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LOCAL NEWS BRIEFS

Schumer asks for EPA probe of Niagara Lubricant fire

WASHINGTON -- Sen. Charles E. Schumer is asking the Environmental Protection Agency to take the lead in investigating the July fire at Niagara Lubricant on Chandler Street that sent noxious smoke through the area near Grant and Amherst streets.

While the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has led the federal part of the investigation so far, Schumer said that given the environmental concerns, the EPA should take charge -- and put a special emphasis on why neighborhood residents were not notified about the dangers of the smoke.

The EPA requires chemical companies to file a form with local first responders, detailing which potentially harmful chemicals are stored at such facilities. But after the Niagara Lubricant fire, those forms were never shared with local officials, said Schumer, D-N.Y.

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Construction will restrict traffic on Niagara Expressway

LEWISTON -- Traffic on the Niagara Expressway (Route I-190) will be reduced to one lane in each direction beginning today because of highway and bridge construction, according to the state Department of Transportation.

Northbound traffic will be restricted from Exit 23 (Packard Road) to the Lewiston-Queenston Bridge. Southbound traffic will be affected from Exit 24 (Witmer Road) to Exit 23. The lane restrictions will continue until further notice.

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Dentist providing free care at five locations Sept. 17

Dr. Bob's Dental Care will offer free dental work at five locations Sept. 17 in collaboration with Dentistry From the Heart, a nonprofit organization that helps people without dental insurance.

Dr. Robert J. LaCarrubba and his associates will treat patients from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Elite Dental, 4927 Main St., Amherst; Niagara Quality Care Dentistry, 8875 Porter Road, Niagara Falls; Kenmore Quality Care Dentistry, 956 Kenmore Ave.; Elmwood Village Dental Care, 892 Elmwood Ave.; and Sheridan Family Dentistry, 2707 Sheridan Drive, Town of Tonawanda.

During the past year, LaCarrubba and his team have provided free fillings, extractions and cleanings for more than 300 people in need. For information, visit www.drbobsdentalcare.com.

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Spike Lee to discuss career at Buffalo State event

Spike Lee will speak about his career as a writer, director, actor, producer, author and educator at 7 p.m. Sept. 30 at Buffalo State College's Performing Arts Center in Rockwell Hall.

The event, "An Evening with Spike Lee: America Through My Lens," is part of the college's Leadership Lecture Series, in conjunction with its "Year of the Arts" celebration.

Before the lecture, Lee will visit with students from Buffalo State's television and film arts program.

Tickets go on sale for $5 to Buffalo State students at 9 a.m. next Monday. There's a limit of two per student, with proper Buffalo State ID. Remaining tickets go on sale to Buffalo State faculty and staff for $15 and to the general public for $20 starting Sept. 6.