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If you’re thinking that it would take a miracle for Northgate’s Alumni Stadium, pictured above, to be ready for players to take the field for their first game in August, you would be right. In fact, according to school board athletic committee chair Jennifer McWilliams, the field will not be ready until Sept. 27, about halfway through next season. It could be even later if this summer’s wet weather continues, as facilities manager Scott Smith said the contractor needs the field to dry out in order for much of the work to continue.

Shortly after Bellevue's name was changed to "WizardVue" at the Route 65 entrance to the town, an advertisement for the WizardVue Two festival on June 22, a dragon appeared on the roof of Bellevue Elementary, where he appears to have begun eating the stone work.

Emsworth officials recently celebrated the dedication of the volunteer fire company’s newest truck. From left, Paul Getz, Borough Solicitor Robert McTiernan, Council President Kevin Yurkovick, Representative Anita Astorino Kulik of the 45th District, Brian Fashian, Dan Lenz, Jolene Bennett, Emsworth Treasurer Rebecca McNeil. Borough Secretary Cathy Jones, Emsworth Mayor AmySue Lillie, Jason Helfrich, and Gateway Engineer Dennis Flynn. Photo by Nancy Whyte for The Citizen

A young girl visiting the petting zoo at last Saturday’s Avalon Apple Blossom festival was delighted when the baby llama she was feeding returned her affections. The petting zoo was just one of many attractions at the popular annual festival sponsored by Trinity Lutheran Church and Avalon Borough.The day also included classic cars, a variety of vendors, music, food, raffles, a pie eating contest and other entertainment.

Photo by Nancy Whyte for The Citizen

Northgate High School star athlete Anthony Barbarino, pictured at left with his family, formally signed a letter of intent this week to play both football and baseball for Norwich University in Vermont.Although a small school, Norwich is the nation’s oldest military academy.

Northgate shortstop Mariah Benny crosses the plate to score on a triple driven to center field by catcher Maddy Abramowitz in the Flames’ 16-1 .win over Sto-Rox on Wednesday.

Avalon’s annual Easter celebration took place last Saturday and featured more than 200 children hunting for eggs, winning prizes, getting their faces painted and other fun activities. Pictured above, Trinity and Reagan Klicker each gathered the 10 eggs necessary to receive a prize.

Northgate’s Clayton Cooper (No. 33) clides into third base as the Flames defeated Summit Academy 12-8 in a home game on Wednesday. Overall, the Northgate boys’ baseball team currently holds a 2-3 record, with Summit being their first section opponent.

At the time The Citizen went to press last week, Avonworth senior Karen Siddoway already had earned one gold medal at the state swimming championships, placing first in the 200 freestyle. Shortly after deadline, Siddoway earned a second gold medal in the 100 freestyle competition held on Thursday. Her performance topped the season for the combined Northgate-Avonworth swim team, girls and boys alike. Photo of Karen Siddoway by Tom Steiner for The Citizen

Avonworth students celebrate a successful fund-raising campaign to help find a cure for a rare disease suffered by classmate Jay Foster, pictured here.

The week of Feb. 25-March 1 at Avonworth High School included all of the regularly scheduled classes and academic activities, but it was not exactly the typical school week.

The Avonworth School District has been designated as a “Live Well School.”

At Monday night’s school board meeting, Hannah Hardy, the program manager for the Chronic Disease Prevention Program of the Allegheny County Health Department presented a plaque naming the Avonworth School District as a Live Well district. The colorful picture on the plaque displays Allegheny County’s shape above the Avonworth antelope logo.

Hardy said that Avonworth is only the 16th school district out of Allegheny County’s 43 school districts to be designated as a “Live Well School.”

Many people were saddened when a mainstay of the Bellevue business district for 40 years closed its doors recently. Luigi’s Pizzaria & Ristorante closed when owner Luigi DellaRagione retired. At Tuesday’s Bellevue Council meeting, state, county and local leaders officially presented him with proclamations honoring his contributions to the business community. Pictured here from left are former Bellevue Council president Tom Fodi, state Sen. Wayne Fontana, Luigi, Allegheny County Council representative Denise Russell, and state Rep. Adam Ravenstahl.

Two Avonworth students made it through six elimination rounds and more than 1,000 competitors to become two of 40 area students who took to the stage last Monday in the finals of the Pittsburgh Public Theater's Shakespeare Monologue and Scene Contest. Seniors Lucas McDonald and Summer Skillen performed the roles of Rosalind and Orlando in an excerpt from Act 1, Scene 3 of the comedy, “As You Like It.” While they did not take home first place, their director, Deborah Frauenholz, commented on the value of their experience. “Summer and Lucas were exuberant even before the competition.

Northgate senior Malcolm Randall, pictured here in a game earlier this season, hit a major milestone in his career, scoring his 1,000th point during last week’s game against Summit Academy.

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.