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NIAGARA NEWS BRIEFS

O'Reilly talk to benefit Lewiston-based foundation

Bill O'Reilly, host of the "The O'Reilly Factor" on the Fox News Channel, will speak on behalf of the It Happened to Alexa Foundation, of Lewiston, on March 19 in the Palm Beach, Fla., area.

O'Reilly will speak at a luncheon in the Ritz Carlton in Manalapan, Fla., with all proceeds benefiting the Lewiston foundation. The foundation offers emotional support and financial assistance to victims of rape and sexual assault and their families unable to afford travel-related expenses for out-of-town trials.

Also appearing with O'Reilly will be Wendy Murphy, an Alexa Foundation advisory board member and author of "And Justice for Some," who also is a frequent contributor to Fox and MSNBC.

Lewiston residents Stacey and Tom Branchini started the Alexa Foundation following the 1999 attack on their then-18-year-old daughter, Alexa, who was raped at knifepoint by a stranger hiding in her Boston University dormitory.

Tickets to the event are $125, including lunch. A $200 "meet and greet" ticket includes a photo opportunity, book-signing and lunch. For sponsorship or ticket information, contact Ellen Augello, the foundation's executive director, at 754-9105 or e-mail her at Augellos@verizon.net.

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DEC offering free seedlings for school ground planting

The state Department of Environmental Conservation School Seedling Program provides free tree seedlings or shrubs to public and private schools for planting on school grounds or in a community location.

Teachers can prepare students for a planting project by discussing the value of trees in the environment and setting objectives such as erosion control, wildlife enhancement, windbreak and other conservation practices.

"As we step up our efforts to green New York, this is a wonderful opportunity for schools across New York to obtain native tree seedlings free of charge," said Commissioner Pete Grannis. "The seedlings we plant this spring will grace the grounds of our schools for generations to come and help clean our water and air."

The DEC will supply 50 tree seedlings or a mixed packet of 30 wildlife shrubs to participating schools. Planting 50 seedlings will require approximately 1,800 square feet, while the shrub planting will require about half that much space.

To participate, contact Saratoga Tree Nursery at (518) 587-1120 or ask the nearest DEC regional forestry office for a school seedling brochure for instructions on placing an order by March 31. For more information on the school seedling program, visit the DEC Web site at http://www.dec.ny.gov/animals/9393.html.

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Supervisor to present State of the Town address

Clarence Town Supervisor Scott Bylewski will report on "The State of the Town" at an 11:30 a.m. luncheon Thursday sponsored by the Clarence Unit of the League of Women Voters of Buffalo/Niagara.

The public is invited to the talk, which will be held in Hirsch's Restaurant, 8445 Main St.

The luncheon will cost $15, including tax and gratuity. For reservations, call 759-8188.

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