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Hats Off!

Editor's note: The combined editorial boards of the Clarksburg Exponent and Telegram newspapers devote 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), Bob Stealey (626-1438) or James Logue (626-1031).

We salute:

n Organizers and supporters of the fifth annual Greater Clarksburg 10K Run. The race, and its sister event, the Kids K, brought more than 1,000 runners to the area. It also brought many more spectators and provided an economic boost for the hotels and restaurants in the area.

n Organizers and supporters of the recently completed Little League baseball state tournament in Shinnston. Featuring eight of the top teams from around the state, the event provided area residents with the chance to see some of the state's best young players while also providing an economic boost to the area. Also, a special mention for Fairmont, which won the title, and Bridgeport, which finished third.

n Organizers and supporters of the West Virginia State Babe Ruth baseball tournaments held recently in Elkins and Clarksburg. The 14-year-old event in Elkins and the 15-year-old event in Clarksburg featured some of the state's best players and also provided business for hotels and restaurants. Special mention for the Harrison County American team, which won the 15-year-old state championship.

n Yvette Jones, who brings an impressive resume to her new position as director of the Clarksburg Mission. Her work with the homeless and compassion for those in need should make her an excellent choice.

n Local resident Tom Keeley, who is off to an impressive start as head of the state Alcohol Beverage Control Administration. He is combining technology, education, training and awareness to curtail underage drinking, drugs or prostitution in ABC establishments, violence and after-hours operations.

n The Mountaineer Parents Club, designed to help parents adjust to their children leaving home to attend West Virginia University.

n Area members of the Audia Caring Association, an organization designed to help the community hospital in San Giovanni in Fiore, a small town in southern Italy. That area was home to many of this area's Italian residents' ancestors.

n Former Clarksburg resident Victor Basile, named "Italian Man of the Year" by the board of directors of the 23rd Annual West Virginia Italian Heritage Festival, and Sister Sandra Peraldo of Parkersburg, honored as "Italian Woman of the Year."

n Retired Harrison County Circuit Judge Daniel McCarthy and Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., named "Honorary Italian Man and Woman of the Year" by the West Virginia Italian Heritage Festival.

n The Key Club's "Every Child A Swimmer" program, which offers free swimming lessons to area children. These high school students are doing a tremendous public service in helping to teach children water safety techniques.

n Harrison County Assessor Cheryl Romano, appointed by Gov. Bob Wise to serve on the Property Valuation Training and Procedures Commission.

n Bridgeport resident Ray Oliverio, who will serve as a representative to the West Virginia Council for Community and Economic Development.

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