A bit of detective work has put an Emsworth man behind bars, charged with the robbery of two area service stations.

Michael Rusak, 26, most recently of Emsworth, is currently being held in the Allegheny County Jail, waiting for a preliminary hearing on robbery and theft charges filed by both Ohio Township and Avalon police departments.

Rusak is charged with robbing the Mt. Nebo Service station on Nov. 20, and the Marathon station on Union Avenue in Avalon a couple weeks before.


Matthew Ehrick Campbell, 31, of 15202, was charged with public drunkenness on Nov. 4.

On Nov. 5, Avalon Police responded to South Home Avenue concerning a dog fight.

Avalon Police took a report of an armed robbery at a Union Avenue business on Nov. 8. A customer requested a pack of cigarettes, and when the store clerk stated the price, the customer showed a black handgun and demanded the money in the register. Between $300 and $500 was taken, according to the report.


Bellevue Police received a report on Nov. 6 that a forced burglary had occurred at a Crawford Avenue residence.

On Nov. 7, Bellevue Police received a report that after a driver had stopped to use a MAC machine, an individual attempted to enter a vehicle.

From a Brighton Road resident, Bellevue Police received a report of internet fraud on Nov. 8.

Bellevue Police received a report of a disturbance on North Sprague Avenue on Nov. 9.

A Lincoln Avenue business reported a shoplifting incident on Nov. 10.

A Lincoln Avenue business reported a suspected retail theft on Nov. 12.


Council member Richard J. White presented a proposed 2016 budget of $1,183,300 to Ben Avon Council at Tuesday's meeting.

The budget lists total tax revenue income of $930,000, the majority coming from $521,000 in current real estate tax collections, along with $342,000 in current earned income tax. The estimate for major sources of non-tax revenue is $253,300, including county sales tax ($40,900), cable franchise fees ($39,700), and delinquent sewage charges ($39,000), among others.


Both Avalon and Ben Avon councils voted at meetings last Tuesday to sign the extended administrative consent order that continues efforts to abate the release of raw sewage into the area’s waterways during periods of wet weather.


Emsworth Borough's proposed budget for 2016 is on display at the borough building, and council anticipates approving it at the Dec. 9 meeting.

The proposed budget sets the real estate tax at 3.955 mills, with one of the mills being dedicated to roads.

Total income for the borough is projected at $1,590,532 and total expenses are expected to be $1,587,452.

Capital funds are expected to be used to cover the shortfall in sewage, where revenues of $597,710 do not meet anticipated expenses of $645,794.


The Northgate School District and the Northgate Education Association have agreed to a new contract for the district’s teacher.

Retroactive to July 1, 2015, the contract approved by the school board Monday night extends through June 30, 2020.


On Nov. 10, Ohio Township Police took a disturbance report at a McKinley Avenue in Emsworth residence.

Ohio Township Police officers responded to a disturbance on Berringer Place in Ben Avon on Nov. 11.

On Nov. 11, a theft report was taken at a Camp Horne Road in Ohio Township business. Some 20 to 25 pallets were taken from outside a building. The incident is still under investigation.

Ohio Township Police took a shoplifting-in-progress report from a Ben Avon Heights Road in Ohio Township business on Nov. 11.


Ben Avon Council unanimously accepted borough secretary Carmella Hallstein's notice of retirement at Tuesday's meeting.

Council member Julian Wynnyckyj was absent.

The official date of Hallstein's retirement is Dec. 24, but she will be taking vacation the final week, so her last day of work is scheduled for Dec. 17.


Emsworth Borough residents will face higher sewer bills in 2016, in addition to the 11 percent increase that will be levied by ALCOSAN..

At the Nov. 11 meeting, council announced plans to institute a flat quarterly usage fee of $13.78 plus an additional fee of $10.96 for each 1,000 gallons of water usage for each meter in the borough.

According to council member Kevin Yurkovich, even with the proposed change, revenues still won't cover the costs. The proposed 2016 Emsworth budget faces a shortfall of more than $48,000 in the sewage category, Yurkovich said.


The Northgate School Board has officially agreed to limit any potential property tax increase for 2016-17.

Under state law, school districts can agree to raise taxes no more than the state-determined index for each particular school district, or they can seek exceptions from the Pennsylvania Department of Education that would allow tax increases to exceed the index to cover a limited number of specific costs. The PDE exceptions allow districts to avoid obtaining voter approval of higher tax increases through a referendum on the primary election ballot.


Members of the Avonworth School Board are considering two possible calendars for the 2016-17 school year, which were distributed at Monday night's meeting.

In the first proposed calendar, the first day of school for students would be Aug. 23, and graduation and the last day of school for students would be June 2. In the second version, the first day would be Aug. 30, with graduation held and the last school day for students on June 9.


On Nov. 4, Ohio Township Police officers responded to a disturbance at a Hilands Avenue in Ben Avon residence.

A disturbance report was taken from an Ohio River Boulevard business on Nov. 4.

On Nov. 5, a report was taken concerning two males possibly going through a dumpster behind one of the businesses in Mt. Nebo Pointe in Ohio Township. Officers searched the area, and no one was found.

On Nov. 7, a trespassing complaint was taken from a resident living on Camp Horne Road in Emsworth.


Although no one seems quite sure how to make it happen, Bellevue Council members are in agreement that the fee charged for the inspection of apartments and commercial rental properties should increase from $35 to $40 per unit.

The recommendation for the slight fee increase came after council’s finance committee considered several options, including outsourcing the inspections.


The Northgate School District will continue with its program of repairing roofs on schools.

School board buildings and grounds committee chair Brigitte Jackson reported at the Nov. 9 committee of the whole meeting that one of the small roofs at Bellevue Elementary would be replaced by the end of November at a cost of about $3,000.


Firefighters from throughout the North Boroughs and Ross Township quickly extinguished a fire in a Bellevue apartment building Sunday morning.

The fire was reported to have broken out in a couch in a second floor apartment in the building at 60 Sumner Ave. The flames grew to reach the ceiling, causing it to collapse.

All of the residents were evacuated safely, and, as of Sunday night, have been unable to return to the building. The Allegheny County fire marshal was called to investigate.


On Oct. 23, Avalon Police received a report of criminal mischief. Someone had stepped in freshly-poured wet concrete on North Chestnut Avenue.

A McKinley Avenue resident reported on Oct. 23 that a bicycle valued at $200 had been stolen from the front porch.

Avalon Police responded to a disturbance at a Jackman Avenue residence on Oct. 25.

Following a traffic stop on Orchard Avenue on Oct. 27, Zachary Bryan Vasbinder, 23, was cited for disorderly conduct.


On Oct. 28, a Lincoln Avenue resident reported that a prescription medication had been stolen from a vehicle.

Bellevue Police officers were dispatched to a Lincoln Avenue business on Oct. 29 concerning a retail theft suspect in custody.

On Oct 29, Bellevue Police received a report that appliances had been stolen from outside a Grant Avenue residence.

On Oct. 31, Bellevue Police took an assault report on Lincoln Avenue. A warrant was issued.


In the North Boroughs’ only contested municipal election, Bellevue voters chose a couple new faces for their borough council, but also opted to hold onto a long-time incumbent.

With Mark Helbling in the third ward and Frank Camello in the second ward deciding not to run for re-election, council was guaranteed some fresh blood. Republican Tom Hrynda was unopposed for the second ward seat. In the third ward, Republicans Tom Fodi and Grant Saylor faced off against Democratic incumbent Jim Scisciani, and secured the two open seats.


On Oct. 29, Ohio Township Police responded to a dispute at a residence on Terrace Avenue in Ben Avon.

Ohio Township Police officers responded to a disturbance at a residence on Avonworth Heights Drive in Ohio Township.

On Oct. 30, two individuals who were attempting to sell stereo equipment out of their vehicle at a retail store on Ben Avon Heights Road in Ohio Township, were cited by Ohio Township Police officers for soliciting without a permit.


On Oct. 10, Avalon Police took a report of an internet fraud scam involving Craig’s List from a resident on Norwood Avenue.

Avalon Police responded to a motor vehicle accident without injuries on Oct. 10. A driver lost control, and the vehicle flipped onto the driver’s side on North Birmingham Avenue, police say.

On Oct. 14, Avalon Police took a report of criminal mischief at a gas station on Ohio River Boulevard.

Avalon Police responded to Elizabeth Avenue on Oct. 17 concerning an unconscious male lying in a yard. He was transported to Allegheny General Hospital.


Officers of the Bellevue Avalon Baseball Association (BABA) responded Tuesday to a suggestion that the playing fields in Avalon be shared with a new, private youth baseball organization next year.

BABA vice president Scott Stiteler said that the organization has been in existence for more than 55 years, and last year provided athletic opportunities for 120 children from Avalon and Bellevue. Volunteers from BABA have donated countless hours and thousands of dollars to maintain and improve the ball fields located along New Brighton Road.


Avalon officials will take another look at the area around the recently-constructed retaining wall on North Birmingham Avenue to determine if it would be safe to park cars on top of the wall.



The mystery as to the cause of storm water backing up with enough force to lift the 200 pound lid off a manhole has been solved, and the emergency repairs have been completed at a high cost to Emsworth Borough.