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>Area Guardsmen deploy to security duties in Iraq

TOWN OF NIAGARA -- The first of two groups of security forces with the state National Guard's 107th Airlift Wing left Thursday for a six-month deployment in Iraq.

The Guardsmen will perform security duties at Sather Air Force Base, located at Baghdad International Airport, unit officials announced.

"The men and women of the 107th are well trained and ready to deploy to support operations overseas," Col. Patrick D. Ginavan, 107th Airlift Wing commander, said in a statement.

A second security forces group is scheduled to leave later this month, unit officials said. In all, 11 members are participating in this deployment.


>Arcara swears in 48 as U.S. citizens

Forty-eight people from 25 countries became U.S. citizens Thursday during a naturalization ceremony conducted by U.S. District Judge Richard J. Arcara in the federal courthouse.

The new Americans came from Colombia, Germany, Iceland, Iran, Ethiopia, Romania and 19 other countries.


>Operation Child Safe scheduled this weekend

Erie County residents can help ensure their children's safety by participating this weekend in Operation Child Safe.

The child identification service will be provided for free between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. Saturday at Home Depot, 2100 Elmwood Ave. It's being held in conjunction with Home Depot's Kids Workshop.

Special identification cards will include a photo, fingerprints and the child's description; the cards can be updated annually.

The information is a valuable tool for police, should a child get lost or go missing. The service is provided through the office of Erie County Sheriff Timothy B. Howard and the state Department of Criminal Justice.

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