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Avonworth catcher Sonny Restelli stood his ground against a Seton LaSalle player’s attempt to fly into home plate, getting the tag and the out. Unfortunately, the Antelopes lost the game 15-13. They had better luck against Northgate, however. Page 12.

Avonworth seniors Nathan Pool and Emma Baker rehearse a scene from "The Phantom of the Opera."

It opened in London in 1986, in New York in 1988, and has been staged in national tours, regional theater and college productions across the country, making it one of the most popular shows in musical history.

And now, Avonworth High School presents "The Phantom of the Opera" for a two-weekend run, opening for a senior citizen performance at 4:30 p.m. on April 11, followed by April 12, 13, 19 and 20 shows with 7:30 p.m. curtain times.

Northgate High School will stage "Beauty and the Beast" for this year's spring musical, with performances scheduled for April 5, 6, 11, 12 and 13. Pictured here during rehearsal are, from left: back -- Lauren Murphy, Kristine Houser, Colby Simpson, Sam Driscoll, Evan Sweeney, Laken Burns; front -- Sam Sesti, Lauren McNeil, Rachael Robertson, D.J. Powers, Madison Conley, Jeremy McCawley, Hannah Dunn, Chase Dermond. The April 5 show at 6 p.m. welcomes senior citizens and all Northgate staff for a full dress rehearsal, with no cost for admission.

Northgate High School sophomore Sara Hopkins won the semi-final round of the "Kean Quest Talent Competition" last weekend, advancing her to the finals, which will be held on Friday, April 5, at 7 p.m. at the Kean Theatre in Gibsonia. "America's Got Talent" finalist Jackie Evancho will be among the hosts for the evening's performances. Sara will again sing, accompanied by Northgate choral director Kelly Winovich. "I am so proud of Sara's accomplishments. She is the perfect example of talent, hard work, and dedication," Winovich said.

Avonworth Ski Club members Austin Harvey, Alexa Valenta, Rich Kastory and Natalie Malloy were among two dozen who traveled to western New York last weekend to put in some time on the slopes.

The Assumption Theatre Guild will present the musical comedy "Once upon a Mattress" on Saturdays, March 9 and 16, at 7 p.m., and on Sundays, March 10 and 17, at 2 p.m. in McGovern Hall. Pictured above from left are cast members Cindy West (Queen Aggravain), Ryan Frawley (Prince Dauntless) and Katie Cwenar (Princess Winnifred).

It's never too late to be a cheerleader. Proving the truth of that statement, Denise Adams of Bellevue regularly attends Northgate sports events to cheer on grandson Shane Adams. Wearing her sparkling gold and red attire and a top hat trimmed with flames, Denise gave her support throughout last Friday's Northgate-Avonworth basketball game, joining at halftime with high school cheerleaders Zana Wiley (top left) and Mara Bartholomew (right), and Sarah Denes.

Northgate’s Justin Parra tries to score during the Flames’ 68-41 loss to Quaker Valley Tuesday evening. Northgate will host Avonworth this Friday at 7:30 p.m.

Several Northgate students have earned the opportunities to showcase their vocal talents at events scheduled throughout the Pittsburgh area over the next few weeks.

Senior Chase Dermond, who sang his way through middle school chorus and the high school concert choir, will perform as a member of District I Chorus at Quaker Valley High School, Feb. 6-8.

"It's a great honor to represent our school in Districts, and I hope to make my school proud," Chase said.

Avonworth senior Ryan Pearson led the Antelopes to a satisfying victory over Sto-Rox last Saturday, in a game delayed overnight by heavy snow. See the full story in our sports section.

Avalon Police Chief Tom Kokoski (right) welcomes the borough’s newest full-time police officer. Chris Brown, who has been working as a part-time officer in Avalon for a couple years, was hired at Tuesday’s Avalon Council meeting in a unanimous vote. Brown is a former Marine who served in Iraq.

Avonworth - Northgate wrestling coach Timothy Giel has yet to check the record books, but it’s probably a safe bet to say that Tuesday night’s 58-0 victory over Riverview is the first total roster sweep in the history of the team. Pictured above is sophomore Wes Bartholomew, who won with a pin in the 138 lb. category. Bartholomew, currently ranked fifth in the WPIAL with an 18-5 record, is expected to do well in the post-season, along with Darion Trimmer at 132 lbs. and Ka'Dale Coles at heavyweight.

A group of pets will be breathing a little easier in 2013 after being given another chance at adoption as part of Animal Friends’ New Year’s Eve rescue.

The annual event saves dozens of animals who had been housed in shelters throughout Western Pennsylvania that are not no-kill, as is the Animal Friends shelter on Camp Horne Road in Ohio Township.

Santa Claus was back in the Boroughs last Saturday, bringing along his wife to visit with children and pets. Santa and Mrs. Claus chatted with Mia, age 3, of Bellevue, pictured here, to find out what she hopes to receive when Santa makes his rounds on Christmas Eve. Santa also will be working with the Avalon and Ben Avon volunteer fire companies to visit children at their homes, and parents can register their children for a visit with the forms on Page 3 of this week's paper.

Santa Claus has been popping up all over the North Boroughs, including a visit to the Bellevue holiday festivities last Friday evening. Pictured here, 4-year-old Savian, of Avalon, goes over his Christmas wish list with Santa.

And you think you get a headache trimming your Christmas tree? A crew decorating the Bellevue Christmas tree Wednesday afternoon ran into a slight problem when the evergreen decided to topple over. The tree was soon upright, however, and firmly attached to the former Central Methodist Church building on Lincoln Avenue. Donated by WPAHS, the tree was the centerpiece of festivities sponsored by the North Suburban Chamber of Commerce Friday night.

Students in Lynn Tennant Heffley’s second grade class at Bellevue Elementary took some time to recall the stories behind the Thanksgiving holiday, donning Pilgrim and Indian garb to spread the message of peace, generosity and gratitude. That message will continue to spread over the next few weeks, as communities throughout the North Boroughs celebrate the holiday season.

Veterans Day became a four-day tribute to those who have served in the military, as North Boroughs vets were invited to take part in ceremonies at local schools and in municipalities.

Emsworth Borough took the opportunity to dedicate a new memorial plaque that honors two residents who died in the “War on Terror,” Patrick B. Kenny and Robert N. Gilbertson.

The plaque has been installed at the borough hall, and was dedicated during a ceremony on Sunday afternoon.

Students Ethan Simmons, Jessica Keast, Nathan Pool and Emma Baker rehearse a scene from Avonworth High School's play "Moon Over Buffalo." The comedy, which opened on Broadway in 1995, is scheduled for four performances, Nov. 15-17 at 7:30 p.m., and at 2 p.m. on Nov. 17, in addition to a senior citizen performance on Nov. 14. Tickets cost $8 for adults and $5 for students and seniors. Reservations may be made on-line at avonworthtickets@ comcast.net. In keeping with the Avonworth fall play tradition, the production will be staged in-the-round, with the audience seated on stage.

With Hurricane Sandy threatening to bring its own brand of horror to the Pittsburgh area, local officials decided it would be better to be safe than sorry, and postponed the trick-or-treating normally held on Halloween, Oct. 31.

Instead, children in all of the North Boroughs will take to the streets on Saturday, Nov. 3, 6-8 p.m. The “Haunted Porch” on California Avenue in Avalon also will be held that night.

Visitors to Bellevue’s business district have seen a dramatic transformation take place over the last few weeks, as the Central Methodist Church building is prepared to house a private event venue. The property has been purchased by Amos Harp Jr. of the North Side, better known as Professor Amos, whose cleaning products are featured on the Home Shopping Network. Once renovations and restoration are complete, the building will be used for weddings and banquets.

Northgate High School’s 2012 homecoming queen was Susannah Byrd, pictured above at right with runner-up Becky Sheerer. The two were chosen from among a court that included Mara Bartholomew, Rachel Dombrowski, Carolyn Kenyon, Sarah Denes, Chelsea Dungan, Sydney Cousins, Erika Hill and Zana Wiley.

The Community Theater Players will stage the Neil Simon comical farce "Rumors," at 8 p.m. on Oct. 19 - 20, 25 - 27 at the Community Presbyterian Church of Ben Avon, 7501 Church Ave. Tickets are $7, and a special "VIP" dinner package is available for the Friday performances for an additional $15 per person. Dinner seating is at 6 p.m., and reservations may be made by calling (412)734-2050.

Four representatives of the International Visitor Leadership Program met recently with members of Avonworth High School's Key Club to discuss community service and volunteerism in the visitors’ home country, Bangladesh, as well as efforts made by Key Club members whose mission fosters lifelong learning and service. Visitors noted that there is more structure for volunteering in the United States, opposed to in their home country.