Northgate’s Mackenzie Quinn grabs the ball during the Flames’ appearance in the WPIAL playoffs last Saturday, as lead scorer Josh Douglass follows the action. Northgate lost a close one to the Steel Valley Ironmen.

Avonworth girls’ basketball head coach Bob Schulz has spent most of his life in one or another of Avonworth High School’s sports arenas, as a player and a coach. Coming back from retirement two years ago, he resumed coaching the perennial girls’ basketball powerhouse to a career milestone last Saturday, as the girls rewarded him for his time and effort with his 500th coaching career win at the local high school.

We’re not suggesting that you actually give your Valentine a heart-shaped potato, but this large spud discovered by Allison Wurst of Avalon certainly would be a unique expression of love, if you could manage to find one yourself. As area sweethearts gear up for a weekend of love leading up to Valentine’s Day on Monday, Northgate students are sharing some love with the district’s senior citizens. Students have been working in classes and in the library during study halls to create handmade valentines for seniors at New Hope Assisted Living and those serviced by the area’s Meals on Wheels.

Student chefs Liz Berie, Amanda Cosimides, Gavin Carrigan, Eric Cosimides, Makenzie Hartle, John Moran and (seated) Tony Bevan prepare for Avonworth HIgh School's third annual Multicultural Dinner Festival on Saturday, Feb. 19, starting at 6 p.m. in the school cafeteria. Under the direction of senior advisor and health/family and consumer science teacher Michelle George, students, faculty and community members have planned a fun-filled evening that will feature more than 50 ethnic food items, international exhibits, entertainment and a marketplace of imported merchandise.

Fifth graders at Avonworth Elementary learned how much math is involved in taking care of a Great Dane like Arthur during last week's Women in Math Conference.

Northgate’s ninth and tenth grade mock trial team was the big winner in a recent competition, defeating teams from both North Allegheny and Shaler high schools in a competition at Duquesne University on Jan. 6. Pictured above from left are: front row -- Leah Weingartner, Sarah Denes, Caroline Kenyon, Baige Baierl and Madison Conley; center -- Amanda Woollard, Kelsey Sozanski and Peggy Wessel; standing -- Chase Dermond, Jesse Miller, Jacob DeWalt, Alexa Gray, Sam Sesti and Jessica Obriot.

Avonworth’s Mitch Locher (Number 22) scored 34 points to lead the Antelopes to a victory over Aliquippa Tuesday night.

Santa, Mrs. Claus and Arthur the Great Dane-deer, along with all of us here at The Citizen, wish our readers and their families the happiest of holidays and a safe, healthy and prosperous new year!

What happens when two police chiefs run into each other on vacation? They go do police stuff, of course. That happened just last week when Ohio Township Police Chief Beaver Micklos (pictured above at left) and Avalon Police Chief Tom Kokoski (right) ran into each other on the Caribbean island of Aruba. They were invited to accompany Aruban police detectives on helicopter surveillance of the island as police searched the surrounding ocean for any sign of drug traffickers bringing in narcotics from South America.

The Avalon Volunteer Fire Company recognized the long-time service of one of its members Monday evening. Bill Silay, pictured here at right with another fire service veteran, Ed Werner, was honored for having volunteered 25 years of active service to the company.

Holiday celebrations around the North Boroughs kicked off last Friday when Bellevue welcomed Santa Claus and friends. Pictured here, 4-year-old Troy Arluf of Bellevue gives Santa a list of what he hopes to find under his tree on Christmas morning. Sponsored by the North Suburban Chamber of Commerce in conjunction with the Borough of Bellevue, the celebration featured a variety of entertainment and business-related events for those willing to brave the cold. Emsworth will host its annual tree lighting tonight, while Avalon has an entire day of festivities planned for Dec. 11.

Bellevue Elementary School kindergartener Isabella Rose, assisted by PTO volunteer John Stiber, puts the final touches of duct tape on principal John Primrose, who volunteered to become a decoration in the gym as an incentive for students selling candy to raise funds for the school’s PTO. Once the taping was complete, volunteers cheerfully removed the crate from beneath the principal’s feet.

The Avonworth Antelopes' winning season ended just a hair short of the WPIAL championship. The Avonworth offense struggled against a powerhouse Rochester Rams squad at Ambridge Stadium Friday, losing 20-7. The defense kicked in during the second half, holding Rochester to three points. The story was a different one the Friday before, as the Antelopes took on North Catholic in the WPIAL quarterfinals. Pictured here, the Trojan quarterback doesn’t get far, brought down the Antelopes’ star linebacker Eddie Kurtz, backed up by defensive lineman A. J. Mang.

A scene from “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” is rehearsed by Avonworth High School students Caroline Schaper (Puck) and Chris Pendrak (Oberon), who stand over sleeping Jon Wattras (Demetrius) and Amy Templin (Helena). The Shakespeare classic indicates a new direction for the traditional fall theater-in-the-round production, but one teacher and director Deborah Frauenholz found students were well prepared to tackle. The play can be seen Nov.17, 18, 19 and 20 at 7:30 p.m., with a 2 p.m. matinee on the Nov. 20. The cast also will stage a dress rehearsal open to the public at 4 p.m. on Nov. 16.

The Avonworth cheerleaders and mascot get into the spirit during last Friday's WPIAL "Pink Out" to raise awareness of the impact of breast cancer.

Visitors to Avalon swimming pool next summer will be able to enjoy this recently finished mural on one of the buildings, the creation of artist Krystal Waldschmidt, pictured here with her work. A Northgate graduate who now attends Carlow College, Krystal also painted a mural at the South Birmingham Avenue park in Avalon, and worked on the one that can be seen at Allegheny General Hospital - Suburban Campus.

Many store windows in Bellevue are now colorfully decorated for Halloween, thanks to the efforts of art students from Northgate High School. Sponsored by Enjoy Bellevue, seasonal scenes were painted on glass throughout the business district. Pictured here, the big front windows of Classic Chevrolet provide the perfect canvas for students (from left) Sarah Denes, Becky Sheerer, Sydney Cousins and Grace Jason. The public can vote for their favorite windows by going to the Enjoy Bellevue Web site at

Cleaning up Lincoln Avenue on "Improve the Vue" Day are Ian Robertson and Tom Fedosick with Greenstone Cub Scout Pack members Daenon Robertson, Wayne Price and Sean Fedosick.

Liz Grambo became the 2010 Avonworth High School homecoming queen, crowned during pre-game festivities at Lenzner Field last Friday. Liz is pictured (third from the right) here with the homecoming court (from left): Natalie Zivic, Amy Templin, Chelsea Stewart, Lucy Angell and Catherine Costa.

Paul Boyce gets fitted for a new bike helmet by AGH LifeFlight outreach development coordinator Eric Schmidt during Bellevue's Health & Safety Day at Bayne Park on Sept. 25.

The Emsworth Fire Department’s rescue truck was just one of a variety of vehicles featured at the “Touch a Truck” event sponsored by Avalon Public Library last Saturday on California Avenue. Pictured here, 11-year-old Jacob Burns of Bellevue gets to experience sitting behind the wheel of the emergency vehicle. The avenue was lined with vehicles ranging from police cars to hearses and dump trucks. The event also featured a scavenger hunt and other activities for children, and fund-raisers for the library.

Football is not the only game in town, you know. While the boys are brawling on Friday nights, the girls are taking to field and court for competitions in volleyball and soccer. Pictured here, Avonworth junior midfielder Abby Niklaus (in red) played hard in Wednesday’s soccer match against Vincentian. Although Avonworth was ranked higher prior to the recent game, Vincentian pulled out a 3-0 win. The Avonworth and Northgate girls’ volleyball teams will compete in a “Volley for the Cure” game to raise awareness of breast cancer on Sept. 28.

The Northgate Flames exploded into Class A competition last Friday night, obliterating the OLSH Chargers’ WPIAL debut. It took the Flames until the second half to heat up, but a stunning third quarter performance contributed to the 44-6 win for the home team. Pictured above, quarterback Jon Girvin looks for an opening. Girvin scored four of Northgate’s touchdowns. The Flames remain at home tonight, taking on Jefferson Morgan at Alumni Field at 7:30 p.m.

Area football teams got a break with some slighter cooler weather this week as they pulled on pads and helmets to ramp up their preparation for the upcoming season. Pictured above, Northgate head coach Mike Pipak puts his players through a drill.