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.”


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.


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.


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.


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.


There will be two candidates on the May 19 primary ballot for the Democratic party's nomination for mayor of Bellevue. Voters will choose between incumbent George Doscher and challenger Mike Braunlich.

Doscher, who has lived in Bellevue for 52 years, says that he is at a time in his life when he wants to give back to the community. He was involved with the Bellevue Planning Commission, served one term as a member of council and is finishing his first term as mayor of Bellevue.


Bellevue police officers found two bullet casings on the street when they responded to a report of gunshots in the 100 block of Grant Avenue, near Laurel Avenue, on May 8. The incident is still under investigation.

Police also are continuing to investigate a man who ran from officers and jumped into the river on May 8. The man ran over the hillside near McDonald's restaurant on Ohio River Boulevard after spotting officers called to an incident at the business. The NorthWest EMS river rescue team responded, and the man was taken into custody.



I live in Avalon. I go to Avalon Elementary School. Our playground is in bad condition.

We have some equipment, but there is graffiti on it. Other equipment is broken and falling apart. We don’t have any swings. We haven’t had any for a long time.

It makes me feel sad that our park is in such bad shape. I wish other people would take care of the park and respect it! What can I do to make a difference in our community? I s there an “Extreme Makeover Playground Edition?” If so, sign us up!!

Isabella Patterson Avalon



Six candidates are seeking both parties’ nominations for five Northgate School Board seats

There are four four-year seats available on the board, as well as one two-year seat.

Two incumbents, Shirl Reinhart and Charles Miklos, will run, along with former member Lorinda Hayes, Gary Paladin, Anthony Barbarino and Marita Bartholomew. Paladin and Bartholomew have thrown their names into the hat for vacant seats on the board in the past, but have never been selected.

Miklos and Barbarino are also running for the two-year seat.



It wasn’t for lack of trying. Down by six runs, the Avonworth baseball team fought back inning by inning against Monaca.

And it wasn’t for lack of enthusiasm, as the dugout and fans shouted non-stop calls of encouragement.

But it just wasn’t to be, and so the season ended in the first playoff game last Tuesday with an 8-6 loss.

“It’s really hard to lose the first round of playoffs in your senior year. I think we played a really good game, but the mental mistakes hurt us in the end,” said Sean Wintermantel, senior third baseman.


Bellevue council decided, at its regular meeting on May 5, to readvertise for applicants for an appointment to the Civil Service Commission, after declining to select the only person who filed an application on time.


Bellevue Council authorized, at its regular May 5 meeting, an agreement between the borough and Allegheny County for the repair of Kendall Avenue following the rehabilitation of the Jacks Run Bridge.

The motion passed by a vote of 8-1, with council member Jerry Walter opposed.


The purchase of two work stations and offices chairs for the Bellevue police station was authorized at Bellevue Council's regular meeting on May 5.

The purchase was approved unanimously. The equipment will cost approximately $2,000.


An Emsworth public works employee was pulled from the narrow confines of the borough’s pump station Wednesday morning after passing out due to an apparent lack of oxygen.



With an 18-3 win over Vincentian High School last Tuesday, the Avonworth baseball team earned its page in the school’s sports history books, becoming the only team in memory to finish the season with a 10-0 season that earned them the Section 4, Single A championship.

The team, however, had no real reasons to be optimistic during the pre-season.

In fact, the team was 0-5 in non-section games, but those games are not part of the record book because all of the teams played were from much larger schools.


A Jefferson Avenue resident reported May 2 that there had been fraudulent charges on his debit card.

A vehicle on South Fremont Avenue was reported vandalized during the night on April 29.

Bellevue officers assisted Pittsburgh Police along with Allegheny County Homicide Detectives on Farragut Street with a female who had committed suicide by jumping off the High Bridge on April 30.

Lawrence Soeder, 42, of Ohio River Boulevard, was arrested April 30 for public drunkenness following an incident on Ohio River Boulevard.


A $1.2 million renovation project for the borough building was approved unanimously by Bellevue Council at its regular meeting on May 5.

Jeff Foreman, an architect from the Eckles Group, which designed the building renovations, was present at the meeting and said that he had received the bids for the work to be done on the building.

According to director of administrative services Connie Flasher, the project includes renovating the administrative office area, making the building handicapped accessible, replacing the flooring in the building, and electrical, heating and cooling work.


Bellevue Police Department will get two new officers, as the hirings were preliminarily approved at Bellevue Council's regular meeting on May 5.

The borough will hire two police officers from the civil service elegibility list. The motion passed by a vote of 7-2, with council members Jane Braunlich and Linda Woshner opposed.


Bellevue Council authorized the purchase of dirt for Gillott Field at its regular meeting on May 5.

The dirt could cost up to $1,000.



The Avonworth girls’ softball team secured second place in Section 3A to finish the regular season, and now await the pairings for the WPIAL playoffs.

The ‘Lopes, who began the season with a 2-5 record, abruptly changed direction, winning nine of their next 10 games to finish the regular season at 11-6.

Their most recent wins came over the past week as Julia Eck pitched a no-hitter, including 10 strike-outs, in a 10-0 win over Brentwood before the ‘Lopes defeated Sewickley Academy 14-0.



My family and I are fairly new to the Bellevue neighborhood, having moved here about 18 months ago. In this time, we have met many wonderful, friendly and kind people. Unfortunately, I am not writing about them in this letter. Rather, I am writing about someone we have not met, at least not formally. This letter is about...the person that decided to walk onto my porch and help themselves to something that was not theirs, and in the process turned my 5-year-old daughter’s day upside down and left her hurt and crying.


Avonworth School District’s musical "Into the Woods" has been nominated for four Gene Kelly awards. The honor was announced by superintendent Dr. Valerie McDonald at the school boards work session on May 4.

The play is up for best musical, best lighting, best actress (Andrea Weinzerl), and best supporting actress (Chelsea Stewart).


Bellevue Council approved, at its regular meeting on May 5, the purchase of a new diving board for the Memorial Park Pool at a cost not to exceed $3,000.

Public works supervisor Tony Barbarino said that the current diving board at the pool is cracked. Council originally was going to purchase the same type of board as the current one for $1,914.73, until council member Mark Helbling asked if there were any alternatives that would last longer so the board would not have to be replaced so often. According to council member Jerry Walter the board at the pool now lasted only five years.


The Avonworth School Board made its choices for board treasurer and board secretary for the next year at its work session on May 4.

With no other nominations for the position, the Avonworth School Board named Frank Mucha its treasurer, while Nancy DePace was unanimously elected to a four-year term as board secretary.