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>Water bills can be paid at a variety of stores

City property owners can now pay their water bills when they shop in dozens of supermarkets and convenience stores. Water officials hope the new option will reduce lines at an Exchange Street service center, while making it more convenient for people to pay their quarterly charges.

For a $1 transaction fee, people can pay water bills at 37 businesses. Included are seven Tops Markets, 13 Wilson Farms and a number of neighborhood food stores and other establishments. Western Union is processing the payments and receives the transaction fee.

The new system was launched this week.

Last winter, the city started offering people the option of paying their water bills online by visiting Buffalo's Web site. There's a $2 charge to pay via computer using a credit card.


>Humanity Buffalo ReStore to give Habitat $100,000

Habitat for Humanity Buffalo ReStore will present a $100,000 check to Habitat Buffalo during the store's second anniversary celebration at 9:30 a.m. Saturday.

The money will cover the cost of rehabbing two houses in Buffalo with two low-income families who qualify for home ownership.

Domenic Cortese of WBEN Radio will broadcast his "Hammer Time" show live from the event at 10 a.m. North District Council Member Joseph Golombek Jr. is also scheduled to speak.

Some 500 Habitat ReStores across the country sell new and used home furnishings and construction materials at reduced prices. The income generated through the Buffalo ReStore sales funds the building of new and rehabbed housing in the city.

This fall, Habitat Buffalo will build a new three-bedroom house at 97 Germain St. Neighborhood churches, business, community members and civic organizations are invited to participate in the project through volunteering or donations.

The ReStore is at 501 Amherst St.


>Andolina leaves ECMC a week after accident

Buffalo Police Officer Carl Andolina was released Wednesday from Erie County Medical Center a week after a motorcycle crash in the Town of Amherst nearly took his life.

Andolina, 42, suffered severe injuries to his right thigh and femoral artery early on July 4 when a 17-year-old Williamsville driver allegedly turned his SUV in front of Andolina's motorcycle on North French Road near Campbell Boulevard.

Andolina, who was thrown from the motorcycle along with passenger Patricia Gorski, lost a significant amount of blood in the crash and underwent emergency surgery to repair his damaged artery on the morning of the crash.

Gorski suffered a head injury but was treated in ECMC and later released. Andolina, who has been listed as injured on duty with the Police Department since being shot Dec. 5 along with partner Patricia A. Parete, had hoped to return to the force within a few months.

It remained unclear Wednesday what effect the motorcycle crash would have on that recovery period.

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