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.

Northgate students, from left, Kelia Morrison, Sarah Amick and Rachelle Mortimer are spearheading an Earth Day project that not only will teach fellow students about environmental conservation, but get them involved in saving gorilla habitats.

Northgate High School recently kicked off its "Lights Off" project in celebration of Earth Day. The project began on April 9 and runs through April 19.

Among the cast members of Northgate High School's musical, "All Shook Up": (top) Lydia Glatz, James Kania, Leah Dunn, Colby Simpson; (middle) Bridgit Walters, Aaron Makatura, Taylor Reed, Kendra Anick, Sam Driscoll, Ayleah Whitehead; (front) Emily Sybo, Kim Senko, Casey Blackman.


Blending Elvis Presley with William Shakespeare for a night of upbeat entertainment might seem like a rather daunting task, but the cast and crew of Northgate High School's musical has done just that in their production of "All Shook Up."

Spending time with the residents of New Hope Assisted Living in Avalon started out as a project for the members of local Girl Scout Troop 50887. And although their efforts netted the girls the Bronze Award -- the highest award possible for Junior Girl Scouts -- the scouts are continuing their visits to the facility they have now “adopted.”

Avalon officials showed their appreciation this week for two police officers injured during the pursuit of a suspected drug dealer earlier this year. Working in plainclothes along with Police Chief Tom Kokoski, Officers Sean Khirley and Walt Johnson pursued the fleeing suspect through a 20-foot jump and over a fence, finally nabbing him and recovering a quantity of suspected heroin. Both officers and the suspect were hospitalized after the chase. While Khirley has returned to duty, Johnson remains off-duty with a leg injury.

The Assumption Theater Guild will stage “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” on two consecutive weekends, Saturdays, March 19 and 26 at 7 p.m., with Sunday matinees at 2 p.m. on March 20 and 27.