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Temperatures dropped into the 30s Thursday night, including a record low of 33 at the weather station at Buffalo Niagara International Airport, as the first frost hit the region.

In some parts of the Southern Tier, temperatures dropped into the low 20s. The low for the night in Western New York was 22 in the Allegany County community of Friendship. The low for Erie County was 30 in Colden.

The official record low of 33 breaks a record that was first set in 1888 and matched in 1991.

A hard freeze swept through most of Western New York, bringing an early end to the growing season. The frost was less severe near the warmer waters of Lake Erie and Lake Ontario.

The earliest freeze in Erie County came Sept. 23, 1947.

Today, temperatures are expected to jump back up to the low 60s with mostly sunny skies and light winds.

The milder air also will usher in a pleasant weekend. Saturday and Sunday are expected to see mostly clear skies and highs near 70.

Wellness session scheduled

A one-day conference aimed at promoting physical and emotional well-being for emergency services professionals and their families will be offered from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Oct. 13 in Adam's Mark Hotel, 120 Church St.

The conference is sponsored by Buffalo State College, the Mental Health Coordination Project of Crisis Services and the Western New York Stress Reduction Program. It will provide an opportunity for law enforcement and corrections officers, firefighters, dispatchers and other emergency medical personnel and their families to address areas of mutual concern.

The registration fee for the conference is $45. Family members will be charged a reduced rate of $35. To register, call Mary Healy of Crisis Services at 834-3131.

Irish group forms alliance

The Buffalo Irish Genealogical Society has obtained tax-exempt status by forming a partnership with the South Buffalo Cultural Association, which is a division of the South Buffalo Economic and Community Development Corp.

The arrangement is expected to aid the society's mission of helping people trace their Irish heritage.

Information is available from Donna M. Shine, secretary and treasurer of the society, at its Web site,; by e-mail at; or by writing her at 245 Abbott Road, Buffalo, N.Y. 14220.

Timon-St. Jude High plans open house

Bishop Timon-St. Jude High School will sponsor an open house for prospective students from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday and from 6 to 8 p.m. Monday.

Students currently in the sixth, seventh and eighth grades are invited, according to Thomas J. Sullivan, principal.

New features at the school include a 6,000-square-foot Center for Media and Arts, which includes five recording studios, and 80 new computers, with Internet access throughout the building.

Mass will be offered at 10:15 a.m. Sunday by the Rev. Joel Campbell, president of the school.

Wellness Walk steps out at ECC North

More than 350 Western New Yorkers are expected to take part Saturday in Wellness Walk 2000 at Erie Community College North Campus.

Proceeds from the 10:45 a.m. event will benefit the New York State Chapter of the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition and will help establish an acute medical assistance fund for ECC students. Registration will begin at 9:30 a.m.

Welcoming remarks, by ECC President William J. Mariani and other dignitaries, will take place in the gym across from the Mary Lou Rath Child Care Center at the North Campus, 6205 Main St., Amherst.

T-shirts will be given to the first 300 walkers who register for the two-mile walk. Fees will be $13 for adults and $5 for students and senior citizens. Participants will have a chance to win door prizes, and refreshments will be served after the walk.

Pumpkin Weigh-Off set in Clarence

Forget the ghosts and goblins. Think pumpkin.

It's time again for the annual Pumpkin Weigh-Off, held at the Great Pumpkin Farm, 11199 Main St., Clarence.

The contest will be held from 9 to 10 a.m. Saturday. The winner is expected to be announced at around 2 p.m.

This year's winner will get a $25,000 prize, and the winning pumpkin will travel to Germany, where it will be on display before it goes on an expected European tour.

Last year's pumpkin -- which weighed in at 986 pounds -- was displayed in Switzerland before it toured Europe.

The Clarence contest, for the past two years, has been connected with Jucker Farm Mart, a Swiss agricultural company that sponsors the European festival.

The world's record in a pumpkin weighing contest is 1,131 pounds, said Ray Waterman, who runs the local contest.

Fall Festival will benefit Veterans Park

The Tonawanda City Recreation Department will hold its fifth annual Fall Festival from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday in Veterans Park.

There is no admission fee for the family event, and 25-cent tickets will be on sale for the activities scheduled for the day. Activities include raffles, a softball tournament, pumpkin painting, hay rides, face-painting and police "radar" throws, among other events. The festival will also sell food and beverage, including a pie bake-off planned for 10 a.m.

Proceeds for the event go to benefit the Veterans Park Improvement Project, which in years past has built a softball field and monument. A concession stand is the planned improvement after this year's festival.

Amherst forum to highlight domestic abuse

The Amherst Domestic Violence Task Force will hold a community forum at 5:30 p.m. Monday.

Guest presenters include Police Chief John Moslow and the director of Haven House, Katey Joyce, who will announce a new program for victims of domestic abuse. Refreshments will be served, and a candlelight vigil will be held. There is a $15 donation.

The forum will be held in the Village Meeting House, 5658 Main St., Williamsville.

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