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LOCAL NEWS BRIEFS

Veterinary Society, animals to visit hospitalized kids

Santa's helpers -- that is, those of the animal variety -- have some unfinished business in Western New York.

Dogs and cats affiliated with members of the Niagara Frontier Veterinary Society will visit with hospitalized children this morning in the pediatric unit of the Deaconess Center at High Street and Michigan Avenue.

The dogs and cats -- and their human companions -- will deliver gifts to the children as well, according to the Buffalo-based veterinary society.

Toys, clothing and money have been collected by veterinarians in the region since before Thanksgiving, from their clients and staff, the society stated.

The Niagara Frontier Veterinary Society encompasses more than 70 small-animal hospitals and 175 individual practitioners in Erie and Niagara counties.

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Opening of fire at fort will be re-enacted

YOUNGSTOWN -- Volunteer artillerists at Old Fort Niagara will start the New Year on Sunday with a bang.

They will conduct a re-enactment of the opening of fire on Fort George in Ontario, across the Niagara River, to commemorate the bicentennial of the War of 1812. Fort Niagara's cannons will answer guns fired at Fort George as part of the lieutenant governor's 2012 New Year's Levee at Fort George.

Old Fort Niagara will be closed to the public on New Year's Day.

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$10,400 fund balance to aid Day in the Park events

The Clarence Hollow Association, which has overseen Day in the Park in Clarence for the past three years, has turned over a balance of $10,400 to the town to carry forward to future Day in the Park events.

A different lead organization will oversee the Independence Day weekend event in 2012. In 2011, 16 nonprofit organizations were involved and raised combined event profits of about $21,900 that they kept for their own use.

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Highway Department doing Christmas tree pickups

The Town of Amherst Highway Department is now picking up Christmas trees and will continue to pick them up curbside until Jan. 20. For more information, contact the Amherst Highway Department at 631-7117.

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New Year's Eve party planned for children

LOCKPORT -- A New Year's Eve party especially for children will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday at Second Presbyterian Church, 71 Van Buren St.

Everyone is invited for refreshments, crafts, games, prizes, a show and a lighted ball drop in the church hall. The community also is invited to join the congregation in thanking God for the past year and praying together for a safe, healthy and prosperous new year at 5 p.m. in the sanctuary.

Contact the church at 550-3607 or 2ndPresLockport@gmail.com for more information.