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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 new 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:

-- Drs. Kelly Nelson and Brad Hall, for starting Medbrook Children's Charity. The group recently donated more than $16,000 to the Harrison County Board of Education to help provide clothing, eyeglasses, dental work and medical care to needy children.

-- The Simpson Elementary School Junior Humane Society, which has 72 members. The group helps students learn about the responsibilities that come with owning a pet. It also helps the Harrison County Humane Society with its efforts.

-- Helen Copenhaver, who at 88 years young, spends her time making heirloom quilts for family and friends.

-- West Virginia University, which plans to create an Institute for Math Learning to help improve math literacy for both teachers and students at all levels of education.

-- Library Director Diane West, her staff and volunteers who keep the Southern Area Library in Lost Creek up and running, providing a much-needed service to the southern Harrison County area.

-- School cooks, assistants and administrators, who toil daily to provide nutritious, tasty meals for our children.

-- The United Summit Center and prosecutors, magistrates, judges and victims' advocate groups in Harrison, Doddridge, Braxton, Lewis, Gilmer and Upshur counties, who have teamed up to provide a program that attempts to educate domestic violence offenders. The program is designed to reform batterers.

-- Clarksburg Fire Chief Joe Gonzalez and his crew, who realized the city's new fire truck might not fit into the existing station. They identified the problem early enough to make the necessary alterations at minimal cost to the city.

-- Mark Carrico, state exporter of the year, and partners Greg Jones and Chris Smith for making their business, West Virginia Hardwood Components Group, a successful part of the area's economy.

-- The City of Bridgeport, its fire department and the Harrison County 911 Bureau, who worked together to lower the city's fire response rating. The new rating should translate into lower insurance rates for city residents.

-- Mission West Virginia, which has offered assistance to those in need through a variety of programs involving literacy, job training, adoption and foster care, after-school programs and computer literacy. The program was started four years ago by then Gov. Cecil Underwood, who used leftover political contributions to form the non-profit group.

-- The late Virgil Bork, who composed a piece of music titled "Greater Clarksburg." The song was recently selected as the official city march.

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