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LOCAL NEWS BRIEFS

Higgins is top Democrat on security subcommittee

WASHINGTON -- Rep. Brian Higgins of Buffalo has been named as the top Democrat on the House Homeland Security Committee's Subcommittee on Counterterrorism and Intelligence.

"I welcome the opportunity to bring my experience representing a border community to fight for safer borders -- and a safer nation," Higgins said Monday.

He said he is particularly interested in exploring the threat of Hezbollah in the Western Hemisphere, which, he said, is an important issue for Western New York.

The fourth-term congressman from South Buffalo joined the Homeland Security Committee a year ago in January.

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Schumer supports Sabres on bringing game here

WASHINGTON -- Sen. Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y., on Monday added his support to the Buffalo Sabres' effort to bring USA Hockey's All-American Prospects Game to Buffalo later this year.

Schumer sent a letter to USA Hockey President Ron DeGregario and Executive Director Dave Ogrean pushing Buffalo as a locale for the event.

"As USA Hockey decides the best location for the All-American Prospects Game this year," Schumer said, "I want Buffalo and the First Niagara Center to be at the top of the list."

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Name of dog on park logo to be revealed Wednesday

The name for the enthusiastic dog that is part of the logo for the the Barkyard, the off-leash area in Buffalo's LaSalle Park, will be announced Wednesday at a fundraising party.

The "Leap Day" party is planned to run from 5:30 to 9 p.m. in Our Bar, 861 Military Road, Kenmore.

The contest, which was announced in the middle of January, drew more than 1,000 entries.

"It was amazing," said Joseph Lonzi, president of the board of directors of the Buffalo Off-Leash Area Inc., the not-for-profit group that operates the Barkyard. "We got a great response -- it was a fun thing to do."

If the winning name was submitted by more than one person, the first person to suggest the name will win, said Lonzi. The person who submitted the winning name and the runner-up will both be invited to the event, and the name will be announced at about 7:30.

Tickets, which are $29, can be purchased at the door or by going to

thebarkyard.org. Finger food and drinks will be included in the cost.

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HEAP outreach planned today in Senior Center

A Home Energy Assistance Program outreach will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. today in the City of Tonawanda Senior Center, 33 Main St., Erie County Legislator Kevin R. Hardwick said.

Doors open at 8:30 a.m., all applicants will be interviewed.

HEAP is a federally funded program to assist Erie County residents with their heating bills. The HEAP outreach will be administered by the county departments of Social Services and Senior Services and is open to all income-eligible households.