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LOCAL NEWS BRIEFS

Stomach virus sidelines BPO performance by pianist

A stomach virus has sidelined superstar pianist Lang Lang, who will not be performing tonight in Kleinhans Music Hall, the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra announced Friday evening.

Instead, he will perform with the orchestra on an as-yet-undetermined date in July. All tickets for today's canceled performance will be honored at that time.

The tickets also can be used for tonight's 8 o'clock concert featuring conductor JoAnn Falletta and the BPO.

Columbia Artist Management released a statement saying the Chinese artist regrets not being able to perform this weekend.

"He is resting and being provided with medication as to his doctor's recommendation," the statement said.

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Consultant sought to develop tourism plan for historic area

The Michigan Street African American Heritage Corridor Commission has finalized a request-for-proposal in seeking prospective consultants for the Michigan Street Management Plan.

The deadline for responses is Feb. 11. State legislation established the commission in 2007 and gave it four years to develop a management plan for the historic area, which is considered a potential tourist magnet.

"We think we can have it done and get it turned in to [the commissioner of the state department of Parks, Recreation & Historic Preservation] by August," said Karen Stanley Fleming, chairman of the commission.

She added the key to the organization's success lies with the Buffalo Urban Renewal Agency, [BURA], which is the administrator of the commission's state funding.

"It's vitally important we get full cooperation from BURA in order to engage consultants," she said. "We need the city's support acting on this as our grant administrator. We have done everything we were supposed to do."

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Second NEXUS lane opens in Fort Erie for pass users

Drivers headed to Canada will now have a second lane reserved for NEXUS pass users at the Peace Bridge plaza in Fort Erie, Ont.

The equipment for the additional NEXUS lane was installed in inspection lane 2, beside the existing NEXUS lane.

It'll be open to NEXUS pass users during busy commuter periods, such as after Buffalo Sabres games and traffic related to the Lake Erie summer cottage season.

The original dedicated NEXUS lane remains open during regular hours.

"Locating another NEXUS lane at the Peace Bridge is a welcome enhancement and certainly improves our ability to facilitate frequent travel between Canada and the United States," said Ken Schoetz, chairman of the Peace Bridge Authority, formally known as the Buffalo and Fort Erie Public Bridge Authority.

The NEXUS program, jointly administered by the Canada Border Services Agency and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, allows expedited processing for low-risk, pre-approved travelers.

The Peace Bridge is the busiest NEXUS corridor in the region, with nearly 300,000 expedited crossings per year.

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