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LOCAL NEWS BRIEFS

Potential outbreak of hepatitis probed

Public health officials said Friday they are looking into a potential outbreak of hepatitis C in the Town of Hamburg -- where about 19 cases have been identified since 2005 -- as part of a recent effort to track the disease in the county.

Hepatitis C is a liver disease caused by a virus that is spread by contact with the blood of an infected person. Its transmission is usually associated with drug abusers sharing infected needles. The virus can cause jaundice and fatigue, but the majority of infected individuals have no signs or symptoms, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Dr. Anthony J. Billittier IV, county health commissioner, said the number of cases appears to be higher than expected, but it is not clear yet if that's the case. Nor is it known if they come from a common source.

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Scajaquada light repairs to cause restrictions

Crews will repair streetlight standards on the Scajaquada Expressway between the Kensington Expressway and the Grant Street exit today between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. Lane restrictions will be in effect.

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Snow-removal experts gathering in Buffalo

A group of visitors in Buffalo for the next few days may be disappointed with our sunny skies and temperatures in the 70s.

These 500 folks, whose livelihood is airport snow removal, would be more at home with last weekend's Nor'easter.

Buffalo is once again the host of International Snow Symposium, at the Buffalo Convention Center. The Buffalo Niagara International Airport is host. Participants come from around the United States and the world.

"This symposium has great national and global economic relevance since a heavy snowstorm, as Buffalo learned this past October, can easily cause passengers numerous problems and cost airlines and airports large sums of money," said the airport's Airfield Superintendent Robert Nowak.

Participants, who will be in Buffalo from Sunday through Wednesday, will attend seminars on everything from aircraft de-icing to plow driver fatigue, and get a chance to see displays of the newest tools in the war against winter.

This is Buffalo's 21st year hosting the snow-fighting "how to" session.

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