Archive for category Bethlehem

Lehigh Valley United holds soccer clinic for kids with disabilities (PHOTOS)

Posted by Real-Time News.

Good Shepherd Pediatrics and kids from Lehigh Valley United held a soccer clinic for children with disabilities on the SteelStacks campus in Bethlehem.

As the SteelStacks campus in Bethlehem started to fill up Tuesday with fans looking to watch the U.S. women’s national soccer team on the big screens, there was live soccer happening right in front of them.

Part of the Valley SoccerFest & Viewing Party, Good Shepherd Pediatrics and kids from Lehigh Valley United held a free soccer clinic for children with disabilities.

Dozens of children from the community came out to learn skills with some of their peers with the Lehigh Valley United soccer program, which is a member of the U.S. Soccer Development Academy.

Drills included dribbling, passing and shooting and each session culminated with a simulated game.

Matt Smith may be reached at msmith@lehighvalleylive.com. Follow him on Twitter @msmith_photo. Find lehighvalleylive.com on Facebook.

Records: Son calls dad for help after assault by mom with hanger

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The boy reports previous assaults with a shoe and a belt, Bethlehem police say.

bethlehem police carBethlehem police say a woman assaulted her son with a plastic clothes hanger, injuring the child. (Lehighvalleylive.com File Photo)

A 9-year-old Bethlehem boy called his father for help after being assaulted by his mother with a plastic clothes hanger, a shoe and a belt, according to court records.

The father arrived Monday to find Zonia Sibri Quinde hitting their son with a shoe, police said.

Rigoberto Remache took the boy and called police, records say.

Sibri Quinde, 38, of the 100 block of East Goepp Street, is being held on $25,000 bail after being charged with with simple assault and harassment related to the incident on Monday.

Police said they responded to Remache’s home, and it was there the boy reported his mother hit him with a hanger “numerous times” on Monday, records say.

Officers saw welts on the child’s left arm and right leg, police said.

Remache told officers his son repeatedly called him and said there was a problem; when Remache arrived at the Goepp Street address, he saw Sibri Quinde striking the boy with a shoe, records say.

Remache took the boy, discovered the earlier assaults with the hanger, and called police, records say. The boy told police there were previous assaults with a shoe and a belt, records say.

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

Rush of rain pops off manhole cover (VIDEO)

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A flash flood warning is in effect until 11:30 p.m. this evening.

Watch video

The string of thunderstorms ripping through the Lehigh Valley sent a deluge of rain into sewer systems in a short period of time Monday night.

In some areas it was too much for the sewers to handle.

Outside of the Bethlehem Area School District’s Sycamore Street Education Center, it appeared the force of the water rushing through the storm system caused a manhole cover to pop off.

Water continually bubbled out of the hole and the edges of the roadway were filled with rushing water. It was definitely a strange sight.

A flash flood warning is in effect until 11:30 p.m. this evening. Up to 5 inches of rain may fall before the storms are over.

The building is located just off Easton Avenue. Further up the road, emergency responders shut down Easton Avenue near Willow Park Road due to flooding.
Share your storm photos and videos with us below.

Sara K. Satullo may be reached at ssatullo@lehighvalleylive.com.com. Follow her on Twitter @sarasatullo. Find Bethlehem news on Facebook.

Bethlehem school tax bills to rise by 2.9 percent

Posted by Real-Time News.

The board vote to pass the spending plan 7-2.

Bethlehem Area School District taxpayers will see their school tax bills rise by 2.9 percent for 2015-16.

The school board approved a $247.2 million spending plan in a 7-2 vote Monday night. Directors Basilio A. Bonilla Jr. and Rogelio Ortiz voted against the budget.

Ortiz said he thought it was too great a tax hike for senior citizens.

“At their age they shouldn’t be worried about taxes being raised,” Ortiz said. “They’ve paid their fair share.”

Bonilla apologized to district senior citizens for failing to convince the board to enact a senior citizen property tax rebate this year.

“We missed that opportunity,” Bonilla said.

While the budget raises taxes, it does include the expansion of full-day kindergarten to all 16 district elementary schools next year, accounts for the construction of the new Nitschmann Middle School and the continued roll out of the Project Lead the Way high school curriculum.

It does not furlough any workers but does cut jobs through attrition.

The proposed budget relies on a 2.9 percent tax increase and $2 million in district savings applied to balance the budget. Bethlehem Area began the budget process in January with an $11.6 million deficit.

In eight years on the board, Director Eugene McKeon said this is only the second time he voted in favor of the budget. Given where the district began the budget process, he thinks it is a fair spending plan, McKeon said.

The average school district homeowner would see their annual tax bill rise by less than $100 under the proposal. Bethlehem Area is in the rare situation of straddling two counties.

The average Northampton County taxpayer — with a home with an assessed value of $55,637 — would see their tax bill rise by about $90. In Lehigh County, the average homeowner’s tax bill would rise by almost $98.

Bethlehem is only budgeting a $1.5 million increase in state funding, despite Gov. Tom Wolf’s budget proposal calling for a district increase of $5 million. 

The budget cuts 20 positions that were included in the preliminary budget, but officials don’t expect to lay off workers.

The administration initially estimated full-day kindergarten would require 12 new teachers. That’s been revised to seven new teachers. 

Five positions will be cut across the middle and high schools due to enrollment or departmental changes.

The other job cuts include four after-hours/weekend staff positions, two technology support jobs, two clerical support positions, one maintenance operations supervisor and a student services administrator job.

Sara K. Satullo may be reached at ssatullo@lehighvalleylive.com.com. Follow her on Twitter @sarasatullo. Find Bethlehem news on Facebook.

Up to 5 inches of rain possible in parts of Lehigh Valley; flood warning issued

Posted by Real-Time News.

An earlier round of storms brought 2 to 3 inches of rain; the next round could bring an additional 1 to 2 inches, the National Weather Service says.

The National Weather Service has issued a flash flood warning for Bethlehem, Easton and several other municipalities in the Lehigh Valley.

The agency put out the warning at 7:26 p.m. and it expires at 11:30 p.m. 

“Doppler radar indicated heavy rain across the warned area,” a statement about the warning says. “Two to three inches of rain have already fallen in some areas and more rain is moving in. An additional 1 to 2 inches of rain is possible.” 

The statement said flooding is expected in the hardest hit areas. 

The rain that’s already fallen has forced emergency responders to close a stretch of Easton Avenue near Willow Park Road in Bethlehem Township, Pennsylvania. 

Bethlehem man threatens to kill wife, child, court records say

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Bethlehem man told wife, child he would kill them, court records say.

Bethlehem man is facing charges of making terroristic threats and harassment after threatening to kill his wife and a 10-year-old child, court records say.

William F. Drumgold, 46, of the 400 block of East Broad Street, this month began texting his wife, Monick Holder-Drumgold, telling her he would have her killed, police say in court records say.

Drumgold at 2 p.m. June 12 then allegedly called Holder-Drumgold’s home phone line and told a 10-year-old boy he would “kill him and stab him in the back.” Records say the boy was so frightened that he urinated in his pants.

Police responded to Holder-Drumgold’s home at 2 a.m. Saturday, in which she told authorities she feared for her life, records say. When police questioned Drumgold, he admitted to sending the text messages, but denied doing anything wrong, records say.

Drumgold was arraigned Monday before District Judge Nancy Matos Gonzalez, who set bail at $50,000. Drumgold failed to post bail and was transported to Northampton County Prison.

The judge set conditions that Drumgold undergo Pretrial Services and not have any contact with the victims.

Pamela Sroka-Holzmann may be reached at pholzmann@lehighvalleylive.com. Follow her on Twitter @pamholzmann.

Bethlehem man accused of sexually assaulting girl

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The man promises the victim a puppy, court records say.

bethlehem police carA Bethlehem man is accused of sexually assaulting a girl, and then offering her a puppy, police said. (Lehighvalleylive.com file photo)
 

Bethlehem man is accused of sexually assaulting a girl under the age of 10, and then offering to buy her a puppy.

Reinaldo Valentin Sr., 62, of the 100 block of East Union Street, was arraigned Monday on charges of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, sexual assault, corruption of minors, indecent assault of a child under the age of 13, and child endangerment.

Valentin was released on $50,000 unsecured bail. A phone number listed for Valentin’s address was not answered.

Police said accuser, who is now 10, was interviewed in May at the Northampton County District Attorney’s office and reported that Valentin performed a sex act on her when she was between the ages of 7 and 8 at his home.

The accuser told police she told Valentin to stop two times and he did not, records say.

“The defendant promised to give the victim a puppy,” records say.

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

Musikfest 2015: Popular bell player Cast in Bronze not returning

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Frank Dellapenna has been playing the four-ton carillon for more than a decade at the festival.

Cast in Bronze, the carillon player who for years has been perhaps the most recognizable free performer at Musikfest, won’t be returning to the festival this year.

Played by Frank Dellapenna, the carillon is a four-ton instrument incorporating dozens of bells that Dellapenna rings by keyboard and pedal. Dellapenna, who dons all black and wears a mask during the performances, has set up the carillon each year for 16 years at the foot of Musikfest’s Handwerkplatz.

Thousands of festivalgoers who take the trail from Bethlehem’s Main Street down to the Colonial Industrial Quarter pass by the carillon each day during the 10-day Musikfest, which this year runs from Aug. 7-16.

After 16 years of performing at MUSIKFEST in Bethlehem, PA, Cast in Bronze will not be there this year. At first I…

Posted by Cast in Bronze on Sunday, June 14, 2015

A spokesman for ArtsQuest, Musikfest’s parent company, said Monday that Cast in Bronze wasn’t invited this year in part because of ArtsQuest’s strategy to keep the festival fresh. 

“For many years, Cast in Bronze was a favorite,” spokesman Mark Demko said. “It’s been exciting to see him grow with the festival … We thought the time was right to give some new acts a chance to perform.”

Demko said this doesn’t mean Cast in Bronze will never return to Bethlehem. On the contrary, ArtsQuest has extended an invite for Cast in Bronze to perform at one of the organization’s many other festivals. And there’s a possibility ArtsQuest may invite him back to Musikfest in future years, he said. 

Cast in Bronze in a statement on Facebook expressed thanks for the support over the years. 

“I’ve had the time of my life at Musikfest because of all the great fans, and the people from ArtsQuest! Hope to be back there somewhere, someday!” the statement says.

The Guild of Carillonneurs in North America on its website describes the carillon as “a musical instrument composed of at least 23 carillon bells, arranged in chromatic sequence, so tuned as to produce concordant harmony when many bells are sounded together. It is played from a keyboard that allows expression through variation of touch.”

Cast in Bronze’s website says it is the only musical act of its kind in the world. 

Bethlehem school board to vote on budget that hikes taxes 2.9 percent

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The board meets at 6 p.m. Monday in the district's education center at 1516 Sycamore St. in Bethlehem.

The Bethlehem Area School Board on Monday night will vote on a 2015-16 school budget that raises taxes by 2.9 percent.

The proposal does not furlough any workers but it does cut jobs through attrition.

The proposed budget relies on a 2.9 percent tax increase and $2 million in district savings applied to balance the budget. Bethlehem Area began the budget process in January with an $11.6 million deficit.

The average school district homeowner would see their annual real estate tax bill rise by less than $100 under the proposal. Bethlehem Area is in the rare situation of straddling two counties.

The average Northampton County taxpayer — with a home with an assessed value of $55,637 — would see their tax bill rise by about $90. In Lehigh County, the average homeowner’s tax bill would rise by almost $98.

Bethlehem is only budgeting a $1.5 million increase in state funding, despite Gov. Tom Wolf’s budget proposal calling for a district increase of $5 million. It is unlikely a state budget will pass by the June 30 deadline.

The budget institutes universal full-day kindergarten across all 16 district elementary schools, expands the high school STEM-based Project Lead the Way curriculum and accounts for construction of the new Nitschmann Middle School. 

The budget cuts 20 positions that were included in the preliminary budget, but officials don’t expect to lay off workers.

The administration initially estimated full-day kindergarten would require 12 new teachers. That’s been revised to seven new teachers. 

Five positions will be cut across the middle and high schools due to enrollment or departmental changes.

The other job cuts include four after-hours/weekend staff positions, two technology support jobs, two clerical support positions, one maintenance operations supervisor and a student services administrator job.

The board meets at 6 p.m. Monday in the district’s education center at 1516 Sycamore St. in Bethlehem.

Sara K. Satullo may be reached at ssatullo@lehighvalleylive.com.com. Follow her on Twitter @sarasatullo. Find Bethlehem news on Facebook.

Musikfest 2015: Duran Duran to headline preview night

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Others parts of the SteelStacks campus will also be open that night.

Eighties hit makers Duran Duran, who took advantage of the emergence of music videos on TV, will headline a preview night Aug. 6 at Musikfest‘s Sands Steel Stage, the Bethlehem festival announced Monday morning.

The show starts at 8:30 p.m., the festival said in a news release.

Duran Duran has sold more than 100 million records worldwide since its 1982 self-titled debut, the festival said.

Tickets cost $59 and $79 and go on sale 10 a.m. Tuesday to ArtsQuest members and 10 a.m. Friday at muskiest.org and 610-332-3378, the festival said.

All outdoor stages and food vendors in the SteelStacks campus will be open for the preview night, the festival said.

Eighties tribute acts M-80 and Rubix Kube will play for free on the Americaplatz stage while Post Junction will have three shows on the TD Community stage, the festival said.