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AWARDED: John Stapleton, senior partner at Stapleton Law Offices in Huntington, probably has more awards in his office or home than many attorneys nationwide. This time, he has been chosen as a candidate by the National Academy of Personal Injury Attorneys for the “Top 10 Attorney Award” for Family Law in West Virginia. With more than 42 years of experience representing people in the region, he graduated with honors from Marshall University and West Virginia University College of Law.

LIGHTS: The opening night ceremony for Winter Wonderland of Lights Festival began Nov. 15 at Ashland’s Central Park Bandstand. Its annual Christmas parade begins at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 23, in downtown Ashland. Montana Fouts is grand marshal. The theme is “Christmas Miracle.” The light display continues from dusk to 10 p.m. through Jan. 2, 2022.

SALESMAN: Ryan Evans, salesperson with Goldy Auto Sales for 12 months, remains on top … the top salesman for the month of October. In fact, he has been honored with the Goldy Auto Salesperson of the Month Award 11 times since he became employed there. The Fairland High School graduate in 2009 attended Marshall University. The Proctorville, Ohio, resident and his wife, Kayla, have four children, Kinsley, 10, Nehemiah, 8, Adelyn, 4, and Saylor, 1.

ATTENDED: Todd Brand, Ashland Community and Technical College chief academic affairs officer, recently attended the American Association of Community Colleges Future Presidents Institute. The Mississippi native most recently was chair of Arts and Letters Series director at Meridian Community College. He also has served as a high school speech teacher, high school basketball coach, community college faculty member, community college basketball coach and community college division chair.

WINNER: Emma Londeree, Cabell Midland High School student, is one of two Heisman scholarship school winners. She is the daughter of Dan and Jennifer Londeree of Huntington. Congratulations to this young lady on this achievement.

MEETING: Department of Veterans Affairs Huntington Regional Office encourages the public to speak with a Veterans Benefits Administration counselor via phone, virtually or in person for issues such as compensation for service-connected disabilities, pension, aid and more. The office, located at 640 4th Ave., is open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays. COVID-19 guidelines include wearing masks, sanitizing surfaces and using Plexiglas shields. Virtual and telephone appointments are available by visiting or call 304-399-9205.

RETIRING; A longtime Marshall University faculty member is retiring effective Jan. 3. Sherri Smith, associate provost and associate vice president for academic affairs, has been there 22 years, first in the English Department teaching British literature courses. She was also the founding director of the Service Learning Program (now Community Based Learning) from 2002 to 2008. She also taught freshman-level and advanced courses in the women’s studies minor, where Dress for Success River Cities came about. Named to the associate vice president position in 2014, she has a BA in English and journalism education from MU and an MA in theology and ethics from Northern Theological Seminary, an MA in English from Northwestern University and a Ph.D. in Victorian Literature with a doctoral certification in women’s studies from Indiana University. Here’s wishing Dr. Smith a rewarding and relaxing retirement. Thanks for your efforts and contributions to the university.

LATE BIRTHDAYS: David Dudley, Josh Mitchell, Nov. 14; Jensen Bird, Trey Finley, Nov. 15; Rickie Sizemore, Spencer Murphy, Isabelle Chappell, Nov. 17; Steve Neal, Krista Marcum, Darrell Smith, Liam “Buddy” McComas hit the double 2s at 22, Nov. 20; Remington Burton, Tate Dean, Paula Saunders, Nov. 21; Joe McGlothlin, Anne and Tom Dobbins, Nov. 22.

BELATED ANNIVERSARY: Landon and Bobbie Hillman, Nov. 7; Ken and Brenda McClain, Nov. 20 (1982).

CHUCKLE: Timmy overheard his brother talking about his future in-laws. Timmy asked his dad, “What’s the difference between an outlaw and an in-law?” His dad responded: “Outlaws are wanted.”

Send items to Brenda Lucas, P.O. Box 596, Ona, WV 25545; fax to 304-526-2857; or email to

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