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Editorial: Bits and pieces from the news

Here’s hoping for a warm winter. And not just because we don’t like shoveling snow.

As reported in The News, if temperatures dive to more normal levels after a couple of winters on the warm side, then the average heating bill across the Buffalo Niagara region is expected to jump by 26.5 percent, or about $123 from last year’s enviable numbers.

Heating costs involve more variables than weather, but it’s a healthy part of the equation.

Unfortunately, on the heels of that story AccuWeather predicted a cold and snowy winter for the Buffalo area. “I think this year is going to bring a good ski season in the

Northeast,” AccuWeather Lead Long-Range Forecaster Paul Pastelok said in the statement.

Maybe the woolly bears will prove a rosier forecast.

It is remarkable how loyal Western New Yorkers are to their now-sizable hometown bank.

M&T Bank now accounts for 64 percent of area deposits. That market share has increased for 10 straight years, rising more than 40 percentage points, as News business reporter Matt Glynn wrote. M&T was the big beneficiary of KeyBank’s takeover of First Niagara. KeyBank is in second place with 15.4 percent of the region’s deposits.

M&T’s dominance hasn’t scared away rivals. CNB Bank (Bank on Buffalo) just opened and Steuben Trust and Tompkins Bank of Castile plan to open local branches. Competition is good.

In the continuing flood of bad news this week from Las Vegas and Puerto Rico, one stunningly good statistic may have been overlooked.

According to the American Cancer Society, breast cancer death rates have dropped nearly 40 percent from 1989 to 2015, saving 322,600 lives.

The news came as Breast Cancer Awareness Month was getting underway. The effort promotes early detection and raises funds for research and support services. That makes it a good time to consider making a donation to Roswell Park Cancer Institute, the American Cancer Society or another cancer charity.

Experts attribute the drop in the breast cancer death rate to better screening and huge leaps in treatments in the past decades.

Still, according to the Washington Post, more than 40,600 women are expected to die of the disease this year in the U.S., and about 252,000 new cases are expected. Women in the United States have a 1 in 8 chance of being diagnosed with the disease. The latest progress is welcome; much more remains to be done.

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