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NIAGARA NEWS BRIEFS

Grant will put focus on Great Lakes

A federal grant of nearly $170,000 has been awarded to the Buffalo area that will allow more than 300 teachers the chance to teach their students about the Great Lakes.

Funded by the Environmental Protection Agency, the grant will sponsor a series of "Great Lakes Academics" that will allow local teachers to get training on pollution in waterways in the area, including the Buffalo River, the Niagara River and 18-Mile Creek.

Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper, which will help organize the disbursement of the grant, hopes that current cleanup efforts -- like the ongoing dredging of the Buffalo River -- will help teach students about the cost of pollution.

"Our generation is paying the price of the environmental cleanup left to us from a legacy of pollution," said Kerri Li, Riverkeeper's director of citizen action programs. "Through [this program], we have the opportunity to prevent history from repeating itself."

It's one of nearly 70 grants being given out by the EPA as part of the Great Lakes Restoration Initative, a federal investment of $30 million going on through 2014.

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Firefighters to wear pink for breast cancer awareness

MEDINA -- The Village of Medina Fire Department will show its support for breast cancer awareness throughout October by trading in its traditional blue duty shirts for pink ones.

"Pink is not just a color. It represents the strength, hope, faith and courage of those who are survivors of breast cancer," said Jeffrey R. Elsenheimer Jr., the department's public information officer. "The Medina Fire Department is proud to be tough enough to wear pink and spread awareness of breast cancer."

Also, a team of Medina firefighters will be participating in the 23rd annual Richard Knights/Sue Kaderli Memorial Fund 5K Walk/Run on Saturday.

The fund is named in memory of two lifelong Orleans County residents whose families merged their funds to give financial and other support to county cancer patients and their families.

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National leaders to take part in forum on fighting AIDS

A forum featuring national leaders in the effort to combat AIDS/HIV will be held for area lawmakers and community organizations on Friday in the Community Action Organization of Erie County's Masten Resource Center, 1423 Fillmore Ave.

Individuals working in community- or faith-based organizations are invited to participate in a policy forum from 9 a.m. to noon. Area lawmakers or their representatives are invited to a legislative panel discussion from noon to 2 p.m.

The forum is sponsored by the Buffalo affiliate of the National Black Leadership Advisory Commission on AIDS and the CAO.

Athena Moore, director of public policy for the national commission, and the Rev. G. Sampson-Lee, a member of the commission's Policy Council, will lay out the policy and legislative directions being pursued to address the AIDS crisis.

The free forum includes a continental breakfast. To register, contact the CAO's Linda Williams at 881-5150, Ext. 4410, or by email at ldwilliams@caoec.org.