Especially since 9/11, the word "heroes" has been used a lot. Sometimes it arguably might be over-used. But not at two occurrences on Monday.

On MondaY afternoon, a ceremony in Tamaqua Borough Hall recognized six "heroes."

Monday night, two police officers and two citizens were honored at the meeting of the Mahoning Township Supervisors.

First, regarding the Tamaqua ceremony, the six individuals who were labeled "heroes" helped rescue a plumber who was suffocating when a wall collapsed on him.

The award recipients were co-workers, a neighbor, members of the Tamaqua Rescue squad, and a backhoe operator. The worked together to free the trapped plumber and managed to rescue him before permanent injury - or even death - occurred. They all chose to get involved when someone was in trouble.

State Representative Jerry Knowles credited the six with risking their own lives to save the plumber, Dan Reigel.

Those award recipients were Michael Bright, Jay Hollenbach Jr., Jay Stidham, Richard Greim, Robert Montesrin, and Stephen Horst.

In Mahoning Township, different noteworthy acts occurred.

Two employees of Rite Aid in the township were recognized for preventing an elderly woman from being bilked of $4,600. A telephone scam prompted her to withdraw the money from her savings, but when she went to send money grams to the con artists, the two employees - Debbie Rex and Nicki Bower - intervened.

They possibly prevented the victim from losing her life savings.

Two Mahoning Township Police officers were cited for breaking up a burglary ring that had been operating freely for some time.

Officers Tyler Meek and Elliot Miller got awards from Chief of Police Kenneth Barnes for their thorough investigative work which not only resulted in arrests, but got some of the stolen items returned to their owner.

Meek and Miller might have just been doing their jobs, but it's worthy of special mention when they go that extra mile and make good things happen.

For all the award recipients, congratulations are in order.

Yesterday it was great reading the front page of the newspaper and seeing so much good happening.

We know the economy is bad, that a lot of sad news is occurring, and that fires and accidents are an everyday occurrence.

It was great reading about individuals who make a positive impact on the lives of others.

That was the case of all the award recipients mentioned above.

By Ron Gower

rgower@tnonline.com [1]