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LOCAL NEWS BRIEFS

>Zoo's wandering peacock should be left alone

For those in the community who want to help capture the errant peacock who flew its coop Thursday at the Buffalo Zoo, the zoo president is urging restraint.

"All of our peacocks are free-flighted birds who will come back on their own," said Donna Fernandes. "The more attention the peacock receives, the more likely it is that he will travel farther from the zoo, which could lead to disorientation."

"For this reason, it is in the best interest of the animal if members of the community and the [media] refrain from approaching him. Keepers are monitoring him and assure us he is in good condition," Fernandes said.

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>4 suburbs seek payments from Power Authority

Four northern suburbs want reparation payments from the state Power Authority for damages caused by changing water levels on the Niagara River and its tributaries, officials said Friday.

Officials from Amherst, the Town of Tonawanda and the cites of Tonawanda and North Tonawanda gathered at a noon news conference at Amherst Town Hall to announce they have formed a public power coalition.

The coalition will file a joint request to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for funds to mitigate shoreline damage on the Niagara River and tributaries, including Tonawanda and Ransom creeks, according to Amherst Supervisor Satish B. Mohan.

Damages have included flooded homes, eroded shorelines, road cave-ins and other problems, officials said.

The coalition, which represents 270,000 residents in Erie and Niagara counties, also will request compensation for what officials called the power authority's "failure to deliver low-cost power" to north suburban residents over the past 50 years.

Federal energy officials are preparing to renew the operating license for the Power Authority's Niagara Power Project in Lewiston.

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>Panel to discuss clemency in death-row cases

Lawyers involved in four highly publicized death-row cases will participate in a panel discussion at 5:30 p.m. Monday in 106 O'Brian Hall on the University at Buffalo's North Campus in Amherst.

The discussion, "Executive Clemency in Capital Cases," is free and open to the public. To register, send an e-mail to ublaw.cap@gmail.com.

The panelists will be: Jonathan Harris, defense attorney for California death-row inmate Stanley "Tookie" Williams, who was denied clemency and executed in 2005; Sarah Nagy, defense attorney who won clemency for Arthur Baird, a mentally ill death-row inmate in Indiana; John Blume, Cornell University associate law professor who argued a case recently before the Supreme Court involving death-row inmate Bobby Lee Holmes; and Harry Weller, a Connecticut attorney who prosecuted confessed serial killer Michael Ross.

UB Associate Law Professor Teresa Miller will moderate the discussion, which is organized by the Capital Advocacy Project in the UB Law School. The panel discussion is intended to raise awareness about defects in the system, according to third-year UB law student Jenny Mills, founder and co-president of the Capital Advocacy Project.

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