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LOCAL NEWS BRIEFS

>Resigned Rep. Lee makes first public appearance

Former Rep. Chris Lee, who disappeared from view after he abruptly resigned from Congress on Feb. 9, made his first public appearance Tuesday.

On behalf of the Patrick P. Lee Foundation, Lee and his wife, Michele, presented a grant of $10,000 to Upstate New York Transplant Services in UNYTS offices in downtown Buffalo. The grant will be used in a program in which UNYTS provides tissue samples to Roswell Park Cancer Institute for research.

The foundation, which supports health and human service agencies, was set up by Lee's father with proceeds from the 2007 sale of his business, International Motion Control.

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>Services set Friday, Saturday in canonization bid for Baker

The Catholic Diocese of Buffalo will mark Father Nelson Baker's new status as a "venerable" with a solemn vespers service Friday and a Mass of thanksgiving Saturday.

Both events will be in Our Lady of Victory Basilica, 767 Ridge Road.

The vespers service will run from 7 to 7:45 p.m. Friday, with Bishop Edward U. Kmiec and Monsignor Paul J.E. Burkard, vice postulator of Father Baker's cause for canonization, presiding.

The Mass will be at noon Saturday, with Kmiec, Burkard, Auxiliary Bishop Edward M. Grosz, Bishop of Syracuse Robert J. Cunningham, Bishop of Erie Donald W. Trautman, Bishop John O'Mara of the Diocese of St. Catharines and priests and deacons from across the Buffalo diocese in attendance.

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>Administrators group agrees to wage freeze

Administrators in the Ken-Ton School District have agreed to a wage freeze that is expected to save the district almost $97,000 in the upcoming budget.

A majority of the 26 members of the Kenmore Administrators Association voted late last week in favor of a wage freeze for 2011-12. The action was announced at Tuesday night's School Board meeting.

The 2011-12 budget has a $13.8 million gap, district officials said. The School Board has yet to receive a preliminary budget, but officials are announcing that some district employees, including teachers, have been told their jobs likely will be eliminated.

The board is scheduled to adopt a budget on April 5.

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>Congress for New Urbanism coming to Buffalo in 2014

Buffalo has been selected to host the Congress for the New Urbanism's annual conference in June 2014.

The organization promotes livable streets in walkable, compact blocks, mixed-use development and mass transit, while opposing sprawl. The decision to come to Buffalo followed a presentation to the organization's board of directors in Chicago on Friday by George Grasser and Bill Tuyn of the Partners for a Livable Western New York, and Lori White of the Buffalo Niagara Convention and Visitors Bureau.

The organization's average conference attracts more than 1,500 attendees and has an estimated economic impact of $1.2 million, according to the CVB.

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