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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.


Interior work under way before demolition of mall

LOCKPORT -- Interior work has begun to prepare for the demolition of the Lockport Mall to make way for a Walmart supercenter, Town Supervisor Marc R. Smith said Thursday.

General Growth Properties, which sold the site to Walmart for $3.95 million, hired a contractor to do the work. Smith said removal of light fixtures and ceiling tiles containing asbestos started about two weeks ago and is expected to last two months.

After that, it will take about 10 days to tear down the mall, except for the Bon-Ton store, which will stay put with General Growth as its landlord. "We're hoping when the weather gets decent, the site will be ready for Walmart," Smith said.

Daniel A. Spitzer, attorney for Lockport Smart Growth, a group opposing the project, said Thursday he has no grounds to bring suit to block the demolition, but the building permit for the store might be another matter. He also said he thinks Walmart is vulnerable to a suit because it so far lacks a federal Clean Water Act sewage discharge permit for the site.


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, preapproved travelers.

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

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