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LOCAL NEWS BRIEFS

Spring planting is fragrant in annual downtown ritual

BATAVIA -- Spring planting is complete in downtown Batavia, with sidewalks blossoming with bright flowers and shrubs.

The annual ritual dates to the 2004 rehabilitation of streets and storefronts in the downtown. The City Council gave $4,000 in seed money to the Batavia Business Improvement District to jump-start the landscaping, which includes tree- and flower-lined medians covering two long downtown blocks.

The business organization pays the city $1,250 a year for crews to water and maintain the flower beds in 22 locations downtown and in the Ellicott Streetscape district.

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National Geographic films to be featured in cinema

Buffalo Museum of Science will offer 3-D films from National Geographic Entertainment in the renamed 400-seat National Geographic Cinema.

As part of the multiyear agreement, the company will supply multiple films each year for viewing and provide marketing support.

Starting June 25, the cinema will show the short "Meerkats" at 10:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m., and "Lewis & Clark: Great Journey West" at 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m.

New films will be introduced on a quarterly basis throughout the year, including "Sea Monsters" coming in October.

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20 local charities targeted by employee contributions

Employees from BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York continued their tradition of giving back to the community by donating $20,000 to 20 local charities, officials with the company announced.

The "BlueCrew," which is the company's volunteer group, donated funds collected throughout 2011 and passed along a $1,000 contribution to 20 different organizations, including: the 2nd Chance Animal Shelter, ASPCA, Bornhava, Breast Cancer Network of WNY, Buffalo City Mission, Buffalo Humane Animal Rescue, Camp Good Days, Cradle Beach, Food Bank of WNY, Friends of the Night, Helping our Heroes, Hospice Buffalo, Make a Wish, Mercy Flight, Ronald McDonald House, Roswell Park, SPCA, St. Luke's Mission of Mercy, Ten Lives Cat Club and Wings Flight.

Earlier this year, BlueCross BlueShield donated $157,000 to the United Way's 2012 campaign, and its employees donate thousands of volunteer hours each year.

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37th annual arts event set to unfold next weekend

The Roycrofters-at-Large Association's annual Roycroft Arts & Crafts Festival opens for its 37th year Saturday and next Sunday at the grounds of the Parkdale Elementary School at 141 Girard Ave., East Aurora.

New this year is a shuttle service that will be offered, since the show has recently been moved to Parkdale to accommodate construction at the Roycroft campus.

The shuttle service, sponsored by Absolut Care of Aurora Park, will be provided to transport art enthusiasts from the Roycroft Festival to the campus for the art and antique shows.

The festival runs from 10 to 5 p.m. both days.