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LOCAL NEWS BRIEFS

BanditTracker Web site unveiled at news conference

The Buffalo FBI office and other police agencies hope a new Web site will help them catch bank robbers.

The site -- bandittrackernortheast.com -- was unveiled Wednesday during a news conference of local law enforcement officials. It features photographs and information from unsolved bank holdups in Western New York, elsewhere in the state and New Jersey.

In 2009, 65 banks were robbed in Western New York, and so far, just over half of the crimes -- 34 of them -- remain unsolved.

"So far this year, there have been four bank robberies in the Buffalo Division, none of which have been solved," said James H. Robertson, special agent in charge of the Buffalo FBI office. "[The Web site] should aid us in investigating bank robberies."

FBI offices in Arkansas, Illinois, Georgia, Indiana, Texas and Missouri have all established BanditTracker Web sites within the past year, with some success. Nine bank robbery arrests have been made in Chicago with the help of tips generated by the Web site.

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Nine will be honored by Stop the Violence

Nine people will be honored for their impact on the lives of youth as the Stop the Violence Coalition holds its second annual banquet from 6 to 10 p.m. Saturday in Harry's Harbour Place Grille, 2192 Niagara St. The theme is "Pressing On to Save a Generation."

Honorees include Pastor Tommie McClam and Minister Carlos Spector, religious service; Minister Kenny Simmons and Sam Radford, community service; Eva Doyle and Yvonne Ragan, education; Chris Reynolds and Rod Watson, media; and Brother Henri Muhammad, arts and culture.

The program also includes performances by Miss Barbara's School of Dance, Muhammad's School of Music and the United House of God Krump Warriors. Keynote speaker is Detra Trueheart, founder of Young Miss Buffalo Scholarship Inc. and Trueheart Speaks. Tickets are $50. For information, call 882-7882.

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Dixon organizes drive to provide prom dresses

Erie County Legislator Lynne Dixon, R-Hamburg, has organized a drive to collect dresses and gowns to be distributed to high school-age girls who can't afford to buy new prom dresses.

Dixon said similar dress drives are held around the country and ensure that every girl who wants to attend the prom has a dress to wear.

Urban Valet Dry Cleaners is a partner in the endeavor and has agreed to donate its services to have the dresses cleaned and pressed for the girls who will select them from 7 to 9 p.m. April 29 and from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. May 1 in the Eden Boys and Girls Club, 8284 Main St., Eden.

Gently worn dresses may be dropped off April 1-16 at the Eden Boys and Girls Club; Evans Town Hall, 8787 Erie Road; North Collins Library, 2095 School St; Boston Library, 9475 Boston State Road; Hamburg Library, 102 Buffalo St.; and Lake Shore Library, S. 4857 Lake Shore Road, Hamburg.

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