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Utility Companies Change Stance, Will Allow Banners To Honor Fallen Heroes

EVANS CITY (KDKA) – Local utility companies have changed their policy, and say they will now allow a Butler County town to honor their fallen military members.

First Energy-West Penn Power reversed itself Thursday, and said now it was willing to work with local officials who want to honor servicemen and servicewomen by putting banners up on utility polls in Evans City.

A banner project was underway to honor the sacrifice of 39-year Army Staff Sgt. Eric Holman, who died when an IED exploded in Afghanistan in 2012. But earlier this week First Energy nixed the idea,saying it would not allow signs or decorations on it's poles.

He left behind his wife and son.

Holman's stepmother, Jan Holman, said tonight she believed First Energy would change its mind, but she was surprised it happened so quickly.

She said she and her husband were most appreciative on how local communities have paid tribute to Eric, a 9-year Army veteran, who joined the service after 9\11.

He had about a month mire to serve in Afghanistan before his discharge when he was killed

Jan Holman said "how can you say no to a serviceman who gave his life for his country?"

First Energy told Money and Politics Editor Jon Delano on Wednesday, "First Energy's utilities forbid the hanging of signage, banners or decorations from company-owned utility poles. These installations can create safety hazards for our workers and the public, and can cause damage to our infrastructure," says Christopher Eck, company spokesperson.

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