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NIAGARA NEWS BRIEFS

Legislators urge legalization of mixed martial arts fighting

LOCKPORT -- The Niagara County Legislature last week passed a resolution urging the state to legalize mixed martial arts fighting, which it banned in 1997.

Legislator Cheree J. Copelin, R-Niagara Falls, was the lead sponsor, saying legalization would allow Niagara Falls native Rashad Evans, the onetime UFC light heavyweight champion, to fight "on his home turf."

The unanimous vote also featured support from Evans' cousin, Legislator Owen Steed, D-Niagara Falls.

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Electronic recyclables to be accepted Thursday

NIAGARA FALLS -- The city will receive electronic recyclables from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday.

The recyclables will be collected at the city public works department, 1785 New Road.

The program is free and no appointment is necessary. The program will be offered the second Thursday of every month throughout the year.

Recyclable items include, but are not limited to, computers, monitors, laptops, televisions, printers, scanners, VCR/DVD players, stereos, fax machines and photocopiers. Televisions can no longer be placed with regular trash for curbside pickup and must be recycled, city officials said.

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Sixth poetry marathon expected to attract hundreds

The sixth annual Urban Epiphany, Western New York's largest poetry marathon, will be held from 3 to 8 p.m. today in Unitarian Universalist Church of Buffalo, 695 Elmwood Ave.

Hundreds of readers and performers will speak for two minutes each in a celebration of art and diversity. The suggested donation is $5.

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Community leaders to join in 'Stand Against Racism'

NIAGARA FALLS -- The city will "Stand Against Racism" on Friday in City Hall during a community event emphasizing the need to stamp out racism across the nation.

Mayor Paul A. Dyster, City Administrator Donna D. Owens and Tasha E. Moore, regional director of the state Division of Human Rights, will be joined at 10 a.m. by community leaders who will lead a prayer to end racism in society.

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Plans for commercial kennel granted special-use permit

TOWN OF LOCKPORT -- The town Planning Board granted a special-use permit Wednesday to a Newfane woman who plans to open a commercial dog kennel later this year on Robinson Road, opposite the intersection with East Canal Road.

Janet Zehr plans to open a 5,200-square-foot building with 28 dog runs on a 4.47-acre lot.

A second phase of the project in later years may include a veterinary clinic and dog training center in another building on the same site.

Zehr will go before the town Zoning Board of Appeals Tuesday to seek a variance allowing the construction of a quarter-acre pond on the property. Chief Building Inspector Brian M. Belson said the kennel itself requires no further approvals.