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LOCAL NEWS BRIEFS

> 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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> NIAGARA SQUARE

Gus Macker Tournamnet to close some streets

Niagara Square and the streets surrounding it in downtown Buffalo will be closed to traffic beginning at noon Friday for the Gus Macker 3-on-3 Charity Basketball Tournament, the sponsor, the Police Athletic League of Buffalo, announced. The streets will remain closed until midnight Sunday.

The affected streets include Delaware Avenue from Cary Street to Eagle Street, Cary from Elmwood Avenue to Delaware, both West Huron Street and West Mohawk Street from Elmwood to Franklin Street, Niagara Street from Elmwood to Franklin, both Court Street and West Genesee Street from Niagara Square to Franklin, and all of Perkins and Jerge drives, next to City Hall.

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> 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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> 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. Refreshments will be available. For information, call 877-9810 or visit www.buffaloraquetclub.net.

The rain date is next Sunday.