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LOCAL NEWS BRIEFS

Physicians group becomes Catholic Medical Partners

The Catholic Independent Practice Association, the area's largest network of independent practicing physicians, has changed its name to Catholic Medical Partners.

Established in 1996 as CIPA, the initial focus of the organization was to integrate the efforts of five physician-hospital organizations.

The network includes nearly 900 physicians, the Catholic Health hospital system in the Buffalo area and Mount St. Mary's Hospital in Lewiston.

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Lombardi named director of neighborhood initiatives

JAMESTOWN -- Peter Lombardi, a research fellow at the University at Buffalo's Regional Institute, has been named director of neighborhood initiatives for the Jamestown Renaissance Corp., which is developing a revitalization plan for the city's neighborhoods.

Lombardi, a Jamestown native, is a UB graduate with a degree in environmental design and earned his master's degree in city planning from Rutgers University.

Lombardi has worked on a wide range of urban and rural planning projects in Western New York and coordinated 2010 Census outreach teams in Erie and Niagara counties.

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State Farm Bureau given $9,800 grant from Verizon

Verizon Communications has granted the New York Farm Bureau $9,800 for a program to teach students about technology in agriculture.

Sandra Prokop, director of the Farm Bureau's Foundation for Agricultural Education, said the foundation will post technological videos on topics such as farm robotics and lesson plans pitched to elementary-age students on its website within about six months.

"We hope to utilize these funds to really capture the imagination of students and open their eyes to the expanding and ever-changing careers that exist in the agricultural and food sector," said Paul Bencal, a Ransomville grape farmer who heads the foundation.

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Program seeks families to host young visitors

ASSE International Student Exchange Program is seeking host families for boys and girls from countries around the world.

The students are 15 to 18 years old and will arrive shortly before the next high school year or semester, returning home at the end of the school year or semester.

Each ASSE student has good English skills, is fully insured, brings his or her own personal spending money and expects to bear a share of household responsibilities, as well as be included in normal family activities and lifestyles, ASSE officials said.

Host families may select the youngster from extensive student applications, family photos and biographical essays.

To become a host family or for information about ASSE and its programs, call the state ASSE coordinator at 235-0562 or (800) 677-2773 or e-mail melanieasseeast@roadrunner.com.

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