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Published April 14. 2011 05:00PM

Coaldale, like most of the local communities, takes great pride in the accomplishments of its town, and the people who have been born and raised there.

The list is long for such a small community, from scholars, to civic leaders, from athletes to military heroes. And the town will never neglect to boast of its history in the coal mining industry.

The town took a hit to its pride recently, when police uncovered two drug operations, including a methamphetamines lab kit housed only a stone's throw from the local police station.

While citizens were relieved that the two drug operations were halted and arrests were made, it's still unsettling for residents to learn that such operations are being conducted in their own neighborhood. Most people would like to think that such operations only take place in someone else's town.

While people were still talking about the drug arrests, another event took place, one that reinforces the commitment of pride to the community.

This week Coaldale Borough Council gave its permission to the Coaldale Lions Club to hang 50 banners on utility poles throughout the community. The banners will be orange and black (Coaldale's colors) and will include the wording "Our Heritage, Coaldale Lions," along with a photograph of the old Coaldale coal breaker at No. 8 mine.

The banner was designed by Bill Gaddes, a native son, who is largely responsible for the magnificent veterans memorial on Third Street, next to the borough hall and police station. The memorial, which is an ongoing project, is one of the most elegant displays for veterans found anywhere.

The banner project - which officials hope to have completed before Memorial Day - comes on the heels of a successful American flag program that the Lions supported last year.

Some things still have to be finalized before the new banners can be displayed. They have to conform with regulations set forth by PPL before anything can be erected on the utility company's poles. Also, the banners, costing $115 each, including the hardware to hang them, must be paid for, and the Lions are reaching out to the community to help subsidize them.

The banners "represent our heritage of the anthracite mining industry," Lions Club President Bob Ames said. "We are gratified to be able to accomplish this important project for the Borough of Coaldale."

And we're gratified that this group of individuals has the pride in their community to launch such an undertaking.

Bob Urban

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