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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 in Buffalo.

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.

The event will begin at 11:30 a.m. in the Deaconess Center's pediatric unit at High Street and Michigan Avenue in the city. Patients between ages 1 and 21 will be visited with the toys and gifts, the society stated.


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.


Trash pickup delayed one day by holidays

NIAGARA FALLS -- Due to the city's observance of the Christmas and New Year's holidays, trash pickup will be delayed by one day throughout both weeks. Trash scheduled for Monday pickup will be picked up Tuesday.

Residents are reminded that the city's waste hauler, Modern Disposal, will continue to pick up one bulk item per household on garbage day, including bundled brush in 4-foot lengths.


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. Enter through the white door next to the parking lot. The hall and sanctuary are handicapped-accessible.

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.

"Since we usually worship together at 5 p.m. on Saturdays, the members of the church decided it would be a great time for a community party," said Barbara Wallace, lay pastor.

Contact the church at 550-3607 or for more information.