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LOCAL NEWS BRIEFS

Conference room dedicated to Sister Karen Klimczak

Sister Karen Klimczak, the activist nun killed in 2006 inside the halfway house she founded, was honored posthumously Tuesday by the New York State Division of Parole, which dedicated a conference room in her name.

The room inside the Parole Division's Buffalo regional office at 279 Pearl St. now includes a plaque with a dove symbol. Sister Karen often used the symbol in her constant efforts to promote nonviolence.

The plaque reads: "Dedicated to the Memory of Sister Karen Klimczak. She devoted her life to helping the less fortunate; she was committed to the cause of nonviolence; she touched us all with her friendship and loyalty. She left us 'Peaceprints.' "

George B. Alexander, New York State parole chairman and CEO, said the Division of Parole wanted to make sure Sister Karen's example remained fresh in the minds of parolees and parole officers.

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Applications available for homeowner savings

The state tax department has started sending applications to homeowners to participate in a new property tax rebate program that will total about $1.3 billion this year.

The program is different from the one last year, when checks were automatically sent to homeowners. This one is based on income levels and requires homeowners to apply to Albany for the checks that, in Erie County, will average $316.

The program gives the maximum rebate checks to homeowners upstate earning less than $90,000 per year and those in the New York City area with household incomes under $120,000. Those making more than $250,000 get no rebate. Senior citizens in the state's enhanced STAR program do not need to apply.

Application information is going out first to homeowners in New York City and Yonkers because tax roll information is collected sooner there than other parts of the state. Upstate, homeowners will not begin receiving the letters from the tax agency until mid-August or later. Those enrolled in the STAR property tax program are eligible.

The applications are due back to the state by Nov. 30. The applications can be submitted online or mailed.

Homeowners can go online to www.nystax.gov or call (877) 6-STAR-NY, or 678-2769, to obtain more information.

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