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LOCAL NEWS BRIEFS

>At zero, thermometer just one degree shy of record

Frigid overnight temperatures dipped to zero at 5:01 this morning, but fell one degree short of matching the all-time low temperature for this date. The low of minus 1 was recorded in 1960.

Tonight will also be very cold, with temperatures expected to dip to between 5 and 10 degrees near the city and as much as 10 degrees colder inland.

Things will warm up a bit beginning Wednesday, with highs approaching the freezing mark and overnight lows in the 15-20 degree range.

In another sure sign that winter is upon us, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers expects to have the Lake Erie ice boom in place by the end of the week.

Under the treaty authorizing the boom, it may be installed when the lake water temperature at Buffalo reaches 39 degrees, or on Dec. 16, whichever comes first. While the 39-degree reading was not recorded until Dec. 21 last year, it came on Friday this year.

The boom, a series of floating devices strung across the start of the Niagara River outside Buffalo Harbor, reduces the amount of ice jams that could clog water intakes for the hydroelectric plants at Niagara Falls.

Installation of the 1.7-mile boom is expected to begin Wednesday.

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>Program will distribute clothing, toys for kids

Clothing and toys for youngsters in the KIDS (Kids in Distressed Situations) program will be distributed to 39 nonprofit organizations in the area this week, just in time for the holiday season.

The national program, sponsored locally by the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo, collects overstocked and unsold items from department stores and arranges to give them to children in need.

The foundation donates $25,000 to KIDS for shipping and administration costs to bring $50,000 in merchandise to the area.

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>Wendy's donates $60,000 to adoption, foster care

Wendy's restaurants presented a check for $60,000 to the Coalition of Adoption and Foster Family Agencies on Monday at a Christmas party for youngsters awaiting adoption at the Wendy's on Main Street near North Street.

The money came from the sale of Halloween coupon books at all Western New York Wendy's locations. The coalition includes 25 adoption and foster care agencies in Western New York.

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