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LOCAL NEWS BRIEFS

>Officer in local unit dies in Iraq explosion

A soldier assigned to a local Army unit died of injuries suffered in an explosion in Iraq, the Department of Defense has reported.

Major Alan R. Johnson, assigned to the 402nd Civil Affairs Battalion in the Town of Tonawanda, died Friday. He was wounded when his team encountered an improvised explosive device near Muqdadiyah.

Born in North Dakota, Johnson, 44, lived in Yakima, Wash.

He was assigned to the 402nd in late 2005 and was deployed to Iraq last April, according to the Army.

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>Special show planned for area schools

The Lancaster Opera House will stage a production in honor of Black History Month that will be performed in area schools.

The show, "Underground and Over the Moon," is funded through the opera house's Arts in Action program, which offers workshops and special performances in public and parochial schools.

The show was created by "Theater Figuren" artist Michele Costa and will be performed through the month of February. The first performance will be given Thursday in Stanislaus School, Buffalo.

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>Third top administrator intends to leave district

A third top Kenmore-Town of Tonawanda School District administrator has announced plans to leave the district.

Cameron J. Morton, director of personnel relations, will become assistant superintendent for human resources and administration in the Orchard Park School District on March 12.

In Orchard Park, Morton will make $120,000 -- about the same salary he earns in Ken-Ton.Park. Before joining Ken-Ton in 2004, Morton worked in a comparable position in the Cleveland Hill School District for seven years.

In the past four months, Ken-Ton lost its business administrator and superintendent. Alan K. Getter, assistant superintendent of finance, left at the end of September to go to the Spencerport School District.

Steven A. Achramovitch resigned in late October as Ken-Ton's superintendent. He was hired in the Greece School District, outside Rochester.

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