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Seven by Seven / Seven things you need to know by 7 a.m.

1. Today's the deadline for parents in Buffalo to apply to enroll their children in a public school, if they haven't done so already. Applications are available at Central Registration, 33 Ash St., and at all city public elementary schools. Parents can list five schools they would like their child to attend, in order of preference. Seventy percent of elementary students get their No. 1 choice, according to Jacquelyn Ross Brown, director of the Central Processing Center. Students are assigned to schools through a computerized lottery. Children who will be in kindergarten in September must be 5 on or before Dec. 31. Prekindergartners must be 4 by then.

2. Just like you don't have to be Jewish to love Levy's Real Jewish Rye Bread, you don't have to be gay to sing or volunteer with the Buffalo Gay Men's Chorus. The first of two auditions for the ensemble will be held at 6 p.m. in St. John's-Grace Episcopal Church, 51 Colonial Circle. The second will be next Tuesday. Male vocalists, gay or straight, can schedule an audition by calling artistic director Barbara Wagner at 668-1124 or 359-1894.

3. It may be a new year, but there's still unfinished business from last year when it comes to arranging funding for the 37 cultural groups that County Executive Chris Collins froze out of the new county budget. Robert Gioia, president of the John R. Oishei Foundation, has been working on a solution to raise contributions for the culturals, and he will present more details of his plan at today's meeting of the Legislature's Community Enrichment Committee.

4. It's relegation day in the World Junior Hockey Championship tournament. The teams that failed to make the semifinals -- Switzerland, which lost to Canada, and Finland, which lost to Russia -- will battle for fifth-place honors at 7:30 p.m. in HSBC Arena. There's consolation in the ticket prices, too. Thanks to the Tim Hortons Youth Days program, seats are $12.50 and $20 via, by calling (888) 467-2273 or at the arena box office, if they're still available. Use the coupon code TIM to get the discount. Further consolation for the Swiss can be seen at the Peace Bridge tonight. It will be lit up in their colors -- red and white.

5. Three area lawmakers are among the new Republican members of the Assembly who will be sworn in this afternoon in a ceremony in Albany. John D. Ceretto of Lewiston, Andrew Goodell of Jamestown and Kevin Smardz of Hamburg won their first terms in the lower house in November. Assembly Republican Leader Brian M. Kolb of Canandaigua and his GOP colleagues will host the 1 p.m. ceremony in the Legislative Office Building.

6. The Niagara County Legislature opens the new year with an organizational meeting, but all the organization has been done already. At an earlier meeting, the 15-member Republican-led majority re-elected Wheatfield Conservative William L. Ross to his eighth year as Legislature chairman. Former Lewiston Mayor Richard F. Soluri, having been chosen from a field of seven candidates, will be sworn in to succeed John D. Ceretto, who was elected to the Assembly. And a citizens commission, also already chosen, will be officially named to draw up new district boundaries for the downsized Legislature for the next election.

7. The next-to-last of the big Bowl Championship Series college football games is played tonight in New Orleans. It's the Sugar Bowl, and it pits Ohio State (11-1) against Arkansas (10-2). Coverage starts at 8 on ESPN. If you're more in the mood for hockey, the Sabres are in Denver, taking on the Colorado Avalanche (9 p.m., MSG, 550 AM).


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