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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:

n The Benedum Airport Authority, airport management, aerospace firms and others involved with bringing Comair, a second commercial carrier, to the airport beginning in April. Their efforts give area residents much needed access to other major markets.

n Nazareth Farm, located in Doddridge County under the direction of Donielle Dodde. The facility, associated with the Roman Catholic Church, Diocese of Wheeling/Charleston, has been in operation since 1979, providing help to people in Harrison, Doddridge and Ritchie counties by providing assistance ranging from fixing up houses to providing food in times of emergency.

n Local veterinarian Jamie Moore, who raises Labrador retrievers for the Pilot Dogs for the Blind Program.

n Fairmont's Oce Smith, a 44-year veteran of the West Virginia House of Delegates, where he serves as sergeant at arms. Smith provides many services to the delegates, keeping the 60-day session organized in the process.

n Bridgeport High School seniors Alexandria Marino and Howard Shen, selected as National Merit Scholarship finalists.

n World renowned artist Jeff Fetty, Clarksburg attorney David McMunn and others involved with the Gates of Heaven project at the First United Methodist Church. The beautiful 12-panel biblical display should provide inspiration and guidance for years to come.

n State Police Chaplain Ron Blevins, who balances his job as the department's first full-time chaplain with his duties as pastor of a church in Mineral Wells. Blevins provides counseling and guidance to troopers around the state after working 18 years as a field officer.

n Those who volunteer to drive for the Disabled American Veterans Transportation Network, providing a much-needed service for those who protected our country.

n Jim and Iva Waugh, a senior couple who have provided valuable service to the Upshur County Senior Citizens Center.

n Dick Bartlett, a former computer engineer for Honeywell and Raytheon, who uses his expertise to introduce other seniors at the Barbour County Senior Citizens Center to the information superhighway. He also developed a Web site for the center.

n Pat McCullough, who teaches dance and aerobics to more than 40 members of the Harrison County Senior Center. A senior herself, McCullough is credited with keeping the classes fun, while motivating other seniors to enjoy exercise.

n Jim Skinner, a retired Weston businessman who volunteers at the Lewis County Senior Citizens Center. Skinner, who lost his wife about a year ago, juggles many duties, and is a valuable asset to the center, according to co-workers.

n Dolores Christopher Stinespring, who performs as Mary Todd Lincoln at area schools to provide students with a chance to enjoy and learn from "living history."

n The Bridgeport Middle School girls team and Washington Irving boys team, which recently won Harrison County middle school basketball championships.

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