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LOCAL NEWS BRIEFS

>Women and Children's expands adult services

Women and Children's Hospital has added 24-hour-a-day coverage by a specialist in internal medicine for women, the hospital announced Tuesday.

The action is a response to obstetricians and patients who for many years have sought improved services for pregnant women who experience problems during delivery at the hospital.

Women and Children's has had an internist on site but not over a 24-hour period.

In addition, the hospital appointed Dr. Colin J. McMahon director of internal medicine.

He will lead a team of internists who can treat pregnant women and other adult patients.

"We're thrilled to be able to provide this expanded service for pregnant women delivering at Women and Children's Hospital," said Cheryl A. Klass, president of the hospital, which is a part of Kaleida Health.

Officials said the changes reflect a strategic focus on core pediatric and OB-GYN services that has resulted in an increase in the number of deliveries at the hospital.

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>Impact of Thruway tolls to receive public airing

Members of the public are invited to give their views on local Thruway tolls during a public hearing scheduled for 10 a.m. Thursday in the auditorium of the Buffalo & Erie County Central Library downtown.

Assemblyman Sam Hoyt, D-Buffalo, has scheduled the hearing before the Assembly Transportation Committee on what many consider to be a commuter tax that is a disincentive to doing business downtown.

For information and a registration form, go to the Web site www.samhoyt.com.

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>Rutecki will head panel on dividing sales tax income

David Rutecki, an official with M&T Bank, will lead a new task force examining the best way to distribute sales tax income among local governments and school districts in Erie County.

The Assembly recently demanded that Erie County government in 2007 share $12.5 million in proceeds from the "temporary" sales tax penny first added in 1985.

County Legislature Democrats had said that if they are to share $12.5 million, there must be a new focus on the current distribution formula and the sharing of services.

The county now shares proceeds from three other sales tax pennies with localities and school districts.

The other task force members are: Assemblywoman Crystal D. Peoples, D-Buffalo; County Legislature Majority Leader Maria R. Whyte, D-Buffalo; West Seneca Supervisor Paul Clark; Village of Angola Trustee Jonica DiMartino; James M. Hartman from the county executive's office; and Richard M. Tobe, Buffalo's commissioner of economic development.

Rutecki, who served on Buffalo's Common Council, said he hopes the task force can wrap up its work in August, in time for budget officials to plug its suggestions into the 2007 budget.

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