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LOCAL NEWS BRIEFS

> WEATHER

Heat wave to continue through holiday weekend

Memorial Day weekend was off to a glorious start Saturday as temperatures hovered at right around 80.

Area residents flocked to the beaches, lakes and downtown's burgeoning waterfront district to enjoy the summerlike weather.

The heat wave will continue through Tuesday, National Weather Service meteorologist Jim Mitchell said.

A small weather front is expected to bring some showers and maybe a thunderstorm this morning, followed by increasingly warmer and humid conditions.

Sunday's highs will be in the low- to mid-80s with Monday being the hottest, with highs well into the upper 80s, Mitchell said.

"The AC will be on," he predicted.

A strong cold front will head into the area Tuesday, bringing rain and a drop in the temperatures to a more seasonable level -- with highs Wednesday at only about 70 degrees.

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> ENVIRONMENT

UB responds to criticism over 'fracking' study

The University at Buffalo responded to criticism Saturday over a recent study on "fracking" from its new Shale Resources and Society Institute.

The university has not received any funding from the oil and gas drilling industry, and the institute's expenses have been paid entirely by the College of Arts and Sciences, said E. Bruce Pitman, dean of the school.

Pitman also said UB will examine "all relevant concerns" raised about the conclusions drawn by the authors of the report.

The study -- which said stronger regulation was leading to an improved safety record among drillers in Pennsylvania's Marcellus Shale -- came under attack on Friday by the Buffalo-based Public Accountability Initiative, which said the UB study was "seriously flawed and biased."

In addition, the Buffalo group also criticized the authors of the report for having close ties to the drilling industry.

"Faculty members are free to conduct research on any topic, including controversial ones, and to disseminate their findings without prior review or approval by the university," Pitman said in a prepared statement. "This topic is important and timely, and the work of such an institute is fully consistent with the university's mission of teaching, research and public service."

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> BUFFALO

City police plan auction of unclaimed property

More than 200 lots of unclaimed personal property now in Buffalo police custody will be auctioned off at 10 a.m. Saturday by auctioneer Cash Cunningham at Buffalo police headquarters, 74 Franklin St.

Up for sale will be jewelry, tools and electronics.

Registration will begin at 8:30 a.m. that day and successful bidders will be required to pay for their items in full the day of the auction in cash or check, plus a 10 percent buyer's premium payment to the auctioneer.

"All auctions are interesting, this one especially because of the variety of unclaimed personal property that we will be auctioning," Cunningham said. "You can get anything from a flat-screen television to jewelry, all in one sale."

Information and pictures of the unclaimed personal property for auction can be found at www.cashauction.com.