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LOCAL NEWS BRIEFS

Postal Service closed Tuesday to honor Ford

There will be no mail delivery or post office retail service next Tuesday, when federal agencies will be closed to honor former President Gerald Ford, who died this week.

Express Mail deliveries will be made that day, and regular mail services will resume Wednesday.

President Bush has declared Tuesday a "National Day of Mourning." The declaration means that most federal offices will be closed on Tuesday.

However, all Veterans Affairs medical facilities in Western New York will remain open Tuesday, officials announced Friday.

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Two rest areas honored by federal government

The Federal Highway Administration has granted awards recognizing the designs of two rest areas in the Southern Tier.

The Allegany River Rest Area in the Town of Allegany, serving westbound traffic on Interstate 86, received an Excellence Award. Located near the Allegany Reservation, the rest area reflects Native American architecture, featuring a gathering area with mosaic tile, a fire pit and seating stones.

The Chautauqua Lake Rest Area in the Town of Ellery, serving eastbound traffic on that highway, won a Merit Award. Its Victorian architecture reflects the style of many structures along the lake. The two rest areas were constructed under a joint $14 million project.

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Pataki announces $66,000 in tree-planting grants

Nearly $66,000 in tree-planting grants were announced by Gov. George E. Pataki on Thursday for communities in Western New York.

The City of Buffalo will receive a $20,000 Urban Forestry Grant to plant 115 shade trees, "representing a small but valuable step toward replacing what was lost due to the snowstorm" of Oct. 12-13.

Keep Western New York Beautiful will receive $19,968 to plant 113 trees on the city's West Side. The Forever Elmwood Association will receive $5,000 to plant 35 trees on Elmwood Avenue and surrounding streets.

The Amherst Greening Initiative will receive $6,000 to plant 40 trees in Eggertsville Community Park.

Grants of $7,500 each will go to the Town of Tonawanda to plant 242 trees and the Town of Lancaster to plant 301 trees along streets throughout their communities.

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