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Technology Forum on cutting edge

Tuesday's sixth annual Western New York Technology Forum promises to be the biggest yet, according to the chief organizer, Niagara County Central Data Processing Director Larry L. Helwig.

Last year's event drew 200 to 250 guests, but Helwig said as of Friday 300 had preregistered on the county's Web site.

"We're probably going to be pushing 400," Helwig said. Admission is free; visitors may show up or register at

County Manager Gregory D. Lewis said, "We think it's an outstanding opportunity for the public to gain information on the very latest information technology. It's a very diverse agenda this time around."

The event in Conference Center Niagara Falls, 101 Old Falls St., will have two simultaneous programming series, one focused on homeland security and the other on bioinformatics.

"Holly Hubert from the FBI will discuss high-tech crimes. She always draws a crowd," Helwig said.

Hubert will be the keynote speaker at 9 a.m., before the conference splits into two subject areas. A midday keynote will be offered by Richard Ford, a former Secret Service agent, who will discuss identity theft.

The homeland security session will feature several presentations by law enforcers and first responders on everything from nontraditional uses of police dogs to clandestine drug labs.

The bioinformatics side will include presentations from attorneys and University at Buffalo professors, among others, on everything from protecting intellectual property to marketing.

"The homeland security session is outstanding, and the bioinformatics session is equally outstanding," Lewis said.

"It's one of the few technology-type shows we have here," Helwig said. "We're doing it to keep our technical edge and help the people and businesses we have working in that field."


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