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LOCAL NEWS BRIEFS

>Andolina scoring well in 'Most Wanted' voting

A week after voting for FOX TV's "America's Most Wanted" All-Star Finalists began, Buffalo Police Officer Carl E. Andolina has been among the top three vote-getters "almost every day," show spokesman Steve Katz told The Buffalo News on Thursday.

Andolina became a hero to Buffalo after he and his partner, Patricia A. Parete, were shot in December and he managed to wrestle the gunman to the ground with his bare hands.

Andolina is among eight first-responders from across the nation to make the final cut for the All-Star competition. The first place winner will receive $10,000.

To vote, people can go on-line to www.amw.com/allstar or use a Nextel or Sprint phone to dial 4AMW and then plug in 3 for Andolina. Participants can vote once a day, every day until the contest ends on May 8.

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>Ray of Light Awards to be given at bruncH

The YWCA of Western New York will hold its annual Ray of Light Awards brunch at 9 a.m. Saturday in the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center.

The awards recognize the accomplishments of local young women between the ages of 14 and 18 years old in the areas of academic and civic achievement, personal achievement, arts and athletics. Preceding the ceremony will be a symposium on leadership, diversity, communication and advocacy.

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>Environmental efforts recognized by EPA

Two organizations from Western New York were among 16 individuals and organizations across the state that were honored Thursday by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for their efforts to protect the environment.

Receiving the EPA's Environmental Quality Awards at an Earth Day ceremony in the EPA's Manhattan offices were:

Audubon Machinery Corp. of North Tonawanda, whose new 42,000 square-foot factory is the first in the state to attain "green building" status. The building uses half the energy of a normal factory its size, and it was constructed with recycled steel, drywall and carpeting.

The Center for Integrated Waste Management at the University at Buffalo, which does research and develops technology to deal with toxic substances and hazardous wastes. It has provided assistance in redevelopment of brownfields for Elmira, Lackawanna and Gowanda.

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