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LOCAL NEWS BRIEFS

>Appeal Week takes drive to 79.3 percent of its goal

Concentrated fundraising during Appeal Week last week has brought the 2011 Catholic Charities Appeal to 79.3 percent of its $10.5 million goal, Bishop Edward U. Kmiec announced Tuesday. The campaign continues through June 30.

Kmiec said the appeal had raised $8,324,352.55 in cash and pledges as of Monday night. He thanked more than 750 volunteers who helped gather donations in parishes throughout Western New York and gave special recognition to two of them -- Bonnie Werdein, who heads the appeal in St. Michael's Parish in Buffalo, and Tom Muldowney, who leads the appeal in St. Anthony's Parish in Fredonia.

Kmiec praised the progress on the appeal and urged Western New Yorkers to give support generously.

"It is truly urgent that you consider making a commitment today," he said, "on behalf of someone you know who has been helped by Catholic Charities or simply someone in need."

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>Pioneer Life Gallery debuts on Family Day May 1

The Buffalo History Museum will open its newly refurbished Pioneer Life Gallery on May Day Family Day from 1 to 4 p.m. May 1.

There will be blacksmith and weaver demonstrations, a May Pole jib with students from the Aurora Waldorf School, pony rides, face painting, tours, local vendor tables and participatory period arts and crafts.

For more information, call 873-9644, Ext. 311, or go to buffalohistory.org.

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>Applications being accepted from income-eligible youths

The Buffalo Employment & Training Center Summer Youth Employment Program is accepting 14 applications for income-eligible youths, ages 14 to 19.

Applications are available from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday at the Buffalo Employment & Training Center, 77 Goodell St. Completed forms can be brought back to the same location during the same hours.

For an application, enter the first floor side of the building via the wheelchair acces ramp next to the large parking lot. For information, call 856-8139, Ext. 3102.

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>Few takers among teachers doom incentive offering

A retirement incentive program offered to teachers in the Holland School District has been withdrawn.

The School Board stipulated that a minimum of four teachers had to participate in the retirement program for the $20,000 incentive to take effect. As of the Friday deadline, only two teachers notified the district of retirement plans.

Superintendent Dennis Johnson said that the district's $18 million budget for 2011-12 had been configured with only two teacher retirements. Additional retirements, he said, would have "captured savings."

Board members were split over the incentive offering. Some said it disrupted the "natural cycle" of teacher departures and others considered it a useful method to reduce payroll costs and prevent layoffs.

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