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Senior night for Avonworth boys’ basketball was a star-spangled event that went beyond pre-game photos of parents with senior players, and lots of balloons and flowers.

Add to the activities the singing of the National Anthem by a very “young-at-heart” lady who is mom to 17 children, “gram” to 47 grandchildren, and “great gram” to 23 great grandchildren.

Kathy Donovan of Emsworth delivered a stirring rendition of the Anthem to the crowd that included a large section of white-shirted “Donovan’s Army” fans, and the crowd responded with a cheering ovation.

The Northgate girls' basketball team dropped a close one to Shenango on Jan. 28. After beating Shenango during their first meeting of the season, the girls lost 46-44 last week. The Lady Flames are on a six-game losing streak that has put their record at 2-9 in the conference, and 6-12 overall. The girls host OLSH in a conference game on Monday at 7:30 p.m.

The Northgate School Board began 2019 with new officers in place. Amy Joy Robinson, who has served as vice president for several years under president Garay Paladin, was elected president for the new year. Elected vice president was Michael Rajakovic, who has just completed his first year as a member of the board.

Northgate's Ciera Mason continues to lead the Flames through a rough patch that has seen the girls drop two conference games. The Flames lost to OLSH and to Sto-Rox in recent play. The Flames lost 65 – 24 to the OLSH Chargers, and on top of that they lost two starters to injuries, one with a concussion and one with an MCL sprain. OLSH is in first place and undefeated in conference play. The Flames then lost to Sto-Rox 44 -36. They were led by Ci Ci Mason, who put up 19 points, and Shayla Stiegler, who had 11.

The Northgate girls' basketball team (2-3, 6-6) is making some noise right now. The Flames beat Saint Joseph's on Tuesday night by the score of 44-10, and the night before, they knocked off New Brighton 55-41 to pick-up their second conference win.

Speaking about their win against New Brighton, Coach Anthony Barron said, “It was big win for us, Cierra Mason led the way with 17 points, and Shayla Stiegler had 10 and Alley Booth had 13, and Meadow Conley had 15 rebounds. I'm excited about what we have going on, and the girls are really excited about what we are doing.”

There was no shortage of Avonworth football players on the recently announced WPIAL All-Conference team.

Avonworth stand-outs who were selected as part of the Class 2A Allegheny Conference were:

Offense -- (WR) Turner Grau, (G) Ryan Felter, (T) Josh Elm and (K) Jason Novosel;

Defense -- (T) Ryan Felter, (LB) Jax Miller, (LB) Nick Weiser and (DB) Ethan Syam.

Pictured above from left are Jason Novosel, Turner Grau, Ethan Syam, Jax Miller, Nick Weiser, Josh Elm, Ryan Felter, and head coach Duke Johncour

Coming off an embarrassing 78-36 loss to Seton LaSalle last Friday, Avonworth rebounded this week with its first section win over visiting Fort Cherry, coming out on top, 45-44. Pictured here Junior Adam McKinney is seen driving to the basket during the win.

Photo by Jim Knable for The Citizen

Avonworth’s chamber choir performed at The Block at Northway: front: Stella Riale, Julia Ciriamboli, Kyra Carlson, Tess Theobald, Macey Schriefer, Megan Robbibaro, Hannah Palmer, Ella Galbraith, Erin Ove, Rachel Little, Isabel Thompson; back: John Seifarth, Garren Hoffman, Peyton Bauer. Northgate's chorus also has been out and about, and will present its annual concert this Wednesday, Dec. 19.

A little rain did not stop the Knight family of Bellevue -- Charles, Colleen and Snickers -- from finding the perfect Christmas tree for their home at the annual sale held by the Avalon Volunteer Fire Company, where they received expert assistance from firefighter Jerry Lundy. A wide variety of trees in all sizes can be found in the lot across from the fire station on New Brighton Road. The lot is open Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, 5-9 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. - 9 p.m.; and Sunday, 11 a.m. - 9 p.m. All proceeds benefit the Avalon Volunteer Fire Company.

When the Northgate School District asked its staff and students to perform acts of kindness in honor of the victims of the Tree of Life Synagogue shooting, Avalon Elementary second grade teacher Nicole Borza asked her students what they might like to do. The students decided to collect food for the “Backpack Buddies” program that ensures that every Northgate student has enough to eat during weekends when they don’t have the school lunch program.

Avonworth Principal Keera Dwulit led middle and senior high school students in a special Veterans Day morning Pledge of Allegiance as the flag was raised at the front of the school. Dwulit was in military attire worn on special occasions during her four years of service in the U. S. Army, from which she retired as a captain

A funeral home and crematorium exclusively for pets celebrated its grand opening in Bellevue last Saturday. Pictured above, Bellevue Council president Tom Fodi and member Linda Woshner (at center) joined the Green family to officially cut the ribbon for the new business. The George Irvin Green Funeral Home in Munhall has been providing services for humans since 1941, but recently recognized the need to commemorate the loss of all family members, even the non-humans.

Before the kids took to the streets for trick-or-treating on Wednesday, children of all ages paraded through Avalon and Bellevue last Saturday as part of the North Suburban Chamber of Commerce’s annual event, which ended with a fall festival at Bayne Park. Pictured below, a family of circus performers led the group category of the parade with slightly smaller “big tops” sheltering them from the rain.

Northgate cheerleaders not only were cheering on the Flames in their home game against Bishop Canevin last Saturday, they also were sending out a “Cheer for a Cure” for breast cancer. The message was printed on pink hoodies and pink socks they wore to the game. The logo was designed by senior cheerleader Elizabeth Ahlborn. High school athletesacross the country have enthusiastically joined the annual October effort to raise awareness of breast cancer and encourage women to get mammograms every year. Caitlin Gates is the sponsor for the cheerleader squad.

The 2018 Avonworth Homecoming Court, from left: Emily Tyler, Megan Robbibaro, Hayden Robinson, Tara McCafferty, 2018 Queen Caitlin Bellotti, Karen Siddoway, Marion Haney, and Abigail Wert. The queen was crowned prior to last Friday’s game against East Allegheny.

The 2018 Northgate High School homecoming court includes, from left, Miranda Asche, Emily Matz, Megan Wisniewski, queen Katrina Kolsosky, runner-up Madeline Abramowitz, and Samantha Spade. The queen was crowned during last Saturday’s football game against Springdale.

...and whatever other creatures enjoyed the Avon Club’s annual Fall Festival last Saturday, U.S. Congressman Conor Lamb (17th Congressional District) took the opportunity to chat with The Citizen’s ace reporter dog, Deacon. Although the North Boroughs currently are part of two congressional districts, the 12th and the 14th, the redistricting that goes into effect this year puts the entire area into the new 17th District. Lamb won a special election this spring, and now faces incumbent Republican Keith Rothfus in the November general election.

Avalon Police Officer Steve Impell helps Eli McKivigan, age 6, try out some of the nifty equipment inside a police car, one of many vehicles featured during the Touch-A-Truck event sponsored by the Friends of Avalon Library. Photo by Nancy Whyte for The Citizen

Members of the Avonworth and New Brighton football teams entered Lenzner Stadium behind two flag bearers as both teams honored members of their communities who had been killed in war. Families of the fallen heroes were present as football players took on the name of one of the lost, and played the game using those names. This “Gold Star Game” is the first of its kind to be held in this area, and the first to include both teams.

Bellevue’s newest police officer, Corey Wendel, was sworn in by Mayor Emily Marburger during Tuesday’s regular council meeting. Wendel is a native of St. Marys, PA and a 2011 graduate of St. Marys High School’ In 2015 he graduated from Edinboro University with a degree in criminal justice. He has worked as a full-time officer with the City of Butler, and prior to that he served as a narcotics detective with the Lycoming County Narcotics Agency. He's a baseball enthusiast and avid weightlifter.

Bellevue and Avalon once again came together to celebrate the annual National Night Out Against Crime on Tuesday, part of a national event designed to combat crime by making communities more cohesive and familiar with their public safety responders. Pictured here, Bellevue Police Sgt. Mike Hudson joined the fun when he was challenged to a bag race.

The weather was close to ideal for last Saturday’s annual North Boroughs YMCA 5K run that attracted 125 total participants in a variety of age groups.

YMCA director Jake Sekich acknowledged groups who contributed to the success of the event. “We are happy to have had Allegheny Health Network as our top sponsor of the event, as well as Dr. Dahar, DMD and Associates for their contributions, and all of our other sponsors.”

Bellevue Mayor Emily Marburger swear in the borough’s newest police officer at Tuesday’s pre-council meeting. Officer Michael Blair is a 2010 graduate of Canon McMillan High School, and graduated from Westminster College in 2014 with a bachelor of arts degree in in sociology and criminal justice. According to Chief Matt Sentner, Blair has been working as a part-time officer for the Canonsburg and Ohio Township police departments for the last three years. He currently resides in Bridgeville.

The traditional opening celebrations of summer in the North Boroughs were held this past week to sweltering temps and big crowds. There was free swimming and lunch at Bellevue’s July 4th picnic, while Community Day on June 30 at Avalon Field featured fireworks, food trucks and the National Guard climbing wall. Upcoming community events include the North Suburban Chamber of Commerce annual Sidewalk Sales, July 20-21, which this year will feature an artist market and an art and wine crawl.