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LOCAL NEWS BRIEFS

Winter storm warning remains in ski country

A winter storm warning remains in effect until Tuesday for southern Erie, Wyoming, Chautauqua and Cattaraugus counties.

It will remain windy today, with colder temperatures in the 20s and snow showers that will leave 1 to 4 inches in the city and 4 to 5 inches in southern Erie County.

Heavier lake snow south of Buffalo will bring 8 to 10 inches of snow, along with poor visibility. Highs will be in the mid-20s and winds from the west will be from 20 to 35 mph with gusts close to 45 mph.

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Legislature panel OKs purchase of two hybrids

MAYVILLE -- In an effort to use more environmentally friendly cars, a Chautauqua County Legislature committee has approved the purchase of two hybrid Honda Civics for the Department of Social Services.

Joe Trusso, chairman of the Audit and Control Committee, said the department had proposed purchasing five new Chevrolet sedans, but some lawmakers objected, saying the county has a policy in place to go hybrid as the opportunity arises.

Trusso pointed out two benefits of the hybrids.

"We'll have more mileage per gallon and a cleaner environment. What we are trying to do is break away from the oil companies, which have their heel on our necks. They're dictating what we have to do and what we have to buy, and we're trying to break away from that."

"Batteries and other things are guaranteed for 100,000 miles or eight years, whichever comes first. The garages will be able to maintain them, and we'll probably be able to get people -- if we continue to move in this direction -- to train and repair these vehicles."

Trusso said the county also is looking to move toward vehicles that use 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline.

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Agency gets state grant to aid rural health care

OLEAN -- Southern Tier Health Care System will use a $270,000 grant from the state Department of Health's Office of Rural Health to continue its wellness mission in Allegany, Cattaraugus and Chautauqua counties.

The award represents a $10,000 increase over last year's funding for the rural health care network and is one of the largest sums awarded to more than 30 similar networks around the state.

John Bartimole, chief executive officer of the agency, said, "This year's grant process was highly competitive, and we're very pleased that the state Department of Health continues to recognize and acknowledge the role [the agency] plays in the health and wellness of the three-county area."

The funds will aid the network's efforts in addressing these and other areas: a shortage of pediatric psychiatric services, training for prehospital EMS employees and volunteers, dental health, obesity and school nutrition.

Network members are: Allegany and Cattaraugus County departments of health; Bertrand Chaffee Hospital in Springville; Cuba Memorial Hospital; HomeCare & Hospice; Jones Memorial Hospital in Wellsville; Lutheran Social Services of Jamestown; Olean General Hospital; Olean Medical Group; Southern Tier Physicians Association; Starflight of Jamestown; the ReHabilitation Center of Olean; Trans Am Ambulance Services of Olean; TLC Health Network in Gowanda; and WCA Hospital in Jamestown.

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