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Avonworth High School’s 2011 homecoming queen is Alison Chambers, pictured above at right just after being crowned by 2010 queen Liz Grambo, at left. The homecoming court included Mikell Schlumpf, Julianne Hirsch, Stephanie Klesic, Jennifer Bezilla and Lauren Mayernik. The queen and her court were announced during pre-game festivities at last Friday night’s football game.

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Despite the miserable weather conditions, both local varsity football teams had excellent games on the road last Saturday afternoon. Northgate shut down Wilkinsburg 31-0, and, pictured above, a mud-covered Avonworth running back Ricky Lawniczak leaps over a teammate in the Antelopes' 26-0 win over Riverview.

Both schools celebrate homecoming tonight, with Avonworth taking on section contender North Catholic, and Northgate hosting Leechburg.

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Some 265 volunteers helped “Improve the ‘Vue” by taking on projects throughout Bellevue, including work pictured here at the Bellevue Dog Woods site, soon to be home to an off-leash dog park open to all.

Spirits were high, the crowd was colorful, and there was lots of fun at the tailgate party sponsored by Northgate's football and cheerleading boosters prior to last Friday's first home football game.

Ben Avon volunteer firefighter Steve Kosak brought the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks to life for Avonworth students this week. Kosak was part of an emergency response team sent to the scene of the plane crash in Shanksville, where volunteers spent weeks combing through the wreckage and debris.

The new attitude of the Northgate football program was apparent following last Friday's season-opening win against OLSH, when new head coach T.J. Wiley sent his players into the stands after the game to thank their parents and fans for supporting them.

Big rigs used to be able to travel through the North Boroughs without too many concerns, due to the lack of a police officer certified in tractor-trailer inspections and safety. That is no longer the case. Avalon Police Officer Sean Khirley set up shop on Route 65 Wednesday, putting into practice the training he has received recently in an effort to make the highways safer and possibly even prevent some road damage in the borough.

Pat Dragowski admits that she feels honored by being named the North Boroughs YMCA's “Volunteer of the Year,” but she is quick to add that the honor should be shared by an enthusiactic board of directors.

Pat grew up in Point Breeze, lived in Bellevue in the mid-1970s, and then moved to Kilbuck after marrying her husband, Robert. She said that the Y has been important to her through all of her years in the North Boroughs.

"I exercised there for years, and my daughter, Laura, was in many of the classes while she was growing up."

Members of Bellevue High School's Class of 1941 gathered recently, some traveling from as far as Florida, for their 70th, and what they have agreed will be their final, reunion. Pictured at left, from left, are: top row -- Bob Roberts, Dick Wilhelm, Bud Lawton, Bob Fryer; middle -- John Ries, Erv Deuber, Jack Neenan, Betty Besser Haughin, Espy Longabaugh; seated -- Eleanor Jordan Gerwig, Virginia Kuhl Loether, Olive Tishlarich Corbett.

Civic Light Opera's current production of "Jesus Christ Superstar" at Benedum Center includes two area actors performing in the children's choir in the musical that runs through Aug. 14.

Allison Adams and Felicia Niebel earned their positions in the "Hosanna" and "Jesus Christ Superstar" scenes following auditions on May 10.

Both girls have previous theatrical experience.

Allison appeared in the children's choir for "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" in 2009, "A Musical Christmas Carol" in 2010, and in "Evita" in March at Point Park Playhouse.

"School's out for summer!" Alice Cooper sang decades ago, with the lyric becoming a timeless paean for school kids of all ages. However, there have been some exceptions of late, two of them being found among Avonworth middle and high school students and teachers, who happily and voluntarily traded in vacation time for learning time.

A good, old-fashioned egg toss was just one of the activities at a picnic hosted by the Northgate High School National Honor Society Tuesday for refugee children who live in the area. The NHS kids teamed up with the youth group from Bellevue Christian Church, one of a number of area churches that help people who have resettled in this little part of the United States. Most of the children who attended the picnic were refugees from Bhutan, a small country just below China.

Avalon Volunteer Fire Company honored two longtime members and firefighters Monday evening. Receiving their pins for 25 years of service and becoming life members of the fire company were brothers Jim and Jeff Carroll. Life member Ed Werner applauded the two for their continued active service, both in fighting fires and serving in various offices and on a number of committees within the fire company itself. Pictured above from left are Werner, Jim Carroll and Jeff Carroll.

Giggles the Clown entertained children at Bellevue’s July 4th picnic by creating balloon masterpieces.

Tiny Mia, the grand-dog of Jane and Mike (pictured) Braunlich of Bellevue, makes a new friend while waiting for the start of the Pampered Pooch Promenade in Bellevue last Thursday evening. The annual event was part of the Summer Solstice Spectacular sponsored by Enjoy Bellevue. Proceeds of the walk will go to the Bellevue Dog Woods, an off-leash dog park being built by volunteers and private funds in Memorial Park.

Eric Cosmides has good reason to be leading up a team of volunteers who will assemble 800 brown bag lunches for cyclists riding in the Tour de Cure fund-raiser for the American Diabetes Association this weekend in Harmony, PA.

His efforts will serve as his senior project at Avonworth High School, but, more importantly, it will send a personal message of the need to find a cure from someone who has lived with diabetes for more than six years.

"I was diagnosed with Type I juvenile diabetes in May of 2005," Eric, 17, said.

Bellevue Elementary second graders in teacher Lynn Tennant Heffley’s class led the way in a school-wide coin collection to benefit the Bellevue Dog Woods, an off-leash dog park being built with private funds in Bellevue’s Memorial Park. In one week, the school raised nearly $800, with the second graders pictured here bringing in a heavy 30.8 lbs. of coins to lead the primary grades and the entire school. In the upper grades, two fourth grade classrooms -- taught by Gail Bernauer and Wendy Santelli -- tied with 17.8 lbs. collected by each.

A color guard of veterans led the Avonworth communities’ annual Memorial Day parade in Emsworth and Ben Avon.

As Americans prepare to acknowledge the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks that killed thousands, a piece of that tragedy has found a home in Bellevue.

Pictured above, Bellevue firefighters Jack Davin and George Malloy display a piece of one of the girders that gave form to the World Trade Center in New York City, brought down by planes that crashed into the towers on Sept. 11, 2001.

Avonworth filmmakers (seated) Olivia Konopka, Sam Werley, Tad Abramowich and (standing) Nathan Pool took first place in a regional competition with their animated film “Candy.”

Northgate third baseman Jordan Brennigan makes a valiant effort to catch an overthrown ball that allowed a South Fayette player to steal. The Flames went on to lose 14-4. They ended their season with a 1-13 section record, 1-14 overall, with their only win coming against Sto-Rox, 15-5.

Volunteers from Goodwill Industries help Bellevue resident Dennis Bowman unload his car during the “E-waste” recycling event sponsored by Enjoy Bellevue last Saturday. Part of Earth day clean-ups that went on across the North Boroughs, the collection filled a huge truck with an assortment of hard-to-recycle electronic equipment such as computers, copiers and old cell phones. Goodwill trains people to repair the equipment, adding an extra benefit to the effort.

Little Macklin Donovan just couldn’t wait another second to start searching for Easter eggs at the annual Emsworth event held last Saturday, heading out solo to get a jump on the crowd. The rain stopped long enough for the children to hunt a bunch of eggs and then spend some time with the Easter Bunny.

By late fall, Classic Chevrolet in Bellevue will be offering area residents the opportunity to drive -- and buy -- the new Chevy Volt, a completely electric vehicle named “Car of the Year” for 2011 by Motortrend magazine. Unlike hybrid vehicles currently on the market, the Volt can operate completely on electricity.