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Reporters’ Notebook

OLAF FUB SEZ: Advice from actor Paul Newman, born on this date in 1925, “If you’re playing a poker game and you look around the table and can’t tell who the sucker is, it’s you.”

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CAR TALK – Congratulations to the team of Daniel Cone from Pavilion Central High School and Dylan Binnert from Caledonia-Mumford Central High School, winners in the annual Niagara Frontier Automobile Dealers Association Ron Smith Memorial AutoTech Competition Jan. 16 at Erie Community College South in Orchard Park.

The two, who are students at Genesee Valley Educational Partnership’s Batavia Career and Technical Education Center, under the direction of instructor Bob Yates, performed seven work station operations, debugged a new Ford F-150 pickup truck and underwent a mock job interview. They will represent this area in the National Automotive Technology Competition March 29 and 30 at the New York International Auto Show.

Winners in the Tire Rodeo event for high school juniors were Daniel Hudson and Benjamin Serrano from the Ken-Ton Career & Tech Center, under the direction of instructors Gary Willis and Gary Carlson.

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TIME OF NEED – Nearly nine months ago, 2-year-old Kirsten Sacco of Cheektowaga was diagnosed with neurofibromatosis type 1, which has resulted in an inoperable brain tumor. Currently receiving chemotherapy, she has been hospitalized several times. And now her 1-year-old sister, Aubree, has been diagnosed with the same disease.

To assist the girls and their parents, friends and family are holding a Kisses for Kirsten and Family benefit from 6 to 11 p.m. Saturday in Iron Workers Banquet Hall, 196 Orchard Park Road, West Seneca. Tickets are $25 and include pizza, beer and live music from Decades and Shaine & the RJ’s.

For more info or to donate raffle items, call 984-2068, 207-3737 or 531-1330. Monetary donations also can be sent to Kisses for Kirsten and Family, Box 367, Cheektowaga, NY 14225.

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PRICE IS RIGHT – Marilla United Methodist Church, 1910 Two Rod Road, Marilla, is hosting a free spaghetti dinner from 4 to 6 p.m. Wednesday. Dinner includes salad, bread, beverage and dessert.

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JUST FOR VETS – A four-section course in entrepreneurship for veterans who want to start their own businesses is being offered by the University of California Irvine through Coursera.org, and the Veterans Administration will hold Learning Hub sessions to discuss their content from 5:30 to 6:45 p.m. Thursdays from Feb. 18 to March 10 in the Veterans One-Stop Center of Western New York, 1280 Main St.

No previous business experience is required, but basic computer and Internet skills are necessary. To access the course, visit www.coursera.org/learn/entrepreneurial-thinking.

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MORE FOR VETS – Veterans who want to be their own boss also can win a fee-free 7-Eleven convenience store franchise through Operation: Take Command, a competition sponsored by 7-Eleven. One veteran somewhere in the U.S. will be awarded the franchise, worth up to $190,000.

The company notes that about 90 percent of its 84 stores in the Buffalo area are available for franchise. To review the rules and enter the competition, visit VeteransFranchiseGiveaway.com. Deadline is Feb. 26. The winner will be announced in June.

Greg Franks, 7-Eleven vice president of franchise systems, reports that more than 6,000 former military men and women entered the first Operation: Take Command competition last year and notes, “Many who didn’t win still took command of their careers and moved forward through our normal qualification process to own their own 7-Eleven franchise.”

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GETTING DODGY – Healthy Buffalo is signing up beginner and recreational players and teams for its new season of six-on-six coed dodgeball. Games will be held from 7:30 to 10:30 p.m. Fridays beginning Feb. 12 in the North Buffalo Community Center, 203 Sanders Road.

Registration for new teams is $200 and includes up to eight jerseys. Fee for returning teams, which do not receive jerseys, is $175. Additional jerseys are $10. Individual players will be placed on teams according to their skill level. For more info and to sign up, visit healthybuffalo.org and click on “Dodgeball.”

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HAPPY BIRTHDAY – Millie Korn, Bud Seidenberg, Dr. Gale Burstein, Barbara Keating, Alicia Cornell, Susan Peek, Larry Jones, Joe Zoyhofski, Irene Kenner, Francis Faltisco, Dawn Yeates, Bree Elizabeth Yeates, Kerry Kelton, Shyrl LeDuderwick, Jim Nowicki, Dawn Ruszczyk, Tim Sutton and Frank Capuano.

email: olaffub@buffnews.com