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NIAGARA NEWS BRIEFS

>Freedom Trail Fest honors Underground Railroad legacy

NIAGARA FALLS -- The history of the Underground Railroad will be celebrated during the 10th annual Freedom Trail Festival, which runs from noon to 6 p.m. today on the grounds of the main branch of the Niagara Falls Public Library, 1452 Main St.

"The Underground Railroad's legacy is very important to the Niagara Region," David Blackburn, festival organizer, said in a statement. "The aim of this festival is to inform and fulfill the goals of the Underground Railroad in our modern day setting by helping people to have a better quality of life."

The festival will kick off with a ceremonial walk from the library to the Whirlpool Bridge to symbolize Harriet Tubman's crossing. Festival attendees also will be reminded of the region's Underground Railroad legacy through music, poetry and historical re-enactments.

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>Kee named vice president at Memorial Medical Center

Sheila K. Kee has been named vice president and chief operating officer at Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center.

Kee, whose appointment takes effect Sept. 28, became chief of staff of the Erie County Legislature in 1979 and became county director of budget and management in 1988.

She left county government in 1997 to become chief operating officer of Erie County Medical Center. She took over as chief executive of the medical center in 2000 but left in 2002 to become chief executive of the Community Health Association of New York State, which represents federally qualified health centers.

Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center said it was not releasing Kee's salary. She gets a $99,389 annual public pension from her years with Erie County government and the Erie County Medical Center.

Kee holds a master's degree in public policy from the University at Buffalo and most recently served as associate commissioner for the Western Region of the state Health Department, a position she took in 2007.

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>Motorcyclists to hit road in Dunlop Ride for Charity

More than 100 motorcyclists are expected to take to the roads of Erie and Niagara counties today in the third annual Dunlop Ride for Charity.

The event will raise money for Roswell Park Cancer Institute and the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Western New York. To register, call the Dunlop Ride for Charity Hot Line at (716) 879-8432. The motorcycle run begins with registration at the Goodyear Dunlop Tires manufacturing plant, 10 Sheridan Drive, at River Road, Town of Tonawanda, from 10 a.m. to noon. Registration is $25.

A Classic Car Cruise will take place from 10 a.m. till noon at the plant and from noon to 3 p.m. at Sheridan Park.

Also, Independent Nursing Care and Goodyear Dunlop Tires will offer seasonal flu immunizations. Participants are asked to bring identification and health insurance cards. The cost of a flu shot, if not covered by insurance, is $30. Flu shots will be offered from 9 to 11:30 a.m. at the Goodyear Dunlop Tires plant and from noon to 4 p.m. at Sheridan Park.

Beginning at noon today, live music will be provided at Sheridan Park. Refreshments, vendor displays and auctions will be available.

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