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NIAGARA NEWS BRIEFS

Grant to help Sheriff's Office target child predators

The U.S. Department of Justice Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) is awarding $499,971 to the Niagara County Sheriff's Office through the Child Sexual Predator Program. The grant will help local officials locate, arrest and prosecute child sexual predators and enforce state sex offender registration laws.

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton called the funding a critical step to provide Niagara County sheriff's deputies the tools and resources needed to continue to protect our children from sexual predators.

"We must do everything possible to help guard our children from those who would do them harm, and this grant is an important investment in their safety and well-being," Clinton said.

The COPS Office is a federal agency responsible for advancing community policing nationwide. Since 1995, COPS has awarded more than $9 billion to advance community policing, including grants awarded to more than 13,200 state, local and tribal law enforcement agencies to fund the hiring and redeployment of 117,000 officers and provide publications, training, technical assistance, conferences and webcasts.

For additional information about the Child Sexual Predator Program, or to view a list of grant recipients, visit the COPS Web site at www.cops.usdoj.gov.

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Historical Society plans fall bus trip

LOCKPORT -- The Niagara County Historical Society plans a fall bus trip to St. Catharines and Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont., on Oct. 25, with stops including the Welland Canal, the St. Catharines Museum and the Niagara-on-the-Lake Golf Club for a luncheon.

Trip takers also can learn about the Underground Railroad terminus at St. Catharines and evolution of North America's oldest sport, lacrosse.

Director of Development Doug Farley said tourists should wear comfortable shoes and clothing. Lunch will include a choice of entrees, dessert and beverage. Cost of the trip is $65 for society members and $70 for nonmembers.

Call 434-7433 to reserve a seat on the bus, which departs at 8:30 a.m. and returns at 5:30 p.m. Participants must present a passport or birth certificate and photo identification to take the trip.

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Clarence boy to learn fate in contest Thursday

Supporters of 7-year-old Derek Andrews of Clarence, one of two finalists in the Sports Illustrated for Kids magazine "Sports Kid of the Year" contest, have to wait until Thursday to find out if he won.

Online voting in the contest ended at noon Monday. The results will be revealed Thursday on CBS' "The Early Show," which airs locally from 7 to 9 a.m. on WIVB-TV Channel 4.

Derek, despite an undiagnosed condition that weakens his muscles, still managed to make his baseball league's all-star team and a hockey select team -- all while leading his soccer team in scoring.

The contest Web site also notes his volunteer efforts at Women and Children's Hospital of Buffalo, the Buffalo Public Schools and the Buffalo Zoo.

Online voting whittled the list down from 5,500 to a final six, a final four and then the last two contenders. Either Derek or Conner Smock, 14, of Iowa, will be named "Sports Kid of the Year."

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