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LOCAL NEWS BRIEFS

>Sacred Heart senior is N.Y. State Junior Miss

Lisa Marie Bavisotto of Amherst, a senior at Sacred Heart Academy, is the 2006 New York State Junior Miss. She will go on to the America's Junior Miss competition in Mobile, Ala., in June.

Lisa Marie, who hopes to become a dance teacher, was chosen Saturday from among 20 high school seniors from across the state who competed in the program finals at Buffalo State College's Rockwell Hall Auditorium. The daughter of Robert and Susan Bavisotto, she was awarded $5,600 in scholarship funds.

First runner-up was Emilie Hagen of Attica, who earned $2,600 toward her education. The second runner-up, Madeline Kaye of Buffalo, was given $1,200 in scholarship funds.

Community Service Award winner Jynelle Andrejko, of Williamsville, was awarded $1,000. "Spirit" award winner was Mallory Marquis, of Orchard Park. "Be Your Best Self" winner was Katherine Kaczor, of Orchard Park.

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>Zoo's AWOL peacock back under lock and key

The Buffalo Zoo's roving peacock is back in the coop.

The colorful bird, which flew away Thursday, was captured by keepers Sunday on nearby Tillinghast Place, where he had spent his hiatus in plain view of residents and TV cameras.

"He did not resist arrest," said zoo spokeswoman Adair Saviola. "They just grabbed him and brought him back."

It is not unusual for free-flying peacocks to leave the zoo, though they seldom stray far and usually return on their own, Saviola said.

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>'Polar Bites' raises $40,000 for zoo

The Buffalo Zoo's annual "Polar Bites" benefit Feb. 23 in the Hyatt Regency Buffalo raised more than $40,000 to feed the animal collection, the zoo said.

The Gourmet Store won best entree and best of show for its Gorgonzola tenderloin roulade. Rich Renaissance Niagara took the most unusual fare award for its ceviche of shrimp and scallops, the Hyatt Regency won best presentation for its fried plantains, and Dessert Builders' bite-sized desserts earned the best dessert award.

Flying Bison Brewing Company's Aviator Irish Red ale was judged best beer and Colony Wine & Liquor's Shiraz was named best wine.

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>Woman wins $331,174 spinning casino wheel

SALAMANCA -- Patricia Whetstone, of Dewittville, won $331,174 on Saturday when she hit the Wheel of Fortune quarters Megajackpot at the Seneca Allegany Casino. Whetstone, who visits the casino every few weeks, said she would use the winnings to pay off some bills.

It was the first Megajackpot to be paid at the casino this year and the second largest ever awarded at Seneca Allegany. The biggest was $351,992 in October.

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