The Avonworth School District has come up with a solution to the problem faced by parents who need before-class care for their children.

Starting in January, the district had discontinued its practice of allowing parents who work to drop off their children at the elementary school as early as 8 a.m. The acton was taken on the advise of the solicitor, who said Avonworth was not-licensed to provide daycare.

The sudden action has left parents in a bind, however.


Numerous stamp bags of suspected heroin were recovered when Avalon Police executed a search warrant at a South Home Avenue residence last Sunday.

Police say that a juvenile jumped out of a window and fled on foot when police entered the home. He was apprehended after a short chase and found to be in possession of a number of stamp bags.

In other news from Avalon Police, a Malvern Road resident came home to find the house ransacked in a burglary on Jan. 12. Reported stolen were a flat screen television, an Xbox along with controllers and games, and some prescription medication.


Upset parents of fifth grade students at Avonworth Elementary School told board members at Monday's work session that they did not agree with the timing of the administration's decision to fill an open teaching position in the sixth grade with a current fifth grade teacher.

The sixth grade vacancy was created when the board hired Scott Miller to fill a newly created assistant principal position starting this semester at the elementary school. His vacant teaching position will be filled by David Bartolac, who is a fifth grade teacher at the elementary school.


A vehicle on Spring Avenue was reported broken into on Jan 12.

Raymond Wingold, 32, of South Starr Avenue, was arrested for simple assault during an incident at his residence on Jan. 10.

Sara Nuss, 45, of Kendall Avenue, was charged with retail theft from CVS on Jan. 7.


Two Ben Avon natives who have spent years helping orphans in Haiti aren’t about to let a little thing like a massive earthquake get in their way.

Jamie (30) and Ali (21) McMutrie have been living in Haiti, with Jamie spending about half the year there, caring for the children who come to live at Brebis de Saint-Michel de L’Attalaye, or BRESMA, orphanage in Port-au-Prince.

The orphanage is sponsored by the Answered Prayers organization in Washington State.

In addition to providing for children in one of the world’s most impoverished countries, BRESMA also arranges for adoptions.


It was all about filling vacancies when the Kilbuck Township Supervisors held a special meeting Tuesday.

With new supervisor Tom Tomaro participating by phone from Greensboro, NC, the board voted to fill a vacant supervisor's seat, as well as the position of tax collector for the township.

Chairman John Fader said that two "very qualified" people had applied for the supervisor's position left vacant when Susan Merckner resigned in December. Both had agreed to accept other positions in township government if not appointed supervisor, Fader said.


Because of an increase in enrollment and the number of different classes offered, the Avonworth School Board could vote next week to add a new high school social studies teaching position for the 2010-11 school year.

Director of curriculum Dr. Shannon Varley told board members at Monday's work session that Avonworth will be forced to cut some social studies electives if a new teacher is not hired. She noted that there are four social studies teachers responsible for teaching required courses as well as a number of electives.


Ohio Township Police have charged two people with stealing Blu-Ray discs valued at $900 from the Mt. Nebo Target store on Jan. 9. Arrested were Melinda Schlemmer, 24, of Butler, and Christopher Rusnock, 25, of Elwood City.

Alan David Howe, 42, of Shaler, was charged with possession of a controlled substance at the Home Depot store on Jan. 11.

Joseph Druzak, 42, of Aliquippa, faces a charge of possession of drug paraphernalia after he was arrested following a traffic stop on Ohio River Boulevard in Emsworth on Jan. 9.


Emsworth Council members have changed their minds yet again, and most property owners and residents will be paying the price.

After voting not to increase sewer surcharge rates in November, council authorized a change in the surcharge rate structure at its regular meeting on Wednesday. That change will result in rate increases for most property owners that range from about $10 to more than $600 per quarter.


For the first time since the Act 1 tax relief law went into effect, neither of the local school districts will certify to the state next month that they will not raise property taxes beyond the inflation index. Instead, both will leave open the option of millage hikes to cover contributions to the state retirement fund.

The reason? A dramatic increase in the contribution rate for the Pennsylvania School Employees' Retirement System (PSERS) that is expected to get much higher in the coming years.


Three new members were sworn in to seats on Avalon Council last Monday evening, including one who was just recently named the winner of a council seat by what was probably the lowest number of votes ever.

While Jonathan Bernstein and Thomas Lloyd Jr. were on the November ballot along with incumbents Ed Repp and Ralph Cortese, David Dixon was declared the winner of a council seat for which there were no candidates on the ballot. Dixon received four write-in votes, which was enough to beat out incumbent Albert Wurst, who received only three.


Avalon Police investigated the burglary of an Ohio River Boulevard home reported Dec. 27. Several items were stolen, police say.

Someone attempted to break into a vehicle parked on Marie Avenue on Dec. 30.

A Pittsburgh man was charged with simple assault after he reportedly choked a woman in a room at the Avalon Motel on Dec. 31. The woman was not seriously injured. Fiore Genovese, 36, was arrested for the assault.


Avalon Borough is starting off the year with a clean budgetary slate for a change, having ended 2009 in the black and adopting a $2.9 million spending plan for the new year.

Borough manager Harry Dilmore said that in past years, deficits had demanded about half of the borough's $300,000 tax anticipation loan be spent to clear up bills from the prior year. The loan is meant to keep government operating until tax revenues are received in the spring.


Bellevue Council started off the new year with a bang. With four officials not invited to take part in an early swearing-in ceremony, the night took a turn for the worse as council members got a few surprises before the evening ended with a plea from the mayor for everyone to check their egos at the door.


The burglary of a Greenough Avenue home was reported Dec. 28.

A Summit Avenue residence was reported burglarized on Dec. 26. A large screen television was stolen.

A resident of Orchard Avenue reported Dec. 27 that a thin, male teenager wearing all black clothing tried to break into an apartment building.

A burglary at a home on Maryland Avenue was reported on Dec. 16.


Lloyd Corder was elected president of a Ben Avon Council that features three brand new members.

New mayor Bob Jones, re-elected tax collector Carmella Hallstein and the three new council members were sworn in, along with the re-elected Corder, during last Monday’s reorganization meeting. Pictured taking the oath of office, administered by District Judge Tara Smith, are, from left, Republicans Brian Tokar, Richard Galbraith and Corder, and Democrat Richard White.

Sue Weiss was elected vice president of council.

Photo by Connie Rankin for The Citizen


By JOHN DOANE A few new faces were present at Emsworth Council's 2010 reorganization meeting Jan. 4 to take the oath as newly elected government officials. Former longtime borough solicitor Mike Marmo, now a judge on the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas, swore in newly-elected mayor Dee Quinn, incumbent council members Amy Adams and Paul Getz, and new members Dan Lenz and Kenneth Kroen.

The new council’s first act was to keep the status quo for the president of council.


The burglary of an Emsworth home was reported Dec. 31.

Police say a small amount of cash and a PlayStation were stolen from the Center Avenue home.

Michael Stercho, 34, of Emsworth, was charged with driving under the influence on Ohio River Boulevard in Emsworth on Jan. 1.


If at first you don't succeed, try, try again. After interviewing three candidates for an open two-year seat on the Northgate School Board, the board chose someone all too familiar with trying to acquire a seat.

The board appointed Gary Paladin, who has thrown his hat into the ring for a seat a number of times, in a 7-1 vote, with new board member Tony Barbarino opposed.

"He seemed like he already fit in," board member Charles Miklos said. "He impressed me."


Jane Braunlich will be taking a seat on Bellevue Council Monday night after all. The Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court has overturned a local court ruling that created a tie for the second of two first ward seats to be decided in the November general election.

Braunlich led Republican David Piet by one vote until an absentee ballot was discovered in the trunk of the first ward, first district judge of election's car. That ballot contained a vote for Piet.


Bellevue’s chances of approving a 2010 budget by the end of the year went up in smoke last Friday night when a scheduled public hearing never got off the ground.

Although five members of council were in the room at 6 p.m., when the budget hearing was supposed to start, two refused to participate because they said the borough administration had failed to comply with Bellevue’s home rule charter in terms of the pre-hearing mandated advertising.


Kilbuck Township property owners will see their real estate tax millage rate decrease by a half-mill in 2010.

The millage rate will drop from 7 to 6.5 mills next year.

The dissolution of the township’s fire company cut that expense nearly in half, from an annual cost of $41,000 to the $26,000 that will be paid in 2010 to have Ben Avon and Emsworth provide fire services.

The township also has decreased the cost of police services by sharing services with Emsworth to have the two municipalities patrolled by Ohio Township Police.


Growing tension among the Kilbuck Township Supervisors ended Tuesday evening with the resignation of Susan Merkner. Merkner, who was elected to office two years ago as part of protest of the prior administration, said that she no longer could perform her duties as supervisor because she was being excluded from decision-making and information by what she termed a “Good Olde Boy’s Club.”

She had announced in October that she was considering resigning and possibly taking legal action against fellow supervisors Russ Hardiman and John Fader.


Newly-elected Ohio Township tax collector Kristen Pontello will be working out of the township building, 1719 Roosevelt Rd. on Tues-days and Thursday, 9 a.m. to noon, and afternoon by appointment, beginning in January.