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LOCAL NEWS BRIEFS

Clarence 7-year-old is one of two magazine finalists

And then there were two.

Seven-year-old Derek Andrews of Clarence once again survived the cut Monday, becoming one of two finalists for Sports Illustrated for Kids magazine's "Sports Kid of the Year."

Online voting for the final four candidates ended at noon Monday, and afterward Sports Illustrated for Kids announced that Derek and Conner Smock, 14, of Iowa, had advanced to the final two. Voting for the two finalists closes at noon next Monday.

The contest Web site notes that Derek, despite a condition that weakens his muscles, still made his baseball league's all-star team and a hockey select team, while leading his soccer team in scoring. He's also cited for his volunteer efforts at Women and Children's Hospital, Buffalo Public Schools and the Buffalo Zoo.

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Application deadline set for essay contest

Today is the deadline for students ages 7 to 16 to submit their entries in "The Million Man March Essay Contest," being held in observance of the 13th anniversary of the Million Man March on Washington, D.C., on Oct. 16, 1995.

Top prizes of $75 and second- and third-place prizes of gift certificates will be awarded in three categories -- ages 7 to 9, 10 to 12 and 13 to 16.

Essays will be judged on neatness, research and clarity of ideas. They should be turned in at Frank E. Merriweather Library, 1324 Jefferson Ave., where prizes will be awarded in ceremonies Oct. 25.

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Housing group plans membership appreciation

Housing Opportunities Made Equal will host a membership appreciation networking event Thursday at Canisius College.

The second annual "Each One, Reach One" membership appreciation event will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. in the college's Grupp Fireside Lounge located in the Student Union. The event is free and open to the public. Food and refreshments will be available. For more information about the presale raffle tickets, this event or HOME, go to www.homeny.org or call 854-1400.

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Assessor to discuss change in tax exemption dates

Lancaster Town Assessor David Marrano will discuss new deadlines for filing real property tax exemptions for residents during upcoming informational meetings.

The meetings will be offered at 12:30 p.m. Wednesday and Nov. 24 in the Lancaster Senior Center.

Starting next year, property owners in all Erie County's townships will have to act sooner -- by March 1 rather than May 1 -- if they want to file or renew for STAR, age exemptions, veterans exemptions, disability exemptions, agricultural exemptions and business investment exemptions.

The change does not apply to Erie County's three cities -- Buffalo, Lackawanna and Tonawanda. It also affects when taxpayers can challenge their assessments through the local town boards of assessment review. The new deadline will be the fourth Tuesday in May.

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