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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).

-- Dureen Byrd, better known as "Grandma," for her contributions to the children of southern Harrison County. For a number of years she has served as a foster grandparent, volunteered in schools and participated in parks and recreation programs. She provides a positive influence to many children who need a helping hand.

-- Kevin Stead, the 28-year-old city manager of Grafton, who chose to stay in his hometown to pursue his future. On the job since 1999, Stead's working hard to bring more economic development to his city.

-- Pastor Quint Pitts and the members of the Horizons Church. Started just five years ago, the congregation has grown from five to more than 500. Members play an active, positive role in the North Central West Virginia community.

-- The late Don Berman, area businessman who contributed greatly to the success of downtown Clarksburg with his family-owned Workingman's Store and later with Mister B's Big and Tall. We also honor him for his dedication to his Jewish faith, his willingness to assume leadership of the Jewish community throughout North Central West Virginia and his devotion to human rights and unity.

-- The late William Giacomo, the Nicholas County deputy sheriff killed in the line of duty last year. He and others slain were honored posthumously by the FBI at a recent ceremony in Clarksburg.

-- Concerned Women for America of West Virginia, whose mission is to promote biblical values in society.

-- The people of Salem, who have actively worked to improve the downtown's appearance. Special kudos to Chamber President Dr. Joseph Audia, Suzie and Joe Davis and their grandchildren Amanda and James, Ray Wright, Melba Carroll and Sharon Snider for their work on the downtown garden area.

-- Recent Salem International graduate Pichith Pen, who overcame poverty, danger and political repression in his native Cambodia to achieve his college degree.

-- Sonny and Shirley Oliverio, Nunzio and Petrina Bonamico, Pat and Carla Oliverio, Philip Oliverio and Polly Oliverio, owners of Oliverio's Ristorante of Bridgeport, for believing in the future of North Central West Virginia by opening a new establishment in Morgantown.

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