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BUFFALO'S ZIP CODE

"Buffalo?" said a new acquaintance from the Big Apple, raising an eyebrow. "H-e-e-e-y, that's where Valerie is from!"

Valerie? The vixen from Buffalo on "Beverly Hills, 90210" (Wednesday night at 8 on Channel 29) who replaced Shannen Doherty's nasty Brenda? Could she be a new claim to fame for the Queen City?

From now on, laughing off cracks about the snow or describing the delicacy of a good chicken wing may not be the first item of business for Buffalonians who venture outside Erie County.

Besides, Valerie's trials and tribulations are a lot more interesting.

Thank heavens, weather isn't the only thing that sassy Valerie talks about when she refers to her Buffalo origins on the show. On one recent episode, the brazen beauty, played by Tiffani-Amber Thiessen, 21, described a scheme employed by her "friends at SUNY Buffalo" to steal a homecoming mascot.

The season isn't over, and she may have a few more Buffalo plots up her sleeve. Tune in!
-- Lisa K. Wiley

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