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LOCAL NEWS BRIEFS

Sea lions returned to public exhibit

The sea lions are back in their exhibit at the Buffalo Zoo. They were transferred temporarily to their indoor holding facility while experts attempted to explain why pieces of concrete were breaking off inside the exhibit's pool.

Those areas have been smoothed over for the time being to keep the problem from worsening, and the exhibit has been cleaned throughly until it's determined how to fix the problem for the long term, zoo officials said.

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Discount card unveiled for senior citizens

Mayor Byron W. Brown unveiled a reinvigorated senior citizen discount card on Friday, with 192 businesses offering savings of 2 to 30 percent.

While the program is more than 30 years old, its use has declined in recent years. Now, for the first time, the Department of Community Services has a booklet, in purse and pocket sizes, listing participating businesses. It will be given out with a durable identification card.

The Office of Senior Services has received 2,200 applications for the program, Brown said in the Autumnwood Senior Center on the East Side, and 10 billboards will help spread the word.

Senior citizens can apply for the card by calling the city's Office of Senior Services at 851-4141, or visiting Room 8-A in City Hall. The application also will be available soon on the city's Web site at www.city-buffalo.com.

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Comptroller expects larger tax reduction

Town of Amherst officials say they still do not have final budget figures for the 2008 budget that was approved by the Town Board on Monday. However, Comptroller Frank Belliotti said administrators have found at least another $600,000 in savings.

Assuming these savings are still in place by Monday's regular Town Board meeting, the $115 million budget is expected to offer a tax reduction to residents that is bigger than originally anticipated.

Supervisor Satish Mohan's initial budget proposal included a 1.2 percent decrease in the tax levy, the overall amount of money the town raises in tax revenue. But Belliotti said Friday that given his recent discussions with Mohan, he now expects the tax levy to be reduced even further.

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No decision made yet on new superintendent

West Seneca School Board members still have not settled on a new superintendent.

Board President Mark Lazzara said the board met Monday in executive session and had some more questions for one of the candidates.

"I think we're close to choosing a candidate," he said.

The board plans to meet again at 4:30 p.m. Monday in executive session to discuss the candidates again.

Stakeholder groups in the district interviewed three candidates last week and gave their input to board members. Superintendent James K. Brotz is retiring in December.

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