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Going Gaga At The Grammys

February 21, 2010
LINDA COMINS

Going Gaga - How are they going to keep her down in Glen Dale after she's seen the Grammys?

That might be the question that friends and relatives are asking teasingly about Ronnie Bissett of Glen Dale. You see, she attended the recent Grammy Awards ceremony in Los Angeles with her granddaughter, Stefani Germanotta, who is known to the rest of the world as pop music diva Lady Gaga.

Naturally, the highlight of the televised awards show for Bissett was seeing her granddaughter perform on stage in a lavish musical number with none other than Sir Elton John. The Glen Dale resident also enjoyed seeing the stars (particularly Tony Bennett) and greeting some of them at the show.

While Bissett was enjoying the celebrity scene in L.A., her husband, Paul Bissett, was tending the home fires in Glen Dale.

Their daughter, Cynthia Bissett Germanotta, a 1972 graduate of John Marshall High School, is Lady Gaga's mother.

As noted in The Grapevine last week, Tyler Wells, 12, of Smithfield, Ohio, competed with his Siberian Husky dog, Trace, in the Westminster Kennel Club dog show at Madison Square Garden in New York City Monday and Tuesday, Feb. 15-16. In addition, there was a Wheeling connection to this year's big dog show.

Wheeling native James A. "Jim" Kutsch Jr., who now resides in Morristown, N.J., was interviewed Monday evening, Feb. 15, during the televised coverage of the Westminster Kennel Club's 134th annual dog show.

Kutsch, who is president and chief executive officer of The Seeing Eye, appeared on camera to thank Westminster Kennel Club officials for selecting The Seeing Eye as its 2010 philanthropic partner.

The club is donating proceeds from the sale of the show's commemorative poster to the organization, which is the oldest existing dog guide school in the world. The poster, sold at the show at Madison Square Garden, also is available for purchase online. This year's poster is an Art Deco-style design featuring several dogs, including the 2009 Best in Show champion, Stump.

As a teenager, Kutsch was blinded in a chemistry accident. He went on to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology and a Master of Science degree in computer science from West Virginia University and a doctorate in computer science from the University of Illinois.

According to The Seeing Eye's Web site, Kutsch, a graduate of The Seeing Eye, was appointed president and CEO of the organization in September 2006, having served for 10 years on its board of trustees. Kutsch served as vice president of strategic technology for Convergys Corp. from 2003 to 2006. Before joining Convergys, Kutsch held a number of positions with AT&T Universal Card Services and AT&T Bell Laboratories.

The West Virginia Division of Culture and History and the state Commission on the Arts have extended the deadline for receiving nominations for the 2010 Governor's Arts Awards to Wednesday, Feb. 24.

West Virginians may nominate individual artists, organizations and communities in five categories of awards: Arts in Education; Distinguished Service to the Arts; Leadership in the Arts; Artist of the Year and the Governor's Arts Award for Lifetime Achievement. A ceremony and gala to present the awards is planned at the Culture Center in Charleston Monday, March 15.

As a journalist, I like clever, thought-provoking headlines. My favorite at the moment concerned politician John Edwards' recent admission that he did indeed father a child out of wedlock while his wife battled cancer. The New York Post offered this headline: "'I'm the pop,' says the weasel."

My second favorite headline in recent weeks appeared on the MSN Web site: "Madonna Reunites With Jesus." The accompanying article, though, wasn't as startling as the headline implied. It was a gossipy report that the pop singer Madonna (certainly not to be confused with the Virgin Mary) reportedly was getting back together with a 22-year-old Brazilian boyfriend named Jesus Luz.

Linda Comins can be reached via e-mail at: Comins@news-register.net

 
 

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