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LOCAL NEWS BRIEFS

FBI agents examine data from Council operations

NIAGARA FALLS -- Two FBI agents spent four hours in City Hall on Wednesday poring over six months worth of City Council documents and correspondence.

The agents had subpoenaed the City Council secretary, Geri Mondi, last week, seeking Council agendas, meeting minutes and voting records since Oct. 1, as well as any letters, memos or e-mails related to those items.

A federal grand jury is investigating a $40,000 interest-free loan Mayor Vince Anello received from developer Joseph "Smokin' Joe" Anderson while he was running for election in 2003. Anello has said he asked for the money for his electrical contracting company.

"I can't make heads nor tails of what they were looking for," Mondi said Wednesday. "They looked at a whole bunch of documents, but nothing that related to the other."

Mondi had spoken with the same officials last Wednesday for about an hour, answering questions about how the city's budget process works and how resolutions make it onto the Council's agenda. She said they didn't ask specific questions about city operations or issues on their second visit to her office.

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VIPs to attend dinner marking saving of base

NIAGARA FALLS -- The state's top politicians and community leaders are scheduled to attend a celebration dinner Saturday evening of the Niagara Military Affairs Council, the civilian organization that mounted a massive campaign last summer to save the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station.

"It was a long summer for all of us, but it paid off," said Merrell Lane, chairman of the military council. "Saturday night is for all the people, including hundreds of volunteers, who helped make it happen."

The Air Reserve Station was placed on the Pentagon's base closure list last May and removed August 26.

U.S. Sens. Hillary Clinton and Charles Schumer, Reps. Louise Slaughter and Thomas Reynolds, State Sen. George Maziarz and Assemblywoman Francine DelMonte are expected to be among the 250 guests at the dinner, which will begin at 7 p.m. in Antonio's Banquet & Conference Center, 7708 Niagara Falls Blvd.

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Annual footrace in June relocating from Buffalo

LOCKPORT -- An annual footrace held at the Erie Basin Marina is moving here.

The Common Council on Wednesday granted the request of the Checkers Athletic Club to hold a series of mile races on Main Street on the night of June 9, using the city's new streetlights for illumination. Jeff Tracy, a Lockport resident who times races for Checkers, said that the Buffalo Mile has been run on a Saturday morning for about 10 years but that participation is declining.

The event will now be known as the Checkers Mile, he said, and will be run in eight divisions and broken down by age and gender. The course will run from City Hall to Washburn Street and back.

Tracy said that the City of Buffalo had been charging the club an assortment of fees for police and ambulance coverage but that the City of Lockport will charge no fees.

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