Introduced Version Senate Concurrent Resolution 8 History

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(By Senators Yost, Kessler (Mr. President), Unger, Klempa, Miller, Beach, Edgell and Laird)




Requesting the Division of Highways to name bridge number 05-2spur-0.01 over the Ohio River at Wellsburg, West Virginia, currently known as the Market Street Bridge, the “Bernie Kazienko Memorial Bridge”.

    Whereas, Bernard "Bernie" Lee Kazienko was born January 8, 1952 to the late Clara Evelyn Yonder and John Kazienko of Wellsburg, West Virginia; and

    Whereas, Bernie Kazienko was born in Wheeling but spent his entire life living in Wellsburg. Bernie was a star football player at Wellsburg High School and earned the honor of playing in the OVAC All-Star game for the State of West Virginia, and earned a scholarship to Shepherd University. His stay at Shepherd was short lived and he then returned home to Wellsburg to attend West Liberty State College and major in Criminal Justice; and

    Whereas, Bernie Kazienko proudly served the citizens of Brooke County as a Sheriff’s Deputy for twenty-two years starting in 1974 after training at the West Virginia Police Academy near Charleston. He rose to the rank of Chief Deputy before being elected Sheriff in 1996. Bernie served for eight years before term limits forced him out of office. However, Bernie was elected as Brooke County Commissioner in 2004 for a six year term and was reelected in 2010 for an additional six years; and

    Whereas, Bernie Kazienko reintroduced an annual toy drive in the 1980's that was originally started by his late uncle Hillman Isinghood in the 1970's, in what has become known as "Bernie's Kids". Each year monetary donations, and new and gently used toys are collected for needy children in the area. One poignant story about Bernie's involvement in this program which speaks to his great generosity and kind heart happened two years ago on Christmas Eve when a father from Wellsburg placed a desperate call to Bernie for help. The man's wife had left him and their three children with no money for food, much less toys. Bernie and his brother Tom went shopping for toys and food that evening, and when they arrived at the man's home they found him and his children eating spaghetti with ketchup on top because it was all they had. Overcome with joy the young man cried to Tom that there was indeed a Santa Claus and his name was Bernie Kazienko; and

    Whereas, Bernie Kazienko became a stalwart in Charleston representing Brooke County and the entire Northern Panhandle in seeking grants from the State. He was elected to the board of county commissioners. In 2008 Bernie won Wellsburg's Citizen of the Year Award for outstanding service to the city. In 2011 the Brooke County Bar Association lobbied and succeeded in having the newly renovated courtroom at the Brooke County Courthouse renamed in Bernie's honor due to his efforts in securing funding for the project as well as his dedication to the county; and

    Whereas, Bernie Kazienko also secured the funding and the space for the new Brooke County Animal Shelter. Bernie and his family even used their own money to supply the ceramic tile for the facility. He also spearheaded the turning lane upgrade to West Virginia Route 2 in Wellsburg to encourage new business on the road; and

    Whereas, Bernie Kazienko was a member of the Upper Ohio Valley Convention and Visitors Bureau and was instrumental in bringing the filming of the JJ Abrams and Steven Spielberg movie "Super 8" to Weirton and other parts of Brooke County; and

    Whereas, Sadly, Bernie Kazienko passed away on December 5, 2011, just over one month shy of his sixtieth birthday after a four year battle with a rare and incurable form of cancer; and

    Whereas, Bernie Kazienko was a member of St. John the Evangelist Church in Wellsburg. He is survived by his son Kirk and wife Carrie of Wellsburg, daughter Shaney Clifton and her husband Tracy of Columbus, Ohio, Monica Sickles of Arlington, Virginia, Lindsay Dolfi and her husband Mike, also of Columbus, Ohio; two grandsons, Tyrus Clifton and Dominic Dolfi; brothers Charles of Hoschton, Georgia, Tom of Wellsburg and Mike of Germantown, Maryland; Sisters Eleanor "Bubs" Manack of Follansbee, West Virginia, Marion Kleiner of Follansbee and Marsha Kazienko of Wellsburg. He is also survived by his loving companion Tina Konkle of Wellsburg. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his brother John Kazienko of Downers Grove, Illinois; and

    Whereas, In his relatively short life on this earth, Bernie Kazienko did so much to improve the quality of life for the people of his region, and he touched the hearts of so many in the process; and

    Whereas, It is only fitting and proper that Bernie Kazienko's many good deeds and important contributions to the City of Wellsburg, to Brooke County and to the greater northern panhandle be so honored and remembered; therefore, be it

    Resolved by the Legislature of West Virginia:

    That the Division of Highways is hereby requested to name bridge number 05-2spur-0.01 over the Ohio River at Wellsburg, West Virginia, currently known as the Market Street Bridge, the “Bernie Kazienko Memorial Bridge”; and, be it

    Further Resolved, That the Division of Highways is requested to have made and be placed, signs at both ends of the bridge identifying it as the “Bernie Kazienko Memorial Bridge”; and, be it

    Further Resolved, That the Clerk of the Senate is hereby directed to forward a copy of this resolution to the Commissioner of the Division of Highways and to the family of Bernie Kazienko.

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