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Local News Briefs - Southern-Tier

Legislature announces several appointments

LITTLE VALLEY -- In organizing for 2006, the Cattaraugus County Legislature has made several appointments, including:

* Three-year terms on the Traffic Safety Board: Sheriff Dennis B. John, Public Works Director David J. Rivet and Legislator Michael M. O'Brien.

* Directors of the Southern Tier Regional Planning Board: Legislature Chairman Gerard J. Fitzpatrick and Robert C. Keis of Little Valley.

* Six-year term on the County Board of Health: Curtis Perkins of Cattaraugus.

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Community programs stand to suffer under budget

SALAMANCA -- The head of Cattaraugus Community Action warns that President Bush's proposed 2007 budget would cut the $630 million Community Services Block Grant, which would shut down local anti-poverty initiatives run by the nation's 1,100 Community Action Agencies.

Ine statement issued this week, Tina Zerbian, Community Action's director, said the cuts threaten such programs as Head Start, Weatherization Assistance and low-income heating assistance.

"The vast majority of people that we serve [are] working families with children -- often working at minimum wage jobs, part-time or seasonal, with no benefits," Zerbian said. "Usually all the household's adults are working, sometimes multiple jobs, and still can't make ends meet."

She added that although there is a provision for increased funding for homeless programs, working families will be hard-hit by the cuts, and at least 40 fewer households would receive weatherization assistance.

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