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Wind gusts down some power lines

Winds gusting at more than 50 mph overnight left some downed and low-lying telephone wires in the Buffalo Niagara region. While the winds died down a little this morning, weather forecasters expect the breezy conditions to return tonight.

The National Weather Service reported that sustained winds were clocked at 23 mph at 8 a.m. today, with gusts reaching 36 mph at Buffalo Niagara International Airport.

Rush-hour commuters this morning were plagued by a non-functioning traffic light at Parkside Avenue and the Scajaquada Expressway, one of the busiest intersections in the region. But it was unclear whether the wind played a part.

Somali refugees aid Sept. 11 victims

It was the thought behind it more than the dollar amount that impressed Niagara Council Member Dominic J. Bonifacio Jr. when he accepted a donation from the Somali Community of Western New York on behalf of the widows and orphans of the New York City firefighters killed on Sept. 11.

"They don't have much themselves, so for them to raise money for others, it really comes from the heart," Bonifacio said of the $480 donation he accepted recently.

Most of the Somalis are refugees who have only been in this country a short time.

A spokesman for the group, Mohamed Mohamed, said it was the women members of the Somali community who spearheaded the drive.

"They just want to show that they appreciate that they are in a better place," he said.

Classical Association will hold event

Michael Cater, a classics professor at Brock University in St. Catharines, Ont., and Kerry S. Grant, University at Buffalo vice provost for academic affairs, will be featured speakers during the 38th annual Educational Institute of the Classical Association of the Empire State today through Saturday.

"Bridges Into the Future" will be the theme of the event, which will draw about 60 teachers of Greek, Latin and ancient literature to the Buffalo Airport Radisson. At the hotel Friday evening, Cater will discuss the origins of human sacrifice. Grant will talk about classicism and the 1901 Pan-American Exposition at 2 p.m. Friday in the Buffalo & Erie County Historical Society Museum.

In addition, classics professors and high school Latin teachers will discuss archaeology, ancient literature and pedagogy during the conference.

Oishei grant will fund kidney screening

The National Kidney Foundation of Western New York has received a $40,000 grant from the John R. Oishei Foundation to launch its Kidney Early Evaluation Program, which will identify and evaluate people at high risk for kidney disease.

The program will conduct a series of free screenings for kidney disease for high-risk people in Erie and Niagara counties and on the Tuscarora Indian Reservation. The screenings will begin this fall and continue through next spring.

Assisting in the program will be the University at Buffalo Health and Preventive Medicine Department, the Tuscarora Nation, the Hamilton B. Mizer Primary Care Center in Niagara Falls and We Care Transportation.

Adoptive, foster parents to be honored

The 24th annual dinner to recognize foster and adoptive parents will be held by the Children's Services Department of Child and Family Services on Friday in Chef's Restaurant, 291 Seneca St.

Ellen Kennedy, a member of the agency's board and chairwoman of its Advocacy Committee, will be the keynote speaker. Several awards will be presented, including the Elizabeth Anglim Advocacy Award, named in honor of the woman who played a key role in developing the agency's foster care services.

Fort Niagara's POW role to be noted

YOUNGSTOWN -- A state historical marker noting Fort Niagara's use as a prisoner of war camp during World War II will be unveiled at 2 p.m. Saturday in Fort Niagara State Park.

The marker, obtained by the Officers Club Museum Coalition, will read, "In 1944-1945, Fort Niagara POW Camp housed interned German & Austrian soldiers, sailors and airmen captured in North Africa and Europe."

They were among 380,000 of Hitler's troops shipped to the United States after being captured in combat, according to David L. Dickinson, former Niagara County historian.

Dickinson was among those who advocated preservation of murals painted on the Officers Club walls when the buildings were made available for commercial redevelopment. Among the artists was Ernst Wille, a POW who later became a world-renowned artist.

Parkside group sets Halloween party

The Parkside Community Association will stage its annual Halloween party from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Wednesday in Church of the Good Shepherd, at the corner of Jewett Parkway and Summit Avenue.

The party offers a safe alternative to trick-or-treating for youths by offering games, prizes and refreshments. The event is free, though donations at the door are appreciated.

For information, call 838-1240.

Neighborhood to hold Halloween party

The Fargo Estate Neighborhood Association is hosting its annual Halloween party from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. Sunday in the D'Youville College Student Union, at the intersection of Porter and Fargo avenues.

Admission is $1 and includes pizza, prizes and dances. The party is limited to children up to age 13 who are accompanied by an adult.

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