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Sprague Brook Park in the Town of Concord will be the site for the 14th annual Erie County Autumnfest 2000 Sept. 30 and Oct. 1, the county Parks, Recreation and Forestry Department announced.

The two-day event kicks off at 9:30 a.m. Sept. 30 with a one-mile Fun Run, followed by a 10 a.m. 5-K European-Style Run through the woods and natural terrain of Sprague Brook Park, County Executive Joel A. Giambra and Parks and Recreation Commissioner Lawrence D. Jasinski announced.

Besides natural fall foliage viewing, other events included in the Autumnfest will be an old-fashioned farmers market, handmade crafts from more than 200 crafters, a fine-art exhibition and a classic car show.

Free amusements and games will be conducted by the Recreation Department staff for youngsters at the Kids Korral. Free hay wagon rides will be given, and representatives of Wild Spirit Rehab & Release Center will be available for information and viewing.

There will also be live music by "Rocket 88," a chicken barbecue available with a food court featuring a variety of "festival type foods."

Autumnfest activities run from noon until 5 p.m. both days.

Free shuttle bus service will be provided to the Bureau of Forestry, and tours will be available of a saw mill and the Sugar Shanty. The saw mill will be in full operation, and the public will be able to watch recently harvested trees cut into lumber.

Reynolds seeks home-heating hearings

Rep. Thomas M. Reynolds, R-Clarence, is calling for congressional hearings into what he calls a "looming home-heating crisis in the Northeast."

Reynolds, in a letter to House Commerce Committee Chairman Tom Bliley of Virginia, requested that the committee address a number of issues, including whether a comprehensive energy policy was put in place by President Clinton's staff and what steps energy industries are taking to cut down on the rising cost of home heating.

Reynolds also wants the committee to provide the public with more information on potential home energy shortages.

"Utilities in both Buffalo and Rochester have reported that many residential customers will see increases of nearly 20 percent higher than last year," Reynolds said. "This crisis is very real, especially for those on fixed incomes, and I feel that Congress needs to address the problems which caused it."

The congressman noted that despite increased production of oil in the Middle East, the price of crude hit a post-Gulf War high last week.

Reynolds and other Northeast lawmakers are calling for the major oil companies to increase production of home-heating oil in preparation for the winter to replenish depleted supplies.

A portrait of war at Old Fort Niagara

YOUNGSTOWN -- Actors portraying British army officers will move into Old Fort Niagara Saturday and Sunday, eating, sleeping and working inside the fort as they would have during the War of 1812.

Visitors to the fort can enjoy a series of drills, demonstrations, programs and activities each day, including military formations, garrison reviews, military music, infantry maneuvers and musket and cannon firings.

Admission to the fort is $6.75 for people ages 12 and up, $5.50 for senior citizens ages 65 and up, $4.50 for children ages 6 to 12 and free for children under 6.

The fort will be open from 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Resealing to close Ellicott Creek Trailway

Parts of the Ellicott Creek Trailway will be closed from about 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday so the Amherst Highway Department can reseal the trailway surface.

The work will begin at the North Forest Road parking lot and end at the 1.5-mile marker near Millersport Highway, said Superintendent Thomas J. Wik. The asphalt sealing will extend the life of the pavement, enhance safety and improve appearance, the highway department said.

If it rains, the resealing will take place Thursday.

Latin America Solidarity meets tonight

The Latin America Solidarity Committee will hold its September coffeehouse this evening to address the local organizing movement against a "new School of the Americas."

The School of the Americas, once located in the former Panama Canal Zone, was where the United States trained Latin American soldiers.

The committee, a task force of the Western New York Peace Center, will meet from 7 to 9 p.m. today in the Network of Religious Communities office at 1272 Delaware Ave.

Clarence No. 1 in scholar-athletes

For the second consecutive year, all Clarence High School varsity teams received scholar-athlete status from the New York State Public High School Athletic Association.

A report on the district's 1999-2000 athletic program notes that Clarence ranked No. 1 in Western New York for teams achieving the scholar-athlete designation. With last year's addition of boys lacrosse, the school has 27 varsity teams.

Teams are eligible for scholar-athlete status when a required number of students earns a minimum grade point average of 90. The number differs for each sport.

The report, prepared by Athletic Director Greg Kaszubski, also said that the men's and women's programs at the high school and middle school combined for 541 wins, 175 losses and 13 ties, for a winning percentage of 76 percent. Other highlights: The girls swimming team took the state championship for the second consecutive year, other teams won league and sectional titles, and several teams or individuals broke school records.

Also, 627 high school students, an increase of 56 from the 1998-99 school year, participated in at least one sport. Overall participation at the middle school stood at 377, down by 53 from the previous year.

Seminar topic is Alzheimer's disease

The Cheektowaga Department of Senior Services will hold a seminar on "Alzheimer's Disease and Coping Strategies" at 9:30 a.m. Sept. 27 in the town senior citizens center on Broadway near Union Road.

The scheduled guest speaker is Ann Marie Doetterl, resident director at Alterra Clare Bridge of Orchard Park. There is no charge, but people must obtain tickets at the senior center by Friday.

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