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Reporters' Notebook / Bits and pieces of news...

OLAF FUB SEZ: According to Japanese film director Akira Kurosawa, born on this date in 1910, "In a mad world, only the mad are sane."


PERFECT PITCH -- It's open house night tonight for the Friends of Harmony. The male a cappella singing group invites one and all to visit at 7:30 p.m. in SS. Peter & Paul School, 66 Burlington Ave., Depew, and experience classic four-part vocalizing. Sheet music and learning CDs are available. Open auditions are held every Tuesday night. For information, call Bill Ryan at 652-9246 or visit


HISTORY LESSON -- Today is the 56th anniversary of the last steam train out of Buffalo's Central Terminal, says rail historian Peter Pucak Jr. of Clarence.

"It was Train 377 of the Toronto, Hamilton & Buffalo Railway, pulled by Hudson 501," he continues. "The railroad that critics irreverently called 'To Hell and Back' was chartered in 1884. Its tracks reached Hamilton, Ont., a decade later, but never got to either of its namesake cities. In 1895, the New York Central bought a 73 percent interest in the TH&B, and Canadian Pacific bought the rest.

"Trains like 377 would have headed northwest via New York Central, crossing the Niagara River into Canada on the International Railway Bridge. From Welland, Ont., it would have continued on its home rails to Hamilton, then to Toronto via the Canadian Pacific.

"TH&B owned two Hudsons, 501 and 502. They were second-hand Class JID engines acquired from New York Central. Both were scrapped in 1954, and their tenders were used to build steam heater cars for use on the new diesel engine-powered trains."


SAFETY FIRST -- Free bike helmets, fire alarms, carbon monoxide detectors and children's car seats will be raffled and given away at the Fearless Factor event, a family safety fair at 6 p.m. Wednesday at Women & Children's Hospital.

The event also will include safety demonstrations and information from the Regional Poison Center, Rural/Metro Medical Services and several of the hospital's services, including the Pediatric Trauma Center. Refreshments will be served. Parking is free in the hospital ramp with validated tickets. For info, call Dawn Melancon at 878-7953.


DRUMSTICK BEAT -- There's a turkey dinner from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday in Sikora Post 1322, American Legion, 950 Payne Ave., North Tonawanda. Dinners are $7 and include mashed potatoes, glazed carrots, cranberry sauce, bread, butter and beverage. For an extra $1.50, you get a choice of homemade desserts.


GOING TROPPO -- Island Heat is the theme as AIDS Family Services holds its 16th annual fundraiser gala from 6 to 11 p.m. Saturday in the Porterview Room at D'Youville College, Porter and Fargo avenues. Music will be by the Caribbean Extravaganza Steel Drum Band. Tickets are $50 and include an open bar and cocktail buffet.

AFS also is looking for volunteers to help with setup on Friday and Saturday, the gala itself and cleanup afterward. To help, call Eugene Abrahamson at 881-4612 or e-mail


HAPPY BIRTHDAY -- Diane M. Smith, Gertrude Holmes, Jeanette Rhone, Jack Trachtenberg, Linda Morrisette, Jerry Gorman, Nick Carone, Joshua Evans, Shelly Kane, Rita Garvey, Sue Zilliox, Kyler Simmons, Don Jaehn, Norb Bukowski, Joe Dabrowski, Joe Tutuska, Rita Thompson, Ron Jaworski, Steve Black, Mike Scutt, Daniel McGrath, Maria Hynes Collet, Marian Baker, Bob Kaprove, Linda Vasallo, Courtney Jurek, Kacie Olivia Voigt, Mary Holcomb and Philomena M. Gallagher.


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