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LOCAL NEWS BRIEFS

Air Force secretary invited to Falls base

WASHINGTON—New York's two U.S. senators and Western New York's congressional delegation have issued a joint invitation for U.S. Air Force Secretary Michael Donley to come visit the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station to learn about the facilities and operations there. The invitation is part of a drive to protect the base from planned military budget cutbacks.

"I am confident that when Secretary Donley visits Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station, he will see firsthand the fundamental role it plays in our national defense and emergency response capabilities," said Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, a member of the Senate Armed Forces Committee. "Its closure would undermine protections for the northern border, reduce our state's preparedness and devastate the local economy."

The delegation also has written to Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and acting Border Protection Commissioner David Aguilar, asking them to locate border protection operations at the base, including a new Border Patrol station.

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Two forums set on search for new superintendent

Cascade Consulting, the group the School Board hired to find the next superintendent, has scheduled two forums to gather community input.

Both forums will be at 6 p.m. today. One will take place in Waterfront Elementary, 95 Fourth St.; the other is in Hamlin Park School 74, 126 Donaldson Road.

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Full schedule resumes today at Buffalo Zoo

The Buffalo Zoo is resuming its full schedule today.

Gates will be open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. for the rest of the year. Grounds remain open for one hour after gates close. The zoo's $3.50 parking fee also is back in effect. The zoo was closed Mondays and Tuesdays in January and February.

A Zooper Saturday event from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at the zoo features special programs focusing on river otters and big cats—tigers and snow leopards. The otters will be fed at 11:30 a.m. and get treats at 12:45 p.m. The cats will be highlighted from 1 to 3 p.m.

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Lola chosen as name of dog in Barkyard logo

The dog in the logo of the Barkyard, the off-leash area in Buffalo's LaSalle Park, now has a name: Lola, which stands for LaSalle Off-Leash Area.

"I like it, and we liked that it incorporates a reference to the park and the off leash area," said Joseph Lonzi, president of the board of directors of Buffalo Off- Leash Area Inc., the not-for-profit group that operates the Barkyard. "It's also a name that people do give their dogs— it's kind of trendy."

The name was submitted by Kathleen Hackford of West Seneca, she noticed the letters of the name in The Buffalo News article when she read about the contest. "I saw it right off," she said.

The runner-up name, submitted by Don Mitchell of Holland, was Dash. The names were selected by the board of directors from 2,178 entries.