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LOCAL NEWS BRIEFS

>The year's first snow squalls make travel tricky for many

The National Weather Service issued its first lake-effect snow advisory of the new year Tuesday as a band of squalls set up on a line from Buffalo to Batavia and swept south, icing up highways for the evening commute and causing several minor accidents.

The advisory, from 7 p.m. Tuesday to 7 a.m. today, included southern Erie County and Chautauqua and Cattaraugus counties, where 3 to 5 inches of snow was expected in areas with persistent bands of snow.

In Buffalo and the suburbs, about an inch of snow fell just after sundown, quickly turning into glare ice on busy streets. It was a repeat of Tuesday morning's inch of snow, which looked harmless but also turned highways icy. Forecasters expect the snow to taper off today and start again Thursday morning as a general snowfall with lake enhancement.

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>Grand opening set Tuesday for school district upgrades

CATTARAUGUS -- The Cattaraugus-Little Valley Central School will celebrate the grand opening of its newest facilities at 7 p.m. Tuesday with a ceremony and concert.

The newest additions to the schools include the middle and high school auditorium, a library media center, a technology suite and middle school gymnasium. The middle and high school winter concert will follow the program, with tours and refreshments afterward.

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>Racetrack's rejuvenation racks up record profits

BATAVIA -- Batavia Downs, a run-down racetrack with an inexperienced owner a decade ago, ended the year with record profits for Western New York Regional Off-Track Betting Corp.

Now known as Batavia Downs Casino, the home of 600 video lottery terminals, is still in business because its gaming operations offset the losses from a live race meet.

The Downs expects to report that in 2010 its slot machines earned $35 million, money shared by the state and OTB. OTB shares its profits with Buffalo, Rochester and 15 counties in Western and Central New York.

Martin C. Basinait, who is retiring March 1 after two decades as president and CEO of the quasi-public corporation, fought other racetracks and many of his own board members to purchase the Downs, spent million in restoring the once-spacious grandstand and in 2002 secured a license to hold live racing.

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>211th anniversary of birth of Fillmore to be celebrated

The 211th anniversary of the birth of Millard Fillmore, the 13th president of the United States and the University at Buffalo's first chancellor, will be celebrated at a ceremony at 10 a.m. Friday at Fillmore's gravesite in Forest Lawn.

UB President John B. Simpson will present the memorial address at the annual observance. Fillmore played a major role in the founding of numerous cultural, civic and community organizations in Erie County.

The event, hosted by UB, the Forest Lawn Group and the Buffalo Club, will be free and open to the public.

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