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LOCAL NEWS BRIEFS

Terry Anderson to address Peace Garden Kickoff dinner

BATAVIA -- Terry Anderson, a news correspondent held captive in Lebanon for nearly seven years, is returning to his hometown next month to highlight an International Peace Garden Kickoff dinner.

He will be speaking at a dinner Feb. 18 at the Terry Hills Restaurant in support of a peace garden with international displays planned for this summer next to the Holland Land Office Museum on West Main Street.

Anderson, a 1965 graduate of Batavia High School, was the Associated Press chief Mideast correspondent when he was kidnapped in 1985 and held for more than six years. He returned to a hero's welcome in Batavia in 1992 following his release in December 1991.

Anderson, 63, now teaches journalism at the University of Kentucky.

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Narnia exhibit opens Monday and continues through May 8

The mythical land of Narnia will come alive in the next major traveling exhibit in the Buffalo Museum of Science.

"The Chronicles of Narnia: The Exhibit," which opens Monday, includes more than 50 original costumes from the blockbuster Narnia film series, as well as set dressings and props, educational interactive displays, videos and interviews with scientists. Admission will be $2 with paid museum admission. It continues through May 8. For information, visit www.sciencebuff.org.

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Survey of community colleges in SUNY ranks Genesee No. 1

BATAVIA -- Genesee Community College is ranked No. 1 in two key surveys among 27 community colleges in the State University of New York system.

An opinion survey ranked the college first in its computer and technology programs, and in a second category for the college's website for students' input into policies and plans.

The independent student opinion survey, conducted every three years, covers comments on 34 college services and programs. GCC said nearly 1,000 of its students completed the confidential questionnaire.

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Three-year contract OK'd for business administrator

Susan Arena, business administrator of the Silver Creek School District, has been hired by the Depew Union Free School District.

The Board of Education on Tuesday approved a three-year contract that expires in February 2014 for Arena, who has 25 years' experience as a school business administrator. She replaces Theresa Rusin, who retired last month after 20 years with the district.

Arena, who starts Feb. 21, has served in the same position with Erie 1 BOCES and the Williamsville Central School District.

Interim business manager until Feb. 18 is Richard Hitzges, retired assistant superintendent for finance and management with Williamsville Central.