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Northgate choral students are continuing their North Boroughs' Rotary Club association, with seniors Jessica Obriot and Sabrina Patak serving as Junior Rotarians, and several other students being involved in Rotary activities. Pictured above are: seated -- Madison Conley, Kayla Mayhugh, Jessica Obriot, Sabrina Patak, Rachael Banyas, Taylor Grinage; standing -- Samuel Sesti III and D.J. Powers. Choral director Kelly Winovich said that the connection with Rotary all began when her concert choir first sang for the YMCA's "Tree of Lights" celebration.


New Bellevue director of administrative services Ron Borczyk, pictured above at center with council president Linda Woshner and vice president Jim Viscusi, is quickly settling in to his new job with the borough. Borczyk, who comes to Bellevue after working as the borough manager in Springdale, has a background in accounting and human resources in the private sector, as well as municipal government experience.


Northgate middle and high school choral director Kelly Winovich has advanced to the final stages in the selection process for the first-ever Grammy Award for Music Educator of The Year.

Nominated by alumni, current students and parents, Winovich remains one of 200 out of nearly 30,000 contenders for the top prize, which includes $10,000 for the winner's middle/high school choral program and a matching amount for the teacher, plus an all-expenses paid trip to the 2014 Grammy Awards where Ryan Seacrest and Justin Timberlake will presentthe award.


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.


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.


Avonworth District students in grades 7-12 (including private- and home-schooled students) are invited to participate in a two-week band camp at the high school starting Monday, July 30.

No experience is necessary, and there is no fee. Camp will be held 1 - 8 p.m. daily for 10 days. For details and information, contact director Lew Kroner at (724)674-5878, or banddirector@avon Students should say whether they have an instrument, need one, or would like to try out for the color guard.


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."


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."


Denise Plaskon took the long way around to reach Bellevue once again.

While studying at the University of Pittsburgh -- where she received a master’s degree in library and information science -- she did sales work that included Bellevue as part of her territory.

Since then, she has traveled a bit, working as the branch manager of the Lawler Branch Library in New Bedford, MA, for three and a half years, and then as director of the Everett Free Library in Everett, PA for two years.


Registration for the next session of the Northgate Community Swim Program will be held in the high school pool lobby on Monday and Tuesday, Nov. 29-30, 6:30-7:30 p.m.


When Alex Riddle addressed his fellow seniors as class valedictorian at Avonworth High School's graduation ceremonies in June, nobody doubted his claim to being at the top of the Class of 2010, his grade point average being 4.28.


For the first time since March, the Borough of Bellevue has a director of administrative services on the job in the borough hall. Former Crafton manager Doug Sample began work Monday. The position has remained vacant since Connie Flasher resigned last spring.


Bellevue will not be entering into a contract to outsource its bookkeeping work, at least not right now.

A representative of Bookminders spoke at the pre-council meeting two weeks ago, estimating that it would cost the borough about $25,000 a year to hire the company to take over data entry work being done by the borough's financial clerk. Finance committee chair Kathy Coder said this would free up the clerk for more important work.

At that time, neither the clerk nor director of administrative services Ron Borczyk had reviewed the company's written proposal.



"This little organization is the best kept secret in the city," said Ann Heckel, a retired art teacher who volunteers at the North Boroughs YMCA Community Center. Located at the corner of California and South Home Avenues in Avalon (in the former Church of Epiphany), the Community Center is an extension of the North Boroughs YMCA, and is the go-to place for seniors seeking companionship, socialization, mental stimulation, physical exercise, delicious home-cooked meals and an overall good time.



"This little organization is the best kept secret in the city," said Ann Heckel, a retired art teacher who volunteers at the North Boroughs YMCA Community Center. Located at the corner of California and South Home Avenues in Avalon (in the former Church of Epiphany), the Community Center is an extension of the North Boroughs YMCA, and is the go-to place for seniors seeking companionship, socialization, mental stimulation, physical exercise, delicious home-cooked meals and an overall good time.


The "Gene Kelly Award for Excellence in High School Musical Theater" in the “Best Scenic Design” category was awarded to Northgate High School last Saturday, recognizing the school’s musical production of "Mary Poppins."


After some of the more serious musicals staged at Avonworth High School, among them "Phantom of the Opera" and "Man of La Mancha," along comes the light and frolicsome "Seussical, The Musical" as this year's production.

But wait. Adults who think that the show has little to say to audiences over age 12, should think again. Director Deborah Frauenholz promises that it will be an enjoyable show, but that it also has some meaningful, all-ages messages.


A group of area teens will present their "Views of Bellevue" through original photographs taken as part of a program offered by The Drop, a youth center housed in the basement of the former United Methodist Church located in the center of the borough. The show will open at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, April 21, with photos on display for a month at Grille 565 on Lincoln Avenue.

Photographs will feature architecture, people, and other Bellevue scenes.


Students in Avalon and Bellevue elementary schools once again competed in the Future Chef's Challenge by creating recipes for tasty and healthy foods that are easy to make and win parental approval, as well.

The contest began in January when 32 students in grades 6-12 at the two schools answered the invitation to submit their recipes for the contest, which was coordinated by Northgate food director Julianne Griffin. Judges narrowed the field to six finalists, who took to the kitchens at Northgate to prepare their specialties this past Wednesday.


Bellevue Borough will be advertising for bids for a limited spring street paving project, while officials consider putting off another major project in hopes of getting some help paying for the work.

Director of administrative services Ron Borczyk told officials at Tuesday’s pre-council meeting that almost all of the available capital improvement funds will be eaten up by the repaving of two of the three blocks of South Bryant Avenue.


An effort to cut down on the reams of paper used to keep Bellevue’s elected officials informed could involve taxpayers buying laptop computers for at least five officials.

Police Chief Matt Sentner, who handles IT for the borough, came up with a plan that would make technology more accessible to officials and administrators during meetings, enhancing wifi capabilities in the council chambers and establishing an upgraded work station for director of administrative services Ron Borczyk in the chambers that would allow him to access information immediately.


Between learning to fly and battling school closures, the Northgate cast and crew of “Mary Poppins” has faced some tough challenges in bringing the musical to the stage.

But as Laken Burns, who does not like heights but enjoys flying, says, “Mary Poppins can do anything!”


Audiences exiting Northgate High School's spring musical production of "Mary Poppins" will leave the auditorium with more than just the lyrics of "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious" lodged in their minds.

They'll also have visions of Laken Burns, portraying Mary Poppins, in full flight across the stage, as well as other students performing some athletically demanding choreography throughout the show.

Of course, Laken will have some help in navigating Mary's flight, that coming from "Flying by Foy," a company based in Las Vegas, with offices in London, and Philadelphia.



The Avonworth School Board plans to raise taxes as high as legally permitted and still will need to tap into reserve funds to balance the proposed 2014-15 budget.

With $26,414,268 in anticipated revenue and $27,185,633 in expected expenses, the budget indicates a shortfall of $771,365. According to Brad Waters, director of fiscal management and support services, the district is planning to use fund balance monies to cover the difference between revenues and expenses.