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LOCAL NEWS BRIEFS

>Clerk's Office open late to accommodate homebuyers

The Erie County Clerk's Office will stay open late this afternoon to accommodate homebuyers who need to complete their closings today in order to qualify for a federal tax credit, County Clerk Kathy Hochul said Tuesday.

"We'll be open as long as necessary so that nobody gets left out in the cold," Hochul said.

Hochul expects that today will be the busiest day her office has ever seen. Homebuyers had to sign contracts to purchase their homes by April 30.

Hochul noted that there is still hope for those who can't meet today's deadline for closings. She said that Congress is close to passing a bill to extend the deadline to Sept. 30.

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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.

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

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>Buffalo Airfield lands grant to improve its facilities

WASHINGTON -- Buffalo Airfield, a small general aviation airport in West Seneca, has received a $892,913 grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation to improve its facilities. The grant will help rehabilitate the terminal apron, parallel taxiway and taxilanes.

"These federal funds will provide another significant investment in local air transportation infrastructure allowing for increased capacity, improved safety and new economic opportunities for the region," said Rep. Brian Higgins, D-Buffalo, who pushed for the funding.

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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.

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