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LOCAL NEWS BRIEFS

Kerlikowske will visit Buffalo veterans court

President Obama's chief adviser on national drug policy will visit Tuesday with military veterans and court staffers at Buffalo's award-winning Veterans Treatment Court.

R. Gil Kerlikowske, director of national drug policy, will tour the Veterans Treatment Court and speak with court participants at 1 p.m., followed by observation of proceedings at the court at 50 Delaware Ave..

The Obama aide will also meet with officials of Erie Community College and Buffalo Veterans Affairs Medical Center about their work with the veterans court.

Kerlikowske, who served as Buffalo police commissioner from 1994 to 1998, was appointed to his Cabinet-level position as Obama's national drug czar in early 2009.

Headed by City Judge Robert T. Russell Jr., the veterans court was started in 2008 as a way of helping troubled veterans get treatment for drug or mental health problems without going to prison.

The Buffalo veterans court as been cited by Congress as a success story, and its staff won an award from the Erie County Bar Association in 2009.

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Art auction to feature animal-inspired work

If you're an art and animal lover, the PETropolitan Auction of Art on Thursday in Asbury Hall at Babeville, 341 Delaware Ave., is an opportunity to combine pleasures and support Maddie's Pet Rescue Project. The auction will feature more than 80 pieces of animal-inspired artwork, as well as food and drinks.

Proceeds will benefit the local effort to end the euthanasia of adoptable dogs and cats in Erie County. Tickets are $35 in advance and $40 at the door and can be purchases by calling 343-0253.

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Volunteers sought to pursue historic registration status

Volunteers are being sought to help put Hamlin Park on the National Register of Historic Places -- the only East Side neighborhood that would hold that designation. The designation could make the district eligible for historic preservation benefits such as restoration tax incentives and grants.

Preservation Studios, on behalf of the Hamlin Park Taxpayers Association, will offer training sessions from 6 to 7 p.m. Thursday, April 14 and April 28 at 257 Lafayette Ave., Suite 3. Two-hour neighborhood visual surveys will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, April 16 and 30, with groups assembling at Coffee Cup Cafe, 80 Oakgrove Ave.

For information, call Preservation Studios at 725-6410, or visit www.preservationstudios.com.

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Jewish Federation taking donations for Japanese

The Jewish Federation of Greater Buffalo is collecting donations to assist in relief efforts for victims of the devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

Donations may be made online at www.jfedbflo.com or mailed to the Japan Earthquake Fund at Jewish Federation of Greater Buffalo, 787 Delaware Ave., Buffalo, NY 14209. All donations go directly to Israeli and Jewish humanitarian organizations working at the earthquake site.

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