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Chamber of honors
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The Covington-Newton County Chamber of Commerce held its annual membership meeting Thursday at Charlie Elliott Wildlife Center in Mansfield.  You can find pictures of the event in today’s paper.

After dinner, the chamber presented Newton Medical Center CEO Jim Weadick with the prestigious R.O. Arnold Award. It was the highlight of the evening.

For the last 30-plus years, Weadick has been a positive force in our community; overseeing the growth of the hospital and involving himself in many of our community’s activities.

We salute the choice of Jim Weadick as the R.O. Arnold Award recipient. He deserves it. He’s also is a gentleman in every sense of the word.

Other award winners were Jay Janes, who received the inaugural Emerging Business Award; local manufacture Nisshinbo was presented the Deal of the Year award; Current Events owners Chris and Teri Haler received the Dick James Small Business Award and Mike Petroff with Bizzy Bee Exterminators was presented with chamber’s Spirit of Excellence award.

All of these award winners were deserving and we commend them for their community activism and spirit.

Additionally, we are excited that Michelle Bryant Johnson is assuming the chairmanship of the chamber. With her experience working with the Arts Association in Newton County, she knows how to deal and work with the small business community the real backbone of any chamber of commerce.