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PUBLISHED: Congratulations to Bernie McMellon, a 94-year-old World War II veteran, who recently published his first book, “Campfire Tales.” Bernie, a West Virginia native born in a coal-mining town, is a great storyteller who has lots of stories to tell. Life and work as an X-ray specialist and business owner took Bernie extensively throughout the country and abroad, but he married a West Virginia girl and says his heart never left West Virginia. “Campfire Tales” can be purchased in most bookstores.

WINNER: Brian Casto, a West Virginia studies teacher at Milton Middle School, was announced as Cabell County Teacher of the Year on Tuesday by Ryan Saxe, Cabell County superintendent of schools. The other finalists were Stephen Riner, a social studies teacher at Huntington Middle School; Nikki Kidder, a fifth-grade teacher at Culloden Elementary; Megan Burdick, a kindergarten teacher at Milton Elementary; and Amy Roberts, a virtual teacher at Martha Elementary. Congratulations also to Shelby Lucas, a secretary at Explorer Academy, who was named School Service Employee of the Year. Each finalist received $500, and winners received an additional $1,000.

GRADUATE: Congratulations to Leila Gabrielle Rozzi, daughter of Ralph and Tammy Rozzi of Ona, who graduates from Marshall University on Saturday, May 1, with a bachelor of science degree in nursing. Leila is an honors graduate of Covenant School. Proud family members are her grandparents, Richard and Peggy Minnix of Huntington, and her brother and sister, Bryan Rozzi of Chesapeake, Ohio, and Renee Rozzi of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

BLOOD: A Red Cross blood drive is being held from 1 until 6:30 p.m. Friday, April 30, at Christ the King Lutheran Church, 5700 U.S. 60 East, Huntington.

EXHIBITS: If you are traveling Interstate 64 toward Beckley, plan to stop at Tamarack to spend some time viewing two art exhibitions: the “Metamorphosis” and the “Best of West Virginia.” The “Metamorphosis” exhibition in the Agora Gallery celebrates changes that affect an artist’s work. Local artist Vernon Howell has three mixed media works exhibited. It will hang until June 15. The 13th annual “Best of West Virginia” exhibition, hosted by the David L. Dickirson Fine Arts Gallery, celebrates all artists and artisans who are West Virginia residents. It is an open, juried exhibition that runs from June 19 until Aug. 1. Participants compete for five monetary awards.

GOLF: The Barboursville and Milton Rotary Clubs offer their Rotary Club Annual Golf Charity Scramble on May 22 at Esquire Golf Club with an 8 a.m. shotgun start. Sign-ups are available at barboursvillerotary

BIRTHDAYS: Happy birthday this week to Andrew Racer, Sheila Roy, Conner Adkins, Pam Dutton, David Hedrick, Becky Chenoweth, Aaron Gallion, Rachel Pickett, Sarah Howard, Mollie Bannister, Debbi Canady, Lisa Kay Templeton, Jason Seay, Jason Lingenfelter, Vikki Savage, Nancy Carter, Dale Poynter, Chris Gress, John Muncey, Scott Niece, Destiny Harless, Hailey Eldridge, Ronnie Stewart, Val Erwin, Dennie Cremeans, Lakin Short Adams, Greg Perry, Edward Sparks, Chuck Clark, Dr. Kathryn Knodel, Greg Niece, Shirley Sullivan, Vickie Hill, Lindsey Hawthorne, Keri Daniels, Raneigh Watts, Lindsay Powers and Trintee Felcan.

SPECIAL WISHES: Special birthday wishes to Sophia Grace Veazey, who blew out five candles Wednesday; to Brynlee Grace Barrett, who blew out six candles Thursday; to Kimberlea Byrd Poston and Mary Dalynn Kelly, who both celebrated their 50th birthdays Thursday; to Mona Arthur, who will celebrate her 96th birthday Sunday, May 2; and to Marlene Sheets, who celebrates her birthday Monday, May 3.

ANNIVERSARIES: Congratulations to Scott and Mindy Webber, who celebrate their 24th wedding anniversary Sunday, May 2.

Send items for this column to Joyce Spencer, 817 Main St., Barboursville, WV 25504, or fax 304-736-4522. Her email address is

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