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@ 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.

Northgate and Avonworth players grouped up for a photo to highlight the “Volley for the Cure: 2 Teams, 1 Cause” prior to their volleyball match held at Northgate this past Tuesday.

While the visitors won a three-consecutive-set victory, Avonworth senior outsider Moriah Eck complimented Northgate for hosting the fund-raiser. “It was lots of fun for the people who attended, and it raised money for a very worthwhile cause.”

Such “pink” events not only raise funds, but increase awareness of breast cancer that could prove life-saving in the future.

Although the official grand opening of the Bellevue skate plaza is a few weeks off, construction of the first phase is complete, and skaters and skate boarders are flocking to the new facility in Bayne Park. On Tuesday, Bellevue Council awarded the contract for the construction of the second phase to Spohn Ranch. Director of administrative services Doug Sample said that the $72,000 second phase will add an additional skateable section between the current facility and the fence behind it, about two-thirds of the length of the first structure.

Area dogs had their own Olympics of sorts as the Bellevue Dog Woods Association held its second annual Labor Day pool party at Memorial Park. Pictured here, Dingo and Charlie return to mom Sue Ezzo of Brighton Heights after successfully completing their own “frisbee fetch” competition.

Avonworth High School teacher Breanna Maisner (pictured here at left) and juniors Sean Harpst and Alexa Valenta were among more than 1,000 Pittsburghers who took part in the “Polar Plunge” last Sunday morning to raise funds for Special Olympics.With temperatures just above 30 degrees, the participants jumped into the Ohio River on the North Shore. The two students raised more than $700 in pledges for Special Olympics.

The Bellevue business district was treated to a preview of the upcoming Northgate Middle - Senior High School holiday choral concert as the North Suburban Chamber of Commerce kicked off a day of seasonal celebration last Friday afternoon. The students will present “A Joyous Night of Song” on Thursday, Dec. 15, at 7 p.m. in the high school auditorium. Chorus alumni are invited to join the students on stage to sing “This Christmastide.” Admission is free. Bellevue’s celebration concluded Friday evening with a tree-lighting, horse-drawn carriage rides and additional entertainment.

Northgate alumni, all veterans of the school’s past spring musical productions, got together to entertain once again as a “Cabaret” was held Saturday evening to rise money to continue the musicals at Northgate. Performers pictured here are; back row --Zach Jones, Amy White, Shelby Szakelyhidi, Dan Klicker, Abby Klicker; front row -- Hannah Reed, Kala Lorey, Ruthann Malsch, Samantha Meyer, Amy Haller.

Northgate cross country coaches Frank Nesko and Brian Veshio and state qualifiers Jonathan Gusew and Lily Hall were honored by the Northgate School Board last Monday evening.:

Three young men from the North Boroughs will be remembered forever for their sacrifice in Iraq, as a memorial honoring their military service was dedicated on Veterans Day in Bellevue. Pictured here, Midge Hall and Patricia Kenny place a wreath beside the monument that bears the names of their sons, Robert Hall of Bellevue and Patrick Kenny of Emsworth, along with that of Thomas Vandling Jr. of Bellevue. All three were killed while serving with the military in Iraq. The memorial was constructed by Bellevue Boy Scout Brian Halligan for his Eagle Scout project.

Northgate quarterback Jon Girvin looks past Joden Rocco (No. 8) for a receiver during the Flames’ first playoff appearance in years last Friday night. Unfortunately, the Flames took on Beaver County powerhouse Rochester and lost 48-22, but not before Girvin threw for 200 yards to bring his season total to more than 2,000 yards.

Children who participated in one of Saturday’s many Halloween events in the North Boroughs found their costumes buried beneath winter coats, hats and gloves as the area’s first snowfall made an unseasonable appearance. Pictured here, Kathy Ferri of AGH-Suburban and the North Suburban Chamber of Commerce hands a pumpkin to one of the bundled-up Avalon-Bellevue parade participants

Or it will be next spring, thanks to Girl Scout Troop 54259, who planted 100 bulbs in front of the Avalon borough property on California Avenue as part of the clean-up day sponsored last Saturday by the Avalon Quality of Life Association. The number of bulbs is significant, representing the Scouts’ 100th anniversary. Gardeners pictured here, from left, are Breanna Conners, Madeleine Ebaugh, Elizabeth Grubbs, Paige Emery, grandparent helper Randy Stillwagon, and Isabella Kirk. The clean-up day also included a number of other residents who picked up litter, swept, trimmed and painted.

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.

Order an 8x10 print of this photo. Call us at 412-766-6679 or e-mail

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.

Order an 8x10 print of this photo for only $15 (plus tax and shipping, if necessary) To order, call 412-766-6679 or e-mail

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.