Editor’s note: This is the first article in a three-part series of Loving Haiti’s Children.
Visiting the poverty-stricken island of Haiti several years ago, Bishop Jim McIver of Catasauqua’s Revolution Church was burdened by what he saw.
“There were goats, pigs and babies all looking for food on the same pile of trash,” he said.
It was an image that stayed with him as he pondered what to do to help.
The poverty, hunger, devastation and desperation were unspeakable.
“People were sleeping on sidewalks,” he said. “It was mind-boggling.”
After 22 years of serving in the Pennsylvania State House and constituents in Lehigh and Northampton counties, state Rep. Julie Harhart, R-183rd, has decided it’s time to retire.
Harhart, who officially retired yesterday, Nov. 30, recently told The Press her first exposure to local politics involved seeking an appointment to serve as North Catasauqua Borough tax collector.
After serving nine years as a tax collector, Harhart then participated in an election campaign and later served as a legislative assistant for a state representative.
Catasauqua Area School Board member Dawn Berrigan has submitted a letter of resignation to the school board, which is expected to officially accept it at the Dec. 6 meeting.
Berrigan, who served on the board 2003-07 and 2011-16, will be moving to Virginia with her husband.
Berrigan recently told The Press her biggest accomplishment as a board member is striving to keep taxes low for residents.
“That takes more than one person, but my argument was always for the folks who pay the bills, and how important it is to be fair to them,” she said.
The Catasauqua High School Roughies Marching Band may be small in number, but they are mighty in spirit.
The band on Oct. 1 placed first in its division (39 members or less) during the Cavalcade of Bands competition held at West Chester East Senior High School. CHS competed against two other high school bands.
CHS music teacher and band director Robert Arnold noted a total of four divisions participated in the competition.
Arnold said the band performed well, scoring 73.55 points.
It wasn’t too long ago that Catasauqua Middle School sixth-grade math and language arts teacher James Snyder was walking the halls of the middle school as a student.
Snyder, who is a 2012 graduate of Catasauqua High School, received his bachelor’s degree from Kutztown University in middle level education. The Catasauqua Area School Board unanimously approved Snyder’s appointment as a full-time teacher this summer.
Teaching runs in Snyder’s family. Snyder said the strong family history of teaching led him to pursue a career in education.
The Lehigh County Board of Commissioners approved a 2017 budget amounting to $402.8 million at its Oct. 26 meeting.
The budget, which includes 16 amendments, was approved by a vote of 5-3 with Commissioners Geoff Brace, David Jones Sr. and Dan Hartzell voting in opposition.
Noteworthy amendments include a $1.1 million tax cut and a one-time $400,000 rebate. The budget calls for a millage rate of 3.64 mills. It results in residents saving $10.50 in taxes on a home assessed at $200,000.
Lehigh County Board of Commissioners took its first look at the 2017 budget at its Oct. 13 meeting.
The 2017 budget amounts to $399 million and includes roughly 33 amendments. The budget also proposes no tax increase and keeps the millage rate stable at 3.68 mills.
Commissioner Geoff Brace introduced an amendment, which was approved, that would eliminate a line item for the Northern Lehigh Community Center. An ordinance would be required to release $100,000 in funds.
The Catasauqua Area School Board at its Oct. 11 meeting approved a number of substitute and appointment positions.
Approved substitute positions include Janet Wanamaker as cafeteria substitute; Arian Orender as noncertified instructional aide; Jalen Nichols as noncertified instructional aide; Brittany Becker as substitute cafeteria aide; and Kimberly Bayer as substitute teacher.
Sheckler Elementary School Principal Eric Dauberman last month received some surprising news in the form of a grant.
According to Dauberman, Sheckler was nominated for a $1,000 grant through Town & Country Bowling Lanes, Bethlehem.
According to bowling center manager Dennis Bruder, the national Kids Bowl Free summer bowling program selected Sheckler out of 18,000 schools nationwide to receive the check. Town & Country’s marketing representative nominated area schools within a 25 mile radius.
Two Sheckler Elementary School students recently decided to do their part to raise money for new playground equipment.
Fourth-grade students Cody Kurczeski and Nicholas Stem approached the Sheckler administration last month, requesting approval to set up a lemonade stand during the school’s meet the teacher night Sept. 15.
Cody told The Press he and Nicholas saw an announcement that Home and School Association was trying to raise funds.
“We decided to help in another way,” Cody said.