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LOCAL NEWS BRIEFS

U.S. sled hockey team to face off against Japan

The U.S. Paralympic Sled Hockey Team advanced to today's gold medal game, as expected, but it won't be facing off against Canada, as had been anticipated.

The Americans beat Norway 3-0 in the semifinals late Thursday night, notching its fourth straight shutout win to earn a spot in the gold medal game.

But the anticipated U.S.-Canada final won't be happening, after the Canadians faltered in a 3-1 loss to Japan in the other semifinal. So, the U.S., featuring four players from Western New York, will face Japan in a game scheduled to be televised on CTV at noon today Vancouver time (3 p.m. Buffalo time).

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Discovery of short-circuit heads off likelihood of fire

Alert employees and some detective work helped keep Amherst Town Hall from catching fire last weekend.

An employee smelled smoke on Tuesday in the Information Technology Department of the Amherst Municipal Building at 5583 Main St., Williamsville, but a search turned up no obvious source of the odor, according to Lisa Kistner, assistant to Supervisor Barry Weinstein.

When the odor surfaced again on Friday, Jim Zymanek, head of the Emergency Services Department, borrowed a thermal imaging camera from a nearby fire company and subsequently discovered that a short-circuit had developed in an electrical line in the wall.

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Check Out Hunger raises $221,946

Tops Friendly Markets' annual Check Out Hunger campaign raised $221,946, the company said.

The cash collected at checkout counters in 76 stores from central New York to northwestern Pennsylvania between Jan. 24 and Feb. 13 will be donated to regional food banks serving the needy.

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Measure designed to save nursing homes being pushed

A local, bipartisan delegation of state lawmakers is introducing legislation to prevent more local nursing homes from closing.

The bill, which has the backing of local hospitals, would increase the Medicaid reimbursement rates for nursing homes in Western New York. The measure, introduced in the Senate and Assembly, was announced at a news conference Friday at the Waterfront Health Care Center in Buffalo, the latest nursing home targeted for closing.

Lawmakers say the region has lost eight nursing homes and more than 700 jobs the past two years.

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