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LOCAL NEWS BRIEFS

Marcinelli appointed principal at Como Park

The Lancaster Central School Board has appointed Mary "Molly" Marcinelli principal at Como Park Elementary School.

She had been interim principal for several months, filling the position after Principal Sarah D. Weidler was appointed director of elementary education.

Marcinelli, who was a teacher at Como Park, has worked for the district since 1997.

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Lawmakers to weigh letting control board seek loan

Erie County lawmakers today will again discuss whether to let the state-appointed control board handle this year's loan for major improvement projects.

The control board insists it can borrow money more cheaply than Comptroller Mark C. Poloncarz can, and it barred Poloncarz from arranging the loan of about $52 million.

The board now needs a request from the Legislature before it can sell bonds on Wall Street.

The government needs the money for road and bridge repairs, improvements at the Buffalo Zoo and Erie Community College, and to pay for the high-definition scoreboard at Ralph Wilson Stadium, among other things.

Lawmakers meet at 2 p.m. on the fourth floor of Old County Hall.

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Loons, other birds washed up dead

More than 100 loons and other migratory birds have washed up dead on Great Lakes shores in the past week, and environmental experts suspect they were poisoned by botulism after feeding on invasive mussels and fish.

Type E botulism has been causing die-offs on Lakes Erie and Ontario for several years, state Department of Environmental Conservation scientists said. The birds, which are believed to travel from Canada, become paralyzed and die after consuming the quagga mussel and a fish called the round goby.

"Unfortunately, this has become an annual event," said David Adams, a DEC water bird specialist.

DEC estimates that Type E botulism has killed 41,000 migratory birds on Lake Erie since 2000 and approximately 10,300 on Lake Ontario since 2002.

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