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LOCAL NEWS BRIEFS

Five firefighters killed in '83 blaze remembered

Buffalo firefighters gathered at 8:23 p.m. Monday -- as they have for the past 27 years -- to ring the 1-9-1 alarm to honor the five firefighters of Ladder 5 who were killed in the propane explosion at the corner of North Division and Grosvenor streets in 1983.

Fresh in their minds and heavy in hearts, the Fire Department mourned the Dec. 27, 1983, loss of firefighters Michael Austin, Michael "Mickey" Catanzaro, Matthew Colpoys, James "Red" Lickfeld and Anthony Waszkielewicz.

Those firefighters gathered also remembered the more recent losses of Lt. Charles "Chip" McCarthy and firefighter Jonathan Croom, who were lost in an August 2009 blaze in a Genesee Street deli, as well as the two Chicago firefighters who died last week in a fire that also injured 14 others.

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Meeting to discuss ban on selling pet-store pups

WNY Citizens Against Puppy Mills and Amherst Town Council Member Mark Manna are co-hosting a meeting to discuss a possible townwide ban on the sale of pet-store puppies in Amherst.

The meeting will be at 7 p.m. Wednesday in the Harlem Road Community Center, 4255 Harlem Road, Amherst.

Officials with the WNY citizens group say the vast majority of pet-store puppies are obtained from what they call "horrific Midwest mass breeding kennels commonly known as puppy mills."

The organization is inviting any Amherst residents interested in supporting legislation to ban the retail sale of pet-store puppies.

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Restaurants urged to join Healthy Choices project

Area restaurants interested in participating in a new Erie County Health Department initiative that will put nutrition information on menus are encouraged to enroll in the program by clicking on the Healthy Choices Restaurants Nutrition Labeling program box at the right hand column of the Erie County website, www.erie.gov.

The first 200 restaurants to enroll can create and display nutrition facts for up to four menu items -- at no cost to the restaurateur.

Using special software, nutrition labels will be printed out and displayed for customer use, either in a table top display or overlaid on the menu.

Call Cheryll Moore, project coordinator, for more information at 858-7695.

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Housing Resource Center given $100,000 grant

Belmont Housing Resources for Western New York has received a $100,000 grant from the Bank of America Charitable Foundation.

The money will go to the Belmont Housing Resource Center, 1195 Main St., which serves low- to moderate-income area residents seeking better housing.

In 2009, more than 22,000 people visited the center for one-on-one counseling, computer and telephone access, and for the use of educational materials developed specifically for renters and those seeking to buy a home.

Programs for landlords and classes for potential homebuyers also are offered at the center.

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