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LOCAL NEWS BRIEFS

Higgins supports plans to begin Busti demolitions

A congressman is backing the Peace Bridge Authority's plans to demolish seven properties it owns on Busti Avenue to make way for an expanded bridge plaza.

Rep. Brian Higgins, D-Buffalo, came out on Saturday in support of razing the properties, in response to Mayor Byron W. Brown's appeal to the governor to intervene and halt demolition.

The mayor in recent a letter called the plans for demolition "premature" and expressed the fear "unnecessary public conflict" will result if they are carried out."

"The Peace Bridge project has been stalled without good reason for two decades. Inaction and inertia is no longer an option," Higgins said in a prepared statement. "The issues surrounding these actions are not new, have been long-discussed and should not encounter any further delay."

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Militello quartet booked for Plaza Event Series debut

Jazz saxophonist Bobby Militello and his quartet will kick off the 43rd Annual Plaza Event Series at noon Monday on the south end of the plaza in front of M&T Bank's corporate headquarters in downtown Buffalo.

The longest-running corporate-sponsored event of its kind in the nation, the free series will run from noon to 1 p.m. Monday through Friday until Aug. 31. Each week will feature a variety of performers and guest hosts.

The schedule for the first week of the series also includes the Westminster Community Charter School Drama Club on Tuesday, the Celtic and world music band Stone Row on Wednesday, country-rockers Ricky Lee & the Mustangs Thursday and the Larry Salter Big Band Friday.

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Marathon hockey features beer tasting at brewery

The third annual 24-hour hockey game "Skating for a Cure" to benefit both Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and the Breast Cancer Network of Western New York will be held over Father's Day weekend, organizers announced.

The event begins with an evening beer tasting on Friday in Flying Bison Brewery, to be followed by around-the-clock children and adult hockey games from Saturday through to Sunday morning in the Northtown Center, Amherst. Organizers said a Buffalo Sabres alumni skills clinic also will be included in the event, along with a Sabres alumni game at 7 p.m. Saturday.

Organizers have set a $50,000 goal for this year's marathon.

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13 evenings of free music planned for Canalside venue

The nights of summer music have been lengthened at the Buffalo and Erie County Naval and Military Park.

This year, the summer concert series will feature 13 evenings of free music played by local bands aboard the USS Little Rock, which is moored at Canalside. The concerts will start at 7 p.m. and are scheduled to be held each Wednesday from Wednesday through Sept. 5, with July 4 being the only exception.

Programs will include Latin music by Manny Perez and Soly Sombra, as well as the bands Chicago Jack Blues, Dave Roach & Friends, the Friends of Harmony and the Carol McClaughlin quartet.

Free parking will be available in the lot adjacent to Templeton Landing.