Avalon’s 2019 street paving program should be underway soon, as the borough council voted unanimously at its meeting Tuesday to award a contract to T.A. Robinson Asphalt Paving, Inc.


Northgate’s youngest students are responding well to a literacy program introduced in 2016, according to the principals of Avalon and Bellevue elementary schools.


The deadline for the 2018 Pennsylvania Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program has been extended to Dec. 31, 2019.

The rebate program benefits eligible Pennsylvanians age 65 and older; widows and widowers age 50 and older; and people with disabilities age 18 and older. The income limit is $35,000 a year for homeowners and $15,000 annually for renters, and half of Social Security income is excluded. Spouses, personal representatives or estates may also file rebate claims on behalf of claimants who lived at least one day in 2018 and meet all other eligibility criteria.


As expected, at Monday night’s meeting, the Avonworth School Board approved the final budget for the 2019-20 school year in the amount of $34,339,313.00.

Additionally, Resolution 061019-A was approved establishing the millage rate at an increased level of 19.53 mills for the 2019-20 school year.

The board also approved purchasing the Carnegie Learning Math Program for grades 6-8 at a cost of $65,000.


Bellevue mayor Emily Marburger’s latest misstep with regard to the WizardVue festivals will cost a nonprofit group a significant chunk of their proceeds, but could result in a more organized event procedure that will impact both officials and groups wanting to stage events in the borough.


The Northgate School District will welcome a new director of curriculum, as the school board voted unanimously Monday night to hire Dr. Christopher Caton for the position.

Caton will replace Shawn Tomaszewski, who will leave Northgate at the end of the month to take a position as principal of Baldwin High School.

The new director is coming to Northgate from the Moon School District, where he has been the director of curriculum since 2014.


Although it won’t stop the Northgate School Board from increasing taxes this year, the board has agreed to work with a local real estate broker to figure out why steadily increasing home sale prices are not automatically resulting in higher tax revenue for the district without an increase in millage.


Bellevue Police are looking for any information that could lead to the arrest of an armed robber who hit the Lincoln Avenue CoGo’s convenience store just before 10 p.m. last Sunday, June 9.

Police believe the assailant, who forced the lone female clerk to give him money from the register and back office, is a black male, although head-to-toe clothing prevented any type of detailed description.

Police say he used a small semi-automatic handgun that appeared to be a Glock-style weapon with two-toned coloring (brown and black).


Not only is Pittsburgh the first U.S. city to have been selected for an international spotlight on education innovation by global non-profit HundrED, which seeks and shares inspiring ideas in K-12 education with the goal of scaling them worldwide, but a program developed by students at the Avonworth Primary Center is one of only 12 Pittsburgh initiatives that will be shared with the world.


If you see smoke in Bellevue, it probably isn’t coming from the dragon perched atop Bellevue Elementary, but from Bellevue Council chambers.

Just days after council ordered an investigation into the unapproved expenditure of nearly $10,000 in tax monies for WizardVue last August, officials found that the public works crew had been used to cover the Route 65 “Bellevue -- Live, Worship, Shop” sign with an advertisement for WizardVue Two.



This fall, Avonworth middle school students will most likely be using a new curriculum for their math lessons.

During last Monday night’s work session, assistant superintendent Jeff Hadley presented the school board with detailed information about the Carnegie Learning Math Program, which he is recommending that the board approve purchasing next week. The program is designed for grades 6-8 and employs a problem-based approach to learning math. It is aligned to the recent shifts in core standards, unlike the Glencoe program currently used.


Some 10 months after Harry Potter fans gathered in Bellevue for WizardVue, and just weeks before WizardVue Two is set to take over the borough’s main street, Bellevue Council is calling for a formal investigation of the unapproved expenditure of nearly $10,000 in tax dollars for last year’s event.


Following a traffic stop on May 15, Richard H. Smallis, 26, of New Brighton, was arrested for possession of suspected marijuana.

On May 16, a motor vehicle accident occurred at North Starr and Union avenues. No injuries were reported.

Jeremy M. Flood, 43, of Evans City, was arrested on May 17 for driving under the influence of a controlled substance.

Galen Hampton Gray, 32, McKees Rocks, was arrested on May 17 for driving under the influence of a controlled substance.


During the month of April, 2019, the Bellevue Police Department reported the following incidents:

Four cases of simple assault which occurred on April 2, 4, 5, and 13.

Two cases of forced burglary: one on April 1 and the other on April 23.

Two cases of shoplifting: one on April 12 and the second on April 26.

Three cases of larceny from a motor vehicle occurring on April 3, 13, and 29.

One case of larceny from a building on April 30.

One case of fraud reported on April 23.

Eight cases of vandalism: two on April 1, April 9, 11, 12, 16 and two on April 17.


Tuesday’s primary election may have helped narrow - or in many cases expand - the field of candidates for the November general election, but it did little locally to guarantee many candidates a victory, especially given the incredibly low voter turn-out that registered a mere 16.38 percent county-wide.

In Bellevue, where there were the most contested races, turn-out crept up to 17 percent in one district. Ohio Township’s turn-out was as low as 8 percent in two of the township’s three districts.


Voters will make important choices in the May 21 primary election, when six candidates will seek the nominations for five seats on the Northgate School Board.

All of the candidates have cross-filed, meaning their names will appear on both the Democratic and Republican ballots. The top five vote-getters on each ballot will move on to the primary election in November.


How long have you resided in Bellevue? Cerminara: I have lived in Bellevue for 9 years. Woshner: 47 years.

What is your educational background? Cerminara: I graduated cum laude from Slippery Rock University with a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Studies. Woshner: AA and BSBA cum laude majoring in business management from Robert Morris University

What is your professional background?


Despite financial projections that indicate the Northgate School District will be operating in the red in just a couple years no matter what tax increases are levied, the district’s school board voted 6-3 Monday evening to approve a proposed 2019-20 budget that includes nearly the maximum tax increase allowed by state law.


The Avonworth School Board is looking at a .43 mill property tax increase and a dip into the district’s reserve fund balance to fund the proposed 2019-20 fiscal year budget.

The $34.2 million proposed budget is expected to use $486,259 in revenue from an increase in the district’s millage rate from 19.1 to 19.53, a 2.3 percent increase that is the maximum permitted under the state Act 1 index. Another $840,277 could come from the fund balance in order to balance the spending plan.


Fifty years to the day after area firefighters battled for 12 hours to put out a fire that had started in the factory at Schaffner Manufacturing in Emsworth, the Schaffner Family Fund of the Pittsburgh Foundation donated $40,000 to the Emsworth Volunteer Fire Company. Pictured here, Jay Schaffner presents the check to EVFC president Joe Koehler Tuesday evening as other members of the fire company look on. Schaffner said that he clearly remembers the day of the fire, when a police officer knocked on the door of his home in Ben Avon at 6:15 a.m. to tell him that the factory was on fire.


The Pittsburgh Business Times this week released its annual ranking of 102 area school districts, which showed some movement for the two North Boroughs school districts.

The Pittsburgh Business Times uses a proprietary formula that is based on each district’s PSSA and Keystone test results, and covers a three-year period. This year’s rankings are based on test scores from 2016, 2017 and 2018.


In stark contrast to the local primary election two years ago, the 2019 municipal primary will offer few contests and even fewer candidates.

Traditionally, ballots in the North Boroughs have been sadly lacking in choices, with the fundamental task of getting one candidate for each open seat a challenge in many communities. In 2017, however, the ballots were bulging with choices for voters. If the 2019 election is any indication, however, that 2017 flurry of political activism was a fluke.


A motor vehicle accident occurred on Elizabeth Avenue on April 15. Police say no one was injured.

A motor vehicle accident occurred on Ohio River Boulevard on April 16. Police say no one was injured.

Alex C. Smith, 32, of Pittsburgh, was arrested on April 16 for possession with intent to sell a controlled substance.

Following a traffic stop on April 17, Nathaniel Anthony, 27, of Avalon and Damien Leininger, 30, of Allison Park, were arrested for possession of a controlled substance.


No matter what the Northgate School Board decides to do with the property tax millage rate in 2019-20, the district remains headed towards financial insolvency, perhaps even sooner than originally projected.