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>Wal-Mart survey shows 72% want supercenter

NORTH TONAWANDA -- A survey conducted by Wal-Mart Stores shows strong support for a proposed supercenter, the company announced Monday.

The company said 72 percent of those surveyed voiced support for the proposed development at Erie Avenue and Niagara Falls Boulevard, including the old Melody Fair site.

Residents surveyed also said the economy and jobs are the top two issues facing their city.

"We are excited to see the positive results of this survey. We look forward to continuing to work with this community and meet its needs as the project process moves forward," Wal-Mart spokesman Philip Serghini said.

The supercenter would offer 36 departments of general merchandise and a grocery department, the company said. More than 400 new jobs will be created, and hundreds of thousands of dollars in tax revenue will be generated for the City of North Tonawanda.

Serghini said 300 registered voters were polled Jan. 14 to 17.
Of those surveyed, 53 percent said they strongly favored a Wal-Mart Supercenter in the city, while 18 percent said they somewhat supported the proposed store. Twenty percent strongly opposed, and 4 percent somewhat opposed the supercenter. Five percent had no opinion.


>Falls to be reintroduced as National Heritage Area

Sen. Charles E. Schumer and Rep. Louise M. Slaughter announced Monday that they are reintroducing the Niagara Falls National Heritage Area Act in the Senate and House of Representatives, respectively.

Similar bills were introduced during the last Congress as well and are expected to be viewed favorably by congressional leaders, the two New York State Democrats said in a prepared statement.
National Heritage Area designations, awarded by Congress, protect and preserve many of the most unique and highly prized natural resources in the United States. The designation promotes cooperation among preservationists and those involved in community renewal.
The Niagara Falls National Heritage Area will stretch from the western boundary of the Town of Wheatfield to the mouth of the Niagara River.


>Niagara U gets grants for two programs

LEWISTON -- Niagara University has announced receiving two grants totaling more than $320,000.

A $202,000 grant from the Statler Foundation of Buffalo will assist Niagara's College of Hospitality and Tourism Management, funding travel by students to hospitality industry events in New York City and Chicago and a visiting experts program that brings lodging industry executives to the Niagara campus to work with students.

The other grant, $119,825 from the state Health Department, will enhance the university's nursing program. The funds, obtained in partnership with the Niagara County Health Department and Roswell Park Cancer Institute, will fund courses for registered nurses who already have bachelor's degrees, including professional certification and master's-level credit. It also will fund more opportunities for nurses with associate degrees to earn bachelor's degrees.

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