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NIAGARA NEWS BRIEFS

Authorities in WNY receive funding for capital projects

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development awarded $391 million to public housing authorities across New York State.

The funds will allow the agencies to make major capital improvements to housing units. Following are the grants received by community authorities in Western New York: Batavia, $243,887; Buffalo, $11.37 million; Dunkirk, $312,021; Jamestown, $275,117; Kenmore, $245,386; Lackawanna, $1.06 million; Lockport, 580,755; Niagara Falls, $1.42 million; and Olean, $553,253

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Brookins Inn and Suites bracing for grand opening

NEWFANE -- A couple who run cottages along Olcott Harbor have tackled a new venture at Maple and East avenues in the hamlet of Newfane.

Dan and Beverly Mandaville describe the new Brookins Inn and Suites as "a French Country-style" destination. The renovated lodging includes three grand suites and two guest rooms.

The Mandavilles will hold a grand opening from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, which will include tours and a raffle for two $100 inn gift certificates.

For more information, call 870-6244 or visit www.BrookinsInn.com.

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Salvaging firm criticizes judge's decision on schooner

Officials of a shipwreck-hunting company who want to raise a sunken 19th century schooner from the bottom of Lake Erie west of Dunkirk said Thursday they are "very disappointed" by a federal judge's ruling that the state owns the vessel, and they will be filing an objection.

Northeast Research, a private company, wants to put the ship, which company officials believe has significant historic value, on display in a water tank in a Buffalo waterfront museum. The state, however, believes that the vessel would be badly damaged in the raising process and that it should remain at the bottom of the lake.

Pat Clyne, a spokesman for Northeast Research, said he believes the decision was "based on misguided allegations put forth by the State of New York" that the company's divers damaged the vessel.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Leslie G. Foschio agreed with the state's position that it owns the ship under the U.S. Abandoned Shipwreck Act. Northeast Research's lawyers will file an objection to the ruling by next Thursday, Clyne said.

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Orders accepted in advance of annual butterfly release

LOCKPORT -- Niagara Hospice is taking orders through July 2 from those who want to take part in its seventh annual butterfly release in memory of loved ones, set for July 17.

For $25, donors receive either a live butterfly to release on the day or a butterfly wind chime. The orders may be made by phoning 280-0766.

Last year, more than 300 butterflies were released into the Memorial Butterfly Gardens behind the Hospice buildings on Sunset Drive in Lockport.