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LOCAL NEWS BRIEFS

Rides offered to students taking GED course at 'Y'

A joint effort by the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority, YMCA of Greater Buffalo and Stop the Violence Coalition will help students get to general equivalency diploma programs.

Metro Bus passes totaling $12,000 are available for those taking GED classes at the William-Emslie YMCA Program Center, 585 William St.

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HSBC grant of $15,000 to aid students in need

D'Youville College has received a $15,000 grant from HSBC Bank USA to help disadvantaged first-generation college students.

The HSBC International Business Scholarship Program Fund was established by the financial institution in 2002 to help students complete D'Youville's five-year program in international business. The program leads to a combined bachelor's/master's degree with emphasis on research, communication ethics, language and interpersonal skills.

The HSBC grant brings the total fund to $63,000 and will enable additional scholarships to be awarded to D'Youville students.

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Hospital, bariatric surgeons hailed for excellence

Sisters Hospital, in partnership with Synergy Bariatrics, has been named an American Society for Bariatric Surgery Center of Excellence.

Synergy Bariatrics, an Amherst-based surgical practice headed by Dr. Joseph A. Caruana and surgical assistant Marc N. McCabe, has performed more than 1,800 gastric-bypass procedures.

The designation recognizes surgical programs with a demonstrated track record of favorable outcomes in bariatric surgery. To earn it, Sisters Hospital and Synergy Bariatrics underwent a series of site inspections, during which all aspects of the program's surgical processes were examined and data on health outcomes was collected.

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Cheteny withdraws from mayoral race

East Aurora's three-way mayoral race in the March 21 election has been whittled to two candidates after Elizabeth Cheteny withdrew from the race Sunday.

Cheteny, a village trustee, said she instead will seek a second term as trustee instead of a run against incumbent Mayor David DiPietro and challenger Heidi Potenza, also a trustee whose term is expiring.

"Upon reconsideration, I have decided to seek re-election to my seat on the Village Board," Cheteny said in a statement. "I take my responsibility to the public very seriously. I work hard to ensure that the village has the legislation and project review procedures in place to foster the quality development that residents want to see and that preserves the places that are important to the community."

Cheteny, who kicked off the mayoral race last October by first announcing her candidacy, declined to comment further.

Just last week, she had acknowledged she was still in the race when Potenza entered the bid for the top post.

DiPietro is seeking his third, two-year term as mayor.

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