The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

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March 24, 2013

Group eyes new banners for borough

WINDBER — Community activists are hoping for a “banner” year in 2013.

Nearly a decade after leading a fund drive to put colorful banners along Windber’s main drag, Graham Avenue, the Windber Area Visioning Experience hopes to repeat the feat with more than 60 new ones to dress up the downtown and busy borough corridors.

At a cost of approximately $5,000 – or about $75 per banner – the group is reaching out to the public and local businesses for help, WAVE President Noretta Haydu said.

“We’re asking people to do what they can – any donation is appreciated,” she said.

The group hopes to replace existing banners, worn from years of wear, with two new designs, Haydu added. One depicts a mineworker carrying a coal pick. His face is illuminated by a miner’s lantern and cap.

The other “is more patriotic,” displaying an American flag, she said.

“We’re just trying to make our downtown look nice,” Haydu added.

The group hopes to put 65 total in town, on Graham Avenue from Fourth Street to 23rd Street, said WAVE Beautification Committee Chairman Dan Hiteshew, who is spearheading the effort. Other  banners also would be added in Miners Park and 12th Street, a busy entrance into town.

Hiteshew said letters were sent to area residents last Monday.

If all goes well, the group could have the funds to purchase banners by late spring or early summer – and would work quickly to add them,  Haydu said.

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