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LOCAL NEWS BRIEFS - Niagara

Niagara Falls to honor beautification efforts

NIAGARA FALLS -- The Niagara Falls Beautification Commission will hold an awards luncheon at noon Thursday in the Como Restaurant, 2220 Pine Ave.

The winners of the first Niagara Blooms garden and landscaping contest will be honored.

First place winners include four residential winners: Kathy McCunn, Lorraine Licata, Ruth Knack and Linda Traver; institutional winner, St. Mary of the Cataract Church; the community winner, the Blockbusters Block Club; and the business winner, the Three Sisters Trading Post.

Cost is $16, and a reservation is required. Call 282-3599 for more information.

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Elderly volunteers honored for service

NIAGARA FALLS -- More than 100 senior citizens who volunteer as companions for sick and elderly shut-ins throughout Niagara County were honored at the Senior Companion Program's 25th annual recognition luncheon here Thursday.

Thelma Shell, 87, of North Tonawanda, who has been with the program since it started in 1980, received a plaque, a necklace and proclamations from the city and county for 25 years of service. She helps out four days a week at DeGraff Memorial Hospital's Skilled Nursing Facility in North Tonawanda.

John Kinner of Lewiston, executive director of the Health Association of Niagara County, which sponsors the program, thanked the volunteers for their "extraordinary friendship and service" during the luncheon at the Inn on the River on Buffalo Avenue.

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Carolyn's House gets new director

NIAGARA FALLS -- Teresa Martinez, associate editor of the Niagara Gazette, will take over Monday as director of Carolyn's House, YWCA of Niagara Executive Director Kathleen Granchelli said Friday.

The Sixth Street shelter for troubled women and their children opened last month. Martinez replaces Mary Brennan-Taylor, who is now YWCA vice president for programming. Brennan-Taylor replaces Jennifer Stoll, who resigned to pursue a doctorate but will continue as the YWCA's grants writer.

Carolyn's House has five families now and will have nine or 10 by the end of the month, Granchelli said. It has a total of 19 units.

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