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NIAGARA NEWS BRIEFS

Federal loan will allow village to upgrade its water system

BARKER -- The village has been awarded a long-term, low-interest loan that will allow for the replacement of its 100-year-old water system, Rep. Louise Slaughter, D-Fairport, announced Wednesday.

The $1 million loan from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Rural Development program, is to be repaid over 35 years at 2.5 percent interest, and puts into place the final phase of funding for the upgrade of the system. The village had previously received $743,000 in federal stimulus money for phase one of the project.

Water pressure has long been a problem in the village.

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Indian Hill Road reopens following repair of crack

LEWISTON -- State Department of Transportation crews excavated a 200-foot-long stretch of Indian Hill Road Tuesday because of a crack in a driving lane, DOT spokeswoman Susan Surdej said.

The crack was attributed to compaction of the soil and gravel beneath the road. The one-day repair job included installation of a new base for the steep road as well as repaving the 10-foot-wide excavation area. The road was reopened to traffic about 6 p.m. Tuesday, Surdej said.

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Fundraiser will feature salsa dance contest

Buffalo's best salsa dancers will be crowned during the inaugural Copacabana Salsa Night fundraiser sponsored by Hispanics United of Buffalo at 7 p.m. Friday in the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center. Doors open for ticket sales at 6. Tickets are $50. VIP tickets, including food and open bar, are $100. Dance students are $30.

First-, second- and third-place winners will receive an assortment of prizes and gift certificates. Winners will be determined by a panel of judges from dancing schools in Buffalo and Rochester headed by Lisa Grisanti, a salsa instructor and marketing director for Shea's Performing Arts Center.

Registration is $50 per couple and must be submitted by noon Friday. To enter, go to www.hispunited.org and fill out the short form or visit the Hispanics United office at 254 Virginia St. For information, call 856-7110.

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Birthday celebration planned for Miller Bell Tower

CHAUTAUQUA -- Chautauqua Institution will celebrate the centennial of its iconic Miller Bell Tower with a party on Sunday in Miller Park. The tower, named for Lewis Miller, one of Chautauqua's founders, was dedicated 100 years ago this month.

Activities begin at 11 a.m. and all parking fees have been waived for Sunday. Antique fire trucks will be on display along South Lake Drive near Miller Park and the Athenaeum Hotel will serve box lunches, which must be purchased.

Thursday Morning Brass will play in Miller Park at 12:15 p.m. and at 1, chime master Carolyn Benton will play the tower's 14 bells from a keyboard at its base. There will be the singing of "Happy Birthday" to the tower about 1:15.