Quick Takes

TOP DOG:Hancock County Prosecuting Attorney Jim Davis has been named one of America’s Top Ten Animal Defenders by the Animal Legal Defense Fund during National Justice for Animals Week 2013, which ends today.

The weeklong event is designed to raise national awareness about the plight of animals and to honor police, prosecutors and legislators who give real teeth to laws protecting animals.

Davis has handled the prosecution of dozens of animal abuse cases, and was able to convict Jeffrey Nally Jr. in a serial dog murder case, according to officials. In March 2011 Davis worked with ALDF, the University of California and the ASPCA to build a case against Nally for the torture, mutilation and death of at least 29 animals. Nally is now serving a 10-25 year prison sentence, and one of the dogs rescued from the scene, a poodle-mix named “Sunny,” has been named the official mascot of National Justice for Animals Week 2013.

“Animal victims of abuse cannot speak for themselves, so concerned citizens and our legal system must speak up for them,” says ALDF Executive Director Stephen Wells. “James Davis has gone above and beyond in earning a place among America’s Top Ten Animal Defenders during National Justice for Animals Week 2013.”

ALDF was founded in 1979 to protect the lives and advance the interests of animals through the legal system. ALDF’s Criminal Justice Program provides free legal assistance, including legal research and strategy suggestions, location of expert witnesses and sample pleadings, to prosecutors handling cruelty cases and works to strengthen state anti-cruelty legislation.

FETED: Eastern Gateway Community College’s Employee of the Month for February is Ann Koon.

A graduate of West Virginia University, Koon joined the former Jefferson Technical College in 1986 as director of public information. She serves as the team leader for the college’s Achieving the Dream Leader College effort.

She has a bachelor’s degree in journalism with a public relations emphasis from WVU. Prior to coming to the college, she spent 10 years as a beat reporter in the Ohio Valley for The Weirton Daily Times and the Intelligencer, where she also served as bureau chief.

In 1996 the National Council for Marketing and Public Relations awarded Koon its national communicator of the year honor. During Koon’s tenture, the college has won dozens of national and district awards for advertising, brochures, catalogs and writing. She serves on the Steubenville Events Committee and supports the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Celebration group.

NAMED: Michael Turrentine has been appointed to the Public Library of Steubenville and Jefferson County’s Board of Trustees. He is a professor of business law at West Liberty University.

HONORED: Verizon Wireless has named Leanna Taylor, retail sales representative in East Liverpool, to the company’s president’s cabinet, an honor reserved for those ranking in the top 1 percent nationally in sales during 2012. It places her as one of the company’s top performers from among its more than 25,000 sales people nationwide.

She earned the distinction by demonstrating sales leadership and delivering an outstanding customer experience, according to officials. Taylor, a Weirton resident, attended Martins Ferry High School and has a degree from the University of Phoenix.

Quick Takes

TO PARTICIPATE: Corina Diehl, president and owner of Diehl Automotive Group, has accepted a nomination to participate in the FBI Pittsburgh Citizens Academy, 2013-2014.

The citizens’ academy is a program that gives business, religious, civic, news media and community leaders an inside look at the FBI and an opportunity to meet the men and women of the bureau.

Diehl will be participating in eight classes, gaining intimate knowledge of the FBI’s processes as well as participating in firearm training and mock investigations.

Diehl Automotive Group consists of three stores, a Toyota and Chrysler store in Butler, Pa., and a Chrysler store in Robinson Township.

Diehl Automotive is a premier dealership, devoted to excellent customer service, great prices and a knowledgeable and friendly staff, officials said.

Diehl took ownership of the dealership after the sudden and unexpected death of her husband, Matthew, and has brought the dealership to new heights by use of modern technologies and innovative marketing strategies, officials said.

CAREER FAIR: Franciscan University of Steubenville hopes local employers will take advantage of the chance to to discuss full- and part-time jobs and internships with their students at a career fair set from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. March 20 in the school’s J.C. Williams Center. The cost is $25, which includes a 4-foot table, coffee in the morning and lunch. To register, call (740) 284-5251.

CERTIFICATION: Patrick McLaughlin, production manager at Vapor Jet Professional Cleaning and Restoration in Steubenville, has been certified as a water damage restoration technician.

Awarded through the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning & Restoration Certification, McLaughlin qualified for the designation by education and examination.

The IICRC is a nonprofit certifying and standard-setting organization dedicated to raising industry standards through technical proficiency. By administering a strict process of certification, the IICRC provides a means by which consumers can receive the highest quality of service from trained, knowledgeable, professional technicians.

From staff reports

Quick Takes

CHOSEN: Clifford K. Harmon is the new chief executive officer at Harrison Community Hospital in Cadiz.

A Fellow with the American College of Healthcare Executives, Harmon earned a master’s degree in public health, hospital administration from the University of Pittsburgh, a master of science degree in biochemical research from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland and a bachelor of science degree in biology from Ohio State University.

He has held executive leadership positions at hospitals throughout Ohio, including Magruder Hospital in Port Clinton, Hocking Valley Community Hospital in Logan, Blanchard Valley Regional Health Center in Findlay and Bluffton Community Hospital in Bluffton.

At Harrison, he succeeds Terry M. Carson, who retired after more than 20 years as CEO.

Harmon and his wife, Gail, have four children and will be relocating to Harrison County.

FREE HELP: Franciscan University of Steubenville accounting students continue a quarter-century long tradition of assisting Ohio Valley residents with their income tax forms.

From Feb. 19 to April 13, students will offer free e-filing assistance to local tax filers at a help site located at center court in Fort Steuben Mall.

The students have completed an income tax course and passed an IRS training course through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program.

Students will prepare forms 1040EZ, 1040A, 1040 schedules A, B and D and forms for calculating education, child care and earned-income credits. The free assistance is available to taxpayers with an income up to $51,000.

The tax assistance site will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesdays; 10 a.m. to noon and 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesdays; 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Thursdays; 10 a.m. to noon and 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Fridays; and 10 a.m. to noon Saturdays.

The help site will be closed from March 9-18 and from March 28 to April 1 due to spring and Easter breaks.

RECOGNIZED: Billy Petrella, an independent financial adviser, is now a member of the Million Dollar Round Table, signifying he exceeded the income production requirement of $99,000 for the calendar year of 2012.

Petrella, 25, is a graduate of Catholic Central High School and Eastern Gateway Community College, where he was a member of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society.

He went on to major in finance and minored in international business at Robert Morris University, and in 2012 graduated from the university’s master’s degree in the organizational studies department.

The Million Dollar Round Table, founded in 1927, is the premier association of financial professionals, an international, independent association of the world’s leading life insurance and financial services professionals working in 79 countries.

Petrella also is co-owner/operator of Village Sleep Center, 2528 Sunset Blvd. in Steubenville, and president of C. William Industries LTD, an Ohio based real-estate holding firm.

He and his wife, Nikki, make their home in Steubenville.

Quick Takes

PUBLISHED: A Weirton native has published his first book, “The Flexible Constitution.”

Sean Wilson, who practiced law in the Northern Panhandle for 10 years before becoming a college professor in 2004, said the book “represents an alternative to the views popularly espoused by Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia on what the U.S. Constitution means and how it should be read.”

“Because the document was written in plain language and with simple terms that are not defined in the body of the text, it is an inherently flexible piece of law,” he said. “In essence, the Constitution only asks that we follow flexible ideas, which, by their own terms, can be followed in more than one way.

Wilson, son of Circuit Judge Ronald Wilson, has been teaching at Wright State University in Dayton for about five years and was unanimously approved for tenure last month.

He previously worked at Penn State University for three years.

A 1985 graduate of Weir High School, he earned his bachelor’s degree from West Virginia University in 1990 and his law degree in 1993, opening his own law practice the following year.

NEW JOB: Jodi Bertram Smathers, daughter of Bob and Loretta Bertram of Toronto, has accepted the position of program manager for Nationwide Children’s Hospital C4 Neonatal Intensive Care Unit in Columbus.

The unit specializes in broncho pulmonary cysphasia and operates at maximum capacity around the clock.

In January, she also was appointed program manager for Nationwide Children’s Hospital Neonatal Intensive Care Float Pool, consisting of nurses that travel throughout the eight Neonatal Intensive Care Units in Central Ohio.

Smathers worked as a nursing assistant at Nationwide Childrens while attending nursing school in 1989.

She graduated with a bachelor of science degree in nursing from Ohio State University in 1992. She also received her certification in forensic nursing in 2003.

She assisted with the grand opening of the Dublin Methodist Nationwide Children’s Special Care Nursery in 2008, and went on to receive her master’s degree in nursing with a specialty in leadership and management from Walden University in 2010.

She resides in Pickerington with her husband, Chris, and their three children.

IMPACTS: An informational session on the Patient Protection Affordable Care Act and its impact on small business will be held from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Feb. 13 at Froehlich’s Classic Corner.

PPACA is a federal statute signed into law in March 2010 aimed at decreasing the number of uninsured and reducing the overall costs of health care.

Scott Pipes of Pipes Insurance Mark Fearon of Rea & Associates will be presenters for the two-hour session that will focus on employers’ responsibilities as they relate to the PPACA and subsequent tax impacts. A brief question-answer session will follow.

Registration begins at 8 a.m. The cost is $10 for members of the Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce and $15 for nonmembers.

Seating is limited, so those planning to attend are advised to register in advance by contacting Deanne Conrad at the chamber by calling (740) 282-6226 or by e-mailing her at dconrad@jeffersoncountychamber.com.