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NEWS IN BRIEF

Jetliner makes unscheduled landing

A United Airlines 737 made an unscheduled landing at Buffalo Niagara International Airport this morning after its right engine stalled en route from LaGuardia Airport to Chicago, Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority officials said.

The plane, carrying 31 people, touched down safely just before 8 a.m., as NFTA air rescue firefighters stood by in case of any emergency, according to C. Douglas Hartmayer, NFTA director of public affairs.

Airport officials were notified of the plane's problems, appropriately enough, at 7:37 a.m. The plane landed 20 minutes later.

Common Council OKs block grant plan

The Buffalo Common Council approved a $21.9 million application for federal block grant funds Tuesday, a plan that increases funding for human services and community groups by $719,000 over the mayor's recommendations.

Still, the plan meets the federal government's 15 percent limit on spending for human services, a feat that insiders said hasn't happened in decades.

"I've been around for 20 years, and this is the first time I remember the city's plan coming in within the guidelines," said Vincent J. LoVallo, Mayor Anthony M. Masiello's chief of staff. "We're pleased with the outcome."

The Council's 12-1 vote at a special meeting also allowed the city to meet a March 17 filing deadline set by federal officials. Last year, the process was delayed by a dispute between lawmakers and the Masiello administration. Both sides agreed that while this year's process produced lively debate, the two sides worked cooperatively to craft a plan for spending a total of $28.8 million -- the block grant funds and income from other federal sources.

University Council Member Betty Jean Grant cast the lone dissenting vote, saying the block grant budget does not adequately address needs in her district.

Swinnich seeks city School Board seat

Janice Swinnich, an associate director of the Western District Parent-Teacher Association, has announced her candidacy for the Buffalo School Board's East District seat in the May 1 election.

Swinnich has three children who attend Buffalo public schools and is a past president of the PTAs at Schools 78 and 43. She is also a member of the East District Parent Advisory Committee.

William A. Holley, a podiatrist and pastor of St. James Missionary Baptist Church, previously announced his candidacy for the East District seat. Marlies A. Wesolowski, who currently represents the district on the board, is not seeking re-election.

Meetings focus on school redistricting

The Buffalo Public Schools have scheduled a series of meetings to receive comments from the public on the proposed redistricting of Schools 11, 12, 31, 70 and 72.

The meetings will be held from 6:30 to 8 p.m. on the following dates: Thursday at School 31, 212 Stanton St.; Monday at School 12, 33 Ash St.; March 12 at School 72, 71 Lorraine Ave.; and March 13 at School 11, 100 Poplar Ave.

'Forgotten Women' topic of lecture

Women imprisoned in Mexico will be the topic of Eastern Michigan University professor Christina Jose-Kampfner's lecture at 7 p.m. Thursday in Grupp Fireside Lounge of the Richard E. Winter Student Center at Canisius College.

Her lecture, "The Forgotten Women: Women in the Prisons of Mexico," is being presented through the college's John R. Oishei Visiting Professorship Program. It will be free to the public.

Political strategist to talk at Canisius

Political strategist Joe Slade White will speak Monday at Canisius College.

His 8 p.m. talk, under the auspices of the William H. Fitzpatrick Chair of Political Science at Canisius, will take place in Grupp Fireside Lounge of the Richard E. Winter Student Center. It will be free to the public.

White, who operates a political and media consulting firm in East Aurora, is a 28-year veteran of more than 300 Democratic political campaigns.

His clients have included U.S. senators, congressmen and governors from across the country as well as such corporate entities as AT&T, the Orlando Magic, Seattle Seahawks and Portland Trailblazers.

David's Dinner to support famine relief

Not all of the plates will be full at the third annual David's Dinner for famine relief, to be held at 6 p.m. Friday in the auditorium of Canisius High School, 1180 Delaware Ave.

Reflecting the way food is distributed throughout the world, only one person in each table of 10 at the dinner will get a full meal. Two of the others will receive half a meal, while the remaining seven will have a half-cup of rice.

The dinner commemorates David O'Brien, a native of Kenmore and a graduate of Canisius High School, who died of a rare form of pneumonia in 1998 while traveling in India looking for ways to solve world hunger.

The previous dinners raised more than $10,000 to feed the poor. Tickets are $20 for adults and $10 for students. For information, call 839-7777 or use the Web site www.davidsdinner.com.

Walk-a-thon to aid anti-drug effort

The National Honor Society Walk-a-thon to benefit Kids Escaping Drugs will be held on April 29 at Forest Lawn.

The walk, from noon to 4 p.m., will be coordinated by the Western New York Consortium of National Honor Society Advisers. Registration will begin at noon at Mount St. Joseph's Academy. To register, call Kids Escaping Drugs, 884-9534.

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