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LOCAL NEWS BRIEFS

Two UB researchers tasked for futuristic research

The Defense Department has awarded two University at Buffalo researchers nearly $487,000 to work on projects aimed at protecting American soldiers.

Computer science and engineering assistant professor Jason Corso will develop a fleet of robots capable of engaging in surveillance, search-and-destroy and search-and-rescue missions.

The idea is for the robots to detect objects of interest or potential threats to keep soldiers from getting too close.

Also receiving funding is Natalia Litchinitser, an associate professor of electrical engineering. Her work involves something called metamaterials and how the artificial material reacts with light. One possible goal of Litchinitser's work will be the development of a cloaking device that will make objects invisible.

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Friday hours this month are extended to 8:30 p.m.

The Buffalo Zoo will be open Fridays until 8:30 p.m. in August.

This Friday, PJ Party Night will include a tour of the zoo and a chance from 6 to 7 p.m. to learn about the animals who are most active at night. Kids can also take their favorite stuffed animal for a check-up by the zoo's veterinary staff from 6 to 8 p.m.

Movies will also be shown Fridays this month at sundown outside by Parkside Lodge. For more details, go to www.parksidebuffalo.org, or call 837-3900.

In addition, Tops shoppers can purchase items from the zoo's grocery wish list from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Aug. 20 and help the zoo compensate for an annual $250,000 food bill for its 1,200 animal residents.

The grocery list will be at the Tops Markets at 2101 Elmwood at Hinman, and Sheridan Drive at Delaware Road, Buffalo; Maple and Transit, Amherst; and South Park, Hamburg.

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Dog Days of Kenmore set to be unleashed this weekend

The Dog Days of Kenmore will be celebrated Saturday and Sunday in the village, with events planned for well-socialized, leashed dogs and their people.

Organized by the Kenmore Village Improvement Society, all events will take place -- rain or shine in Mang Park, off Elmwood Avenue.

An outdoor screening of "Homeward Bound" will begin at about 8:15 p.m. Saturday. There will be biscuits and water for pooches, and popcorn and beverages for people; don't forget lawn chairs or blankets.

Sunday activities are scheduled between noon and 4 p.m.

They include a variety of vendors and exhibitors; a microchip clinic at $25 per dog; agility and fly-ball demonstrations; pet photography sessions; and a blessing of the animals.

Three contests are scheduled: dog/owner look-alike, coolest trick and best dog costume.

There is a $2 donation to enter contests, with proceeds benefiting Black Dog, Second Chance, a no-kill rescue group.

Visit www.DogDaysWNY.com for more information.