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LOCAL NEWS BRIEFS

>Public hearing conducted on development grant

BATAVIA -- The City Council held a required a public hearing Monday on a state Community Development Block Planning grant that would seek $30,000 in funds for projects to improve business and residential areas.

The Council also authorized the transfer of $15,000 in endowment designated for the Batavia Cemetery Association, which operates a historic burial grounds that dates to the early 19th century. Also approved was a $15,000 membership grant from State Sen. Michael H. Ranzenhofer, R-Amherst, for the police department's Neighborhood Enforcement Team.

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>Carrousel Factory Museum offers 'Free Wednesdays'

NORTH TONAWANDA -- Generous support from local businesses will allow the Herschell Carrousel Factory Museum to offer "Free Wednesdays" during this summer season, starting today.

Visitors to the museum, 180 Thompson St., will be admitted free from noon to 4 p.m. on Wednesdays, although they will still be required to purchase ride tokens for 50 cents to ride the carousels.

Free Wednesdays will continue as long as there are sponsors, with the exception of Canal Fest week in mid-July.

Those sponsoring days so far are Audubon Machinery, Thomas P. Batt CPA, Holler-Grapes Agency, Turtle Opticians, Degraff Memorial Hospital, and an anonymous donor for two days.

Interested sponsors may call the museum at 693-1885.

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>LoCurto to be grand marshal for Italian Heritage Festival

Delaware District Council Member Michael J. LoCurto has been named grand marshal of this year's Sorrento Cheese Italian Heritage Festival.

The festival will be held July 15-18 in Buffalo's "Little Italy" on Hertel Avenue.

LoCurto will be the festival's ceremonial head and oversee all events. A lifelong resident of North Buffalo, LoCurto was first elected to represent the Delaware District in 2006.

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>Old Fort Niagara ready to re-enact 1759 siege

YOUNGSTOWN -- Old Fort Niagara is preparing for war this holiday weekend, as hundreds of re-enactors from across the Northeast re-create the 1759 siege of Fort Niagara during the fort's French & Indian War Encampment.

The encampment runs from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday through Monday.

"The French & Indian War was a pivotal turning point in the history of Fort Niagara as the British gained control of the Fort from the French," said Robert Emerson, executive director of Old Fort Niagara. "Our three-day encampment closely follows the course of events as they unfolded in July 1759 giving visitors a sense of stepping back into the 18th century with plenty of interactive activities, artillery bombardments and battle re-enactments."

Admission to Old Fort Niagara this weekend is $13 per person. Children under 6 are free. For more information, visit www.oldfortniagara.org or call 745-7611.

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