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Reporters' Notebook: Jan. 31, 2017

OLAF FUB SEZ: According to Austrian composer Franz Schubert, born on this date in 1797, “Happy is the man who finds a true friend, and far happier is he who finds that true friend in his wife.”

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WAR STORIES – Talking Leaves Books, 3158 Main St., will host its first author visit of the year at 7 p.m. Wednesday with Buffalo writer Brian Castner and acclaimed novelist Elliot Ackerman, who will talk about the wealth of fiction that is appearing as a result of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Castner has just co-edited a collection entitled, “The Road Ahead: Fiction From the Forever War.” Ackerman, who served eight years in the Marine Corps on numerous deployments to the Middle East and Southwest Asia, is based in Istanbul, Turkey. His second novel, “Dark at the Crossing,” has just been published. For more info, visit tleavesbooks.com.

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PASTA PLUS – St. Francis of Assisi Church will host its annual spaghetti dinner and theme tray raffle from 3 to 7 p.m. Saturday in its Early Childhood Center Hall, 70 Adam St., City of Tonawanda.
Dinner tickets are $7 for adults, $4 for children 4 to 10, including spaghetti with meatballs, fresh bread, salad, dessert and a beverage. Kids 3 and under eat free.

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ROUGHING IT – For the 30th year, students, staff, family members and others will spend the night outside Friday in the parking lot at Hoover Middle School, 249 Thorncliff Road between Delaware Road and Colvin Boulevard, Town of Tonawanda, to raise donations for the needy via the annual Jerry Starr Ken-Ton Schools Sleep Out.
The Sleep Out will begin at 8 p.m. and include a program inside the school cafeteria at 8:30 with guest speakers and the raffle of an Amish starburst quilt.
Participants can choose to sleep overnight outdoors or in the cafeteria until 6 a.m. Children and students must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
This year will see a new “Bag It” program that encourages students to bring in a bag filled with personal care items, nonperishable food, clothes and household goods. Donations can be dropped off at the school between 7:30 and 10 p.m. Friday. Checks payable to Ken-Ton Schools, E.T.C. (Educators Totally Committed), can be mailed to Ken-Ton Schools Sleepout, c/o Kenmore West High School, 33 Highland Parkway, Kenmore, NY 14223.
All contributions are turned over to local agencies such as the Ken-Ton Closet, the Food Bank of Western New York and the Kenmore-Town of Tonawanda Union Free School District Support Center. For more info on donating or participating, call Steve Ash at 694-4492 or email allhelpall@yahoo.com.

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TECH TALK – A new series of free computer classes for Town of Lockport residents will begin Feb. 9 from 1 to 4 p.m. in Lockport Town Hall, 6560 Dysinger Road.
For the opening session, instructor Sara Taylor will talk about gadgets and gear. Those attending are invited to bring their devices, including e-readers, tablets, phones and laptops. To register, call 433-5935, Ext. 3, or visit lockportlibrary.org.

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LOOKING BACK – Since the fire last November at the former Bethlehem Steel Plant in Lackawanna, the Steel Plant Museum of Western New York is collecting stories about the plant and the nearby neighborhood from residents and former employees.
Everyone who worked at the Lackawanna plant or had a family member who worked there, along with people who lived in Bethlehem Park or who were affected by the November fire, is invited to share their memories by calling the museum at 821-9361 between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, or by emailing curator Deirdre Reynolds at steelplantmuseumwny@gmail.com.
Selections from peoples’ stories will appear in the museum’s next exhibit, “Steel on Fire: Remembering the Bethlehem Steel Lackawanna Plant,” which will open May 12.

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HAPPY BIRTHDAY – Rachael Struble, Marilyn Sultz, Allen Beroza, Warren Todd Colville, Ann Scheu, Elaine Grzankowski, Shirley Koziej, Betty Kiener, Riley Mitchell, Alice E. Williams, Barb Brader, Joe Sasiadek, Matthew McGowan, Paul Makowski, Molly Joyce, Genevieve Ferenc, Kara Jacobs Kane, Cindy Podkulski, Mary Fox, Henry “Henny” Smardz, Renee Stonitsch and Sharon Rzeszutek.

email: olaffub@buffnews.com

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