Articles

6/16/15

By NANCY WHYTE

"This little organization is the best kept secret in the city," said Ann Heckel, a retired art teacher who volunteers at the North Boroughs YMCA Community Center. Located at the corner of California and South Home Avenues in Avalon (in the former Church of Epiphany), the Community Center is an extension of the North Boroughs YMCA, and is the go-to place for seniors seeking companionship, socialization, mental stimulation, physical exercise, delicious home-cooked meals and an overall good time.

6/8/15

Even the most ardent students of Bellevue history may have a hard time placing the name Daniel Rosemeier. That name, however, is now etched on a monument honoring police officers from across the country who have died in the line of duty.

Daniel V. Rosemeier had served with the Bellevue Police Department for 26 years and held the position of police chief on July 6, 1934, when he died as a result of a heart attack suffered on duty.

5/10/15

Avonworth opened its Pittsburgh Galleries Project in conjunction with the district-wide art show on Wednesday evening, with the public invited to view artwork displayed throughout the school from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

For the past two years, the Galleries Project program has provided students the opportunity to design, create, curate and manage exhibition spaces in middle and high school areas.

5/2/15

House tour.

The words bring to mind such locales as Sewickley, Ben Avon, Mt. Lebanon.

Rightfully so, with their unique architecture, tended landscapes, welcoming hosts.

But now it's time to add one more stop on the tour circuit: Bellevue.

From 1 to 5 p.m. on May 9, several of Bellevue's best will be open to the public for self-guided tours, with four homes and two churches, as well as the Hermann museum selected for viewing.

5/2/15

By NANCY WHYTE

Cancer survivor Dawn Reinhart of Ben Avon has been named chairperson of this year's “Race for the Cure” in Pittsburgh. As chair, Reinhart, a 16-year breast cancer survivor, becomes the "ambassador and face of the race," which takes place Sunday, May 10, at Flagstaff Hill in Schenley Park.

Reinhart has been active with the Susan G. Komen race since 2001. She finds gathering with other breast cancer survivors to be empowering.

4/25/15

The owners of Grille 565 have strong ties to the area, and they hope to make them even stronger by attracting diners to the restaurant that is named for its address: 565 Lincoln Avenue.

Jennifer Cirlingione, husband Gary Cirlingione, and Mike Welsh also have strong ties to the restaurant business, with over 60 years of combined experience among them, much of it at the former Ohio River Boulevard eatery, Burgers Wagon Wheel, as well as at Sunny Jim's and the Primadonna, formerly in McKees Rocks.

4/25/15

Animal advocates from across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania gathered in Harrisburg this past Monday with one objective: blitz their representatives in the state house and senate with information on pending legislation that will, if adopted, add legal protections for countless animals, as well as the people who love them.

4/11/15

Jimmy Viscusi started cutting hair in 1965, and he has not stopped since, in part because it has been such a strong family tradition.

His father, Dom, had a shop on the North Side before moving to Bellevue and, after that, to West View in the 1950s, where he was the "go-to" barber who knew how to duplicate all of the latest trends in young men's hairstyles --- the fade, the Ivy League look, the flat top.

And then his life ended in a boating accident on Lake Erie in 1964.

4/11/15

After some of the more serious musicals staged at Avonworth High School, among them "Phantom of the Opera" and "Man of La Mancha," along comes the light and frolicsome "Seussical, The Musical" as this year's production.

But wait. Adults who think that the show has little to say to audiences over age 12, should think again. Director Deborah Frauenholz promises that it will be an enjoyable show, but that it also has some meaningful, all-ages messages.

4/4/15

A group of area teens will present their "Views of Bellevue" through original photographs taken as part of a program offered by The Drop, a youth center housed in the basement of the former United Methodist Church located in the center of the borough. The show will open at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, April 21, with photos on display for a month at Grille 565 on Lincoln Avenue.

Photographs will feature architecture, people, and other Bellevue scenes.

3/29/15

By NANCY WHYTE

Last Saturday at Avalon Library, young readers had the opportunity to read aloud to a therapy dog. Butterscotch, a trained therapy dog, along with her handler Maggie Dobbins, visited the library’s children’s room, where a number of children petted “Butters” and read a favorite book to her.

3/29/15

Students in Avalon and Bellevue elementary schools once again competed in the Future Chef's Challenge by creating recipes for tasty and healthy foods that are easy to make and win parental approval, as well.

The contest began in January when 32 students in grades 6-12 at the two schools answered the invitation to submit their recipes for the contest, which was coordinated by Northgate food director Julianne Griffin. Judges narrowed the field to six finalists, who took to the kitchens at Northgate to prepare their specialties this past Wednesday.

3/14/15

Two local residents have set out to tell the world a story that somehow has become lost to much of history. That’s because it is a story that most history books fail to mention, but one that, now revealed, quite possibly will change forever the way that historians will report one of the darkest moments ever: the Nazi Holocaust.

2/28/15

Audiences exiting Northgate High School's spring musical production of "Mary Poppins" will leave the auditorium with more than just the lyrics of "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious" lodged in their minds.

They'll also have visions of Laken Burns, portraying Mary Poppins, in full flight across the stage, as well as other students performing some athletically demanding choreography throughout the show.

Of course, Laken will have some help in navigating Mary's flight, that coming from "Flying by Foy," a company based in Las Vegas, with offices in London, and Philadelphia.

2/28/15

Esmark Industrial Group of Sewickley has named Avonworth senior John Gould an Esmark All-American, based on John's academic and athletic achievement, as well as his community service

Esmark's High School "All-American" recognition program, aimed at recognizing outstanding athletic, academic, and community service achievements among all high school student-athletes across the U.S. in 16 major varsity sports programs spanning five geographic regions.

2/23/15

Students and faculty sponsors of Avonworth's annual Children's Hospital holiday auction recently grouped up to present a check to Molly Vogel, the hospital's develoment coordinator.

While the amount was slightly less than last year's, the combined middle and high school total of more than $17,000 allowed the schools to maintain the distinction of being the top school donors to the hospital's free care fund.

2/7/15

Eight Avonworth High School students are among this year's winners of Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, which since 1923 have recognized the vision, ingenuity, and talent of young artists and provided opportunities for creative teens to be celebrated. Students across America submitted 255,000 original works during the 2014 program year.

1/26/15

Bookmobile service will continue in Ben Avon for at least the next two years, despite the decision of the borough council to eliminate funding for it.

1/26/15

By NANCY WHYTE

By donating their time, energy and talents, volunteers play an important role at a variety of local organizations. At the Avalon Library, volunteers perform various duties in assisting the library staff, helping patrons, and in fund-raising activities.

Two of the Avalon Library’s volunteers are particularly well-known to library director Rania Sullivan -- her parents. Both Linda and Andrew Halcoussis enjoy spending numerous hours each year volunteering at the library.

1/9/15

After 50 years of fronting the Wee Jams, a rhythm and blues soul band of North Boroughs origin and national popularity, lead singer Bill Dell has decided to call it quits.

While the band may play on, it will be without the voice that sang lead on such songs as "Patti Ann," and "Pretty Young Girls," two of the songs that became signature recordings for the group that has entertained audiences for 50 years in Western Pennsylvania and beyond, South Carolina providing the band's favorite out-of-area fan base.

5/10/14

Imagine a home library with over 25,000 volumes of books and dozens of periodicals, with many more available on-line in any one of several computers located in what probably was a front parlor or in a few of the upstairs bedrooms.

5/10/14

By NANCY WHYTE

Next week, the Andrew Bayne Memorial Library celebrates its 100th anniversary. The history of this local institution is fascinating and is just one of the aspects to be enjoyed when library staff, patrons, and community residents of all ages join in the May 16 and 17 celebration.

5/4/14

Shakespeare's oft-quoted, "What's in a name?" has taken on new significance at Avonworth High School/Middle School where the library no longer is a library, but a "Collaboration Center," instead.

As high school principal Dr. Kenneth Lockette explained, "The library name change was to emphasize how the space was to be utilized. Most people perceive libraries as quiet places where a librarian says, "Shush" when one walks in. We wanted the name to reflect the idea of student collaboration, where there is brainstorming, planning and activity."

4/27/14

She started out as a sunflower, but chances are good that someday soon she'll be a star.

That might be a lot to say about an 8-year-old actress, but this particular actress has more credits to her name than many performers twice her age can claim.

Sophie Guest, daughter of Amy and Steve Guest of Ben Avon, grew up with the good fortune to have at least a passing connection to the entertainment industry, but probably more important is her natural ability to flash a smile that can light up a room with more wattage than a few dozen klieg lights on a movie set.