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COUNCIL ASKS RELEASE OF HEATHER MERCER

NIAGARA FALLS -- The City Council Monday approved resolutions condemning the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11 and urging the government of Afganistan to release Heather Mercer, Danya Curry and other humanitarian relief workers being held on charges of preaching Christianity. Heather's aunt, Linda McClure, and her grandmother, Norma Anderson of Youngstown, were in attendance at the Council meeting.

The Council also:

Approved a contract to pay CSX Transportation of Jacksonville, Fla., up to $20,000 for engineering work related to relocating the Amtrak passenger train station to the city's North End.

Tabled a resolution by Quaranto supporting Whirlpool International Truck Bridge (USA)'s plan to develop a dedicated truck route at the Whirlpool Bridge corridor.

Approved a contract with Armand Cerrone Inc. for $487,925 for paving, striping, sidewalks and landscaping at the City Market and a $197,465 contract with Campobello Construction Co. for reconstruction of sidewalks and curbs on portions of 12th Street; Center, Cudaback and Pierce avenues and the Intersection of Falls Street and Portage Road

Approved two resolutions that were tabled at the last meeting. One approved payment of the city's $24,000 share to the Niagara Power Coalition and designated Elia as the city's delegate to it. The other approved a $100,000 contract with Urban Strategies of Toronto for a regional economic development strategy.

email:jscelsa@buffnews.com

'Buy-A-Tree' program sets deadline

NORTH TONAWANDA -- North Tonawanda residents have until Friday to order a tree through the city's "Buy-A-Tree" Program. The North Tonawanda Department of Youth, Recreation and Parks will share the cost of purchasing and planting the tree on city property. The fee is $40.

Residents may choose from among seven species of trees -- crimson king maple, hedge maple, spring snow crab apple, Japanese tree lilac, Turkish filbert, Korean mountain ash and greenspire.

The tree will be planted in a location designated by the purchaser. Trees also may be purchased and planted in city parks or Deerwood Golf Course in memory of individuals and in honor of organizations. A special plaque will identify the donor.

The trees will be planted by mid-November. Trees may be ordered from 9 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. weekdays at the department office in the Col. Payne Community Center, 460 Wheatfield St.

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