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NIAGARA NEWS BRIEFS

> NORTH TONAWANDA

Valenti's Restaurant set to be sold at auction

NORTH TONAWANDA -- Valenti's Restaurant will go on the auction block next week, Cash Realty & Auctions reports.

The restaurant, subject of a bitter dispute between restaurant operators Terry Valenti and Lori Brocuglio and landlord Frank Budwey, will be offered for sale, along with all its equipment, furniture and decor, at 10 a.m. next Wednesday. The sale will take place in the restaurant in Budwey's Plaza, 537 Division St.

Last month, North Tonawanda City Judge William R. Lewis approved an eviction and ordered Valenti and Brocuglio to pay Budwey $5,700 in past-due rent and attorney fees.

The dispute was marked by numerous police calls, accusations, a gas shut-off and a lock-out.

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> NIAGARA FALLS

Petrozzi won't seek re-election to SPCA board

NIAGARA FALLS -- Russell J. Petrozzi, the well-known member of the board of the SPCA of Niagara, will not seek re-election when a new board is constituted in May.

"I've been there a long time, and it's time for someone else to bring in their expertise, and it's time to step aside," Petrozzi said.

The Falls businessman, who also serves on the Niagara Falls School Board, is the latest figure to announce he will leave the SPCA of Niagara, which has been plagued by controversy since staffers alleged unnecessary and cruel euthanasia practices at the Lockport Road facility.

Former Executive Director John A. Faso was fired Jan. 30 by the shelter's board of directors, and veterinary technician Grant H. Hobika left the organization after allegations of animal mistreatment.

Dr. William A. Gerber, the former advisory veterinarian, resigned Feb. 9. Board President Bruno A. "Brandy" Scrufari III also will step down from the board after a new board is elected by SPCA members in May.

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> LOCKPORT

Erie Canal song contest currently seeking entries

LOCKPORT -- The Erie Canal Discovery Center is seeking entries for its fifth annual Erie Canal song contest.

The deadline is April 1 to submit an original song whose lyrics refer to the canal or the Lockport locks. The contest rules and recordings of the previous years' winning songs are posted at www.niagarahistory.org, the History Center of Niagara website.

The top three songs will be played at the annual Key to the Locks ceremony, set for 11 a.m. May 5 in the Discovery Center.

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> SALAMANCA

Final beam put in place for casino hotel expansion

SALAMANCA -- Topping off ceremonies were held Tuesday as the final steel beam was guided into place for the new hotel tower at the Seneca Allegany Casino & Hotel.

Work on the $53 million, 11-story tower, which will add about 200 more rooms to the hotel, began in December. It is expected to be completed next winter. It has created about 300 construction jobs and will add 30 hotel positions.