Northgate varsity football players celebrated last Saturday evening after taking the trophy in the second annual hotdog eating contest. Pictured above from left are members of the Northgate team who beat out the Avonworth squad by one hotdog: Joe Barker, Ryan Castleberry, Chase Staiger and Josh Schultheis.

The contest kicked off the annual North Boroughs fireworks celebration, postponed from July due to flooding at Avalon Field along New Brighton Road.

Thousands of area residents enjoyed music by Uptown Rhythm and Brass before the Pyrotecnico fireworks display.

Moro Garden: An abundance of flowers and whimsical statuary have helped Dubrvka and Zdenko Moro and their family feel right at home in Avalon. The family left Bosnia and Herzegovina when war broke out.

One of the great joys of late summer is the harvest of locally grown produce. You may be surprised to find out just where the tomatoes pictured here were grown. See our 2009 Garden Showcase story in the Features section.

Joe’s Rusty Nail owner Joe Elbicki celebrated the Bellevue restaurant’s 30th anniversary on Aug. 13. Employees presented him with a plaque recognizing the accomplishment and his contribution to the local community. They also put together a slide show that featured 30 years worth of photos and such memorabilia as old menus, all set to music. While Elbicki credits the restaurant’s employees with his success, they maintain that he has set the example by setting a standard for quality food and excellent customer service.

Two local Boy Scouts hoping to achieve Eagle status spent some of their summer vacations on projects that will benefit countless numbers of people. Pictured here, Greenstone troop member Chris Fedosick of Avalon (at left) gets help from James Kania loading backpacks with a variety of items that will be given to homeless people served by two city shelters.

Two local Boy Scouts hoping to achieve Eagle status spent some of their summer vacations on projects that will benefit countless numbers of people. Pictured here, Sam West of Emsworth (center) installed decals on some 200 catch basins in the borough, warning people not to dump toxic materials that could pollute the area’s drinking water. He was helped by a number of scouts from the Mt. Nebo troop, including Tyler McCalmon (left) and John Weingartner.

Thoma garden: Want a vegetable garden but don't have room for a traditional plot? Use the space you do have, as Bill Thoma demonstrates by fitting tomato plants among the bushes along the side of his house.

Tuesday’s National Night Out Against Crime celebration at Mt. Nebo Pointe in Ohio Township provided area residents the opportunity to learn about a variety of safety-related issues. Pictured here, Ohio Township Fire Chief Jeff Frazier (at far left) helps a number of future firefighters become familiar with the township’s aerial firetruck. The event, co-sponsored by Target and the Ohio Township Police Department, included a number of fun and educational activities for children and adults.

Ohio Township Police Chief Beaver Micklos treated children to rides in the police department's off-road vehicle during the Aug. 4 National Night Out Against Crime event at Mt. Nebo Pointe.

Emma Patsilevas is somewhat skeptical about the crime prevention value of insects, who visited Tuesday's event at Mt. Nebo Pointe from their regular home at the Pittsburgh Zoo.

Face painting was among the many activities for children at the National Night Out Against Crime event in Ohio Township Tuesday. Target employee Debi Mannhaupt creates special artwork for Juliette Boughton, while Caroline and Claire Boughton wait.

Five years ago, Donna Snyder downsized from her nine-room house in Franklin Park to a one-story ranch in Bellevue. At the same time, she traded nearly an acre of land for fairly small front and back yards, with a narrow patch of lawn that runs the length of one side of her property.

Snyder garden: Some decorative rocks also were just “too beautiful to leave behind,” and have become part of a new landscape that includes groundcovers of creeping and mini thyme.

Snyder garden: There are few things more inviting than a garden path, unless it's a stone bench set among the plants.

Snyder garden: Annuals are used to provide bright spots of color on a backdrop of greenery.

Hatala garden: Annuals in containers and shade-loving hostas thrive alongside a birdbath tucked beneath a magnolia tree.

Hatala garden: The big picture of a garden often is comprised of many perfect little snapshots.

Hatala garden: Who says you need a lot of room for a vegetable garden?

Emily Keener touched up a grape leaf on the mural being painted on two walls of the Pennsylvania Macaroni building in the Strip District. Appropriately, the sun was blazing on this late afternoon scene of sunny Italy: grapes, peppers, pasta, tomatoes and the Italian flag.

Emily is part of the Moving the Lives of Kids Community Mural Project, which features portraits of people, events and structures that have shaped the region's history.

Volunteer Dolly Archey helps two dogs rescued from a cliffside cool down with a bath after an eventful day in their new hometown.

Two pooches got a little bit too independent for their own good, with the result being that Avalon and Bellevue rescue workers spent several hours of their Fourth of July holiday rescuing the pair from the cliffside behind the former Ponderosa restaurant on Ohio River Boulevard in Avalon.

Firefighters help one of the rescued dogs reach the top of the hill behind the former Ponderosa restaurant in Avalon.

Public access to the Bellevue Police Department was eliminated this past week while crews excavated the area of the building that soon will house an elevator. The elevator will take visitors to borough offices on the second floor, and the new council chambers on the third floor, when the project is complete. The work is part of a $1.2 million rehabilitation project that will use up the remainder of the borough’s bond funds. Photo by Connie Rankin for The Citizen

Bellevue public works employee John Scanlon prepares to operate the borough’s new street sweeper, which took to the streets this week. The new sweeper replaces a machine that was about 15 years old and once shared by Bellevue and Avalon boroughs. Photo by Connie Rankin for The Citizen