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13 guardsmen leave for training in Texas

Thirteen members of the New York Air National Guard's 107th Airlift Wing departed Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station on Saturday for a three-week intensive training event at Fort Bliss, Texas.

The guardsmen will hone their combat skills before deploying overseas to Afghanistan.

Family members, friends and fellow airmen gathered to bid them farewell as they boarded an aircraft to depart for their six-month tour of duty.

Members of the 107th Security Forces Squadron will be assigned as part of a joint ground combat force protecting a key airfield in Afghanistan.

The veteran team contains 11 members who have previously deployed in Iraq.


Residents can call to change garbage, recyling tote sizes

LOCKPORT -- March is the month for action for city residents who want to change the size of their garbage or recycling totes.

City Clerk Richelle J. Pasceri said starting Thursday, residents may call the city's taped refuse hotline at 439-6752 to leave their requests to go bigger -- or smaller. Each resident is entitled to one free trade.

Garbage totes come in 35-, 64- and 96-gallon sizes, while recycling totes are available only in 64- and 96-gallon models. Pasceri said a limited number of 96-gallon recycling carts are available, but the city has ordered some yellow lids to convert 96-gallon garbage totes, which have blue lids, into recycling bins.

The trades will be carried out in late March and early April, Pasceri said.


Modern Corp., Louis Knotts win top business honors

NIAGARA FALLS -- Modern Corp. of Lewiston, the refuse disposal and recycling firm, was honored Saturday as Business of the Year at the Niagara USA Chamber's annual awards gala in the Seneca Niagara Casino & Hotel.

Louis H. Knotts, president and chief executive officer of Calspan Corp., was named Business Person of the Year.

The Visionary Award went to the Western New York Regional Economic Development Council; Kathleen A. Granchelli, head of the YWCA of Niagara, was named Community Advocate of the Year; and Stephen F. Brady of National Grid received the Chairman's Award.


'Bundle Up for Polar Bears' aims to preserve habitat

The Buffalo Zoo wants Western New Yorkers to turn down their thermostats to help polar bears.

The zoo, along with Polar Bears International, is asking local schools, organizations, businesses and families to turn down thermostats by two degrees on one or more dates between Monday and March 16 as part of an initiative called "Bundle Up for Polar Bears."

The initiative is aimed at lowering carbon emissions, which could help slow or reverse climate changes, thereby saving sea ice, which is needed for polar bears to hunt.

The zoo is looking to gather information from those who participate.

Information, including the name of the organization, the number of participants and the dates, can be emailed to Photos can be uploaded to