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LOCAL NEWS BRIEFS

>Planning Board approves Mercy Hospital expansion

The Buffalo Planning Board Tuesday put its stamp of approval on Mercy Hospital's proposed $32 million expansion, a project that includes installation of a helipad.

The Buffalo Common Council gave its unanimous approval for the South Buffalo hospital's project in mid-September. The expansion, which also includes creation of a new emergency room, will get under way as soon as required building permits are issued.

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>Bus shelter to be built on Medaille campus

Medaille College and the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority will use joint resources to build a bus shelter on campus for Medaille students.

The partnership is part of the new Adopt-A-Shelter initiative to enhance the comfort level for riders using public transportation.

Medaille is the first institution to participate in the program.

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>Fundraiser to benefit replacement of trees

A fundraiser commemorating the second anniversary of the surprise October 2006 snowstorm will be held from 7 to 10 p.m. Sunday in J.P. Bullfeathers restaurant, 1010 Elmwood Ave.

The event will benefit Carvings for a Cause, formed after the devastating storm to turn fallen trees into artworks now displayed throughout the city. The organization headed by Therese Forton-Barnes hopes to collect money to replace some of the thousands of trees downed by the heavy snowfall.

The fundraiser will feature celebrity bartenders, food stations and a demonstration by artist Rick Pratt, who has created likenesses of Frederick Law Olmsted, Frank Lloyd Wright, Tim Russert, Ben Franklin, DeWitt Clinton, Chauncey Olcott, Jim Kelly and Red Jacket, among others.

A black bear carved by the artist is on display at J.P. Bullfeathers, the party's sponsor.

Tickets are $25 and available only at the restaurant.

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