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LOCAL NEWS BRIEFS

>Grant will fund study of cocaine addiction

Two local researchers have been granted $1.6 million in federal funding to study treatment for cocaine addiction.

Drs. Alexis C. Thompson of the University at Buffalo and Jean DiPirro, an assistant professor in Buffalo State College's department of psychology, are researching ways to reduce cessation anxiety and cravings that result in the short term and reduce dependence on the drug over the long term. The money comes to UB's Research Institute on Addictions through the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

"Cocaine use greatly affects both individuals and the community at large with a wide range of economic, biomedical, psychiatric and social problems," said Thompson, who noted the researchers will key in on "neuropeptide Y," a neurotransmitter in the brain.

Both researchers have been investigating how exposure to drugs changes the brain and leads to long-term changes in motivation, underlying drug addiction and other mental health disorders.

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>UB computer donation aids community center

The Cazenovia Community Resource Center, 155 Cazenovia St., has received six donated computer workstations from the University at Buffalo School of Social Work.

Nancy J. Smyth, dean of the school, made the presentation last week during a ceremony attended by several local members of the State Legislature. The equipment, which was retired from state service, will be installed by volunteers from UB's Information Technology Services. The resource center is the former Cazenovia Branch Library.

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>Snowmobile group picks city for annual meeting

NIAGARA FALLS -- The Niagara Tourism and Convention Corp. has announced that Niagara Falls has been chosen as the site of the 2008 annual meeting of the New York State Snowmobile Association.

More than 800 snowmobile enthusiasts are expected to attend the convention, April 11 to 13, 2008.

Every April, the association holds an annual meeting for the 240 snowmobile clubs across the state. In the Falls, events will be run out of Conference Center Niagara Falls, Crowne Plaza Hotel and an additional hotel yet to be determined.

"Not only does this benefit the hospitality industry with the hotel rooms and meeting facilities needed, but also will have economic impact on restaurants and attractions throughout the region," said John Percy, president of the agency.

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