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NIAGARA NEWS BRIEFS

Board adopts budget with rise in spending

ROYALTON -- The Royalton Town Board has unanimously adopted a $5.1 million town budget for next year, representing a 2 percent increase in spending.

The tax rate in the Village of Middleport will rise by 2 cents per $1,000 of assessed valuation, to $2.07 per $1,000. The tax rate for residents of the town outside the village will rise by 20 cents per $1,000, to $3.67.

The tax adjustments are in stark contrast to 2007, which included a 266 percent tax increase in Middleport and a 67 percent rise in taxes for town residents outside the village. The 2008 budget reflects rising costs in payroll, diesel fuel and blacktop for road repair, according to Supervisor Calvin Rhoney. Town employees will receive a 3 percent pay increase, while the supervisor and the Town Board will not get a raise.

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Absentee ballots give DuBois victory in coroner's race

LOCKPORT -- Robert W. DuBois wrapped up an apparent victory in the District 4 coroner race Monday, as incumbent Russell Jackman II didn't gain enough votes from absentee ballots to overcome DuBois' lead.

Counting of absentee ballots in the race was completed Monday, and although the election has yet to be certified, a Buffalo News tally of the results shows DuBois, a Wheatfield Democrat, defeated Jackman, a Wilson Republican, by 57 votes, 5,235 to 5,178. DuBois, director of a Bergholz funeral home, had led by 84 votes on Election Night.

In the Family Court judge's race, incumbent Republican John F. Batt has all but clinched a victory over Linda M. DiPasquale. Batt has 30 more absentee votes than his opponent and Buffalo News figures now show Batt's lead at 424 votes. There are approximately 583 more absentee votes to be considered.

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Cell phone donations aim to aid abuse victims

SANBORN -- Health studies majors at Niagara County Community College and members of the NCCC Human Services Club collected 157 used cell phones and accessories last month during Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

NCCC collaborated with the Niagara County Domestic Violence Intervention Program, which joined the national Call To Protect program campaign to collect unused cell phones for refurbishment so victims of domestic violence can dial 911 in emergency situations.

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