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LOCAL NEWS BRIEFS

> ERIE COUNTY

Poloncarz promotes WNY to group in Toronto

Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz was in Toronto on Wednesday promoting the advantages of Western New York to a group of about 60 business leaders at a luncheon meeting of the Ontario Chapter of the American Chamber of Commerce in Canada.

Accompanying Poloncarz in presenting the program, "Western New York -- the U.S. Gateway for Canadian Business," was Tom Kucharski, president and chief executive officer of Buffalo Niagara Enterprise.

Poloncarz cited the recent decision by Outfront Portable Solutions of Beamsville, Ont., to expand its operations in Buffalo after receiving $61,000 in sales tax breaks through the Erie County Industrial Development Agency.

"Canada is America's largest trading partner," he said, "with nearly $500 billion in goods and services crossing our border each year. I want our relationship to be even stronger."

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> ENVIRONMENT

Walden Galleria imposes total ban on smoking

Smoking will be banned on every square inch of Walden Galleria beginning today.

The use of tobacco products, including electronic cigarettes, will no longer be permitted anywhere inside or outside the mall, including doorways, hallways, sidewalks, loading docks, parking lots or construction areas.

The mall's owner, Pyramid Management Co., has instituted the ban at all of its properties in an effort to "support our employees and guests who are sensitive to secondhand smoke, or are trying to quit smoking," and to "provide a more enjoyable and healthier shopping experience," the company said in a statement.

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> LETCHWORTH STATE PARK

Visiting Ohio lifeguard praised for man's rescue

An experienced lifeguard from Ohio is being nominated for a civilian lifesaving award by the New York State Park Police for saving the life of a Rochester man who nearly drowned in a Genesee River area in Letchworth State Park closed to the public, officials announced Wednesday.

Vincent Gill, 19, of Hillyard, Ohio, who was in the park with family members, heard others yelling about a man who fell into the water near the Upper Falls area early in the afternoon and quickly dove in and grabbed hold of Abdulma Alhari, 26, and swan him to shore.

Park Police Commissioner Rose Harvey said Gill is being honored because he prevented a tragedy in a section of the river between two sets of waterfalls with misleading and dangerous current.

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> BUFFALO

Racquet Club will hold open house Saturday

The annual open house at the Buffalo Racquet Club is scheduled from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday.

This is an opportunity for area tennis players to play on six red clay courts and experience what has been called the most unique tennis facility in the area.

The club, at 111 Twyla Road, Town of Tonawanda, is managed and maintained by volunteers. For information, call 877-9810 or visit www.buffaloraquetclub.net.