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LOCAL NEWS BRIEFS

>Tree planting marks 2nd anniversary of storm

A red oak tree planted in Buffalo's Symphony Circle marks the second anniversary of the October 2006 snowstorm and was the first of 700 trees to be planted this fall during Olmsted Community Volunteer Tree Plantings.

Mayor Byron W. Brown was joined Tuesday by second-graders from Elmwood Village Charter School to mark the occasion. Trees will be planted Nov. 1 in Cazenovia, Martin Luther King and South parks and Nov. 8 in Delaware, Front and Riverside parks.

Ninety percent of the more than 12,000 trees in the Olmsted system were lost or severely damaged in the storm. Restoration of the tree canopy includes planting another 10,000 trees during the next decade and eventually reaching the 42,000 trees originally installed systemwide by Frederick Law Olmsted.

A total of $356,000 from the city's reforestation fund has paid for plantings, landscaping and cleanup efforts this year and last in Olmsted parks. Additional community donations came via the Olmsted Parks ReLeaf Fund.

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>Justice Department, FBI to probe voting issues

Voter fraud and discrimination complaints in Western New York will be investigated by the U.S. Justice Department and the FBI.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Gregory L. Brown has been appointed as the federal elections officer for the Nov. 4 elections.

Brown, a veteran prosecutor, will be on duty while polling places are open on Election Day and can be contacted about allegations of election fraud or voting rights abuses on that day, U.S. Attorney Terrance P. Flynn said.

Brown can be contacted on Election Day at 843-5700, Ext. 853. The Buffalo FBI office also can be contacted about such issues at 856-7800. The Justice Department's Civil Rights Division also can be contacted at (800) 253-3931 with complaints about ballot access problems or voter discrimination.

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>Sites sought to plant trees donated to village

Wanted: Village of Lancaster residents who would like a free tree planted in the right of way in front of their home, church, school or business.

Re-Tree Western New York has donated 50 trees to be planted within the village the first week of November. So far, the village's Department of Public Works has identified spots to plant 22 of those trees.

But Superintendent Mark Gee says he still need spots for another 28 trees donated by the nonprofit group to help reforest the area following the October 2006 snowstorm.

Contact the superintendent of public works' office at 683-1028.

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