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LOCAL NEWS BRIEFS

>County offers sessions on Medicare drug plan

The Erie County Department of Senior Services will sponsor a series of information sessions in April concerning the Medicare Part D prescription drug program.

Those interested are asked to register by calling 858-8544 and bring a list of their medications.

The schedule:

* April 1 -- 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Erie County Medical Center cafeteria, 462 Grider St.

* April 10 -- 9 a.m. to noon, Evans Senior Center, 999 Sturgeon Point Road, Derby.

* April 18 -- 1-4 p.m., Salvation Army Citadel Corps, 960 Main St.

* April 19 -- 1-4 p.m., Town of Tonawanda Senior Center, 291 Ensminger Road.

* April 21 -- 1:15-3:15, Clarence Senior Center, 4600 Thompson Road.

* April 22, 1:30-4 p.m., Bertrand Chaffee Hospital cafeteria, Springville.

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>Loan awarded to back Senior Crime Stoppers

The Senior Housing Crime Prevention Foundation has been awarded a $5 million loan to support the Senior Crime Stoppers Program, which protects moderate-income senior housing facilities in Erie and Chautauqua counties.

Greater Buffalo Savings Bank provided the loan.

Senior Crime Stoppers is a coordinated group of services designed to prevent abuse, theft, neglect, fraud, vandalism and any other unethical behavior in long-term care and senior housing communities.

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>Freedom Bowl raises funds for refugee shelter

Vive Inc., a world refugee organization, held its third annual Freedom Bowl on Sunday, raising funds to help sustain La Casa Refugee Shelter on Wyoming Avenue in Buffalo.

The $50-per-person event included a dinner of ethnic dishes served on stoneware "Freedom Bowls" made by artists from the Buffalo Clayart Center.

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>Ishmael Hope's visit being sponsored by UB

Native American storyteller Ishmael Hope will speak and perform in Buffalo from Friday through Sunday.

He will perform at the Native American Magnet School on Friday.

Hope also will conduct a storytelling workshop from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday in Room 188 of Alumni Arena on the University at Buffalo's North Campus in Amherst.

The workshop is aimed at adults and college and high school students.

It is free and open to the public. To reserve a spot in the workshop, send an e-mail message to Lhayes2@buffalo.edu.

Hope's visit will conclude with a performance from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday in the Central Library on Lafayette Square.

His visit is part of the Stories of the Americas speaker series, presented by the American Studies Graduate Student Association at UB.

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