A brook was babbling and birds were chirping on nearby trees during a sunlit morning Oct. 21. Family and friends had gathered for the dedication of a handsome bench on the Ironton Rail Trail (IRT) in Egypt as a tribute to Robert “Bobby” C. Halal’s life.
The June 5 death of Halal, a magisterial district judge since 2007 and a longtime constable, stunned the community.
More than 100 people were in attendance for the informal program on the IRT — organized to not only dedicate the bench but also to celebrate Halal’s 53rd birthday the previous day, Oct. 20.
Whitehall Township’s Oct. 13 release of its proposed 2018 budget — totaling $22.7 million — had nothing to do with Friday the 13th superstitions, but more with the Home Rule Charter mandate that the plan be made public by Oct. 15, which, this year, fell on a Sunday.
The budget, which now goes to the board of commissioners for hearings, spells good news for residents — in particular, in terms of property tax, garbage assessment and earned income tax.
With an overwhelming endorsement by Lehigh County Democratic Executive Committee and the state’s Democratic leadership Oct. 4, Jeanne McNeill accepted the party’s nomination to fill the 133rd Legislative District seat in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, which has been vacant since the Sept. 8 death of her husband, Daniel.
The 133rd District includes portions of Hanover (Lehigh County), Whitehall and Salisbury townships, Bethlehem (Lehigh County) and Catasauqua, Coplay and Fountain Hill boroughs.
Whitehall Township Board of Commissioners, at its Oct. 9 meeting, grappled with revising its open burning ordinance. Commissioners dealt with a myriad of inquiries, such as what constitutes an open pit, before ultimately tabling the matter until some questions are answered.
The board initially agreed to review proposed changes to its open burning ordinance, but Commissioner Philip Ginder recommended having its legal and legislative committee review the matter. Commissioners accepted his suggestion.
This Saturday, Oct. 7, promises to be a gem for Whitehall Township residents. A parade, fall festival and car show are all packaged together as a busy one-day event, held rain or shine — and, hopefully, the autumn weather will cooperate.
Whitehall Township Board of Commissioners, at Monday’s workshop meeting, got its first look at a proposed 48-unit apartment complex that would straddle Whitehall Township and the Borough of Coplay. The major part of the complex would be in Coplay, with a sliver in Whitehall.
Prior to the conclusion of the meeting, Lee Rackus, bureau chief of zoning, planning and development for the township, laid out the site plan and detailed the project, submitted by DVS Company, Whitehall.
Whitehall Township’s proposed conversion of its streetlights to LED — which will provide a savings to the township and brighter lighting for residents — is projected to cost above the million-dollar mark, according to Mayor Edward D. Hozza Jr., who updated the board of commissioners at its Sept. 11 meeting.
Hozza said several meetings have been held to determine appropriate light fixtures and costs.
“The next step will be exploring finance options for what will be a $1.3 to $1.8 million project,” Hozza said.
The long wait for major construction to begin at the Hokendauqua-based Jones Quigg American Legion Post 739 — damaged by fire when a bolt of lightning struck the building June 25, 2016 — is nearing an end.
Trusses for a new roof, along with a crane, were expected to be on the scene by the middle of September, after which workers will remove the heavily damaged roof and replace it.
The two outer arches of the Coplay-Northampton Bridge will fall to two dynamite blasts the morning of Oct. 11.
The announcement was made Monday at a briefing for borough representatives from Coplay and Northampton. Attending the briefing were police, public works and elected officials from both boroughs.
The third center arch will fall sometime in early November.
The Fort Deshler dig — a project of the MacArthur Road 75th anniversary committee — brought mixed results in August.
Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) agreed to lead the geographical survey and archaeological dig because the fort was mainly on its right of way. Cooperation was also given by the adjoining land owner, Mike Hobel.
The stone fort, in the area of MacArthur Road and Chestnut Street, had a role in the French and Indian War.