The Northgate School Board will consider spending about $6,000 to purchase four amplification systems for use in the classroom.

Sound systems currently are used in four classrooms where there either is a hearing-impaired student or the teacher has a medical excuse that indicates the need for amplification. The purchase of four additional systems would allow them to be used in larger elementary classrooms containing more students, according to board member Dr. Shannon Smithey, who said it could help alleviate the Confusion and chaos” that could be interfering with learning.


The Avonworth School Board approved a number of personnel matters at its Feb. 5 meeting.

A letter of intent to retire, effective Aug. 5, was accepted from Mary Ann Mays, payroll manager.

A letter of resignation, retroactive to Jan. 29, was accepted from Lindsay Bishop, substitute food service worker and substitute paraprofessional.

Danielle Holtzman was approved as a seventh grade long-term substitute reading teacher for the 2015-16 school year.

Melissa Loch was approved as a substitute food service general worker, retroactive to Jan. 19.


Beginning with the 2016-17 school year, Avonworth School District will begin offering a fourth foreign language.

At last Monday night's meeting, the school board unanimously approved creating a Mandarin Chinese teaching position.

Mandarin Chinese joins Spanish, French and Latin as languages available to study.


Northgate officials can't say for sure that more stringent clearance requirements is affecting the number of volunteers in the school district, but the number of people helping out at the schools has shown a “significant drop” since the mandate went into effect this school year.

School board member Dr. Shannon Smithey reported at Monday's committee of the whole meeting that volunteer levels have dropped by one-half to two-thirds over last year's numbers.


During the Feb. 8 regular meeting, the Avonworth School Board approved the following spring coaches:

Doug Vandervort as 7/8 grade girls' volleyball head coach and Melissa Costantino as assistant coach.

Phil Coffin as varsity baseball coach and Nick Mancini as assistant coach.

Dave Thomas as junior varsity baseball head coach and Mike Mancuso as assistant coach.

Duke Johncour as middle school baseball head coach; Jason Smith as 7/8 baseball assistant coach; and Mike Grau and Ryan Gracey as 7/8 baseball volunteers.


Mary Ellen Nelson Mary Ellen Nelson, 86, formerly of Bellevue and wife of the late Carl Nelson, died Saturday, Jan. 30, 2016. She is survived by four children, Judith Arthur, Bridget Robbins and her husband Kenneth, David Nelson and his wife Leslie and Richard Nelson and his partner Shawn; 10 grandchildren, Brandy Reischman, Kristy Fry and her husband Brian, Joshua Satory and his wife Jen, April Kirkpatrick, Morgan, Samantha and Jayden Nelson, Dillon and Derek Robbins; 11 great-grandchildren; and nieces and nephews.


Parents parking on the school-side of South Howard Avenue in Bellevue will face more stringent restrictions in the future.

Parking is prohibited on that side of the street, but parents still stop there to pick up or drop off their children at Bellevue Elementary School. According to Bellevue Police hief Matt Sentner, his officers currently are unable to cite a driver unless the driver actually gets out of the vehicle. The borough’s ordinance needs to be amended, he said, to also prohibit stopping and standing.


The Northgate School Board voted Monday to hire a consultant to help in the search for a new superintendent.

Current superintendent Dr. Joe Pasquerilla recently accepted a position with another school district.

Parents and members of the Northgate community also are invited to become part of the search group. A meeting will be held Tuesday, Feb. 16, at 6:30 p.m. in the middle school/high school library at 589 Union Ave.

The consultant hired, Joseph Werlinich, will be paid $5,000.


In many ways, last Tuesday was the perfect day for penguins to be out and about. Some snow, temperature in the 20s, an even colder wind-chill factor made the trip to Avalon Elementary a comfortable journey.

No. Not penguins on the loose from the Pittsburgh Aviary. The other Pittsburgh Penguins, the ones from the NHL team coming on strong in the Metropolitan Division.


A man who threatened a pizza shop clerk with a gun was able to escape following a robbery on Jan. 24.

The man who held up the Papa John’s Pizza shop at 357 Lincoln Avenue just before 9 p.m. was described as a white male, 30-40 years old, with dark brown eyes, 5’7” to 5’8” tall. He was wearing a black hooded sweatshirt with a red shirt underneath, and black boots with a heavy tread.He was carrying a blue drawstring bag.



Next fall when Avonworth football and soccer players take to the field, it will be on new turf.

At the Feb. 1 work session of the Avonworth School Board, Stephen Parks of Parks and Associates gave a presentation and discussed options for the replacement of the artificial turf at Lenzner Field.

Parks stated that the current turf had exceeded its expected lifespan, and credited the district for keeping it well-maintained.

According to Parks, the three primary factors when selecting artificial turf are safety and comfort of the players and longevity of the surface



The Northgate Flames wrapped up their home schedule on Tuesday when they fell to the Rams from South Side Beaver, on Senior Recognition Night, by the score of 90-53. Northgate (3-18) came into the game struggling as a defensive unit, allowing their opponents to score on average 74 points a game. South Side came into the game looking to exploit the Flames' lack of experience with their pressure defense.


Audrey Garbe Audrey G. Garbe, 85, of Emsworth, wife of the late Henry E. Garbe Jr., died Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2016. Mrs. Garbe was a longtime member of St. James Lutheran Church in Emsworth and a member of Eastern Star. She is survived by four children, Edward R. Garbe, Grace M. Garbe, Shirley A. Logan and her husband Ernest and Glenn J. Garbe; her sister, Virginia Connor and her husband Sonny; her granddaughter, Melissa Castner; and two great-grandchildren, Miranda and Mason Castner. She was preceded in death by her daughter-in-law, Sandra Garbe.


A man was killed in one of two accidents involving pedestrians investigated by police during the past week.

The first occurred about 3:30 a.m. last Friday, Jan. 29, on Ohio River Boulevard in Avalon, near the intersection with Elizabeth Avenue. Police say that a man dressed in black was walking in the center of a northbound lane when he was struck from behind by a truck, the driver of which was unable to see the man. He was killed instantly.


Avalon Police News Avalon Police received a report of fraud from a South Home Avenue resident on Jan. 5. An individual telephoned claiming to be a lawyer. On Jan. 6, Avalon Police took a report concerning the theft of medicine from a South Home resident.

Avalon Police took a report of criminal mischief to a public building at an Ohio River Boulevard business on Jan. 11. Someone had punched the window and broken the glass in the front door of the business.

Police responded to a number of vehicle accidents.


Following a report of a male possessing a sawed-off shotgun during a disturbance on Barr Avenue, Robert Rudolph, 48, was charged with a weapons offense on Jan. 16.

Bellevue Police took a report of vandalism on Grant Avenue on Jan. 3. Basement windows were broken.

On Jan. 7 Bellevue Police took a report of fraud from a Lincoln Avenue resident. Someone had used bad checks to steal a video game console.

On Jan. 13, Bellevue Police received a report concerning thefts from a nativity display at a North Fremont Avenue church.



The Northgate Flames (3-13) fell to the OLSH Chargers (11-4) last Friday night by the score of 74 - 22. The Chargers are a very good team led by 6'6" senior Collin Neville and 6'4" junior Ethan Harrell. The Flames were at a disadvantage in the paint given the height difference, but Northgate never quit, showing a lot of grit and fortitude throughout the game.


Margaret Halligan Margaret Mary Parker Halligan died Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2016. Mrs. Halligan served in the WAVES during World War II.


The Northgate School Board voted at its regular meeting Monday to accept a bid for the replacement of the gym roof at Bellevue Elementary School.

The accepted bid of $58,680 came from Stringert, Inc.


Following the retirement of Carmella Hallstein, Ben Avon Council at Tuesday's meeting unanimously appointed a new borough secretary, Lisa Cronin.

Cronin's appointment was retroactive to Jan. 11.

Her hours at the borough building will be Monday and Tuesday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Thursdays from noon to 4 p.m.

Cronin was also unanimously appointed the Right to Know officer. Council president Earl Bohn was absent.


Ben Avon is seeking to fill a seat on borough council that was left vacant after the last election. Vice president R.J. White said at Tuesday's meeting that council has received a few applications; however, president Earl Bohn was absent from the meeting because of illness, and White said Bohn would like to be and should be part of the review process.

Council voted unanimously to hold a special meeting Feb. 2 for the purpose of reviewing applications and filling the council vacancy.



Following last Friday's overtime loss at Aliquippa, the Avonworth boys’ basketball team got back to their winning ways when they hosted South Side Beaver this past Monday.

Displaying good balance on offense with five players scoring in double figures, the Antelopes rolled to a home win against the Rams 78-48.

"I'm just glad we came out and played well after a tough loss at Aliquippa," said 'Lopes coach Dan Bradley.

"Sometimes those feelings and emotions can carry over and I thought we came out pretty good," he said.


Frank Sulzer of Avalon started his running a little later than many, beginning three years ago at age 38.

But don't expect to see Frank, who also is a member of the Avalon Volunteer Fire Company, jogging California Avenue in typical running attire -- sweats or shorts, water bottle and the obligatory headphones plugged in to some device that provides music to accompany the trek.

Instead, he takes a more serious approach by running in a full firefighter's bunker suit that includes jacket, pants, helmet and airpack, while also carrying the American flag.


The Northgate School District will soon be looking for a new superintendent. Current superintendent Dr. Joe Pasquerilla was hired to head the Bethel Park School District during a special school board meeting tonight.

Bethel Park's current superintendent will retire at the end of her contract this year.

Pasquerilla was hired by Northgate in 2012. The board approved a new contract for him just last year. He has been given a five-year contract with Bethel Park, at a starting salary of $152,500.