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Avonworth School District's superintendent is the recipient of the Distinguished Educator Award.The University of Pittsburgh's Tri-State Area School Study Council has honored Tom Ralston -- pictured above with middle school students Cooper Groll, Olivia Perry, Natalie Grillo and Jackson Southern -- for leadership contributions to the school district, community, and/or educational research or publications. Ralston will be honored at Tri-State's 69th annual banquet on March 9 at the Edgewood Country Club.


Emsworth Council has a new member. Pictured here, Mayor Dee Quinn swears in new council member Jolene Bennett. Bennett takes over for former council member Geoff Barnes, who moved out of the borough recently. Bennett was chosen from among two applicants for the seat. The term of office will end in January, when the seat will be filled by the results of the November general election, or a new appointment for a two-year term.

Photo by Nancy Whyte for The Citizen


Four Bellevue Police officers were honored at the Bellevue Council meeting on Tuesday for their efforts to save two Dollar General employees and apprehend a robber.


Emsworth's Gibson Street Bridge project is nearing completion.

At the June meeting of Emsworth Council, Dan Lenz, chairman of infrastructure projects, said that a guide rail still needs to be erected. If the custom-designed guide rail is not finished, a temporary guide rail will be put up, he said.

After a guide rail is in place, Beech Construction will remove the temporary bridge, including about two feet of abutment on each side, Lenz said.


The Avonworth boys’ basketball team is proving itself to be the one to beat, as the Antelopes are in first place in their section, and taking out their opponents right and left as the season hits the midpoint. Pictured at left, Eric Gallupe (No. 31, red) is unstoppable during the team’s visit to Northgate Tuesday night.


Avalon Council gained some new members and new officers at its reorganization meeting Monday evening.

Taking the oath of office were new members Lee Nelson, William Pascale and Ryan Neal, who were joined by re-elected members Tom Lloyd and John Vetterly, and tax collector Ed Klicker. Pictured above being sworn in by solicitor Megan Ott are, from left, Neal, Nelson, Vetterly, Pascale, Lloyd and Ed Klicker.


New Bellevue director of administrative services Ron Borczyk, pictured above at center with council president Linda Woshner and vice president Jim Viscusi, is quickly settling in to his new job with the borough. Borczyk, who comes to Bellevue after working as the borough manager in Springdale, has a background in accounting and human resources in the private sector, as well as municipal government experience.


Avalon Police Chief Tom Kokoski (right) welcomes the borough’s newest full-time police officer. Chris Brown, who has been working as a part-time officer in Avalon for a couple years, was hired at Tuesday’s Avalon Council meeting in a unanimous vote. Brown is a former Marine who served in Iraq.


And you think you get a headache trimming your Christmas tree? A crew decorating the Bellevue Christmas tree Wednesday afternoon ran into a slight problem when the evergreen decided to topple over. The tree was soon upright, however, and firmly attached to the former Central Methodist Church building on Lincoln Avenue. Donated by WPAHS, the tree was the centerpiece of festivities sponsored by the North Suburban Chamber of Commerce Friday night.


Visitors to Bellevue’s business district have seen a dramatic transformation take place over the last few weeks, as the Central Methodist Church building is prepared to house a private event venue. The property has been purchased by Amos Harp Jr. of the North Side, better known as Professor Amos, whose cleaning products are featured on the Home Shopping Network. Once renovations and restoration are complete, the building will be used for weddings and banquets.


Big rigs used to be able to travel through the North Boroughs without too many concerns, due to the lack of a police officer certified in tractor-trailer inspections and safety. That is no longer the case. Avalon Police Officer Sean Khirley set up shop on Route 65 Wednesday, putting into practice the training he has received recently in an effort to make the highways safer and possibly even prevent some road damage in the borough.


Avalon officials showed their appreciation this week for two police officers injured during the pursuit of a suspected drug dealer earlier this year. Working in plainclothes along with Police Chief Tom Kokoski, Officers Sean Khirley and Walt Johnson pursued the fleeing suspect through a 20-foot jump and over a fence, finally nabbing him and recovering a quantity of suspected heroin. Both officers and the suspect were hospitalized after the chase. While Khirley has returned to duty, Johnson remains off-duty with a leg injury.


For the first time since March, the Borough of Bellevue has a director of administrative services on the job in the borough hall. Former Crafton manager Doug Sample began work Monday. The position has remained vacant since Connie Flasher resigned last spring.


At Monday night’s meeting of the Avonworth School Board, a number personnel motions were unanimously approved.

The district secretary was re-elected, resignations were accepted; new staff members were hired; summer tutors were named; student summer workers were hired; assignment changes were granted; summer ESY staff was authorized and motions granting permission for summer work were passed.

Cindy Donovan will continue serving as secretary for the Avonworth School Board. She was re-elected to a four-year term commencing July 1, 2017 through June 30, 2017.


The Northgate School Board voted Monday to approve a new five-year contract with the Northgate Education Support Professionals Association, which represents the district’s paraprofessionals such as teacher aides.

Superintendent Caroline Johns said that there were no major changes in the terms of employment, and that the workers will receive a salary increase of 3.26 percent over the five-year term of the agreement.


After many months without a supervisor, Bellevue’s public works department should have a new person in charge by the end of the month.

Todd Giammatteo was hired by Bellevue Council at its pre-council meeting on Tuesday.

Giammatteo, of Gibsonia, is a volunteer firefighter and EMT for Richland Township, and since 1992 has worked for Allegheny Installations, Cement Masons Local 526, as a foreman.


Northgate School District's reserve fund balance will be higher than projected at the end of the current fiscal year on June 30.

School board member Lisa Saylor said that conservative budgeting and spending have resulted in the fund balance being $11.2 million, rather than the originally estimated $9 million.


For its work in the community, the Rosalinda Sauro Sirianni Memorial Garden has been awarded a $30,000 grant from Seeds of Change.

The Bellevue garden, operated by North Hills Community Outreach, was selected as a grant recipient for its dedication to providing hands-on food education opportunities and helping those in need.

In 2016, the garden provided a record 4,500 pounds of fresh organic produce to food pantries, and in doing so, improved the nutrition and overall health of 1,368 low-income families.


The Northgate School Board voted unanimously Monday night to hire two secretaries to replace two longtime staffers who have retired.

Fara Pienkosky was hired as a full time, 10-month secretary at Bellevue Elementary School, effective immediately.

Abigail Rose was hired as a full-time, 12-month middle/senior high school athletic secretary, effective June 19.


A final determination of primary election results by the Allegheny County elections department will make a difference in one local race.

Five candidates were seeking both parties’ nomination for four seats on the Avonworth School Board. The preliminary vote counts immediately following the election indicated that the same four candidates -- Patrick Stewart, Vicki Carlson, Renee Daniels Simmons and Sandra Bolain -- had been nominated on both the Democratic and Republican ballots, with incumbent Beau Blaser losing the GOP nomination to Simmons by just one vote, 255-254.



The subject of diversity – specifically the lack of it among the employees of the Avonworth School District – was a topic discussed at the June 5 meeting of the school board.

During the visitors' comments portion of the meeting, an man who said he had lived in the district for 39 years and was a 1989 graduate of Avonworth High School, said he was concerned that the members of the board, administration and most of the teaching staff all looked the same. He also expressed his view that the curriculum needed to be changed to reflect more diversity.


On May 24, a resident of Sylvan Walk in Ben Avon reported an assault.

A resident of Banbury Lane in Ben Avon Heights filed a soliciting complaint on May 25.

On May 25, a resident of Roosevelt Road in Emsworth filed an ordinance complaint.

On May 26, a resident of Plummer Avenue in Emsworth filed a harassment report.

A resident of Thornridge Road in Kilbuck Township reported fraud on May 27.

On May 30, Ohio Township Police officers responded to a report of suspicious persons on American Way in Ohio Township.