The coronavirus has caused the closing of local schools and businesses, which has forced the American Red Cross Lehigh Valley to cancel planned blood drives, according to Peter Brown, executive director.
“We are looking at adding (blood) drives,” Brown said. “The public should still go ahead and make appointments to give blood.”
Brown said potential blood donors can arrange appointments by going to the website, redcrossblood.org, and entering their ZIP code. The Red Cross has implemented new screening measures designed to keep staff and clients safe.
Lehigh County Executive Phillips Armstrong declared a state of emergency for Lehigh County effective March 16.
Armstrong made the official announcement 1 p.m. in front of the county government building accompanied by Edward Hozza Jr., director of administration; John Kalynych, director of Lehigh County’s emergency services department; and Richard Molchany, director of general services.
Former 911 dispatcher LoriAnn Fehnel, of Whitehall Township, addressed the Lehigh County Board of Commissioners and Lehigh County Executive Phillips Armstrong Feb. 12, stating she was disappointed in their decision to fire three supervisors and to allegedly force the resignation of seven dispatchers who used rum-laced eggnog to toast the New Year while on duty in the dispatch room Dec. 31, 2019.
Fehnel, a 911 dispatcher from 2007 to 2010 in Allentown, said she felt someone needed to speak up for the dismissed emergency services personnel.
At the Dec. 11 meeting, Lehigh County Board of Commissioners approved 8-1 the Lehigh County Property Assessed Clean Energy Program, which had its first reading at the last meeting.
The program will apply to building owners within Lehigh County and be known as the Lehigh County Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy Program, or C-PACE Program.
Lehigh County Board of Commissioners moved the proposed 2020 budget closer to the finish line Oct. 9 when two Republican commissioners voted with the Democratic minority to pass county Executive Phillips Armstrong’s budget.
The 5-3 vote brought praise from Armstrong, who called Commissioners Nathan Brown and Marc Grammes, the Republicans, “statesmen, not partisan politicians.”
Lehigh County Executive Phillips Armstrong unveiled his 2020 proposed $514.6 million fiscal plan Aug. 30 to department heads, staffers, four attending commissioners and the public. Speaking in the public hearing room of the Lehigh County Administration’s Seventh Street headquarters in Allentown, Armstrong’s budget raises taxes to 5.5 percent.
Lehigh County Board of Commissioners, at its July 10 meeting, approved the disbursal of affordable housing trust funds to the following recipients:
• Allentown Housing Authority for redevelopment of 671 Lawrence Court, $75,000
• Catholic Charities for case management with emergency rent and mortgage assistance, $30,000
• Community Action Committee of the Lehigh Valley for homeownership counseling and mortgage counseling and mitigation, $33,302.15
Active duty and retired Pennsylvania State Police officers united ranks May 2 in front of their red brick barracks in Hanover Township, Lehigh County, to honor their dead. Family members and guests came in support.
The men and women were there for the Pennsylvania State Police Memorial Day ceremony hosted by Troop M, Bethlehem, headquarters commanded by Captain Richard H. D’Ambrosio.
Members of Lehigh County’s human services office again made a strong showing at the county commissioners’ April 24 meeting.
They have been making regular appearances recently at commissioners’ meetings, arguing for more staff.
“We have a wholesale system breakdown,” Tony Lupo said, referring to the ability of staff to properly care for children referred to human services. “Caseworkers are not able to protect the children of Lehigh County. We can’t keep people. They run out the door.”
Lupo said he has 47 cases.
Former Lehigh County Coroner Scott Grim will be remembered long after he has left office.
County commissioners voted April 10 on a resolution to name the conference room in the Lehigh County Coroner’s Office and Forensic Center in his honor.
According to the resolution approved by the board, Grim served in the coroner’s office of Lehigh County for 26 years, 22 of which as coroner. Under his leadership, in 2005, the Lehigh County Coroner’s Office was nationally accredited by the International Association of Coroners and Medical Examiners.