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NEWS IN BRIEF

Board OKs design plans for new library

A new public library in the City of Buffalo is a step closer to reality, now that the Buffalo & Erie County Public Library has approved a Buffalo architect's design plans for the project.

The new North Jefferson Library, which will be built on the corner of Jefferson Avenue and Utica Street, will be a 20,000-square-foot structure designed to look like an African village, said Rebecca L. Mahoney, chairwoman of the library's Board of Trustees.

Architect Robert Traynham Coles, head of one of the few African-American architectural firms in the state, is in charge of the project, Mahoney said.

"The elements are arranged in circles with the heart of the library, the circulation desk, as the connecting link," said Mahoney. "From the overall design to the anticipated details, Mr. Coles' vision has captured a true spirit of community."

The design of the planned library was approved by the board this week. The new library will replace the existing North Jefferson Library on East Utica Street, which was built in 1929.

Heritage Centers opens satellite office

Heritage Centers has opened a satellite office at 314 W. Ferry St. to serve Hispanic residents with developmental disabilities and their families.

The office is part of the recently renovated Association of Hispanic Pastors of Western New New York building. The satellite office debuted following ceremonies last week.

East Side school again target of vandals

Another break-in was reported at an East Side school that was the target of vandals earlier last week, according to Buffalo police reports.

Someone entered Poplar Academy, 1417 E. Delavan Ave., by prying open a window Friday evening, Northeast District officers said. A computer and keyboard were removed and left outside the building.

Another window also had been broken with a wrench, police said. Last Monday, vandals entered the building through windows and caused an unspecified amount of damage. A clock was ripped off a wall, fire extinguishers were sprayed all over the school, graffiti was written on blackboards, and some books and desks were destroyed.

Harvest Happening Dance set for Oct. 4

The Town of Tonawanda Senior Citizens Association in conjunction with the North Tonawanda Senior Center will be host to Harvest Happening Dance from 7-10 p.m. Oct. 4 in Tonawanda Senior Center, 291 Emsinger Road.

Live music will be performed by Alterra of Kenmore. For ticket information, call 874-3266.

Refugee shelter plans open house Oct. 7

VIVE La Casa, a shelter for refugees at 50 Wyoming Ave., will hold an open house from 3 to 7 p.m. Oct. 7. Ethnic foods, prepared by some of the residents waiting to be relocated, will be served, and native crafts will be demonstrated. For information, call 892-4354.

After-school program to begin in October

A new after-school program will start in October in the Gowanda School District, where students will receive enrichment in technology and art, as well as tutoring and recreational activities.

The $395,000 federal grant to Gowanda through the U.S. Department of Education 21st Century Community Learning Center is one of 310 awarded out of 2,000 applications. More than 4,000 schools conduct the Learning Center program across the country, and it has grown by $452 million since 1997.

For information on the Gowanda Central School afterschool program, call 532-3325.

House damaged as water leak sparks fire

Water leaking into a basement electrical panel sparked a fire that caused $50,000 damage to a house at 163 Sherbrooke Road in Amherst early Saturday morning, fire officials said.

The homeowner ran to a neighbor to report the 3:17 a.m. fire, which was confined to the basement but caused smoke damage throughout the house, fire officials said.

The fire caused $10,000 damage to the structure and $40,000 to its contents. No injuries were reported.

Boy sprayed with pink paint

LOCKPORT -- Police are looking for youngsters who sprayed the face and head of an 11-year-old boy with pink paint shortly before 1 p.m. Saturday, Officer Paul M. Beakman said.

The boy's mother said her son was walking along the Erie Canal towpath at the West Genesee Street boat launch when he was assaulted by six youngsters, who spray-painted his head and face, then ran off, Beakman said.

Child car seat inspections set at firehouse

Erie County Traffic Safety specialists will conduct a child car seat safety inspection from 1 to 4 p.m. Oct. 7 in the Hutchinson Hose firehouse, 5565 Main St., Williamsville.

The car seat safety check will be held in the parking lot behind Hutchinson Hose, which is having an open house that day.

"Statistics show that the majority of children's car seats are not installed properly," said Erie County Legislator Barry A. Weinstein, R-Amherst. "Erie County is pleased to offer this service as a way to bring security to residents for the things that we value the most, our children."

Energy deals are saving money

LOCKPORT -- Niagara County has saved about $100,000 this year by purchasing natural gas cooperatively with Erie County, Public Works Commissioner Dorson R. Wilson said last week.

Wilson said the county's spending on natural gas to heat its buildings was down by about 14 percent during the first eight months of the year, compared to the same period in 1999.

About two months ago, the county entered into an electricity agreement to become a direct customer of New York State Electric & Gas Corp. and Niagara Mohawk Power Corp., and so far the county's bills are down about 10 percent, Wilson said.

The gas agreement, made late last year, means the counties buy from whichever supplier offers the best price.

The county also offered municipalities the chance to join in the utility contracts. Taking advantage of the offer are the Towns of Wilson and Lewiston, the Village of Barker and the cities of North Tonawanda and Niagara Falls, along with the Niagara Falls Public Library and the city's Community Development Department.

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