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February 24, 2013
Weirton Daily Times

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.

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