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County honors Clonch

She has lived and worked in Lawrence County for years. Now she has an official key to it.

The Lawrence County Commission Thursday presented a key to the county to Pat Clonch, who is retiring as the executive director of both the Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce

and Lawrence Economic Development Corporation.

"We'd welcome you back anytime," Lawrence County Commission President George Patterson said.

She thanked the commission for its support over the years, and said that she is leaving the LEDC on good financial footing, in spite of rumors to the contrary.

"Rumors, when they get started, tend to take on a life of their own," Clonch said. "I can assure you, you have no problems with the LEDC."

While critics have recently charged that the LEDC's financial statements are not available for public viewing, Clonch said all of the LEDC's audits are available on the Internet for public viewing.

Clonch is retiring Aug. 29. Ohio University Southern Director Emeritus Bill Dingus has been chosen to replace her at the chamber and at the Lawrence Economic Development Corporation.

Clonch also told the commission that the Lawrence County Convention and Visitors Bureau continues to operate successfully, fielding as many as 1,700 Internet hits a month from private citizens who are interested in visiting the county.