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LOCAL NEWS BRIEFS

SPCA names director of animal cruelty probes

Jeffrey C. Eyre has been named director of animal cruelty investigations, rescue and community response for the SPCA Serving Erie County, the organization announced Tuesday.

A native of Western New York, Eyre has more than 30 years' experience in law enforcement, firefighting, human and animal rescue and animal welfare. He also has been involved in animal cruelty investigations at the local, state and federal levels.

Most recently, he worked more than three years for the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, where he was Northeast regional director of field investigations and response.

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Federal official to speak at appreciation dinner

The Rev. Brenda Girton-Mitchell, director of the U.S. Education Department's Center for Faith Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, will be the featured speaker for the 32nd annual appreciation dinner of the Network of Religious Communities at 6 p.m. today in Hearthstone Manor, 333 Dick Road, Depew.

President Obama appointed Girton-Mitchell to the post in 2010. She previously was associate general secretary for justice and advocacy for the National Council of Churches.

More than 500 people are expected to attend.

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Anglers to batter and fry 350 pounds of smelt

LEWISTON -- The Niagara River Anglers will batter and fry 350 pounds of smelt beginning at 6 p.m. Friday in celebration of the Lewiston Smelt Festival at the foot of Center Street along the Niagara River waterfront.

Free samples of fried smelt will be distributed by the anglers and co-sponsors, the Niagara River Region Chamber of Commerce, Village of Lewiston and Silo restaurant. The theme of the program is "Lewiston never smelt so good."

Smelt, which feature a distinctive cucumber fragrance when plucked from the water, are among the few fish that sportsmen are allowed to catch in nets. The state Department of Environmental Conservation has identified Lewiston as one of the best places in the nation for smelt dipping.

Besides the free smelt, other food and beverages will be available for sale, and the Lakeside Blues Band will provide entertainment. The event is geared toward an adult audience.

Lewiston restaurants will serve their own variations of smelt over the weekend.

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Staff of clerk's office will be at Gun Show

Staff from the Pistol Permits Department of the Erie County Clerk's Office will be at the Erie County Gun Show on Saturday and Sunday at the Hamburg Fairgrounds.

Clerk's employees will provide services including additions, deletions and change of address for existing permits. Information on applications, transfer requests and duplicate permit forms will also be available.

The gun show is organized by Niagara Frontier Collectors.