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LOCAL NEWS BRIEFS

Phenomenon makes moon appear larger than normal

The cow will need an extra boost to make it over tonight's full moon.

The moon will appear larger by 14 percent and brighter by 40 percent, thanks to a phenomenon that comes around every 18 years or so.

Because of the elliptical nature of its orbit, this so-named perigee moon, or "super full moon," will be as close to the earth as it has been since March 1993.

The moon, still 221,566 miles away, should be very visible in Western New York this evening, with the National Weather Service calling for mostly clear skies. The show begins in the eastern sky at sunset, about 7:25 p.m.

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Reservation site dangled for Verizon data center

ALBANY -- A day after Verizon pulled the plug on a $4 billion data center in the Niagara County Town of Somerset, the Seneca Nation of Indians offered the company a variety of benefits, including freedom from property taxes, if it located on reservation land.

But property tax immunity would depend on how a deal might be structured with Verizon. The tribe's private company, Seneca Holdings, would have to have at least a 51 percent ownership interest in the project, Seneca Nation President Robert Odawi Porter said.

Noting that the sovereign Indian tribe does not suffer from the "systemic impediments" that the company says pushed it to scuttle the construction plans, Odawi Porter also said Verizon could enjoy deep tax savings by moving to one of its reservations.

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Road closed to rock slide reopens for business hours

LEWISTON -- The New York Power Authority on Friday announced the partial reopening of a road at the Niagara Power Project that has been blocked since a March 8 rock slide.

One lane of South Access Hill Road, which leads to two lower parking lots, one for visitors and one for employees, will be open during business hours with a flagman directing traffic. After hours, a traffic signal will be used to alternate the directions of travel.

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Documentary film 'Gasland' debuts in first of 5 screenings

The League of Women Voters Buffalo Niagara and UBGreen are sponsoring five free screenings of the 2010 documentary film "Gasland" to raise awareness of risks of natural gas production using horizontal hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.

The film, winner of the 2010 Sundance Special Jury Prize, will first be shown at 3 p.m. today in Hamburg Palace Theatre, 31 Buffalo St., Hamburg. Brad Gill, executive director of the Independent Oil and Gas Association of New York, will speak and answer questions afterward.

Other screenings and discussions will be held at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday in Post 659, American Legion, 6500 Maples Road, Ellicottville; 7 p.m. March 28 in 112 Norton Hall, University at Buffalo North Campus, Amherst; 7 p.m. March 30 in the Walsh Science Center auditorium, Jamestown Community College; and 6:30 p.m. April 14 in Jamestown Campus COCE Student Union.

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