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LOCAL NEWS BRIEFS

Militello quartet booked for Plaza Event Series debut

Jazz saxophonist Bobby Militello and his quartet will kick off the 43rd Annual Plaza Event Series at noon Monday on the south end of the plaza in front of M&T Bank's corporate headquarters in downtown Buffalo.

The longest-running corporate-sponsored event of its kind in the nation, the free series will run from noon to 1 p.m. Monday through Friday until Aug. 31. Each week will feature a variety of performers and guest hosts.

The schedule for the first week of the series also includes the Westminster Community Charter School Drama Club on Tuesday, the Celtic and world music band Stone Row on Wednesday, country-rockers Ricky Lee & the Mustangs Thursday and the Larry Salter Big Band Friday.

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Niagara USA slates forum on state mandate relief

LEWISTON -- The Niagara USA Chamber will hold a forum on state mandate relief for businesses and local governments from 3 to 4:30 p.m. Tuesday in the Power Vista at the Niagara Power Project, 5777 Lewiston Road.

Government Affairs Director Kory Schuler said speakers at the event will include Brian Sampson, executive director of Unshackle Upstate; Heather Briccetti, president and chief executive officer of the Business Council of New York State; Tom Stebbins, executive director of the Lawsuit Reform Alliance of New York State; and Kenneth Adams, president and chief executive officer of Empire State Development.

The free event is open to the public but because of limited space, reservations are required. They may be made by calling 285-9142.

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Marathon hockey features beer tasting at brewery

The third annual 24-hour hockey game "Skating for a Cure" to benefit both Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and the Breast Cancer Network of Western New York will be held over Father's Day weekend, organizers announced.

The event begins with an evening beer tasting on Friday in Flying Bison Brewery, to be followed by around-the-clock children and adult hockey games from Saturday through to Sunday morning in the Northtown Center, Amherst. Organizers said a Buffalo Sabres alumni skills clinic also will be included in the event, along with a Sabres alumni game at 7 p.m. Saturday.

Organizers have set a $50,000 goal for this year's marathon.

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13 evenings of free music planned for Canalside venue

The nights of summer music have been lengthened at the Buffalo and Erie County Naval and Military Park.

This year, the summer concert series will feature 13 evenings of free music played by local bands aboard the USS Little Rock, which is moored at Canalside. The concerts will start at 7 p.m. and are scheduled to be held each Wednesday from Wednesday through Sept. 5, with July 4 being the only exception.

Programs will include Latin music by Manny Perez and Soly Sombra, as well as the bands Chicago Jack Blues, Dave Roach & Friends, the Friends of Harmony and the Carol McClaughlin quartet.

Free parking will be available in the lot adjacent to Templeton Landing.