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LOCAL NEWS BRIEFS

>Renewal deadline for NEXUS approaches

The time is approaching for about 28,000 Americans and Canadians to renew their enrollment in the NEXUS frequent traveler program, homeland security officials said Tuesday.

NEXUS passes allow quicker, trouble-free border passages for pre-approved, low-risk travelers. About 120,000 people participate in the program, and about 28,000 passes expire later this year, according U.S. Customs & Border Protection.

Information on how to renew the passes is available from cbp.gov, the agency's Web site.

Authorities said the renewal process takes about 90 days.

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>$100,000 grant given for day care, playground

An East Side human resources agency is planning a first-floor day care center and an outdoor community playground.

The Lt. Col. Matt Urban Human Resources Center of Western New York on Broadway received $100,000 from the Community Capital Assistance Program on Friday. The money will help purchase playground equipment, windows, doors, fencing, and interior renovations needed to accommodate the proposed day care center on Broadway.

Assemblywoman Crystal D. Peoples presented a check on behalf of the Assembly.

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>Food Network here to do a show on chicken wings

Smile, Buffalo! A camera crew from the Food Network is in town today and Thursday filming segments for a new show called "America's Favorite Foods."

The dish in the spotlight is the Buffalo chicken wing. The Food Network has chosen Drew Cerza, the founder of the National Chicken Wing Festival, to reveal the secrets of making the perfect wing.

Cerza and the film crew will visit the Anchor Bar and Gabriel's Gate to show how wings are prepared and what customers think of them.

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>School officials address rumors after shootings

Cheektowaga Central school officials and Cheektowaga police spent extra time last week running down rumors last week, School Board President Brian J. Gould said.

"They were making sure everything went smoothly," he said.

Gould said rumors sprung up after last week's deadly shooting at Virginia Tech and in anticipation of the anniversary of the Columbine High School shootings. He said threat assessments were conducted on every rumor brought to the attention of authorities.

"As we expected, it was a normal school day," he said, adding that attendance may have been down slightly.

Superintendent Delia G. Bonenberger said the Virginia Tech shootings caused many people in all walks of life to be "extra nervous."

"I think we all deal with that. We are certainly always careful," she said. "We don't take any chances."

Gould urged parents who have questions about safety issues to contact teachers, principals and administrators.

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