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Business briefs

February 10, 2008

Columbia Gas is accepting grant applications

CANONSBURG, Pa. - Community and environmental organizations in areas served by Columbia Gas of Pennsylvania and Columbia Gas of Maryland are encouraged to apply for grants of between $500 and $5,000 from the NiSource Environmental Challenge Fund (ECF).

NiSource Inc. (NYSE:NI), the parent company of Columbia Gas of Pennsylvania and Columbia Gas of Maryland, established the Environmental Challenge Fund in 1995 as a not-for-profit corporation to support local natural resource and wildlife improvement projects and related educational and recreational efforts.

Grant guidelines and a downloadable application form are available on the NiSource web site at www.nisource.com/enviro/ecf.asp. Applications will be accepted through Feb. 28.

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Chapter of Associated Builders and Contractors Inc. meets, installs officers

Associated Builders and Contractors Inc., Cumberland Valley Chapter, held a Winter Gala on Jan. 11 at Fountain Head Country Club in Hagerstown.

The evening began with a chairman's reception hosted by M. James Rock., chairman of Associated Builders and Contractors Inc., Cumberland Valley Chapter. The reception was held to thank the board of directors, committee chairmen and special guests for supporting the chapter throughout the year.

Following dinner the organization conducted its annual chapter business meeting installing its officers and directors for 2008. Joan L. Warner, president of Associated Builders and Contractors Inc., Cumberland Valley Chapter, administered the oath of office to M. James Rock, president of GRC General Contractor Inc. and 2008 Chairman of the Board for Associated Builders and Contractors Inc. Mr. Rock administered the oath of office to the Cumberland Valley Chapter 2008 Board of Directors.

The slate of officers and directors for 2008 includes:

Chairman M. James Rock of GRC General Contractor Inc.

Chairman-Elect Greg W. Brown of Waynesboro Construction Co. Inc.

Past Chairman Darrell D. Brechbill of Brechbill & Helman Construction Inc.

Joan L. Warner, president of Associated Builders and Contractors Inc.

Treasurer Timothy R. Campbell of Callas Contractors Inc.

Board of directors member Berneice D. Collis of Minghini's General Contractors Inc.

Board of directors member Kenneth E. Kline of Kline Associated Roofing Contractors Inc.

Board of directors member Tony R. Homer of Miller and Anderson Inc.

Board of directors member Robert Dale Householder of Air-Row Sheet Metal Co.

Board of directors member Larry W. Fellows of Fellows Plumbing & Heating Inc.

Board of directors member David L. Semler of Crum Electric Co. Inc.

Board of directors member Stephen W. Larue of C. William Hetzer Inc.

Board of directors member Daniel J. Donoghue Sr. of Potomac Construction Industries Inc.

National Associated Builders and Contractors board representative John D. Helman of Brechbill & Helman Construction Inc.

State grant offers help with child-care careers

The Bright Futures Program through the Maryland State Department of Education offers a unique opportunity for child-care providers or people interested in becoming a senior staff child-care provider. Selected candidates must possess the motivation and skills that will assist them in successfully completing the child-care courses offered and will go on to work in family or center-based early education programs.

Candidates may enroll in as many as three preservice training courses (credit or noncredit at Hagerstown Community College) at no cost to the participant. Candidates must live in Maryland or work in a licensed child-care/preschool program in the state of Maryland. Prerequisites are high school diploma, GED or current enrollment in high school child development courses, and any prerequisite required by an individual community college for credit courses (e.g. English or reading).

To apply for the Bright Futures Program, contact Paula Davis, program manager, by calling 301-790-2800, ext. 604, or e-mail davisp@hagerstowncc.edu.

Boyer & Ritter merges with Straley & Associates

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - Boyer & Ritter, Certified Public Accountants and Consultants, recently announced its merger with Straley & Associates LLC. The combined firm will continue to practice as Boyer & Ritter and will maintain its location at 785 Fifth Ave., Suite 2, Chambersburg.

Edward J. Straley, founder of Straley & Associates, indicated that the merger has many advantages for his clientele. "With additional personnel, technology and departmental resources, our client-service capabilities have increased significantly."

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