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St. Patrick's parade dedicated to Ryan

The St. Patrick's parade will be dedicated to Berney Ryan, according to the United Irish-American Association of Erie County, which sponsors the event.

Ryan, who died last May of cancer, was a longtime member of the group's executive committee and its treasurer. He was grand marshal of last year's parade.

This year's procession will step off from Niagara Square at 2 p.m. March 19 with Michael D. O'Sullivan carrying the grand marshal's shillelagh. Prospective participants can obtain applications from 2 to 3 p.m. Sundays in the Buffalo Irish Center, 245 Abbott Road.

The parade committee will hold a Cabaret Night fund-raiser from 7 to 11 p.m. Saturday in the Irish Center. The band Emerald Isle and Irish step dancers will perform. Tickets, which cost $15, can be obtained by calling 826-1981 or 826-2380.


Bush expected to ask for air station funding

President Bush's proposed budget for the fiscal year that will begin Oct. 1 is expected to include $7.8 million to complete construction of quarters for airmen at the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station, Rep. Thomas M. Reynolds, R-Clarence, announced Saturday.

With $9.2 million from this year's budget, the money will be used to replace quarters that are 50 years old and do not meet Americans With Disabilities Act standards. The new facility will house 147 reservists.

"After the successful fight to save the air base from closure, our next step is to shepherd this funding through to the end," Reynolds said.


Two may be hired to aid Legislature GOP caucus

Leaders of the Erie County Legislature are discussing adding two staff members to their downtown office to serve the three-member Republican caucus.

The Republican minority has been without staff support downtown since the middle of last year, when lawmakers were hurriedly cutting costs.

Legislature Chairwoman Lynn M. Marinelli, D-Town of Tonawanda, said she intends to finance the jobs within the Legislature's current budget.


Four-week series focuses on understanding Islam

The fifth annual Understanding Islam series, presented by Westminster Presbyterian Church in cooperation with the Muslim Public Affairs Council of Western New York, will run for four consecutive Sundays beginning today in the Case Library of the church, 724 Delaware Ave.

The sessions start at 9:15 a.m.

Today, three University at Buffalo students from Malaysia -- Siti Z. Mohamad Zobir, Nur A. Zulkifli and Ili A. Sulaiman -- will discuss Islamic faith and practice in their native country.

The other sessions are as follows: next Sunday: "Islamic Faith and Practice in Bosnia," featuring Imam Bayram Mulic, president of the Islamic Association of Bosniaks in North America; Feb. 19, a discussion of chapters one and two of Richard W. Bulliet's "The Case for Islamo-Christian Civilization," featuring UB faculty members Claude Welch and Jeannette Ludwig; and Feb. 26, a discussion of chapters three and four of "The Case for Islamo-Christian Civilization," featuring Bayram and April Arman.

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