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LOCAL NEWS BRIEFS

Decorators' Show House raises $300,000 for grants

Grants totaling $300,000 are available to nonprofit agencies from proceeds raised by the 2005 Decorators' Show House, the Junior League of Buffalo announced Monday. The Century House at 100 Lincoln Parkway, with coordinated decorating themes for each of its three flats, was a hit with visitors.

Guidelines and application forms can be found on the Junior League Web site at www.jlbuffalo.org. First deadline for requests is Oct. 7. Final proposals will be due in late November.

The Junior League and The Buffalo News have presented the biennial Decorators' Show Houses since 1981 and have raised more than $2.8 million. Past recipients of grants include the Buffalo Museum of Science Hall of Astronomy, the Theater for Youth, EPIC (Every Person Influences Children), Hospice Education Center, Kleinhans Music Hall and Haven House/Child & Family Services.

Autumn Beach Sweep is seeking volunteers

Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper, formerly Friends of the Buffalo Niagara Rivers, is looking for volunteers to help with Friday and Saturday's annual Autumn Beach Sweep.

The organization is seeking volunteers to help at three Buffalo sites Friday: the Ohio Street fishing ramp from 5 to 7 p.m., Scajaquada Creek at Grant Street from 2 to 5 p.m. and Broderick Park/Bird Island Pier from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Saturday, help is needed at nine other locations, including sites in Buffalo, Cheektowaga and Williamsville.

To ensure adequate supplies, volunteers are asked to register by contacting Robbyn Drake at 852-7483.

Life Long Learning unit lists course offerings

Villa Maria College's Life Long Learning program is offering a number of courses for the fall 2005 session.

Classes include basic Web design, yoga, grant writing, songwriting and consumer credit counseling. The courses are held on campus, with some classes beginning next week.

For a full list of courses, session times and dates and cost, call the Life Long Learning office at 961-1815 or 961-1866 or go to www.villa.edu/learning.

Mentally ill suspects causing drain on funds

LOCKPORT -- The costs of treatment for mentally ill criminal suspects could nearly drain Niagara County's contingency fund this year, a County Legislature committee was told Monday.

Michael A. White, deputy director of the Mental Health Department, received approval from the Community Services Committee to take $157,400 from the contingency fund to pay to house the suspects for the rest of the year.

County Manager Gregory D. Lewis said about $220,000 is left in the contingency fund, which began the year with $250,000.

White said it costs about $10,000 a month to house and treat mentally ill suspects. The state, which operates the mental institutions, charges counties 50 percent of the cost of handling their suspects.

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