An architectural firm has been given permission to design and solicit bids for changes to the entrances at all three Northgate School District buildings. The changes have been recommended as a way of making the buildings more secure.

At Monday’s regular school board meeting, the board approved an expenditure of no more than $14,000 to have HHSDR proceed with the design services and contract bidding.


Avalon Council is considering an ordinance that will require certain buildings in the borough to install boxes that will provide access to emergency responders.

The ordinance primarily will apply to residential buildings with more than three stories, which also have a locked common entry.

The “Knox Box” will contain a key to the building in case fire, police and emergency medical personnel need to access the structure in the event of an emergency. First responders will be the only ones able to open the Knox Box.


The Northgate School Board approved some changes to the electives that will be offered to seventh and eighth grade students next year.

The following electives will be offered on a full-year basis: chorus, band and orchestra.

Semester-long electives will include family and consumer science, art, industrial arts, computer science, and school news.


As expected, the Northgate School Board voted Monday to eliminate the dean of students position at the middle-senior high school, replacing it with an assistant principal position.

High school English teacher Nicole Smith was hired for the job at a salary of $80,000.


The Emsworth Volunteer Fire Company’s new truck has arrived!

Last Friday, Emsworth Fire Chief Jim Kohl, Assistant Fire Chief Mike Adams and President Joe Koehler drove to Meyersdale, PA in Somerset County to pick up the new vehicle. Leaving at 5:30 a.m., they arrived back around 8 p.m.

The Spartan Fire Engine is a pumper that was custom built for Emsworth by manufacturer Four Guys.


On March 13, a resident of Plummer Avenue in Emsworth reported a disturbance.

On March 15, a driver traveling on Center Avenue in Emsworth reported criminal mischief. A rock was thrown at their vehicle.

A resident of Ohio River Boulevard in Emsworth reported a threat on March 16.

A resident of Kensington Drive in Ohio Township reported fraud on March 17.


Some, but not all, of the paging system updates presented last week to the Northgate School Board were approved at this week’s regular meeting.

The board approved replacement of the high school’s original (1975) base communications system that allows announcements to be made throughout the school. That project, with work done by Horizon Information Services, will cost $17,920.

The system also will be extended to the ground floor, where the administrative offices are storage are located, at a cost of $5,640.


Along with robins returning and spring arriving, another activity marks the end of winter woes: pothole repair.

According to Emsworth Council member and head of the public works committee Brian Fashian, the Emsworth “Pothole Blitz” has begun. At the March 13 council meeting he explained that 2.5 tons of cold patch had been applied over the previous two days. Some of the holes were quite large and deep, he stated, and additional holes will continue being filled.


The Northgate School Board will have several options to consider for replacement of the high school communications system, used for announcements, paging and class bells.

The current system was installed in 1975, according to facilities manager Scott Smith, and definitely needs to be replaced.


On March 5, Avalon Police officers were called to California Avenue for a hit and run accident to a vehicle.


Bellevue Council inched closer to allowing a new restaurant to obtain a liquor license Tuesday when officials agreed to stop intervening in the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board's application process if the business owners will sign one of two pending agreements.


The internal problems plaguing the Bellevue Fire Department once again have reached a boiling point, leading to raised voices and an executive session following Bellevue’s pre-council meeting on Tuesday.

The issue has become a matter of concern for Bellevue Council because in addition to the volunteer fire company, which is a private entity, the borough employs three paid firefighters who answer only to Bellevue, and not to the volunteer fire chief or fire company officers.


The third grading period of the 2018-19 school year for Avonworth students is being extended.

At their March 11 meeting, the school board approved changing the end date of the third nine weeks for grades 3-12 from March 18 to March 22, due to the four inclement weather make-up days.


The Northgate School Board is expected to vote next week on replacing the “dean of students” position with that of an assistant middle school principal.

Superintendent Dr. Caroline Johns said that the dean of students job is a teaching position rather than an administrative one, which limits the type of work that can be done by the person working as dean of students. The main focus of the position has primarily been discipline, something Johns said has not been a major issue in recent years.


Ohio Township residents surprised by their 2019 property tax bills turned to the township’s supervisors for an explanation when the supervisors met Monday evening.

Although the supervisors had advertised and approved a 2019 budget in December that included a significant property tax increase, the bills recently sent to property owners were the first some knew of the change in millage rate.

Ohio Township’s current $10.8 million budget is based on a millage rate of 3.09, which represents an increase of .8 mills over the 2018 rate of 2.29 mills.


A resident of Meadow Street in Emsworth reported fraud on March 7.

A resident of Duff Road in Ohio Township reported theft on March 7.

On March 8, a resident of Cobblestone Drive in Ohio Township reported fraud.

On March 9, a resident of Kilbuck Street in Emsworth reported disorderly conduct / disturbing the peace.

A resident of Bishop Drive in Ohio Township reported fraud on March 11.

A resident of Center Avenue in Emsworth reported harassment on March 11.


Monday night, the Avonworth School Board approved director of bands Will Guess to create a middle school summer band.

The band will meet for one week in June, from 9 a.m.-noon. The week will culminate with a performance Friday evening of that week. The specific week has yet to be determined.

The cost of the camp is $75 per participant and will be sponsored by the Band Boosters. The fee includes t-shirts, snacks, music and payment for instructors.


On Feb. 25, Avalon Police officers were called to Orchard Avenue to assist the Avalon fire department with entry into apartment units in regards to a water leak.

Anthony Oxendine, 29, of Bellevue, was cited on Feb. 27 for loitering/prowling at night at a home on Orchard Avenue.


Police are looking for information on the whereabouts of a Bellevue man who disappeared on Feb. 1.

Bellevue Police say that Wendell Crawford, 56, called a friend on the North Side to say that he was on his way to her home. Crawford never arrived. After a couple weeks of not hearing from him, Caldwell was reported missing.

Bellevue Police say they have searched a number of areas and called various places Crawford might have gone, but have turned up no leads.


On Feb. 23, an Avalon resident reported identity theft.

Tyrone Cole, 31, of McKees Rocks, was arrested for trespassing at a restaurant on Ohio River Boulevard on Feb. 24.

On Feb. 24, a motor vehicle accident occurred at the area of North Birmingham Avenue and Frederick Street. Avalon Police say no one was injured.

Melvin D. White, 32, of Pittsburgh, was arrested for public drunkenness at a restaurant on Ohio River Boulevard on Feb. 24.

On Feb. 25, an Avalon resident reported harassment via unwanted electronic communication.


Bellevue Police are warning parents about a new on-line challenge involving teens.

The challenge encourages teens to go missing for a period of 48 hours. The missing teen will receive points for having more on-line activity, including posts about their disappearance.

Bellevue Police say that anyone participating in that type of activity could face criminal charges.

For more information, the following link was posted:


Winds estimated at some 60 mph swept through the North Boroughs beginning on Sunday, knocking out electrical service and taking its toll on trees. Pictured here, a tree outside a home on Hawley Avenue in Bellevue was uprooted. Other trees were simply snapped off mid-trunk. A greater problem was found in the loss of electrical power at homes and businesses throughout the area. With Duquesne Light unable to put workers in bucket trucks due to the high winds, much of the work on restoring power had to be delayed until sometime on Monday.


Bellevue Council has a new president, as council reorganized a short time into Tuesday’s regular meeting.

Former president Tom Fodi announced earlier this month that he would step down from the president’s seat due to demands on his attention and time created by family and work.

Fodi took that step at Tuesday’s meeting after presenting a local business owner with a proclamation recognizing 40 years as part of the Bellevue business community.


Educators in the Northgate School District are working on a plan to expand music education to the point that it not only becomes a part of the core curriculum at every grade level, but that Northgate becomes a “destination” school district for music education.