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LOCAL NEWS BRIEFS

>Free zoo admission offered with food donation

The Buffalo Zoo is offering free admission Saturday to anyone who brings at least one nonperishable food item for the Food Bank of Western New York.

Items collected during the one-day drive will be given to the nonprofit organization, which provides food to more than 500 members agencies, including soup kitchens, food pantries, shelters, group homes and others who serve the disadvantaged.

Most canned, boxed or bottled nonperishable foods will be accepted. Call 837-3900 for more information.

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>Veterans Day ceremonies planned in Forest Lawn

Traditional Veterans Day ceremonies will be held at 9 a.m. Sunday at the American Legion monument in the World War II section of Forest Lawn. Veterans' graves in the cemetery will be decorated with flags earlier in the morning.

Erie County American Legion Commander Dennis McCarthy will give the principal address and lead the wreath-laying. Also placing wreaths will be Nancy Spink, president of the Erie County American Legion Auxiliary, and James Burns, chef de gare of the Forty & 8 Society.

The Erie County American Legion will hold its Veterans Day dinner at 6 p.m. Sunday in Alfred J. Jurek Post 1672, New and Smith roads, East Amherst. Toastmaster will be past 8th District Commander Joseph Porempski.

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>Comment period extended on Peace Bridge plan

The deadline has been extended again for comments on the draft environmental impact statement for the Peace Bridge expansion project, the Buffalo and Fort Erie Public Bridge Authority reports. The new deadline is Nov. 30. The comment period was to have expired next Tuesday.

Written comments may be submitted to Alan E. Taylor, state Department of Transportation Region 5, 100 Seneca St., Buffalo, NY 14203, or Amy Jackson-Grove, Federal Highway Administration, Leo W. O'Brien Federal Building, Clinton Avenue and North Pearl Street, Albany, NY 12207.

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>Univera to expand push to reduce infections

Univera Healthcare announced Wednesday that it will invest up to $5 million to expand a program with upstate New York hospitals to reduce hospital-acquired patient infections.

Funding first will be offered to hospitals that already have expressed a desire to join the program, officials said. The health plan then would set up a process to review additional requests.

In a pilot program, seven hospitals outside the Buffalo area reduced the number of infections, lengths of patient stays and patient exposure to unnecessary medical tests, as well as costs, according to Univera.

The program contracts with MedMined services, part of Cardinal Health, which helps hospitals analyze medical data.

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