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$500,000 OK'd to convert hospital into apartments

BATAVIA -- A state economic development assistance grant of $500,000 was announced Thursday for the redevelopment of the old St. Jerome Hospital into housing for senior citizens.

The grant announcement came during the appearance of Senate Majority Leader Dean G. Skelos, a Long Island Republican, retiring Sen. Mary Lou Rath, R-Williamsville, and United Memorial Medical Center CEO Marke C. Schoell in the Jerome Center, a part of the old hospital, which was closed in a 2000 merger.

The renovation of four floors of the former St. Jerome Hospital would provide 37 apartments for low-income senior citizens. The project was praised as "revitalizing an important area in downtown Batavia, and providing both jobs and improved access to health care."

The announcement was made in the ground floor of the hospital, an area converted late last year into an outpatient and diagnostic care facility at a cost of $11 million.

Earlier, Skelos -- in town as the main speaker at the Genesee County Women's Republican dinner -- announced $1 million in state funding for the proposed Western New York Science and Technology Center in the Town of Alabama. The large-scale advanced business park in high technology would be developed over 10 to 15 years.


Manuscripts on display of Knights Templar trials

Facsimile manuscripts of Vatican documents detailing the trials of the Knights Templar will be on display from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. today in the Buffalo and Erie County Historical Society, 22 Nottingham Terrace. Admission is free.

Thomas M. Savini, director of the Livingston Masonic Library, and William J. Thomas, library trustee, will be on hand to provide an overview of the Knights Templar, the enigmatic warrior-monks from the medieval ages who were charged with heresy and later absolved by Pope Clement V.

The "Processus Contra Templarios" dates back to 1308. The manuscript on display is one of 800 copies worldwide.


PTA seeks used cell phones for recycling fundraiser

The North Collins Elementary PTA has set a goal of collecting at least 500 used cell phones as part of a recycling fundraiser.

The PTA is partnering with Think Recycle, a community-based environmental fundraising program, to assist in the task.

Individuals or businesses who have recently updated their cell phones and are looking to dump the old ones are being urged to donate them at collection sites that include The Observer in Dunkirk, North Collins Elementary or North Collins High School, the North Collins Library or at Piz-A-Italia.

Businesses may also sign up to directly ship their used cell phones to Think Recycle free of charge.

The PTA is also collecting used printer cartridges, fax cartridges, fax drums and copier cartridges.

For more details, visit or call Brenda Musacchio at 337-2144 or

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