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LOCAL NEWS BRIEFS

In letter to Obama, Snyder urges a veto on PACT Act

Seneca Nation President Barry E. Snyder Sr. has sent President Obama a letter, asking him to veto the bill just passed by Congress that would ban the mailing of cigarettes. The measure could have a major impact on the Senecas' huge tax-free tobacco business.

"If signed into law, the PACT Act will seriously impact the Seneca Nation and the Seneca people," Snyder wrote. "We will be subject to racial profiling for the simple act of mailing a package. We will lose thousands of jobs and important health care support. And most damaging, we will be set back in our journey to self-determination by the very treaty partner that pledged to support and protect us."

If the president signs the bill, as expected, the Senecas could approach private shippers who stopped handling cigarettes years ago under pressure from New York State or set up their own shipping system.

The measure would cost the Postal Service $30 million to $40 million a year.

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Removal of ice boom slated to begin Monday

Plans are under way to remove the 1.7-mile ice boom spanning the outlet of Lake Erie at the Niagara River.

A state Power Authority crew will begin opening the boom on Monday. Last year, the boom opening began on April 6 and was completed on April 13.

The boom, owned and operated by the Power Authority and the Ontario Power Generation, keeps ice chunks from flowing down the Niagara River and threatening hydropower intakes. The boom was first used during the winter of 1964-65.

The earliest the boom was removed was March 5, 1998, and the latest, May 3, 1971.

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State police to install child safety seats for free

State police will hold a free child safety seat installation Sunday at Joe Basil Chevrolet on Transit Road in Lancaster.

The event, in conjunction with the Niagara Frontier Automobile Dealers Association, will be from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at 5111 Transit Road.

Certified State Police car seat technicians will be present to install car seats and answer questions.

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Leukemia-lymphoma event raises more than $193,000

The Western & Central New York Chapter of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society reports that it raised more than $193,000 at its 18th annual Diamond Ball on Feb. 27 in Samuel's Grande Manor in Clarence.

More than 500 guests and 50 corporate sponsors took part in the black tie affair. Highlight of the evening was presentation of the chapter's Service to Mankind Award to John Rodgers, executive vice president and chief marketing officer for Independent Health.

Winner of the one-carat diamond, the traditional giveaway at the ball, was Avni Jobanputra, a guest at the Columbus McKinnon table.

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