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Tribute to commemorate Allen Avenue fire

NIAGARA FALLS -- A tribute will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday in remembrance of the tragic loss of life 50 years ago in the Allen Avenue fire, which is believed to have forever changed city fire codes.

On Nov. 16, 1957, the 4:36 a.m. blaze took the lives of 18 city residents. Local media at the time reported on the tragedy for months, as it was believed that building conditions, combined with overcrowding, may have contributed to the large loss of life, said current Fire Chief William MacKay.

Sunday, those impacted by the event and members of the Fire Department, along with city officials, will gather at fire headquarters, 3115 Walnut Ave., to unveil a plaque to remember those who lost their lives.


Hospital awarded grant to enhance patient safety

NIAGARA FALLS -- Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center has been awarded a $457,500 federal grant to develop an enhanced patient safety program.
The program will be developed in conjunction with the hospital's Dr. Melvin B. Dyster Family Medicine Residency program, and will provide $152,500 per year for three years.

The grant, awarded by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, was one of 29 similar grants for residency training throughout the United States.


Lansing hired to direct early childhood programs

LOCKPORT -- The School Board this week hired Sharon Lansing as the district's director of early childhood programs, at an annual salary of $90,095.

She will begin the job Dec. 17. She succeeds Ann Jackson. Lansing had once worked for the district as director of research and development.


American, Canadian tolls now equal at Peace Bridge

Tolls at the Peace Bridge will become the same in either American or Canadian currency beginning Dec. 1.

The Peace Bridge Authority announced the change Friday, the day after the Niagara Falls Bridge Commission implemented a similar change on its three international bridges in Niagara County.

Car tolls will be $3 in either currency for a round trip. Those using Canadian currency have been paying $3.50.

All commercial tolls also will be at parity, the authority announced.

The change reflects the near-equal exchange rate of the U.S. and Canadian dollars.

The authority passed a toll currency policy to adjust bridge tolls semi-annually to protect against discrepancies between the U.S. and Canadian currencies.

"Clearly, the rapid rise of the Canadian dollar led to a toll differential that was untenable, and the board acted to rectify that situation," Anthony Annunziata, the authority's chairman, said in a news release.

Annunziata said motorists who use E-ZPass get a 10 percent discount over the cash rate, and the system's transaction is at the actual exchange rate.

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