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Reporters' Notebook / Bits and pieces of news...

OLAF FUB SEZ: In the estimation of A.A. Milne, the "Winnie the Pooh" author born on this date in 1882: "The third-rate mind is only happy when it is thinking with the majority. The second-rate mind is only happy when it is thinking with the minority. The first-rate mind is only happy when it is thinking."

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COLLEGE BOUND -- Applications are being accepted from high school seniors in Erie and Niagara counties for two college scholarships offered by Buffalo's Italian-American Police Association in memory of two members -- Erie County Sheriff's Deputy Robert S. Insalaco and Buffalo Police Patrolman David J. Scime -- who died in the line of duty.

Preference will be given to students with Italian heritage who are enrolling in a criminal-justice program. For information and an application, visit www.iapawny.org. Deadline for applications is May 1.

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HAMMER TIME -- Buffalo's West Side Housing Partnership is creating a calendar that will provide a roundup of all the various local classes and training sessions that teach people how to do home repairs.

Nonprofits holding classes in their rehab projects, businesses demonstrating how to use tools and materials, or groups of neighbors sharing their fix-it skills are invited to submit information. The partnership, in turn, will promote them via its online calendar, social media and monthly brochures. For details, call Rebecca Garofano at 882-7661, Ext. 203, or e-mail r.garofano@hocn.org.

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TIME OF NEED -- Friends and family of Jeff Thomas are hosting a benefit event to cover his medical bills from 2 to 7 p.m. Sunday in Samuel L. Derby Post, American Legion, 9 Meadow Lane, Frewsberg. Thomas, 44, recently was diagnosed with colorectal cancer and doesn't have insurance to offset the costs of chemotherapy and other treatments.

Admission is free. But donations are welcome, and a variety of auctions and raffles will be held. Food and drink will be available from the post's menu. The Rhythm Kings, Ray D. O'Flyer and the Old Dawg Jazz Trio will be on the bandstand. To make a donation to the Thomas family or contribute auction items, call Dave Johnson at 708-9629.

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STEP LIVELY -- Mardi Gras will be the theme as the Rince na Tiarna School of Irish Dance holds its annual Pub Night Friday in the Emerald Room of the Buffalo Irish Center, 245 Abbott Road. Music will be provided by the Hudsons. Prizes will be awarded for the best mask and the most creative use of beads. The event will include raffles and a drawing for a Pot O' Gold.

Tickets are $13 in advance from the Tara Gift Shoppe at the Irish Center and include beer, wine and pop. Proceeds help the school pay for costumes, parades, competition fees and travel. Rince na Tiarna is sending soloists to compete in the All Ireland competition in Killarney next month and to the world competition in Dublin over Easter week in April.

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HAPPY BIRTHDAY -- George Myslinski, Ginger Tripi, Sue Aubuchon, Lenny Silver, Amy Fleissner, Pam Pollock, Joe Lolla, Dan Kersten, Jacob Gill, Paul Eschrich, Cindy Blais, Jim Higgins, Ruth Riemer, Jenna Blewis, Jonathan Safe, Kathleen Nostrant, Paul Wasiuta, Dave Kurek, Mary Lou Sailer, Arrika Ocasio, Mary Ann Poole, Jeff Plewinski, Frank Diaz and Stasia Lukomski.

e-mail: olaffub@buffnews.com

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