Articles

5/29/09

Bellevue police and fire officials were unable to confirm Thursday that the fatal May 15 fire at the Bellevue Mansions apartment building was an arson.

The fire, which resulted in the death of a 22-year-old male and the evacuation of more than 100 residents, has been under investigation by the Allegheny County fire marshal’s office.

5/29/09

A Pittsburgh man was stabbed during an argument at the Avalon Motel on Wednesday, but accounts differ as to who wielded the knife.

The victim, suffering from a stab wound to the left side of his chest, called police from a pay phone outside the Ohio River Boulevard motel. Police say he identified his assailant as his girlfriend, still inside a motel room.

Police say that the girlfriend pointed to her ex-boyfriend as the responsible person, reporting that the two men began fighting and she hid in the bathroom.

5/29/09

A Bellevue woman was taken to the hospital with minor burns after a kitchen fire at her Lincoln Avenue apartment on May 25.

Viviani Motors on Ohio River Boulevard reported May 23 that a vehicle had been stolen from the lot.

A Dawson Avenue resident reported May 24 that someone had broken out a window of his apartment.

Kalungi Howze, 35, of Orchard Avenue, was arrested for driving under the influence following an accident in the parking lot of the McDonald’s restauarnt on Ohio River Boulevard.

5/29/09

Avonworth’s varsity baseball head coach Phil Coffin learned last week that the WPIAL Baseball Coaches Association had selected him as Class A “Coach of the Year.”

The first-year coach received the honor based upon voting by fellow coaches.

Coffin began his coaching career five years ago when he was hired by Avonworth. “I took over as the middle school head baseball coach for three years and then moved up to become the varsity assistant for two years. In this time, I also ran the J.V. program.” 

5/29/09

Bellevue officials disagree on whether there is sufficient funding to perform an engineering study necessary to rehabilitate the parking lot adjacent to the borough building.

5/29/09

The North Boroughs annual Independence Day celebration and fireworks will go on this year, thanks to the Avalon Volunteer Fire Co.

The celebration was endangered when the North Suburban Chamber of Commerce withdrew its sponsorship earlier this year. With liability concerns necessitating sponsorship by an organization and insufficient time to form such a group, organizers were concerned that the event would have to be canceled.

5/29/09

Girl Scouts of Western Pennsylvania has presented Taylor Henzler the Gold Award, the organization’s highest recognition of achievement.

The recent presentation ceremony honored 44 scouts for projects focusing upon helping others in their communities and schools.

Taylor’s project addressed the need to provide extra academic assistance for Avonworth High School students. She structured “The Café,” an after-school tutoring and mentoring program held twice a week in the school cafeteria, where students seeking extra help can stay and work with teachers or other students.

5/29/09

A decision to hire three police officers this year could cost Bellevue Borough a federal grant that could have paid for two full-time officers.

Bellevue joined nearly 7,300 communities across the nation in applying for a Community Oriented Police Services (COPS) grant through the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) COPS Hiring Recovery Fund. Part of the federal economic stimulus plan, the grant program will fully pay for as many as two police officers in a particular community for as long as three years.

5/29/09

The cost of applying for a zoning variance in Bellevue could increase soon.

Council finance committee chairman Mark Helbling reported at the May 27 pre-council meeting that the committee recommended increasing the zoning hearing fee from $200 to $350 to better cover the costs of conducting a hearing.

The fee still will not cover all the costs, but Helbling and finance committee member Linda Woshner said that the committee felt that some costs should be “built into government” so as not to create a hardship for businesses and individuals.

5/29/09

James Logan Jr.

James E. “Buddy” Logan Jr., of Marshall Township, formerly of Bellevue and husband of the late Loretta M. Logan, died Tuesday, May 19, 2009.

5/29/09

Three people were chargedby Ohio Township Police with driving under the influence in the past week.

David Zipparo, 23, of Ohio Township, was taken into custody following a traffic stop on Eicher Road in Emsworth on May 21.

Also on May 21, Virginia Nimick, 27, of New York, NY, was arrested on Ohio River Boulevard in Kilbuck Township.

Charles Henry, 44, of Ben Avon, was charged following a traffic stop on Ben Avon Heights Road in Ben Avon Heights on May 23.

5/29/09

A Northgate/Avonworth track team athlete placed in the top 10 for the 100 meter dash last weekend at the state championships.

Khiry Watts placed seventh in the AAA in the PIAA State Track and Field Championships, held at Shippensburg University.

On May 22, Watts placed in the top 16, qualifing him for the semifinals that were held on May 23. He the finished in the top eight in the semifinals to move on to the finals, which were held later that afternoon.

5/29/09

The name of the Neale/Stewart Scholarship Fund has been changed to honor the memory of another Avalon High School graduate.

5/29/09

In musical and dramatic productions, there’s work backstage and onstage. Backstage, running the lights and the sound, building the set. Onstage, performing. In Avonworth High School’s recent production of “Into the Woods,” senior Shannon Knox managed to experience both sides of the curtain, performing as Cinderella’s stepmother while at the same time creating set pieces as student scenic designer.

5/29/09

A local Boy Scout asked Bellevue Council, at its pre-council meeting held May 27, for permission to build a memorial for local servicemen and women who lost their lives fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Brian Halligan of Troop 226 said that he would like build a brick wall that will hold a plaque with the names of local soldiers who have been killed in the wars.

The memorial would be placed in the borough’s parking lot on North Jackson Avenue.

The project will help Halligan obtain the status of Eagle Scout.

5/22/09

Allegheny County Police homicide detectives have taken over the investigation of an accident that occurred in the driveway of Northgate High School Wednesday afternoon.

Police say an unidentified pedestrian was hit by a car, and sustained a serious injury. She was unconscious when police arrived at the scene about 2:52 p.m., and was taken to Allegheny General Hospital by NorthWest EMS.

In other news from Bellevue Police, a Jefferson Avenue woman reported May 13 that she had been robbed by two white males and one black male on May 10.

5/22/09

An effort to cut costs by changing health care insurance providers failed Wednesday when the matter came to a tie vote by Avalon Council.

Council finance committee chairman Tom Michalow said that the borough would save about $2,500 per month -- or some $20,000 to $30,000 per year -- by changing to the UPMC health insurance plan.

The proposal was unpopular with some employees as well as some officials who attended the May 20 council meeting.

5/22/09

Editor:

5/22/09

Ohio Township Police are interested in talking with any residents who may have been approached or visited by a man claiming to be with the U.S. Census Bureau.

The man in question visited at least two Ohio Township homes on May 12. He is described as a white male, possibly in his 50s, about 5’6” or 5’7” tall, with a paunch and brown hair that was longer in the back, similar to the mullet style. He is believed to have been driving an older model blue car.

Anyone who saw or had contact with the man is asked to call Ohio Township Police at (412)473-3056.

5/22/09

The scene was almost surreal when area firefighters responded to a report of a fire in a four-story apartment building on Jefferson Avenue in Bellevue during the early morning hours of Friday, May 15.

Bellevue Fire Chief Glenn Pritchard was among the first on scene just before 2:30 a.m., and saw people leaning from windows, waving and yelling, with heavy smoke pouring out over their heads.

“It’s something you hope never happens,” Pritchard said. “But you have to be ready when it does.”

5/22/09

Although there will be many races to be decided in the November general election, Tuesday's primary went a long way toward deciding who will occupy several municipal and school board offices next year, despite voter turnout that averaged around 15 percent of registered voters.

The top contests in the primary all but determined who will be the mayor in two boroughs.

5/22/09

Unknown -- although not unexpected -- sewer problems will ensure that Avalon uses the entire $2.1 million borrowed to fund a boroughwide rehabilitation project, and ends up without enough money to completely repair all lines.

Chester Engineers' Shawn Rosensteel told council members at their meeting Wednesday evening that it had been possible to trim about $200,000 from the original cost estimate of $1.7 million before deficiencies discovered during the project ate up the savings as well as the contingency funds built into the borough's financing through PennVEST.

5/22/09

A 16-year-old Bellevue boy has been charged with the March 19 robbery of the West View Savings Bank on Lincoln Avenue in Bellevue.

According to Bellevue Police Sgt. Richard Czapko, an anonymous tip to the Bellevue police desk was investigated by the FBI and resulted in the arrest of the youth. When questioned by the FBI, Czapko said, the boy confessed to robbing the bank.

Due to the teen’s age, prosecution of the case has been turned over to Bellevue Police to handle through Allegheny County’s Juvenile Court. The youth is being held at Shuman Center, Czapko said.

5/15/09

Coaches for Avonworth's fall sports were hired at the school board’s regular meeting on May 11.

Jason Kekseo will return as varsity head football coach. Justin Grady, Duke Johncour, Ed Malsch, Mark Knochel and Joe Zeglowitsch were approved as varsity assistant football coaches. John Aguiar will be the seventh/eighth grade head football coach and Phil Coffin the seventh/eighth grade assistant football coach.