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Susan Brennan, an employee of the city's Management Information Systems Department, and William A. Holley, a podiatrist and pastor of St. James Missionary Baptist Church, have announced their candidacies for the Buffalo Board of Education.

Brennan will challenge incumbent Anthony J. Luppino for the West District seat. She said she would emphasize neighborhood schools and "the elimination of unnecessary busing."

Holley is seeking the board's East District seat being vacated by Marlies A. Wesolowski. He said he would push for school construction to relieve overcrowding in East Side schools.

All six of the board's district seats will be on the ballot for the May 1 election.

Charter school to hold parents session

The King Center Charter School, 938 Genesee St., will hold a one-hour information session at 4 p.m. March 2 for parents interested in enrolling their children for the next school year. The school has 20 available slots for kindergarten and limited openings in first through fourth grades.

A lottery will be held if there are more applicants than openings. Information is available by calling 891-7912.

12 law schools join in tax moot court

The 30th annual Mugel Tax Moot Court of the University at Buffalo Law School will be held today through Saturday in Erie County Court, 92 Franklin St.

Thirty-five students from 12 law schools are expected at the three-day event, to begin at 6 p.m. today and to culminate with final arguments at 1 p.m. Saturday.

Associate Judge Richard C. Wesley of the New York State Court of Appeals and Judge Lewis Carluzzo of the United States Tax Court will be among experts on the bench for the final round.

Students will argue the tax consequences of transferring certain property pursuant to a divorce decree under the laws of New York State.

UB's Mugel tax competition is the largest and longest-running tax moot court in the United States. It is named for Albert R. Mugel, a senior partner in the law firm of Jaeckle, Fleischmann & Mugel who has taught tax law at UB for more than 50 years.

Law schools competing this year include William Mitchell in St. Paul, Minn.; Syracuse University; Louisiana State University; University of Baltimore; University of Maryland; and UB.

Simon A. Fleischmann, a third-year student in UB Law School, is chairman of this year's competition.

ECMC's ICU rated among top 100

Erie County Medical Center's intensive care unit is one of the nation's 100 best, according to the Solucient Leadership Institute.

The group's independent study of 1,200 hospital ICUs found that among the top 100, patients -- particularly the most critically ill -- had better clinical outcomes and spent less time in the hospital.

The study confirms that "patients who come to ECMC receive a high level of care," said Sheila K. Kee, chief executive officer. She credited employees and physicians who rate high-quality care "as their top priority."

As previously reported, Mercy Hospital's intensive care unit also made the top 100 list.

No furs to be offered at fund-raiser

There won't be any furs among the items to be auctioned Friday during the Buffalo Public Interest Law Program's annual fund-raiser.

Organizers of the 7-to-11-p.m. event in the Connecticut Street Armory acknowledged Wednesday that they returned several fur items donated by a local furrier.

"We were approached by a couple animal rights groups about the furs," said Michael Leventhal, president of the student-run Public Interest Law Program, which is affiliated with the University at Buffalo Law School.

"We felt we had to support what we stand for, which is public interest and which animal rights fall under," said Leventhal, a second-year student at the law school.

The New York Coalition for Animal Defense said in a news release that it would have picketed any fur sales at the auction.

There are still plenty of other items to go on the block, Leventhal noted. These include autographed hockey sticks from the Sabres, gift certificates for local restaurants and theater and sports tickets, as well as a tour of local wineries by a UB Law School professor.

The public will be welcome at the auction. Proceeds will benefit activities of the Public Interest Law Program.

Grant to expand diabetes programs

A $213,000 grant will expand diabetes-related programs at Millard Fillmore Hospital.

Rep. John J. LaFalce, D-Town of Tonawanda, delivered the news Wednesday at the Diabetes-Endocrinology Center of Western New York. The money, from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, will be used to expand community outreach programs and promote the early detection of diabetes.

An estimated 16 million Americans are afflicted by the disease, and an estimated 5.4 million more have the disease but do not know it, according to the congressman's office.

Amherst Middle School hosts Olympiad

The middle school regional Science Olympiad will be held from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Saturday in Amherst Middle School, 55 Kings Highway.

This year's competition will include 18 schools from Western New York, with contestants in grades 6 through 9.

About 270 students will be competing for gold, silver and bronze medals.

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