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LOCAL NEWS BRIEFS

>Legislature approves increased ECC budget

The Erie County Legislature has approved the $90.5 million operating budget for Erie Community College for the 2007-08 year.

The budget raised the amount contributed by county taxpayers to $17.4 million, a $2 million increase. Tuition did not increase, and there were no faculty layoffs.

"No tuition increase being instituted is the best news I've heard in a long time," said County Legislator Michele M. Iannello, D-Kenmore.

Her Community Enrichment Committee has oversight of ECC matters.

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>Motorcycle ride to raise funds to aid Parete

A motorcycle ride will be held Aug. 19 to raise money for injured Buffalo Police Officer Patricia Parete.

The 70-mile ride, dubbed the Patty Parete Pride Ride Poker Run, will start at noon at American Harley-Davidson, 1149 Erie Ave., North Tonawanda.

Registration, from 10:30 a.m. to noon, is $10.

Participants will receive a map of the route, a chance to win door prizes and admission to a party after the ride at 5 p.m. in the Cozumel Grill, 153 Elmwood Ave., where Parete was a regular patron.

Nonriders can attend the party for a donation of $10.

Parete and her partner, Police Officer Carl Andolina, were shot Dec. 5 while investigating reports of a fight near West Chippewa Street and Elmwood Avenue.

Parete suffered severe spinal injuries and was paralyzed from the neck down. Andolina recovered from his wounds and has been leading efforts to raise money for Parete's treatment and recovery.

Proceeds from the event will be used to build Parete a new home with full handicapped access, with the remainder covering living costs.

Parete currently is undergoing therapy in New Jersey.

Organizers expect the event to attract about 1,000 riders.

The fundraiser is sponsored by Cozumel Grill, American Harley-Davidson, Niagara Falls HOG Chapter, RPM Magazine and 103.3 FM, The Edge.

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>Enviro-Care gives city four digital cameras

Enviro-Care, an emergency cleanup and restoration business, has donated four digital cameras to the city's fire marshal's office.

The Buffalo-based business donated the cameras, along with memory cards, which have a total value of about $1,500.

"We're very grateful," Lt. Sal Colangelo, commander of the fire marshal's office, said.

"They're a big supporter of ours," he added. "They know we've had a rash of arsons, and they know that there's been budget restraints in the city."

Colangelo said the digital cameras will be used to document fire scenes for evidence in court.

In addition to the cameras, Enviro-Care covers the cost of the unit's reward posters.

The company also offers a $2,000 reward to anyone providing information leading to the arrest and conviction of an arsonist.

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