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Free smoke detectors available at city firehouses

Free smoke detectors and batteries will be distributed during open houses today at three City of Buffalo firehouses: Engine 2, 376 Virginia St., 10-11:30 a.m.; Engine 28, 1170 Lovejoy St., 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m.; and Engine 22, 1528 Broadway, noon-1:30 p.m.

On Nov. 1, open houses will be held at Engine 34, 2837 Main St., 10-11:30 a.m.; Engine 26, 703 Tonawanda St., 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m.; and Engine 4, 939 Abbott Road, noon-1:30 p.m.


Theatre for Change winner of News award

Theatre for Change and its director, Darleen Pickering Hummert, have been selected to win The Buffalo News Founders Award during the Family Justice Center's art show and auction from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday in Babeville, 341 Delaware Ave.

Also, Carmen Gallardo, a court advocate and case manager for Hispanics United of Buffalo, will receive the center's 2008 Susan Still Award, named for an Amherst domestic violence survivor.

Like Still, Gallardo is a domestic violence survivor who has committed her life to helping victims.

The acting ensemble is being honored for its decades of work teaching audiences about family violence, community violence and social issues.

The awards will be presented at the art show and auction, called A New stART. Tickets to the event are $35 each and can be purchased at or by calling 558-5281.


Catholic Health projects get $625,000 from Wendt

The Margaret L. Wendt foundation has donated grants totaling $625,000 to two Catholic Health System projects.

The foundation gave $500,000 to the Mercy Hospital Foundation's Emergency Room Campaign, which is raising $3.5 million to build a state-of-the-art ER facility at Mercy Hospital of Buffalo.

The foundation gave $125,000 to the Father Baker Gaslight Park Capital Campaign to be used to help convert the former Our Lady of Victory Hospital into a multilevel care and living facility for seniors.


Vets for Freedom gives support to Lee

Christopher J. Lee, the Republican hoping to succeed Rep. Thomas M. Reynolds, was endorsed Friday by a veterans organization and its co-chairman, an Iraq War Army veteran who once was his political rival.

David Bellavia, who received the Silver Star, said his Vets for Freedom "looks forward to working with Chris in Congress." Vets for Freedom is a nonpartisan organization of combat veterans in Afghanistan and Iraq formed by Bellavia and others in 2005.

At a news conference at Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Batavia, Lee promised a "fight to ensure world-class care at VA facilities, equipment the troops need, and the proper benefits when they come home."
Lee and Bellavia also appeared Friday at the VA facility in Buffalo. Bellavia had sought the nomination for the 26th Congressional District but later agreed to support Lee.

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