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LOCAL NEWS BRIEFS

RENOVATIONS COMPLETE AT FATHER BELLE CENTER

The final phase of the $1.3 million renovation to the Father Belle Center on Maryland Avenue will be completed Wednesday with the reopening of the pool, which has been closed for more than a year.

The $150,000 in renovations to the pool was part of the $98.9 million development plan for the new Lakeview Hope VI public housing projects on the lower West Side.

"The deal was we would renovate the local community center and make it a state-of-the-art facility," said Donna Rice, the center's interim executive director. "The pool is one of the main attractions of the community center and a much-needed resource because the city-operated pool, Centennial Pool, was closed . . . all summer long."

"It's a big welcome to see it back in operation," Rice added.

Overall, renovations at the center -- including updating the gymnasium -- took almost two years and cost $1.3 million. A new day care center was added, as well as new offices, a game room and three classrooms.

DISCUSSION SET OCT. 27 ON REVITALIZATION PLAN

Residents of North Buffalo will have a chance Oct. 27 to discuss a proposal to revitalize their community.

The discussion -- at 6:30 p.m. in the dining room of the North Buffalo Community Center, 203 Sanders Road -- will cover the plan developed by the Good Neighbors Planning Alliance of North Buffalo. It will include land use, urban design, economic development, housing, the quality of life, youth programs, education, safety, transportation, parks and culture.

Timothy E. Wanamaker, executive director of the city's Office of Strategic Planning, said North Buffalo is one of 11 areas working on neighborhood plans.

EFFORT SEEKS MINORITIES FOR SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT

Erie County Legislator Demone A. Smith is spearheading an effort to increase the number of minority applicants for the Erie County Sheriff's Department exam Dec. 4.

The public is invited to visit the Buffalo Employment & Training Center, 77 Goodell St., between noon and 1 p.m. Wednesday, where a representative of the department will answer questions.

Applications must be postmarked by Oct. 27.

Smith and elected officials are working with Sheriff Patrick Gallivan in his effort to recruit more minority applicants.

Authorities said Wednesday's effort is focusing on recruiting highly qualified minority applicants, although the exam is open to all those who meet the criteria.

COUNTIES TO SHARE FUNDS TO COMBAT VIOLENCE

Several Western New York agencies and organizations with programs to combat violence against women will share in more than $5.5 million in grants announced Monday by Gov. George E. Pataki.

A total of $568,710 is destined for Western New York, with $180,000 of that going to Erie County.

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