pie at SteelStacks July 4th party (PHOTOS)

A pie-eating contest and water sprinkler party starts three days of celebration.

It’s as American as blueberry pie.
Independence Day festivities kicked off Saturday at SteelStack…

High-end apartments proposed next to Old Brewery Tavern

Developer and attorney Garrett Benner’s plans call for transforming the former Bethlehem Togs building.

A developer is pitching a five-story upscale apartment building next to Bethlehem’s Old Brewery Tavern.

Developer and attorney Garrett Benner’s plans call for transforming the former Bethlehem Togs building on West Union Boulevard into 33 apartments built on top of the existing building. The property’s central location attracted Benner, he said.

“I have a number of apartments in that same area and there is a very large demand for downtown living,” Benner said. “Everyone wants to be in a place where they can walk and get a cup of coffee.”

The Bethlehem Zoning Hearing Board recently granted Benner two zoning variances he needed to proceed. 

He plans to submit the project to the city planning commission later this month and hopes to get on the agenda by August.

The $5 million project would convert the existing building, which is being used for warehouse storage now, into a covered parking deck. Then three additional stories would be built on top of that. There would also be a rooftop deck for residents.

Bethlehem: City of festivals

Plans call for 18 one-bedroom and 15 two-bedroom apartments with rents of $1,200 and $1,500 a month, respectively. They will feature high-end finishes like granite countertops, stainless steel appliances and two bathrooms in the larger units, Benner said.

He said he has an agreement of sale to buy the property.

Just up the street, Michael Perrucci’s Peron Development is finishing the long-stalled redevelopment of the former Bethlehem Silk Mill site into high-end apartments targeting Moravian College grad students and millennials as tenants.

Peron plans to tear down the remaining buildings on West Goepp Street and erect an $8.4 million complex of 88 apartments just up the hill from the Benner project.

Sara K. Satullo may be reached at Follow her on Twitter @sarasatullo and on Facebook.. Find on Facebook.

A traditional ethnic dance in the name of cancer research (PHOTOS)

Priyanka Hanumaihgari will perform a form of Indian classical dance called Bharatanatyam.

Priyanka Hanumaihgari isn’t only a ninth-grader at Parkland High School.
She’s also a da…

Local students pack cast of Valley-made indie film

Daniel Roebuck’s indie movie “Getting Grace” is being filmed in the Lehigh Valley this summer.

On Friday afternoon, Madelyn Dundon found herself back on the Bethlehem Catholic theater’s stage.

It’s not a place the 18-year-old alum expected to return to so soon.

But it seemed a fitting place to celebrate her casting as the lead role in the indie film “Getting Grace,” which is being made in the Lehigh Valley this summer.

The film is the project of another BECA alum and Bethlehem native Daniel Roebuck. The actor and producer is making his directorial debut with the movie, set to begin filming July 12.

“I’m insanely honored and humbled to be given this part,” Dundon said.

Roebuck’s cast five local children in the movie along with four local women. And Lehigh Valley Charter High School for the Arts recent grad Ana Railoa has been tapped to paint a signature piece that plays a role in the film.

The movie tells the story of a 16-year-old girl dying from cancer, who visits a funeral home to learn what will happen to her after she dies and ends up teaching the funeral director, played by Roebuck, how to live. Dundon will play Grace, who is modeled off of Roebuck’s own daughter.

“Grace is a very unique soul,” said Dundon, who has been nominated for five Freddy Awards and won two.

She’s agreed to cut off her long, beautiful hair and shave her head for the role, Roebuck said.

“It doesn’t seem really important (in light of the opportunity),” she said.

Ironically, Roebuck directed Dundon’s father in a one-act play when he was 13. Dundon asked her dad to put in a good word when news of the local casting call went out.

Do you have what it takes to star in Valley-made movie?

The movie was originally set in Michigan but Roebuck pushed for it to be filmed locally. He’s promised residents will recognize many local haunts, like St. Luke’s Hospital and Herron Funeral Home.

“This is going to be a love letter to the Lehigh Valley,” Roebuck said.

During the casting, Roebuck’s been blown away by the talented kids he’s encountered.

“I wanted to know who they were,” Roebuck said.

Charter Arts junior Jacob Williams, who plays Doug, a teen sick with cancer, said he was napping in study hall when his teacher Diane Wagner, who is playing a mother in the film, woke him to come meet Roebuck. He went into a casting call and found out he got the part yesterday, Jacob said.

Jacob has little acting experience, besides a few school plays — he’s studying guitar at Charter Arts — but he brings something to the role, Roebuck said.

Lincoln Elementary School student Wyatt Root, 11, who will play Vincent, got the acting bug in 2012 attending the Civic Theater school and he’s starred in many school plays.

Alexa Mcfillin, 12, of Allentown, said she has very little acting experience but she could relate to the casting call for a girl that is short for her age.

“I’m very excited to discover a new part of Audrey,” Alexa said.

Roebuck said he’s never seen such a young child who takes direction like Alexa.

Moravian Academy student Colin Moore, 9, of Bethlehem, noted that before he began his audition he made Roebuck laugh.

“I guess I’m really funny,” Colin said, causing the crowd to laugh with him.

“Colin is, what we call in the business, a natural,” Roebuck quipped.

Four-year-old Preston Jude Edwards has an impressive acting resume already for such a small person.

He will be playing Roebuck’s nephew and Roebuck predicts he is going to steal any scene he’s in.

Filming for the movie is expected to last almost a month. Locals can sign up to be extras on the movie’s website or find out how to donate to the film’s IndieGoGo campaign.

Sara K. Satullo may be reached at Follow her on Twitter @sarasatullo and on Facebook. Find on Facebook.

Former Bethlehem Globe-Times publisher Ann Taylor dies at 84

The lifelong Bethlehem resident was active among local colleges and other organizations.

Ann Taylor held many titles in her 84 years.
She was the publisher of the Bethlehem Globe…