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NIAGARA NEWS BRIEFS

Challenge to petitions of Corsaro rejected

LOCKPORT -- The Niagara County Board of Elections on Monday rejected a challenge to the validity of Democratic nominating petitions filed by Niagara Falls City Council candidate Candace J. Corsaro.

City Democratic Chairman David C. Houghton challenged Corsaro, claiming that 304 of her 1,039 petition signatures were invalid. The minimum needed to qualify for the primary ballot was 804 valid signatures.

However, Democratic Elections Commissioner Nancy L. Smith said she and her Republican colleague, Mary Ann L. Casamento, disallowed only 37 of Corsaro's signatures.

Corsaro is one of six Democrats who filed petitions to run for two available Council seats.

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Training program offered for rape crisis advocates

LOCKPORT -- A free 35-hour training program for women interested in becoming volunteer confidential rape crisis advocates is scheduled from Monday to Aug. 19 at the YWCA of Niagara, 32 Cottage St.

The course, to be held from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., will include such topics as facts and common misconceptions of sexual assault, understanding the experience of sexual assault, adult sexual assault protocol, advocacy within health care settings and the criminal-justice process.

To reserve a space, call YWCA Vice President of Programs Mary Brennan-Taylor at 433-6714, Ext. 15.

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Nature center to research, celebrate bugs at BugFest

LEWISTON -- Bugs are among the most populous creatures on Earth, and their wide varieties and oddities will be celebrated and researched at the annual BugFest at the Bond Lake Nature Center from 12 to 3 p.m. Aug. 21.

Visitors will get the chance to examine bugs close up with lenses and a microscope. Weather permitting, a "Bug Walk" is planned for 2 p.m. through the grassy areas surrounding the nature center, located at 2353 Lower Mountain Road. Bugs will be viewed and identified in their natural habitat, and bugs will be collected and then released back into the wild on the walk.

The event is free and open to the public. For more information, visit

freewebs.com/bondlake or call Mary Kate Fonzi of the Bond Lake Beautification Committee at 694-5193.

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Bills foundation gives $2,500 to Challenged Athletes group

A $2,500 grant from the Buffalo Bills Youth Foundation has been awarded to the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Northtowns for its Challenged Athletes Participating in Sports program.

The program provides athletic activities and opportunities for children and young adults with special needs.

What began in 1990 as a baseball program has been expanded to include soccer, basketball and broom hockey, as well as recreational programs such as a social club and dances.

The Buffalo Bills Youth Foundation awarded grants to more than 58 charitable organizations in the area this year.