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7,000 volunteers set to clean up 100 sites

Consider it a spring cleanup on a grand scale.

More than 7,000 volunteers are expected to gather at 100 locations throughout the next two months as the Great American Cleanup is launched. This is Buffalo's 20th year participating in a national initiative launched by Keep America Beautiful.

James Pavel, president of Keep Western New York Beautiful and ReTree-WNY, Tuesday said block clubs, community groups and schools will take steps to make the region a "greener, cleaner" place to live. Volunteers will be planting trees, removing graffiti, picking up litter and sprucing up gardens.

More than 1,600 trees will be planted during the effort.

May 1 will be one of the busiest days for cleanup blitzes, but there will be many other efforts that will take place between April 1 and May 31 in at least 15 communities throughout Western New York.

For example, on April 17, Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper will sponsor a "Shoreline Sweep." Organizers expect more than 100 organizations to get involved in various cleanups that will be held from Buffalo to rural Eden.



Batavia toll plaza work to cause minimal delays

BATAVIA -- Paving repairs are set to get under way at 8:30 this morning at the Batavia toll plaza of the Thruway.

During the repairs, toll lane 3 will be closed through mid-May. A second lane will be closed periodically to accommodate the removal of concrete. The Thruway Authority is advising motorists to plan for delays lasting about five minutes.



'Check Out Hunger' raised $647,679

The 18th annual "Check Out Hunger" drive collected $647,679 in donations for the Food Bank of Western New York, Food Bank president and CEO Marylou Borowiak reports.

The money was donated by customers at area food stores between Jan. 24 and Feb. 27. Shoppers were asked to add $2, $3 or $5 to their grocery bills. Taking part were Wegmans, Tops Markets, Dash's Markets, the Lexington Food Co-operative, Market in the Square, Premier Gourmet, Premier Wines, Price Rite, Wilson Farms and Sugarcreek stores.



Canadian law enforcers added to list of speakers

Two Canadian law enforcement agencies will join officers from several U.S. agencies for the first time as speakers at the annual Boaters Seminar and Luncheon from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on April 10 at the Buffalo Launch Club, 503 E. River Road, Grand Island.

Officers from Canadian Customs and the Niagara Regional Police will make brief remarks and answer questions, as will representatives from the U.S. Coast Guard, the U.S. Border Patrol, the Erie County Sheriff's Office, the State Police and the Buffalo Air and Marine Branch. Topics will include safety inspections, alcohol use, border crossings and NEXUS.
For information and reservations, call 773-7629.

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