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NIAGARA NEWS BRIEFS

Free Christmas trees available 9 a.m.-1 p.m.

Free Christmas trees will be available this morning to anyone in need.

Former Erie County Legislator Charles Swanick and two brothers, Tom and David Arida, owners of Arida Tree Farms, are continuing their 24-year tradition of giving away surplus Christmas trees.

The trees will be available from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the back parking lot at Philip Sheridan School, 3200 Elmwood Ave., Town of Tonawanda.

The town will mulch any remaining trees.

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Zoo cuts admission prices for holiday season

The Buffalo Zoo is cutting admission prices for its special Holiday Discount Days.

From Monday to Dec. 31, all visitors, regardless of age, can get into the zoo for $5. Ordinarily, tickets are $10 for adults and $7 for children. Zoo members and children under 2 will be admitted free, as usual.

Gates are open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily, except on Christmas Eve, when they will close at 1:30 p.m. and New Year's Eve, when they will close at 2:30 p.m.

The zoo will be closed on Christmas Day and open for its regular hours on New Year's Day. The zoo will be closed on Mondays and Tuesdays throughout January and February. For more information, call 837-3900 or visit www.buffalozoo.org.

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Motorists to get free ride on all bridges on Sunday

Motorists using the Niagara Frontier's four highway bridges across the Niagara River to Canada will get a free ride on Sunday in observance of the Christmas holiday.

The Peace Bridge as well as the Rainbow, Whirlpool Rapids and Lewiston-Queenston bridges will be toll-free from 11:30 p.m. Saturday until 11:30 p.m. Sunday, Christmas Day. Last year, 4,036 vehicles took advantage of the offer. The bridges ordinarily collect $3.25 from motorists entering Canada.

The free passage program also allows more of the bridge staff to celebrate the holiday with friends and families.

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'Move over' law to cover 'hazard vehicle' Jan. 1

The "move over" law designed to protect police and other first responders when making stops on roadways has been expanded to include additional vehicles such as tow trucks and snow plows, Erie County Sheriff Timothy B. Howard said Friday.

Beginning Jan. 1, motorists will have to change lanes when possible if there's a "hazard vehicle" displaying amber lights on the side of the road, Howard said.

The law currently covers police cars, fire trucks and ambulances. When it is not possible to move over, motorists are required to slow down as they pass the stopped vehicles.

"Hazard vehicles include any tow trucks, snow plows or any other vehicles that are being used in the construction or maintenance of roadways," Howard said. Drivers who violate the law could face a fine, in addition to being assessed two points on their license.