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LOCAL NEWS BRIEFS

College unveils solar-powered weather monitoring station

BATAVIA -- Genesee Community College has unveiled a new solar-powered weather monitoring station with current climate conditions available to students and the public.

The wireless unit is powered by solar energy that can be stored in rechargeable batteries for use on cloudy and rainy days. The station replaces one at the New York State School for the Blind several miles from the GCC campus.

The station was made possible through a grant from the GCC Foundation President's Innovation Award Program, and will help environmental and engineering students.

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Canal Clean Sweep scheduled for April 20-22

Volunteers are sought for the seventh annual Canal Clean Sweep, scheduled for the weekend of April 20-22.

The activities along the 524-mile New York State canal system help celebrate Earth Day and prepare the canals for the 188th consecutive navigation season, scheduled to begin May 1.

Last year, more than 100 groups participated in the cleanup weekend. Those interested in joining should check the list of events at www.ptny.org/canalway/sweep.

Groups that want to coordinate a cleanup event are asked to call Elijah Yearick of Parks & Trails New York at (518) 434-1583 or email canalsweep@ptny.org.

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DEC says hazardous GM site is no longer a health threat

LOCKPORT -- The state Department of Environmental Conservation announced last week that cleanup has been completed at a hazardous site at the General Motors Components plant and that the site is no longer regarded as a public health threat.

The DEC said the problem arose in October 1994, when a pipe ruptured beneath an old storage tank containing the industrial solvent TCE. Excavations to repair the resulting leak at the southeast corner of Building 8 disclosed a solvent odor in the ground, and further investigation showed that ground water had been contaminated.

Soil was excavated from a 27-by-22-foot area all the way down to bedrock, a depth of about 7.5 feet, and the soil was disposed of as hazardous waste. Testing in April 2011 showed that the problem had been cleared up.

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Main Street festival accepting applications

NIAGARA FALLS -- The second annual Main Street Music and Art Festival is scheduled for June 23 and 24, and organizers are now accepting applications from artists, artisans and food vendors.

The two-day festival, which will run from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday and from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday, will feature art vendors, food vendors, wine tastings, a chalk walk, a classic car show, street entertainers and 26 live bands from Western New York and Canada.

Information about sponsorships and pictures from last year's festival can be found at www.WoMadistrict.com, by calling Rick Crogan at 534-1546 or by emailing MainStreetFestival2012@gmail.com.