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NIAGARA NEWS BRIEFS

> NIAGARA FALLS

Cuomo authorizes funding for Buffalo Avenue project

NIAGARA FALLS -- Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo Tuesday authorized spending $1.4 million in state money for the reconstruction of Buffalo Avenue in Niagara Falls. The money will supplement existing funding that the city already had identified for the $13.1 million project.

The city designed the reconstruction of Buffalo Avenue from Veteran's Drive to the Niagara Thruway. The project also includes the installation of granite curbs, sidewalks and driveway aprons.

The city will install a new closed drainage system to replace a deteriorated open surface drain, and separate storm drainage from the sanitary sewer system. The corridor also will be landscaped with additional trees.

Contracts for the work should be awarded by December, with construction expected to be completed near the end of 2013.

Until the governor intervened, a funding shortfall was keeping the project from getting under way.

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> LOCKPORT

Celebration will mark 186th anniversary of canal

LOCKPORT -- A day of activities to mark the 186th anniversary of the opening of the Erie Canal is set from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday in the Erie Canal Discovery Center, Church and Ontario streets. Admission to the center and the Penney Gallery will be free.

Winners of the annual Erie Canal Art Contest for students in kindergarten through grade 12 will be announced at 11.

A rain-or-shine Chiavetta's chicken barbecue will start at 11 and last as long as the chicken does. Drive-through service will be available. Advance tickets are available for $8.50 at the Discovery Center. Dinners will be $9 on the scene.

Also on stage during the event will be several local music groups for the Erie Canal Music Festival, organized by Rick Heenan. They include the Sylvestris, Peggy and Alex from Youngstown; Creative Spirit, which is Carol and John Rolicki of Olcott; and Cousins, Dave Decker and Rick Fitzpatrick of Lewiston.

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> LOCKPORT

City to host Halloween party with trick-or-treating, music

LOCKPORT -- The downtown area will offer a slate of Halloween activities Friday, said Heather B. Peck, program manager of Lockport Main Street.

The city's annual Halloween party will run from 5 to 8 p.m. in the City Hall parking lot.

Empty bags will be passed out at the party, with trick-or-treating at participating downtown merchants lasting from 5 to 7.

There will be pizza, doughnuts and cider at the party.

The popular KISS imitators from Livingston Place will perform outside City Hall from 7 to 8 p.m.

Third-graders in Lockport public schools have decorated more than 300 pumpkins, on display at downtown businesses until Saturday.

Visitors may vote on their favorite pumpkins. The grand prize winners -- one girl and one boy -- each will receive a new bicycle and helmet donated by Niagara County Sheriff James R. Voutour.

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