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Senate panel OKs funds to upgrade Falls airport

WASHINGTON -- The Senate Appropriations Committee on Thursday approved a spending bill that includes $2.5 million to build a new terminal apron and improve roads at Niagara Falls International Airport.

The money was included in the 2008 spending bill for transportation, housing and related agencies. New York Sens. Charles E. Schumer and Hillary Rodham Clinton, both Democrats, announced the panel's approval of the funding.

"This is great news for Niagara and will enable the airport to take a giant step forward to becoming a prime international cargo shipping hub," Schumer said.


State energy authority fills out Larkin Building

The Buffalo office of the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority has relocated to the Larkin Building at 726 Exchange St.

The local office, which employs four staffers, chose the recently renovated office building for its energy and environmental efficiencies. The 600,000-square-foot former industrial building, which was converted to Class A office space in 2002, is now 98 percent leased.

The authority had been located in the Market Arcade building on Main Street in downtown Buffalo.


County legislators OK tree-removal deal

The Erie County Legislature approved an agreement Thursday with Amherst to allow county contractors to remove damaged trees in the town.

Amherst would pay the county with aid expected from the state Emergency Management Office and the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

The trees were damaged in last October's snowstorm, although some residents contend certain trees will recover.

Amherst's latest figures indicate the storm damaged about 8,000 town-owned trees. Of these, about 1,063 are listed as posing "high to severe risks" to public safety and are dead or nearly dead. All trees are on town rights of way or in parks, officials said. The remaining 7,000 trees are listed as posing "minimal to moderate" safety risks and are in poor to fair condition.

Town officials have said the county's contractors offer desirable prices. They start at $141 to remove trees with trunks up to 24 inches in diameter and go to $331 for trees with trunk diameters of up to 4 feet.


Keith's Classic raises $100,000 in finale

Keith's Classic Golf Tournament -- a fundraising event in memory of the Keith Brewer, who died of cancer at age 6 in 1986 -- raised $100,000 on Thursday in its 20th and final year.

The 225-player tournament at Legends on the Niagara in Niagara Falls, Ont., benefited Carly's Club for Kids & Cancer Research, the children's care and fundraising arm of Roswell Park Cancer Institute.

Over the years, Keith's Classic has raised a total of $2.5 million for cancer research and quality-of-life programs for children and families.

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