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LOCAL NEWS BRIEFS

Law inspired by Capozzi is signed by Spitzer

Gov. Eliot L. Spitzer has signed Anthony's Law, the legislation introduced by Assemblyman Sam Hoyt and State Sen. Dale Volker to expedite compensation cases brought against the state by individuals exonerated of a crime.

"It is serendipitous that the day before our nation's Independence Day, the governor signed this important legislation that will expedite compensation claims brought by individuals who had been wrongfully incarcerated, and have had their freedom restored through exoneration. This bill will help ensure that Anthony J. Capozzi of Buffalo and others like him are able to resolve their compensation cases more quickly and get their lives back on track," Hoyt said.

The legislation provides docket priority to compensation claims brought by those who have been unjustly convicted and imprisoned. These cases can take up to four years to reach conclusion, and will now be expedited at every step of the proceeding.

The legislation was inspired by Capozzi, who served 22 years in prison for rapes he did not commit. Capozzi was released from prison in April after police tied the rapes to Altemio C. Sanchez, the bike path murderer and rapist.

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Stepniak named director of sanitation services

The former commander of Buffalo's snow-fighting brigade has become the city's new director of sanitation.

Steven J. Stepniak will oversee all trash collection in a job that pays $58,542 a year. He succeeds John Scardino Jr., who has retired after spending the past six years as sanitation director.

Stepniak was most recently working as a senior engineer for the city. He spent 2 1/2 years as director of street cleaning and snow removal. Stepniak resigned from the high-profile post in early 2006, citing family reasons.

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Tourney, dinner to aid Kids Escaping Drugs

The 17th annual Rosa's Charity Golf Tournament and Dinner Auction scheduled for July 15 and 16 at Brookfield Country Club will directly benefit the Kids Escaping Drugs Campaign, and a new foundation set up by Paul and Elaine Rosa to benefit the children of the community.

Dean Rallo, president of Rosa's Home Stores, and his wife, Emily, are co-chairmen of this year's event, and hope to raise more than $100,000.

Since its inception in 1990, the Rosa's Charity Golf Tournament has raised more than a million dollars for the Renaissance Campus, Western New York's only residential treatment facility for teenagers suffering from drug or alcohol addiction.

The weekend events begin at 5 p.m. July 15 with a gourmet dinner and auction. Philip Nanula, president of Essex Homes, and Nick Magnini, president and general manager of WUTV-TV Fox 29, are co-chairmen of the auction.

On July 16, a total of 216 golfers will take to the links at Brookfield Country Club. Each golfer has the chance to win a $250 Rosa's gift certificate along with the chance to win a car courtesy of Jim Ball Cadillac, Pontiac, Buick, GMC.

The highlight of the tournament is the $1,000 cash shoot-out at the conclusion of play.

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