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Seven by Seven / Seven things you need to know by 7 a.m.

1. More than 300 guests will gather at the Prospectus Premiere dinner tonight to hear featured speaker John Koelmel, chief executive officer of First Niagara Financial Group. The business-to-business networking event, which starts at 5:30 in Salvatore's Italian Gardens, Lancaster, celebrates the 20th anniversary edition of Prospectus, the annual business supplement of The Buffalo News. Prospectus will be published with the newspaper Sunday.

2. Kevin Powell has been an activist ever since he campaigned against South African apartheid as an undergrad at Rutgers University. He has gone on to be a cast member of the first season of MTV's reality series "The Real World: New York" and a senior writer for Vibe magazine. He has published a dozen books and run for Congress three times. He comes to Hilbert College's William E. Swan Auditorium at 3:30 p.m. as keynote speaker for the Martin Luther King Commemoration Lecture. His topic: "Looking for Martin: Are Dr. King and His 'Dream' Still Relevant?" It's free and open to the public.

3. Details of the large-scale high-tech manufacturing project proposed for the Town of Alabama will be discussed in a public information meeting at 7 p.m. in the Town of Alabama Fire Hall on Judge Road. Officials from the Genesee County Economic Development Center will review what was learned from public comments regarding traffic, chemicals, water and waste water treatment. Planners say they intend to maintain the rural nature of the area. The project, called the Western New York Science, Technology and Adanced Manufacturing Park, or WNY STAMP, will occupy a 1,337-acre site along Routes 77 and 63, five miles north of the Thruway.

4. You know how you go to book a flight, then check the price again and discover that it suddenly includes all kinds of extra fees? That shouldn't happen any more. Starting today, new rules from the U.S. Transportation Department require that advertised prices include taxes and mandatory fees. However, they won't include the proliferating airline fees for checking bags, getting an assigned seat and other items.

5. It's better late than never for the jam band Rusted Root's appearance in the Rapids Theatre, 1711 Main St., Niagara Falls. Originally scheduled to play the refurbished former movie house last June 4, it is performing its makeup date tonight at 7 with Big Leg Emma as the opener. Tickets are $25. Although the band missed the Falls in June, it didn't ignore Western New York completely. It played the music festival in Ellicottville over Independence Day weekend and the post-race party for the 5K Cozumel Tequila Trot in Allentown in August.

6. Buffalo Sabres alumnus Rob Ray and mascots Buster Bison and Victor E. Bull (from the University at Buffalo) will help cut the ribbon this morning for the new state-of-the-art fitness center at Buffalo's Charter School for Applied Technologies, 2503 Kenmore Ave., Town of Tonawanda. The facility has space for aerobics classes, Wii-fit games, elliptical machines, treadmills and stationary bicycles that can connect to the Internet. It will provide four days of phys-ed classes for K-8 students -- and they need it. Nearly 50 percent of the student body is classified as "obese" or "overweight."

7. The massive solar flares lighting up the northern latitudes this week are likely to give retired NASA engineer Bert Probst even more to talk about when he gives an illustrated program titled "Introduction to the Splendor of the Night Sky" at 7 p.m. in the auditorium of the Gateway Executive Office, 3556 Lake Shore Road, Blasdell. Probst will give a tour of all the major planets, galaxies and man-made satellites that are visible through the naked eye or small telescope. It's open to the public, no preregistration required. Penn Dixie members are admitted free. Nonmembers are $4. For info and directions, call 627-4560.

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