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LOCAL NEWS BRIEFS

Museum to close at midday for blasting in Welland Canal

ST. CATHARINES, Ont. -- The St. Catharines Museum and Welland Canals Centre, 50 Church St., will be closed for an hour at midday today and Wednesday while work crews set off explosives to blast through a wall in Lock 3 in the nearby Welland Canal, Kathleen Powell, curator and supervisor of museum operations, reports.

The museum will close from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. both days. It will close for the day at 4 p.m. For information, call (905) 984-8880, or visit www.stcatharines.ca and click on "Experience In."

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BOCES session will describe career mentoring program

College-bound high school juniors and seniors interested in a medical or legal career are invited to an information session Thursday about yearlong internships.

The Erie 1 BOCES New Visions program links highly qualified high school seniors with mentoring professionals in the workplace and colleges and universities. The programs integrate English and social studies credits needed for graduation but take place at locations such as Medaille College, Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital and Veterans Affairs Hospital.

The information session is from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Thursday at the Harkness Career & Technical Center, 99 Aero Drive, Cheektowaga.

All BOCES programs are part of the public education system. For more information, visit www.e1b.org or call 821-7035.

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Jewish Community Center unveils new fitness center

The Jewish Community Center showed off its new fitness center recently during a grand reopening in the Benderson Family Building at 2640 North Forest Road, Amherst.

The renovated center -- part of a complete overhaul of the JCC's Buffalo and Amherst sites -- features 94 pieces of state-of-the-art fitness equipment, as well as full studios for cycling, Pilates, group fitness and yoga.

It also includes a Sportwall XerPro and XerDance for children. JCC officials said the center is the first gym in New York state to have the latest in cardiovascular exercise equipment, the Precor system, which combines exercises and personal entertainment.

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Surge in interest prompts redesign of tourism website

NIAGARA FALLS -- The Niagara Convention and Tourism Corp., whose mission is to promote tourism in Niagara County, has redesigned its website after a big surge in Web traffic in 2009 and 2010.

The website layout, navigation, colors and interactivity all have been overhauled to keep up with the growing demand for information about Niagara USA, according to Jennifer Starkey, the corporation's communications manager and head of its Internet marketing.

Visitors to the site now can connect immediately with various social media outlets, read updated content on Niagara USA and be encouraged to book their trips directly on the Niagara-USA.com site. The redesign took nine months.

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