Editor's note: The Exponent Telegram editorial board devotes Saturday's editorial to recognizing positive efforts from people throughout our readership area. We call this feature "Hats Off!" To nominate a person or group for recognition, contact John Miller (626-1473) or James Logue (626-1031).
-- The Harrison County Parks and Recreation Commission, which is making youth sports coaches undergo mandatory background checks, complete with finger printing. The program also makes each coach receive training in teaching proper sportsmanship and dealing with younger athletes.
-- West Virginia University's football team, which worked hard and banded together to reverse last year's poor showing. The Mountaineers, 3-8 last year, are now 9-3 and headed for either the Gator Bowl on New Year's Day or the Continental Tire Bowl on Dec. 28.
-- Organizers and supporters of the annual Christmas parades in downtown Clarksburg and Weston. These events provide worthwhile, family entertainment while also serving as an effort to boost foot traffic to area stores.
-- Justin Sanders, a 16-year-old student at Salem International University who received national honors at the 75th National Future Farmers of America Convention in Louisville, Ky. Sanders, of Farmington, did research on the ability to use caffeine as an antibiotic.
-- Salem residents and city leaders, who are working to have a public library in the small town in western Harrison County. City leaders have donated the use of a part of the City Building, while a volunteer group is working to secure books and funding.
-- The more than 200 Harrison County high school students and their teachers who took part in the county's choral festival on Tuesday. The students performed admirably, and they and their teachers deserve high praise for the hours of effort they put into the performance.
-- KSD Diesel, a local company that received the U.S. Department of Commerce Export Achievement Certificate for its successful exporting of the "methane buster," a device used in coal mining. The company has sold the "methane buster" to companies in India and Australia and have sales pending in Mexico and China.
-- The WVU men's basketball team and coach John Beilein, who has the Mountaineers playing extremely well. WVU upset No. 8 Florida 68-66 on Wednesday night in Charleston.
-- Sgt. Steve Johnson, Deputy Pat McCarty, Deputy Chris Waldeck, Deputy Bill Sothern, Deputy Lucas Blair, Deputy Ben Collins, Sgt. Sandy Audia, Patrolman Jason Webber, Patrolman Robbie Root and Patrolman Steve Singleton, who were all recently honored by Mothers Against Drunk Driving. The officers made 12 or more DUI-related arrests during the past year to earn "Drunk Buster" awards.
-- Nick Henry, who has earned national recognition for his musical talent. The saxophonist was recently selected to play at The Captain Planet Foundation of the Ted Turner Organization benefit in Atlanta.