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LOCAL NEWS BRIEFS

Half-foot of snow expected to accumulate into afternoon

The latest round of snow -- steady, but only light to moderate -- spread across Western New York from south to north during the afternoon Tuesday and reached downtown Buffalo shortly after sunset.

By late evening, 2 to 3 inches had accumulated in many places. Highways were slippery, and numerous minor accidents were reported.

The National Weather Service issued a winter weather advisory for all eight Western New York counties until 5 p.m. today and forecast a general snowfall of up to half a foot. The snow was expected to slow down morning commuters, but travel otherwise was unlikely to be seriously affected.

Winter storms elsewhere, however, caused delays and cancellations of flights in and out of Buffalo Niagara International Airport.

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Marshall administered oath as appointed town justice

Orchard Park Village Justice Philip Marshall has been appointed a town justice by the Orchard Park Town Board.

Marshall took the oath of office from his brother, State Supreme Court Justice Frederick J. Marshall, at the board's reorganization meeting Jan. 5.

Philip Marshall, who was one of 16 applicants, will fill the seat vacated by Deborah A. Chimes, who was elected to State Supreme Court. He will serve this year, and an election will be conducted in November for a new four-year term for justice.

The Orchard Park Village Board on Monday night appointed Deputy Mayor Stephen N. Bray to serve as village justice. That leaves the board with a trustee vacancy, although Bray's term is up this spring and will be on the March ballot.

The board also appointed Philip Marshall to serve as acting justice if Bray is absent from court.

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Board names Higgins new athletic director

West Seneca School Board members have chosen Orchard Park's athletic director to become their new director of physical education and athletics.

James R. Higgins Jr. will start in the West Seneca district Jan. 31.

While at Orchard Park, he oversaw the construction of a synthetic turf field, the addition of girls hockey, as well as dealing with parental concerns about volunteer assistant football coaches.

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Horse-related issues on legislative agenda

New York State's farmers are putting horse-related issues on the front burner of their agenda for 2011, a New York Farm Bureau representative said this week.

The Farm Bureau wants the sales tax lifted on commercial horse boarding and the services of the state's farriers, or horseshoes and hoof-care specialists, said Hans Mobius, a Clarence farmer and chairman of the Equine Committee of the state Farm Bureau.

In addition, the bureau champions a law that would limit liability for farmers who provide horses and farm property to others for leisure pursuits, Mobius added.

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