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NIAGARA NEWS BRIEFS

Cuomo urged to extend comment period on 'fracking'

ALBANY -- State Sen. Mark A. Grisanti, R-Buffalo, chairman of the Senate Environmental Conservation Committee, joined with environmental groups Monday in urging Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and State Environmental Commissioner Joe Martens to extend the 60-day comment period on proposed state guidelines on hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking," to 180 days.

"With such a major economic and environmental opportunity before us," Grisanti said, "it is imperative that we allow the public to be heard as we move forward with the recommendations."

In all, 76 groups released a letter Monday to the governor and Martens calling for the 180-day comment period, plus public hearings in Western New York and the Hudson Valley.

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Buffalo River Fest Park will offer Celtic Yoga

Buffalo River Fest Park will offer Celtic Yoga at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesdays in August, starting today.

Celtic Yoga is a local yoga business, created by Morgan and Patrick Moltane, which strives to make yoga more accessible to people of all shapes and sizes, ages and backgrounds. The Moltanes moved to Buffalo in August 2010.

The program will move to Wednesday evenings at the park, 249 Ohio St., during the month of September.

For more information about park concerts and other events, visit www.thevalleycenter.com.

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Seminar for high schoolers focuses on online newspaper

An informational seminar and recruitment session for high school students interested in learning about journalism and producing their own online newspaper will be held from noon to 2 p.m. Saturday in the Frank E. Merriweather Jr. Library, 1324 Jefferson Ave.

The session is sponsored by the Buffalo Association of Black Journalists, which is converting its "YGB" news radio show into a Web newspaper written, edited and produced by teen journalists. "YGB" -- which began in 2007 -- is geared toward "young, gifted and black" teens but is open to all high school students interested in journalism.

Teen journalists will learn the principles of journalism, news gathering, writing and editing from BABJ professional mentors and the Buffalo State College Communications Department. The Web paper will be produced in the college's journalism lab. For more information, interested teens may call 849-5598.

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Repair projects close two Erie County roads

Parts of two Erie County roads were closed Monday as repair projects began.

Newton Road, from Chestnut Ridge Road to Abbott Road in Orchard Park, will be closed until Dec. 2, or until the Newton Road Bridge is replaced.

Penora Street, from Como Park Boulevard to William Street in Lancaster, will be closed until Nov. 21. The town intends to take over the road's maintenance once the damaged portion is rebuilt.

Residents and motorists will be directed by detour signs until both projects are finished.