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>Planning under way ahead of Martin Luther King Day

Local groups and institutions are planning events in honor of the 81st anniversary of the birth of slain civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.

The Buffalo & Erie County Public Library will hold a tribute ceremony from 11:45 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday at the Central Library downtown. The event will start with a performance by members of the Colored Musicians Club and will feature storytelling, readings and presentations by local clergy.

The Concerned Citizens Following the Dream Committee will hold its event at 5:45 p.m. next Sunday in Kleinhans Music Hall. The Rev. Darius Pridgen, pastor of True Bethel Baptist Church and the Ellicott District representative on the Common Council, will deliver the keynote address.

The event will also feature performances by the African Cultural Center Dancers, Full Gospel Tabernacle Choir of Orchard Park, the Philharmonic Gospel Chorus, Devoted to Dance Ministry and several others.


>Upstate Transplant Services sets blood drive for Saturday

A blood drive for Upstate New York Transplant Services will be held from noon to 5 p.m. Saturday in Lafayette Avenue Presbyterian Church, 875 Elmwood Ave.

Lloyd's Taco Truck will be on site from 1 to 3 p.m. offering their regular menu.

The drive will be held in the church social room. For more information, visit

The blood drive is hosted by TEDxBuffalo, an independent conference devoted to sharing innovative ideas in technology, design and other areas. TEDxBuffalo will be held April 7 in Buffalo's First Presbyterian Church.


>Upcoming book to include archival, vintage photos

The Historical Society of the Tonawandas has announced the upcoming release of a new pictorial history of the Twin Cities.

Published by Arcadia Publishing, as part of its "Images of America" series, the book features more than 200 archival and vintage photographs from the society's extensive collection.

The photographs are accompanied by meticulously researched captions, which showcase the Erie Canal, the waterfront, local industries, the business districts, churches, neighborhoods, and the people of the Twin Cities from 1870 to 1955.

Produced in conjunction with the society's 2011 Golden Anniversary Celebration, all proceeds from the presale of this book will go to the Historical Society of the Tonawandas.

For more information, call the society at 694-7406.


>Training puts inspections, issuing of permits on hold

NORTH TONAWANDA -- The city building inspector and code enforcement offices will not issue permits or perform inspections on Jan. 24 through Jan. 26 due to training.

The office will resume normal business operations at 8 a.m. Jan. 27.