Edward Swidal Edward W. Swidal, 87, of Pittsburgh, husband of the late Elizabeth "Betty" Swidal, died Wednesday, March 30, 2016. Mr. Swidal was a decorated Korean Conflict veteran.


Ohio Township Police recently responded to the following:

A Cliffside Drive in Emsworth resident reported a hit and run accident on March 30.

An Ohio River Boulevard resident reported a civil dispute on March 30.

A Kensington Drive in Ohio Township resident reported harassment on March 30.

A Cobblestone Drive in Ohio Township resident reported a civil dispute on March 31.

Ohio Township Police responded to a disturbance at a residence on Laurel Avenue in Ben Avon on April 1. Charges are pending.



Overcrowding at the middle-senior high school has prompted Avonworth School District administrators to recommend moving sixth grade classes from the middle school to the elementary school beginning in the 2017-18 school year.

During the school board’s April 4 meeting, superintendent Tom Ralston presented a “facility utilization” analysis. Titled, “The 6th Grade Question,” the report contained information and recommendations for addressing the increasing student population.


More details are now available on a story first reported in last week’s issue of The Citizen, in which a Bellevue Police officer was assaulted while in a police car last Wednesday night/Thursday morning.

Dominick Hoy, 29, of Bellevue, was scheduled for a preliminary hearing yesterday after spending the past week in the Allegheny County Jail on a $75,000 straight cash bond.


Bellevue will consider a proposal to change its zoning laws to restrict the use of street-level properties in the borough's main street business district.


Ronald Augustine Ronald A. "Augie" Augustine, 77, of Ross Township, husband of the late Georgia Marie Dorben Augustine, died Wednesday, March 23, 2016. He is survived buy two children, Ron Augustine and his wife Tina and Lori Walters and her husband Steve; two siblings, Patricia Hubbard and Doug Augustine; six grandchildren, Shannon, Kristen, Ashley, Ronnie, Ryan, Andrew and Kira; and two great-grandchildren, Haydin and Lennox. Friends were received at the Orion C. Pinkerton Funeral Home, Avalon, where a blessing service was held on Friday.

June Williams


With a rash of vehicle break-ins reported, Bellevue Police are reminding car owners to keep their vehicles locked.

A dozen break-ins have been reported to police in recent weeks. The incidents were located throughout the borough.

On March 7, a Sheridan Avenue resident reported a theft from a vehicle sometime between March 4-7.

A Highland Place resident reported on March 12 that an unlocked vehicle had been entered and rummaged through. Nothing was taken or damaged.


Avalon Council discussed a number of matters at its Tuesday meeting, including:

For the second consecutive year, Avalon has been named a “Banner Community” by the Allegheny League of Municipalities.

The borough clean-up day, sponsored by Avalon Now, will be held Saturday, April 23, at 9 a.m. Volunteers are encouraged to help out.

Council approved a handicapped parking space in the vicinity of 617 Center Avenue.

The borough will lease a new police vehicle, as council approved a financing agreement with WesBanco.


On March 6, a North School Street resident reported to Avalon Police that a vehicle had been stolen.

The passenger side of a vehicle parked on Florence Avenue was damaged on March 6.

On March 7, five different vehicles on Virginia Avenue were broken into.

No injuries were sustained in a two-vehicle accident at the intersection of California and Home avenues on March 7.

On March 8, a Harrison Avenue resident reported a theft from a vehicle.

A purse and personal papers were stolen from a vehicle parked on Jackman Avenue on March 9.


Avalon Mayor David Haslett (at left) swears in the borough’s newest full-time police officer, Anthony D. Ricchiuto, during Tuesday evening’s Avalon Council meeting. Ricchiuto has 17 years of experience in law enforcement, most of it spent with the Swissvale Police Department. A resident of Brighton Heights, he worked for the UPMC police department for the last five years, and part-time for Avalon for the last six months.

Photo by Connie Rankin for The Citizen



The Avonworth School Board is considering making changes to the district’s policy on head lice.

At the school board’s meeting on March 9, the district's two nurses gave a detailed and informative presentation and suggested that the head lice policy be rewritten in light of scientific data and due to the education disruptions that result from the current policy.

Certified school nurses Mara Alterio and Colleen Barcaskey suggested that the biggest problem with head lice is the “ick” factor rather than any medical crisis.


The nearly 75,000 motorists who use Camp Horne Road each week will have additional time to find alternate routes.

According to Emsworth Mayor Dee Quinn, the previously announced three-month closure of the road has been delayed. A new date has not yet been selected, said Quinn.

Last month, the closure of a portion of Camp Horne Road, in order to repair a retaining wall between Route 65 and Eicher Road, was announced. Initially the project was expected to start in April and last three months. A detour was to be announced.


Students in the Avonworth School District will have one fewer vacation day during spring break.

At its March 14 meeting, the school board approved the make-up day of Monday, March 28, as had been planned in the school calendar. Students will attend classes on Monday, the day after Easter, to make up the instruction time lost during the one school cancellation during the 2015-16 winter.


More parking spaces are about to open up on California Avenue in Avalon, available through a long term lease from the borough.

Voting at its regular meeting on Tuesday, Avalon Council approved an agreement with the Frew Trust Fund to lease 10 parking spaces in the lot at the corner of California and North Birmingham avenues. The spaces are located alongside the drive-thru bank that will remain on the lot. Avalon will pay $500 per month to lease the spaces from the property owner.


Cynthia Vancheri Bednar Cindy died Sunday, March 13, 2016, at her home in Midlothian, Virginia. She lost her three year battle with ovarian cancer; her family was with her. She was a loving daughter, sister, mother, aunt, and grandmother. Cindy was born in New Castle, PA, to Michael and Carol Vancheri. She was a 1973 graduate of Bellview High School.


Ohio Township Police recently received reports of several incidents.

On March 9, a Sonie Drive in Ohio Township resident reported disorderly conduct.

A Hiland Avenue in Emsworth resident reported a civil dispute on March 11.

On March 12, A Shannopin Drive resident reported a suspicious vehicle.

A Park Avenue in Ben Avon resident reported a disturbance on March 13.

On March 15, A Bear Run apartment complex resident filed a fraud report.


Bellevue Council voted unanimously at its pre-council meeting on Tuesday to hire a contractor to repair a sewer problem in Alley C, which runs off North Sprague Avenue.

Merante Plumbing will be paid $7,800 to excavate, install a vent and backfill and area from which raw sewage has been leaking, according to director of administrative services Ron Borczyk.


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.