Content about News


Avonworth School District's superintendent is the recipient of the Distinguished Educator Award.The University of Pittsburgh's Tri-State Area School Study Council has honored Tom Ralston -- pictured above with middle school students Cooper Groll, Olivia Perry, Natalie Grillo and Jackson Southern -- for leadership contributions to the school district, community, and/or educational research or publications. Ralston will be honored at Tri-State's 69th annual banquet on March 9 at the Edgewood Country Club.


Emsworth Council has a new member. Pictured here, Mayor Dee Quinn swears in new council member Jolene Bennett. Bennett takes over for former council member Geoff Barnes, who moved out of the borough recently. Bennett was chosen from among two applicants for the seat. The term of office will end in January, when the seat will be filled by the results of the November general election, or a new appointment for a two-year term.

Photo by Nancy Whyte for The Citizen


Four Bellevue Police officers were honored at the Bellevue Council meeting on Tuesday for their efforts to save two Dollar General employees and apprehend a robber.


Emsworth's Gibson Street Bridge project is nearing completion.

At the June meeting of Emsworth Council, Dan Lenz, chairman of infrastructure projects, said that a guide rail still needs to be erected. If the custom-designed guide rail is not finished, a temporary guide rail will be put up, he said.

After a guide rail is in place, Beech Construction will remove the temporary bridge, including about two feet of abutment on each side, Lenz said.


The Avonworth boys’ basketball team is proving itself to be the one to beat, as the Antelopes are in first place in their section, and taking out their opponents right and left as the season hits the midpoint. Pictured at left, Eric Gallupe (No. 31, red) is unstoppable during the team’s visit to Northgate Tuesday night.


Avalon Council gained some new members and new officers at its reorganization meeting Monday evening.

Taking the oath of office were new members Lee Nelson, William Pascale and Ryan Neal, who were joined by re-elected members Tom Lloyd and John Vetterly, and tax collector Ed Klicker. Pictured above being sworn in by solicitor Megan Ott are, from left, Neal, Nelson, Vetterly, Pascale, Lloyd and Ed Klicker.


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.


Avalon Police Chief Tom Kokoski (right) welcomes the borough’s newest full-time police officer. Chris Brown, who has been working as a part-time officer in Avalon for a couple years, was hired at Tuesday’s Avalon Council meeting in a unanimous vote. Brown is a former Marine who served in Iraq.


And you think you get a headache trimming your Christmas tree? A crew decorating the Bellevue Christmas tree Wednesday afternoon ran into a slight problem when the evergreen decided to topple over. The tree was soon upright, however, and firmly attached to the former Central Methodist Church building on Lincoln Avenue. Donated by WPAHS, the tree was the centerpiece of festivities sponsored by the North Suburban Chamber of Commerce Friday 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.


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.


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.


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.


According to Bellevue Police, two people using a handgun attempted to rob an individual on Lincoln Avenue on May 12. The robbers were gone upon the arrival of the police.

A Sheridan Avenue residence was burglarized sometime between May 7 and May 10. Firearms, a firearm safe, jewelry, radios, tvs, vcrs, an XBox and shoes, all valued at more than $1,600, were taken.

A resident of North Howard Avenue reported vandalism on May 1. Multiple window screens had been damaged in a possible burglary attempt.


On May 3, a resident of Roosevelt Road in Kilbuck Township reported fraud.

A resident of Eicher Road in Kilbuck Township reported a disturbance on May 4.

On May 5, a resident of Willow Street in Emsworth reported harassment.

A resident of Huntington Avenue in Emsworth reported criminal mischief on May 6.

On May 6, a resident of Lowry Street in Emsworth reported a disturbance.


Incumbent Emsworth mayor Dee Quinn will have a challenger for the Democratic nomination in the primary election, as former council member Amy Sue Lillie also is running. Identical questionnaires were sent to each candidate, and their responses are printed here.

Education and work background Lillie: For 17 years I’ve been a Registered Nurse and I currently serve as the Post Acute Liaison at UPMC Presbyterian Hospital.

Quinn: High school. Ran medical offices for 35 years.

Prior/current political involvement, offices , etc Lillie: Emsworth Council member 1999.


There are lots of Democrats seeking their party’s nomination for four four-year seats on the Ben Avon borough council. The candidates are: Megan Griffin Dolan, Henry Casale, incumbents Russell Kuehner and Richard White, along with David Stoeckle Jr. and Jennifer Bett.

Identical questionnaires were sent to each candidate. Richard White is the only candidate who did not respond. The others’ responses are printed here.

Education and work background


Five candidates, all cross-filed on the Democratic and Republican ballots, are seeking each party’s nomination for four seats on the Avonworth School Board. Seeking nomination are incumbents Beau Blaser, Vicki Carlson and Patrick Stewart, along with newcomers Sandra Bolain and Renee Daniel-Simmons.

Neither Stewart nor Daniel-Simmons responded to a questionnaire e-mailed to each candidate by The Citizen. The responses of the other candidates are published here.

Education and work background


Bellevue Council's plans to address several major infrastructure repair projects seem to be falling into place, with two major projects and a borough-wide street paving program on the horizon.

Borough engineer Ben Gilberti reported at Tuesday's pre-council meeting that bids for this year's paving program came in some $60,000 under the estimated cost. Council voted unanimously to award the contract for the work to A. Folino Construction, which submitted the low bid of $189,182.


The only primary contest for Bellevue Council will occur in the borough’s first ward, where former council member Jane Braunlich is seeking the party’s nomination along with newcomers Val Pennington and Jodi Hause. Voters will choose two.

A series of questions was e-mailed to all candidates. There responses are printed here.

Education and work background


Five people are seeking both the Republican and Democratic nominations for four seats on the Northgate School Board. The candidates, all of whom have cross-filed and appear on both ballots in the primary, are incumbents Amy Joy Robinson and Jennifer McWilliams, and newcomers Christine King, John Gratner and Ryan McElravy.

McElravy is the only candidate who failed to respond to a questionnaire sent to all candidates by The Citizen. Their responses to the questions are printed here.

Education and work background


Three people are seeking the Democratic nomination for the mayor’s seat in Bellevue. Two of them are even running write-in campaigns on the Republican ballot. In the interests of transparency, candidate Tom Fodi has sought office twice as a Republican, and declared himself a Libertarian. Paul Cusick has always run for office as a Democrat, although he did switch his voter registration to Republican for a couple years. Emily Marburger is a lifelong Democrat who describes herself as a progressive.