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.



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.


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.


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.



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.


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."


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.


Imagine having five local art galleries all in one building, all at the same time. The Warhol, Carnegie Museum of Art, the Mattress Factory, the ToonSeum and the Pittsburgh Glass Center will arrive at Avonworth next Tuesday, April 22, with an opening reception beginning at 6 p.m.



The Northside Easter Sunrise Service at Riverview Park, a celebration that has become an annual Easter tradition for many North Borough families, is observing its 80th anniversary on Sunday, April 20.

Each Easter morning, religious leaders and worshippers from a wide variety of denominations gather together to celebrate their Christian beliefs. The service, as usual, will be held at 6:30 a.m. in Riverview Park, in front of the observatory.


It's never too early to teach kids the benefits of healthy eating, but it's not too often that the kids show the grown-ups some yummy recipes that are easy to prepare, that kids like and that are (of course) healthy.



On Sunday, March 24, longtime Emsworth resident Richard R. Waldron was posthumously inducted into the Hall of Valor at Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall in Pittsburgh. More than 15 family members and friends attended the formal, military presentation. Adam Armendariz, the oldest of Waldron's seven grandchildren, accepted the plaque on Waldron's behalf.

"It was an honor to represent my granddad today." Armendariz later posted on his Facebook page. He was "a quiet hero who loved his family, his country, and his community selflessly."


Every year, hundreds of choral students from the Pittsburgh area compete for positions in both District Chorus and the St. Barnabas Kean Quest. Having six students involved in these activities represents quite an accomplishment for any school, but especially for a smaller one, such as Northgate High School.


Most Pittsburghers of an age have memories of Porky Chedwick, the iconic Pittsburgh deejay who passed away last Sunday. Porky, a.k.a. the "Daddio of the Raddio," "The Platter Pushin' Papa," "The Boss Man," and "Pork the Tork" introduced teens (mostly) to music to grow up to, music to rebel to, and for Bill Dell of Brighton Heights, to music that influenced his entire life.

"Black records were not being played on the radio back then, but Porky loved the deep rhythm 'n' blues, the black sound," Dell recalled. "He completely integrated music."


If the Olympics host synchronized swimming as a summer event, why not host synchronized skating as a winter event?

No answer to that, although many organizations and individuals are working to make it happen in South Korea in 2018.

And even though (for now) she has no real aspirations of being on the first U. S. team, Avonworth senior Sarah Kelly, 17, believes, "It should be a sport just as other synchronized sports are. Synchro takes a lot of dedication, work, and effort, and it is very entertaining to watch."


So which Olympic sport might you consider to be the most exciting to watch? Hockey? Skiing? Luge?

Ask Mark Robinson of Bellevue, and he won't hesitate for a second to answer, "Curling!" and then for as much time as you might have to spare and with just a little persuasion, he might be prevailed upon to discuss some of the finer points of the sport.


The brass bucket beside Mary Helene Fader's comfy chair in her sunroom holds copies of "Archaeology" magazine, Wellesley College publications, issues of "The New York Times." Many friends and relatives may not recognize the Mary Helene reference, and so she will be referred to throughout this story as Diz, the nickname bestowed upon her by her sister many years ago, the name that has stayed with her throughout her life.


"As I sat at my high school graduation, listening to our class valedictorian speak about the lines on the wall, I looked around and wondered how the 69 of us would turn out. Truly a magical number for a public high school graduating class those days, a public high school in the suburbs of a major city, at that. Christina, the valedictorian, was obviously speaking metaphorically about the mortar lines that ran through the bricks of our high school walls. As we choose different paths in our lives, she said, our choices dictate how we end up.


When Melinda Ward, formerly of Emsworth, signed on for a trip that would take her to Palestine and Israel, she knew it was not going to be a vacation similar to trips that religious pilgrims make to sites in the Holy Land.

A youth counselor at Holy Family Institute, Melinda, 25, was one of 23 delegates making the journey organized by the Washington-based Interfaith Peace Builders (IFPB), with other travelers joining her from across the United States.



Psychologists call it a “flashbulb memory,” that special, autobiographical memory that is seared into one’s mind upon seeing or hearing something emotionally traumatic. For many individuals aged 55 or older, the assassination of President John F. Kennedy often evokes such a carefully-preserved memory. A lot of people can provide a detailed description of where they were when they heard that tragic news.


Skinny Pete's Kitchen or, as the menu prefers to call the restaurant, "A unique luncheon and gourmet food destination," opened in Avalon last February, with a menu heavy on comfort foods served in an intimate and comfortable setting.

Neither of the co-owners, Tina Grindeland and Danielle Mashuda, lives in Avalon, but, as Tina said, "We knew the area from when we grew up. We had friends here, and we like the community."



The special date 11-12-13 only occurs once in a century, but long-time Bellevue resident Myrtle Brooks has had the opportunity to observe it twice: once on the day she was born and this week as she celebrated her 100th birthday.


North Hills Community Outreach has announced the launch of its 2013-14 "Sharing Winter Warmth" campaign, an effort to provide disadvantaged families and individuals (such as vulnerable seniors, widows/widowers, and people with disabilities) with necessities such as heat and food during the holiday season.

Last year the Sharing Winter Warmth campaign provided $50 in certificates toward food and utilities to 583 North Hills families in need.



My father was a member of what Tom Brokaw termed -- rightly so, I believe -- “The Greatest Generation.” Robert Francis Fellows was born shortly after World War One ended, was a child during the Roaring Twenties, a teenager during the worst of the Great Depression and graduated high school shortly before World War II began.


After three years of work by volunteers, three trails through the wooded acreage of Bellevue’s Memorial Park are ready to be dedicated and opened to the public.

Designed by David Biber of Bellevue, a volunteer with the Pittsburgh Trails Advocacy Group (PTAG), the three are part of a bigger plan that will add two more trails and potentially connect with the Rails to Trails project that stretches between the City of Pittsburgh and Washington, DC.