Pats on the Back:

– To Belmont College, which is partnering with the University of Akron to give local students opportunities to earn bachelor’s degrees in surveying and mapping, professions in demand in the energy industry.

– To the Smith-Goshen Rice Enrichment Fund of Belmont County, which has distributed grants totalling $50,500 to a variety of programs and projects in the area. They range from volunteer fire departments to schools, from health care institutions to a project that feeds the needy.

– To Wheeling Police Officer Sean Brantly, who said yes to a Steenrod Elementary School student who sought his help with a social studies fair project. Brantly and his K-9 partner, Jericho, helped out, and the youngster won a second-place ribbon for her work on police dogs.