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Improvement plan receives $250,000

The campaign to upgrade the Buffalo Zoo veterinary hospital received a $250,000 boost Monday from retired businessman Peter Vogt and his family foundation.

Under the challenge grant, the zoo must raise an identical amount from other donors for a total of $500,000 -- a third of the project's estimated cost. Improvements designed to meet new standards set by the American Zoo and Aquarium Association will include a larger quarantine space, a surgical suite and new air handling equipment. The facility will nearly double in size to more than 5,000 square feet.

Vogt is former vice president of sales and marketing for the Greater Buffalo Press Corp. and a former president of the Burchfield-Penney Art Center.

Contributions to the "Show Us Your Stripes" campaign, started by area veterinary groups two months ago to help expand the zoo hospital, may be made through individual veterinarians or by calling Adair Saviola, zoo development director, at 837-3900, Ext. 158.


County plowing contract raises payment per mile
Erie County is about to renew its contract with the cities, towns and villages that plow county-maintained roads.

The current five-year contract expires Aug. 1 and gave cities, towns and villages $2,532 for the season for every lane-mile they plowed.

With the price of fuel and other supplies, the county will grant a 5 percent increase to $2,658.60 per lane mile, said Gerard Sentz, the county's deputy commissioner for highways.

The contract, which will go before the County Legislature on July 12, grants a 5 percent increase for the 2008-09 season as well, according to documents given to the Legislature.


Valu Home Centers raising money for Habitat

Valu Home Centers is conducting its annual fundraiser for Habitat for Humanity.

The drive, which will end Aug. 4, encourages customers to donate money when they shop at Valu. Each $1 donation will enter the customer into a drawing for prizes, including a 2007 automobile and five $1,000 Valu gift cards.

The charity will receive 100 percent of the proceeds. Last year, Valu raised $160,000 for the cause.


July 4 closings

This is how the following area offices and services will be affected by the Fourth of July holiday.

City Court .... Closed
County courts .... Closed
State courts .... Closed
Federal courts .... Closed
City offices .... Closed
County offices .... Closed
State offices .... Closed
Federal offices .... Closed
Post Office .... Closed
Schools .... Closed
Banks .... Closed
Most stores .... Open
Metro Bus, Rail .... Sunday schedule
City garbage .... Regular

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