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LOCAL NEWS BRIEFS

Brown pledges $25,000 to move LaSalle dog park

The Barkyard, the city's off-leash dog park, is being relocated to another area of LaSalle Park.

The move was triggered after it was determined the initial site was located too close to the city's water treatment facility, in violation of Environmental Protection Agency regulations, Mayor Byron W. Brown said Saturday. The mayor also pledged $25,000 in city funding for the park.

The city has collaborated with American Water to provide fresh water and running fountains to the new area at a cost of approximately $10,000. In addition, the city will provide benches and other facilities for the dog park at an estimated cost of $15,000. The city will also provide routine trash collection and snow plowing in the winter, when necessary.

Supporters of the Barkyard have raised $35,000 in private funding toward a new fence at the new site. More information is available through www.barkyardbuffalo.com.

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Gifted children's issues are focus of conference

Being gifted, or a high-ability learner, does not mean a child has no problems.

The social and emotional issues of gifted children are among the many topics to be explored at this year's annual meeting of AGATE, Advocacy for Gifted and Talented Education in New York State, at Canisius College.

The two-day conference, which is open to parents, professionals and college students, will be held Friday and Oct. 25.

Patricia A. Schuler, a nationally certified counselor, will give a keynote address, "A Framework of Understanding Social and Emotional Issues of Gifted Students," at 1:45 p.m. next Friday.

Mary Ruth Coleman, senior scientist in the School of Education at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, will speak about "Recognizing Giftedness in Children From Culturally Diverse and/or Economically Disadvantaged Backgrounds" at 8:30 a.m. Oct. 25.

To register, go to www.agateny.com.

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$5 million grant awarded to fight lead poisoning

WASHINGTON -- In a continuing effort to eliminate lead poisoning, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has awarded awarded Western New York more than $5 million to repair homes and educate the public.

The Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo will use $300,000 to educate an estimated 1,000 people in impoverished areas on lead poisoning and distribute lead hazard information to about 20,000 households. Erie County plans to use $3 million to implement lead-control efforts, such as in home repairs, according to a statement from Sen. Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y.

Houses built before 1978 are likely to have some lead-based paint exposed, which can cause learning disabilities and behavioral problems in children, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

Dr. Anthony Billittier IV, Erie County health commissioner, said the county is working to eliminate lead exposure.

"This funding will allow my staff to continue to make significant progress on a problem that continues to plague our community," he said.

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