Parkland Press

Thursday, July 9, 2020

New assistant administrator joins staff at Union Lutheran

Thursday, July 9, 2020 by SUSAN RUMBLE in Local News

Katie Stauter has joined the staff of Union Lutheran Church, Schnecksville, as assistant office administrator.

A Parkland graduate, Stauter has been a lifelong member of Union Lutheran and has been involved in many church activities.

Since the pandemic halted in-person worship, Stauter has been producing YouTube services and devotional videos for the church.

Stauter has had experience as a professional photographer taking shots of the IronPigs, senior class pictures for Northwestern and Parkland high schools, and many portraits of families and children.

The Ridings moves ahead

Thursday, July 9, 2020 by SUSAN RUMBLE in Local News

Although activity at the Ridings development was halted for awhile due to COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, construction has resumed on the Schnecksville project.

Located along Schneck Road between Spruce Street and Hickory, Phase I of the Ridings will include 43 single family homes on 20 acres of land.

North Whitehall Township Manager Chris Garges reports the houses will be served by public water lines from either the Lehigh County Authority or Northampton Municipal Water Authority.

Disinfecting for new school term

Thursday, July 2, 2020 by SUSAN RUMBLE in Local News

In the ongoing effort to protect students and staff during the COVIC-19 pandemic, the Parkland School Board approved purchasing 10 disinfecting machines from Global Cleaning Services for $101,000.

Director of Communications Nicole McGalla reports the school board will have a retreat in July to discuss options for the 2020-21 school term.

“We will present a return to school framework no later than Aug. 1,” McGalla said.

She noted the start of school has been moved to Aug. 31 this year.

Tax bills include farmland preservation fee

Thursday, July 2, 2020 by SUSAN RUMBLE in Local News

When North Whitehall residents received their tax bills this spring, a 0.1 mill assessment was included for the first time for farmland preservation.

At the primary election in 2019, voters approved a referendum establishing the mill rate for the new farmland preservation fund.

Township Manager Chris Garges reports the farmland preservation committee is preparing guidelines for the fund and will work with Lehigh County on the matter.

“We will use the money to help facilitate the county’s current program,” Garges said. “Our program is in its infancy.”

NORTH WHITEHALL: Union Lutheran’s VBS will be online

Thursday, June 25, 2020 by SUSAN RUMBLE in Columns

Union Lutheran Church, Schnecksville, reports this summer’s Rocky Railway Vacation Bible School program will be chugging online right into peoples homes.

Social distancing will not close down the tracks as Jesus’ power “pulls us through.”

VBS fun and learning will be unveiled every Wednesday for five weeks, starting July 8 and concluding Aug. 5.

Each encounter will be full of action and activities.

Click on the link the church will provide for participants.

Children will see Union Lutheran friends, learn the lesson and sing and dance along with the music.

Volleyball at the middle schools

Thursday, June 25, 2020 by SUSAN RUMBLE in Local News

When volleyball participation decreased at the middle schools about five years ago, officials decided to combine students from Orefield and Springhouse middle schools into one girls team and one boys team.

Assistant Superintendent Dr. Rod Troutman recently reported the trend has reversed with 66 girls and 32 boys on the middle school joint team for this past school term.

He noted if large numbers are on a team, playing opportunities are reduced for those involved in the sport.

Work begins at school

Wednesday, June 17, 2020 by SUSAN RUMBLE in Local News

Renovations to Schnecksville Elementary School began in May with contractors and the school district following safety guidance requirements issued by the commonwealth due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Director of School Services David Keppel anticipates the project will be ahead of schedule as the building is presently unoccupied.

Phase I, to update and enlarge the building over three years, will involve improvements to every section of the structure except the original part which opened in the late 1920s.

NORTH WHITEHALL: St. John’s UCC presenting virtual Vacation Bible School

Friday, June 12, 2020 by SUSAN RUMBLE in Columns

Although COVID-19 precautions have restricted public gatherings, St. John’s United Church of Christ, Laurys Station, has decided to offer Vacation Bible School to children through Zoom.

Church leaders are working to have everything ready to go for virtual transmission of VBS 10 a.m. to noon. June 15-19.

Activities and stories will then be available anytime on the church website.

The program, “Rocky Railway — Jesus’ Power Pulls Us Through, will bring fun-filled Zoom meetings to children of all ages.

District strives for no tax hike

Friday, June 5, 2020 by SUSAN RUMBLE in Local News

Although the economic slowdown brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic has affected Parkland School District revenue, administrators and the board are working to avoid a tax increase for 2020-21.

Superintendent Richard Sniscak spoke to The Press.

“COVID-19 is a new wrinkle in our budget plan,” Sniscak said. “We’ll have to use more of our fund balance to have a zero tax increase and balance the budget.”

Business Manager John Vignone commented on the matter.

Parkland orders Chromebooks

Friday, June 5, 2020 by SUSAN RUMBLE in Local News

Parkland’s school board recently approved the purchase of 1,550 Chromebooks for $429,289 with a two-year warranty included.

A Chromebook is a lightweight durable laptop that is designed to run cloud-based applications and store data online.

The units run on Google’s Chrome operating system and play an integral role in the E-Learning process.

Teachers post assignments on the Internet through the Schoology system which students access on their Chromebooks for each class or course.