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NEWS IN BRIEF

City Centre project back on track

BATAVIA -- The proposed $3.8 million City Centre, which will convert part of a downtown shopping mall into municipal offices, is back on track although several months behind schedule.

Specifications and requirements for construction bids will be available Monday at City Hall and at the Buffalo offices of Carmine and Wood, architects for the project. Sealed bids must be received by Dec. 9, and the City Council could award contracts later that month.

The Genesee Country Mall has only a few retailers in a space that had 36 stores when it opened in 1976. Much of the space is now occupied by health care services.

The city is proposing to convert the 21,000-square-foot building into office space for city administrators and the police and public works departments.

The original timetable had the bidding phase in July and the start of construction in September. The renovations will take about a year.

Darien Town Hall addition dedicated

DARIEN CENTER -- Officials on Saturday dedicated a 4,000-square-foot addition to Darien Town Hall, doubling the space available to town offices in a building erected 20 years ago to celebrate the town's sesquicentennial.

The addition, facing Allegany Road (Route 77), was designed by Labella Associates of Rochester, and built by Newcall Construction of Darien. Its cost is estimated at more than $700,000.

The main level houses offices, including one for sheriff's deputies, justice court and a conference room. A lower level provides space for storage and equipment.

Darien joins three other towns -- Le Roy, Stafford and Batavia -- that have built new offices in recent years.

Urban renewal financial report ready

OLEAN -- The Olean Urban Renewal Agency board of directors will hear a financial report from the agency's auditor in a meeting at 10 a.m. Wednesday.

Also on the agenda is an update on development projects.

The agency's board meets monthly in Room 119 of the Olean Municipal Building.

Robber strikes twice at variety store

ST. CATHARINES, Ont. -- Robbing a convenience store here Friday turned out to be a little too convenient for the crook who decided once was not enough.

The same man who stole an undetermined amount of cash from the Avondale variety store on Queen Street at 4:25 p.m. returned at 10:05 p.m. and confronted the same female clerk, claiming he had a gun, before grabbing money from the cash register and fleeing on foot.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Niagara Regional Police Service at (905) 688-4111, Ext. 4272.

Education program goes high-tech

BATAVIA -- Prospective elementary-school teachers from the Batavia area can fulfill most college requirements without leaving home under an innovative program by Genesee Community College and Buffalo State College to bring bachelor's and master's degree courses to the Batavia campus.

The program, to begin in the spring semester, will offer on the local campus traditional classroom courses taught by Buffalo State as well as distance learning courses that use online and fiber optic technology to bring students and instructors together.

GCC claims to be one of the few community colleges in the state that offers a teacher education transfer program.

Bona alumnus helps fund new program

ALLEGANY -- A. Anthony Annunziato, a futures trader in Houston and a 1971 St. Bonaventure University graduate, is helping to build the Center for Entrepreneurial Values at his alma mater with a $100,000 gift.

Annunziato hopes the new pilot program will strengthen the relationship between the university and community by encouraging greater interaction.

"The Center for Entrepreneurial Values will build on close and vital relationships that already exist between St. Bonaventure and the regional business community, and will benefit not only our students and the entrepreneurs with whom they work, but also the community as a whole, by building up the local business community with more, and more stable, businesses," said Robert J. Wickenheiser, the university's president.

As many as three graduate students will receive annual assistantships to work with local entrepreneurs who borrow micro-loan funds. Their loans will be monitored to increase their probability of long-term success. Plans for the proposed center and the university's launch of a minor in entrepreneurial values in fall 2003 were announced during Annunziato's recent presentation about his work as an energy futures trader. The same day, he met with faculty in the School of Business.

Annunziato is the president and sole trading principal of AAA Capital Management, a career he built beginning with involvement in commodity futures on the Chicago Board of Trade in the early 1970s.

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