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NIAGARA NEWS BRIEFS

Free meetings to offer tips to avoid bullying

Middle school pupils, high school students, their parents and community members are being invited to a series of free meetings on tips to avoid bullying.

The Mental Health Association of Niagara County, sponsor of the meetings, said the sessions would suggest strategies to take preventive actions with children.

Sessions are scheduled at 7 p.m. today in the Wilson School District; 6:30 p.m. Tuesday in the Royalton-Hartland district; and 7 p.m. Jan. 18 in the Newfane district.

For more information, call Stacy or Destinee at 433-3780.

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Forum Jan. 22 to discuss emergency radio system

LOCKPORT -- Niagara County Legislator Paul B. Wojtaszek is hosting a forum for county emergency personnel and elected officials Jan. 22 to discuss an upcoming multimillion-dollar project to make over the county's emergency radio system.

The Federal Communications Commission ordered in 2004 that by Jan. 1, 2013, radio communications for local fire, police and ambulance agencies all over the U.S. must be squeezed into less space on the radio spectrum, a procedure called "narrowbanding."

Motorola, the likely contractor for the Niagara County project, has told legislators that as many as 14 new radio towers would have to be erected in the county. Along with other new radio gear, the estimated price tag is $18.5 million.

"This is a costly federal mandate that we have to implement, whether we like it or not," said Wojtaszek, chairman of the Community Safety and Security Committee. "My hope in organizing this meeting is that we can get it right by taking into account the needs of our police, our firemen, our EMTs, our volunteers."

The session will be held at 9 a.m. on Jan. 22 in room B-114 at Niagara County Community College.

Those interested are asked to call the Legislature office at 439-7177 to sign up.

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Events being planned for 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. 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.

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