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NIAGARA 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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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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Deputy named to serve as acting police chief

ST. CATHARINES, Ont. -- Joe Matthews, deputy chief of the Niagara Regional Police, has been named acting chief until the return of Police Chief Wendy Southall.

Police Services Board Chairman Henry D'Angela said Southall has made considerable improvement since being hospitalized Monday for a medical condition he did not discuss.

D'Angela said, "We are hopeful that her recovery will be speedy, and we send our best wishes to her family."

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Mordaunt resigns as head of WNY Komen for the Cure

Jackie Mordaunt has resigned as executive director of the Western New York affiliate of the Susan G. Komen for the Cure, the organization announced Wednesday.

Mordaunt has held the position since 2004. During her tenure, Komen WNY increased its fundraising from $300,000 to nearly $1 million annually, participated in many local and state coalitions related to public policy and developed a strong base of volunteers, Colleen Nossavage, president of the group's board, said in a statement.

"Jackie served Komen with great passion, and we wish her well with her new endeavors," Nossavage said.