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LOCAL NEWS BRIEFS

Fitzpatrick family comes to aid of families hit by fire

Buffalo Bills quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick is helping two area families feel at home for the holidays as they try to rebuild after losing everything in separate fires this year.

Thanks to a generous donation through the United Way of Buffalo & Erie County, Fitzpatrick and his family have provided toys for the children, computers for school, furniture and much more to help these families on the road to recovery.

The Fitzpatrick family had the opportunity to meet the recipients of their generosity and personally deliver some of the gifts during a private meeting Friday evening in the headquarters of the American Red Cross Serving Erie & Niagara Counties. Because of its policy of confidentiality, the Red Cross is keeping the recipients of these gifts anonymous.

"It's difficult to imagine what these families have gone through this year, losing everything in the blink of an eye," Fitzpatrick said. "We are thrilled be able to help lift their spirits, especially during this holiday season."

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Joshua Revolution gathering scheduled Tuesday to Friday

NIAGARA FALLS -- More than 2,000 youth and adults from across the United States and Canada will flock to the city for the Joshua Revolution Christian Conference Tuesday through Friday.

Throughout the four-day conference, junior and senior high school student participants attend a series of Power Sessions featuring speakers and worship leaders from across the country. Main speakers at this year's conference include Reggie Dabbs, Gabriel Swaggart, Loren Larson and Hanna Ben-Haim, a Messianic Jew who has lived in Jerusalem for more than 25 years. The event will close with a prayer walk to Prospect Point at noon Friday.

The conference will result in 1,200 hotel room reservations, said said John Percy, president and chief executive of the Niagara Tourism and Convention Corp. To register, call (888) 415-KIDS.

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Activist set to deliver King lecture at Hilbert

Nationally recognized community activist and author Kevin Powell will be the keynote speaker at Hilbert College's Martin Luther King Jr. commemoration lecture Jan. 26.

He will discuss "Looking for Martin: Are Dr. King and His 'Dream' Still Relevant?" at 3:30 p.m. Jan. 26 in the William E. Swan Auditorium of the college at 5200 South Park Ave.

Powell is co-founder of BK (Building Knowledge), a new online effort for civic engagement and social change. A book signing and reception will follow the lecture. The free event is open to the public.

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Christmas holiday closings

This is how the following area offices and services will be affected Monday by the Christmas Day holiday.

City Court .... Closed

County courts .... Closed

State courts .... Closed

Federal courts .... Closed

City offices .... Closed

County offices .... Closed

State offices .... Closed

Federal offices .... Closed

Post Office .... Closed

Schools .... Closed

Banks .... Closed

Most stores .... Closed

Metro Bus, Rail .... Sunday schedule

City garbage .... Regular