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LEON Festival to offer free fun, information to keep summer safe for kids

An afternoon and evening of fun and fireworks, featuring a performance by the national singing sensation Kidz Bop, will highlight the LEON Festival to take place from 5 to 10 p.m. Wednesday, June 25 at Onondaga Lake Park. Admission to the event is free. The event celebrates the halfway mark to the winter holidays and the start of summer.

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Hope to hold Remembrance 8k Run/3k Walk this Sunday

When Donald and Susan Reason joined other walkers in Hope for Bereaved’s annual event last year, only five months had passed since their youngest child, Benjamin, 22, had died. About 50 friends and family members gathered to walk in his memory.

Help me help the MDA

I need your help to make bail. No, not that kind of bail. I’ve never been arrested. But I am going to “jail.” I’ve been recruited to help the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) with their annual Lock-Up fundraiser. Such events occur nationwide all year long. Business owners and community leaders (and, apparently, weekly newspaper reporters) agree to be “put behind bars for good.” We’re asked to raise money from friends, family, co-workers and, in your case, readers to help make “bail,” which will then benefit the MDA’s research, medical clinics and summer camp experiences.

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AIDS Walk/Run raises more than $181,000

The 22nd Annual AIDS Walk/Run held June 1 at Beaver Lake Nature Center raised $181,860. Since it began in 1992, the AIDS Walk/Run has been the mainstay funding for ACR Health’s now extensive Adolescent Health Initiatives. The event has raised more than $2.3 million and positioned ACR Health as a state leader in youth education.

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Paige’s Butterfly Run set for June 7

For the 17th consecutive year, Paige’s Butterfly Run will take place on Saturday, June 7, in downtown Syracuse. The event began in 1997, three years after Paige Yeomans Arnold, 8, a student at Palmer Elementary School, died from chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML). CML is a disease in which the bone marrow makes too many white blood cells. It usually occurs during or after middle age and rarely occurs in children.

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Motorcycle ride for Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital celebrates 20th year

For several years, Tony Testa and his wife, Becky, participated in the Miracle Ride for Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital. Both were motorcycle enthusiasts, and they enjoyed helping to raise money for the children’s hospital. But in 2004, it got personal. “My stepson, Jim, had a child who was born in 2004, Aiden,” Testa said. “Aiden was born with quite a few challenges.” Aiden Snell was born with Pierre-Robin Syndrome (PRS), a birth defect that causes cleft palate, smaller-than-normal or underdeveloped jaw, a tongue that sits back too far in the throat, obstructing breathing, and several other issues. The genetic condition affects approximately one out of every 1,500 children. In Aiden’s case, the disorder required surgery just a few days after he was born.

World Ovarian Cancer Day in Syracuse is May 8

On May 8, Central New York’s very own Hope for Heather (hopeforheather.org) joins the global movement to raise awareness about ovarian cancer by pledging to spread the word about ovarian cancer during the second annual World Ovarian Cancer Day (WOCD).

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County stocking program, rich waters make Onondaga County popular for trout fishing

Due to a unique county stocking program, naturally bountiful waters and plenty of public access areas, Onondaga County has become celebrated over the years for its trout fishing.

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WCNY-FM offers special radio service for blind and visually impaired

For more than three decades, WCNY-FM has been serving the blind and visually-impaired residents of Central New York with a special radio service called READ-OUT.

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As testing regulations increase, more and more parents choose to homeschool their children

As controversies over Common Core and mandated standardized tests become more and more prevalent, many parents are choosing a new option in educating their children: homeschooling. Once the sole province of the very religious, homeschooling is becoming more popular every day, with a growth rate of 7 to 15 percent per year. Nationwide, about 2 million children learn at home instead of in a brick-and-mortar school, up from about 1 million in 2003. According to the U.S. Department of Education, about 88 percent of U.S. homeschool parents express concern about the school environment, citing drugs, negative peer pressure and general safety.

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Teenage rock band Kill the Lites nominated for Sammy Award

A rock’n’roll group featuring four Fayetteville-Manlius High School students and their lead singer from West Genesee High School have been nominated for a 2014 Syracuse Area Music Award. The band, Kill the Lites, is one of five nominees in the Sammys “pop” category. The awards show is set for 7 p.m. Friday, March 7, at the Palace Theater, in Eastwood.

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Pour it on

Learn the art of maple sugaring

For most people, Valentine’s Day calls for last minute stops to local flower and candy shops. For others, the holiday is a target date for an entirely different purpose, yet still yields sweet results: maple syrup.

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Team Believe raises money for area charities through running

Running a 10-mile race is a tremendous challenge. But if you’ve got the right motivation, those 10 miles can feel like nothing at all. That’s the idea behind Team Believe, a grassroots organization that brings together local runners to help the Central New York community. The group, which got its start in 2009, asks participants to help raise money for local children’s charities while training for the Dunn Tire Mountain Goat Run in Syracuse in May.

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‘Les Mis’ luminescent!

B’ville Theatre Guild stages a sensational version of the classic musical 

Few musicals engage the mind and excite the senses as does “Les Misérables.” Even more rarely does a community theater group expertly blend the epic story, the grand spectacle and the soaring music to deliver a seamless and sensational show. Director Korrie Taylor, music director Abel Searor and producers Mark and Sandy Baker, however, have done just that with the current Baldwinsville Theatre Guild production of “Les Mis,” running through Feb. 8.

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Is ‘Ash for Trash’ the way to go?

Public opinion split on idea to import trash from Cortland County

For 20 years, the waste-to-energy facility on Rock Cut Road in Jamesville has been Onondaga County’s answer to waste management. However, starting in 2015, Cortland County may also have the opportunity to bring its trash to the site through a potential agreement called “Ash for Trash.”

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