If you’re in the mood for some holiday tunes, the choruses at both local schools are ready to perform. Avownworth’s senior choral members group up for a photo while rehearsing for the holiday concert featuring the middle and high school bands and choruses. From left are Caroline Carlson, Alex Kirsch, Katlyn Weiser, Angie Tozzi, Jenna Foster, Alexey Stern and Jayelin Cameron.The performance is scheduled for Wednesday, Dec. 16, in the high school auditorium at 7:30 p.m.. The public is invited, with free admission.

Photo by Tom Steiner for The Citizen


A horse-drawn wagon provided rides along Lincoln Avenue. Photo by Tom Steiner for The Citizen


Santa got a helping hand from an Elf and, of course, Rudolph. Photo by Tom Steiner for The Citizen


The Bellevue Fire Department and Volunteer Fire Company assisted Santa Claus in making his annual appearance in Bellevue last Friday atop the borough's aerial firetruck. The event was sponsored by the North Suburban Chamber of Commerce. Photo by Tom Steiner for The Citizen


A nativity scene was made up of members of Bellevue Christian and Greenstone U.M. churches. Photo by Tom Steiner for The Citizen


Mayor Paul Cusick reads The Night Before Christmas to Sonny Senvisky. Photo by Tom Steiner for The Citizen


Kids line up, waiting for the tree-lighting and the arrival of Santa Claus. Photo by Tom Steiner for The Citizen


If you’re in the mood for some holiday tunes, the choruses at both local schools are ready to perform. Northgate’s middle and high school combined choirs, pictured here, will present “A FROZEN Christmas,” under the direction of Kelly Winovich on Thursday, Dec. 17, at 7 p.m. in the middle/high school auditorium. The public is invited, with free admission.

Photo by Tom Steiner for The Citizen


For the second consecutive year, Avonworth High School senior David Clark has been named Point Park University's regional journalism winner for editorial cartooning, a title that qualifies him to move on to Pennsylvania State Press Association competition, where he will defend the championship title he won last year as a junior.

Newspaper adviser Scott Tuffiash said that he is thankful that PSPA has this outlet for David's craft.

"His talent is remarkable and it is great to see him earn this recognition."


There were tears, hugs, and an abundance of gratitude as the area’s newest tribute to military veterans was unveiled Saturday on the front lawn of American Legion Post 116 in Avalon.


The topics discussed by members of the Women's Literary Club of Bellevue are, by their nature, works of historical interest rather than works of fiction. In fact, the 17 ladies who meet once a month from October to June truly qualify as being academics rather than readers of the classics or of “best seller” contemporary literature.

The formula that the ladies follow, is, indeed, tried and true, having been practiced for over a century, with the club's 110th anniversary being marked on Nov. 1.


Community-based and independently-produced Maker Faires are happening all over the globe -- from India to Egypt to Greece -- and this weekend, in Pittsburgh, where students from both Northgate and Avonworth school districts will have the opportunity to display some of their recently-learned skills by demonstrating products of their own making.

Maker Faires were created by the publisher of "Make Magazine." They are gatherings of artists, inventors, designer, tinkerers, and do-it-yourselfers, all who exhibit, share and "make" or create things.


As the curtain falls on Act I, the audience for the fall production of Ken Ludwig's "The Game's Afoot" will be puzzling over the classic murder mystery question: "Who done it?"

But fear not, Watson! By the conclusion of the play, all will be made clear.

"We have put on some terrific plays over the years, but this is truly one of my favorites," said Community Theatre Players' Jennifer Bett, who is directing this year's production. "Ken Ludwig is a tremendous writer and 'The Game's Afoot' is a wonderful combination of comedy, romance, suspense and just good fun."


Fifty years ago, the Brit rock band The Who released "The Kids Are Alright," a song that went on to become one of the most misunderstood in all of rock history. Skip over the song and just take the title and apply it to a group of local kids who are in no danger of being misunderstood. It's the Avonworth area (Awesome) DoSomething Club, a social action club designed to get teens involved in humanitarian causes in the community.


The "Strong Women, Strong Girls" organization recently honored Avonworth senior Becca Volk with this year's "Strong Girl" award in a ceremony held at Pittsburgh's Doubletree Hilton,


Rege Costello walks six miles each day, weather permitting, two miles after each meal, mostly along the streets of his hometown, Emsworth, on into Ben Avon and sometimes maybe to the Avalon border.

At one time not so long ago, though, Rege was running those streets, as well as marathons in South Park, North Park, Johnstown, Pittsburgh, Cleveland and Boston. In all, 49 marathons, Boston being the easiest, in Rege's opinion.

"No steep hills!" he said.

But then came a hill too steep for him to climb: torn knee cartilage, and Marathon 50 would forever elude him.


The closing of Emanuel's Lutheran Church on North Fremont Avenue in Bellevue marks yet another passing of a long-established house of worship in the North Boroughs. With active membership no longer topping 50, a dramatic falling-off from nearly 600 members in the early 1960s, the congregation simply could no longer meet the expenses of maintaining the gothic-styled church that was dedicated in 1909, with additions and embellishments made throughout the century that followed.


If you happen to be strolling through Pittsburgh's suburbs -- or even the city itself -- don't be too surprised when you hear the soft cluck, cluck, cluck of...chickens?

Yes, chickens. They are a fast-growing trend in the area of urban farming, right up there with homegrown organic produce, beekeeping and community gardens.

An Avalon couple who recently moved to the area brought a unique request to the borough this month: Were they allowed to have a small chicken coop in their back yard?


It's only the second gardening season for Pam MacLeod in her Bellevue home, but she has grown more veggies and flowers on her deck garden than many folks have grown in a decade.

The gardening effort really is a family affair, the up-down duplex shared by her son and his family upstairs and Pam living on the first level, keeper of the dogs, on-call babysitter, and chief garden caretaker, although, as daughter-in-law Becca says, "We do everything collectively."


Boy Scout Troop 321 has added another Eagle Scout to its extensive list of those who have risen to the highest level in scouting.

Isaac George of Ben Avon recently was recognized for his achievements in an honor court held recently at Mt. Nebo Presbyterian Church in Ohio Township.

Isacc's Eagle project centered on upgrading the library at his home church, Bellefield Presbyterian, in Oakland.


There are no cascading waterfalls and no manicured lawns, but anyone visiting Nancy D'Angelo's Brighton Heights' garden is in for a sensory treat.


Anyone looking for meticulously tended plots and precisely clipped lawns won't find them in Joanne Nixon's Bellevue garden.

But there may be something even better to be found for anyone who can harken back to high school English class to remember the definition of the literary term, metaphor: something that represents something else.

Just pass by, or stop in for a few minutes -- everyone is welcome -- to find a garden that is more than just a garden. More like life itself.



"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.