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More than 60 displays
 featured in 9th annual event

NIAGARA FALLS The opening ceremony for the ninth annual Holiday Lights of Niagara Trail is set for 5:30 p.m. Wednesday in Sal Maglie Stadium, Hyde Park Boulevard.

Until Jan. 31, more than 60 illuminated displays will be located throughout the city, starting at Hyde Park and extending down Pine Avenue and Main Street toward Niagara Falls State Park. The lights will be on from 5 to 10 p.m. nightly.

Wednesday's free annual celebration will feature performances by local dance and choir groups and free coffee and hot chocolate donated by Tim Hortons. At the conclusion, Mayor Paul A. Dyster and Carol G. Houwaart-Diez, president of the United Way of Greater Niagara, will turn on the light displays throughout Hyde Park. A fireworks display will follow.

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Artillery duel bicentennial
 to be observed Wednesday

YOUNGSTOWN Old Fort Niagara will commemorate the bicentennial of a famous War of 1812 artillery duel with Fort George at 10 a.m. Wednesday in the visitor center with a free illustrated lecture on Betsy Doyle by Niagara County Historian Catherine Emerson, who last year documented the fate of the heroine who carried hot cannonballs to the fort's guns during the battle.

Reservations are needed for a special walk to be held at 7 p.m. Saturday to illustrate the fort's role in the war. It is estimated that about half of all War of 1812 casualties occurred in this region. Fort Niagara fought five major engagements with Fort George.

The program will conclude with an explanation of uniforms, gear and equipment used during the conflict. The price is $20. For reservations call (716) 745-7611.

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Garbage, recycling services 
rescheduled due to holiday

LOCKPORT Garbage and recycling collection in the city will be affected by the Thanksgiving holiday, City Clerk Richelle J. Pasceri said.

Regular Thursday customers will find their refuse collected on Friday this week, while regular Friday customers will have to wait until Saturday for service. City Hall will be closed Thursday and Friday, Pasceri said.

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IBM grant worth $400,000 
to target quality-of-life issues

Buffalo has been chosen from among 400 municipalities worldwide to receive an IBM Smarter Cities Challenge grant.

Under the grant, valued at about $400,000, the computer company will send a team of technical experts here for three weeks to analyze and address quality-of-life issues.

Buffalo's application focused on using data public and private to fight crime, blight, pollution, school absenteeism and substance abuse. Then IBM will study data in these areas, consult with local agencies and advocacy groups, and provide detailed recommendations, the mayor said.

During the past year, IBM assisted 33 cities worldwide including Jacksonville, Fla.; Louisville, Ky., and Buffalo's Sister City, Dortmund, Germany under the program. For information, visit ww.smartercitieschallenge.org.