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Buddy Bench

Sumner Youngs and her son, Joshua Salisbury, 9, are raising money for five Buddy Benches for the Auburn elementary schools.

HIT: To spreading a little friendliness.

Inspired by a video about someone who completed a similar project, Sumner Youngs and her son, Joshua Salisbury, of Auburn, are raising money to have five benches made for each of Auburn's five elementary schools. The idea behind the Buddy Benches is that when children see another student sitting alone, they will be encouraged to approach them to see if they would like to talk or play.

Because Joshua's autism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder can sometimes make it difficult for him to interact with other kids, he hopes the benches will help lonely children make new friends.

MISS: To a loss of local jobs.

WoodmenLife, a nonprofit insurance company, announced that it will soon close its Auburn office at the Plaza of the Arts on Genesee Street in Auburn. The Omaha, Nebraska-based company has decided to stop selling new life insurance policies in New York state as it realigns its long-term strategy.

The company employs more than 30 people in New York, including 13 full-time representatives.

MISS: An Auburn garbage truck went up in flames while workers were on their route on Camp Street Wednesday morning.

There was reportedly little warning that anything was wrong before flames erupted behind the cab of the truck. The three-person crew got out safely, and the Auburn Fire Department was able to get the fire quickly under control.

The Citizen editorial board includes publisher Rob Forcey, executive editor Jeremy Boyer and managing editor Mike Dowd.

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