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LOCAL NEWS BRIEFS

> DARIEN LAKE

Mechanical failure strands Ride of Steel passengers

DARIEN -- Darien Lake Theme Park and Resort's Ride of Steel has been closed again after a mechanical failure that stranded 32 passengers Thursday.

Park officials said a chain on the ride broke while a train was traveling up the roller coaster's hill lift. The train stopped automatically about halfway up the track.

All 32 riders were evacuated from the ride and safely walked down the side of the tracks. Passengers reached the ground within 30 minutes of the breakdown, according to park officials.

In a statement, Darien Lake General Manager Chris Thorpe said the "Ride of Steel will be closed until further notice."

The roller coaster was reopened July 22 after being shut down for two weeks in response to James T. Hackemer's July 8 death, in which he was ejected from the ride. Hackemer, an Iraq War veteran and double amputee, was allowed on the ride despite having no legs.

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> SPECIAL HONORS

World War II veteran gets state medal for merit

PORTVILLE -- A World War II veteran who saw action in some of the hardest-fought battles in the Pacific received special honors Thursday in a ceremony in Sprague's Maple Farms Restaurant on Route 305.

Marine Corps Cpl. Anthony Sallazzo of Bolivar was presented with the New York State Medal for Merit and the Conspicuous Service Star by State Sen. Catharine Young, R-Olean.

Sallazzo, who was a junior in high school when he enlisted in the Marines on the day after the attack on Pearl Harbor, took part in the battles for Guadalcanal, the Marshall Islands, Saipan, Tinian and Iwo Jima.

After the war, he became a sales rep for major manufacturers of hunting and fishing equipment.

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> DONATIONS

Legion Riders, Patriot Guard to be on hand for collection

SALAMANCA -- The Greater Niagara Legion Riders and Patriot Guard will stop at the American Legion Post 535 on Wildwood Avenue about 11 a.m. today to accept donations for delivery to the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Md.

Donations that have been accepted along the way include socks, lounge wear, underwear, slippers and personal hygiene items.

Several Buffalo Jills will be accompanying the riders and the delivery truck.

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> GIRL SCOUTS

Ceremony set to say farewell to longtime Zoar Valley camp

Former campers and employees of Zoar Valley Girl Scout Camp in Cattaraugus County will gather at 1 p.m. Saturday to say goodbye to the property.

The Girl Scouts of Western New York will hold a commemoration and ceremony from 1 to 4 p.m. in the Valley Lo area of the former Zoar Valley Camp, 10198 North Otto Road.

The event will include a flag ceremony, a wish boat and presentations to mark the years from 1939 to 2008 that the 175 acres served as a camp for Girl Scouts. The Girl Scouts of Western New York announced in January that it had sold the property to private owners who planned to use the land for recreation.