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LOCAL NEWS BRIEFS

>Giglio on redesign team targeting Medicaid reform

GOWANDA -- Assemblyman Joseph M. Giglio has been appointed to Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo's Medicaid Redesign Team aimed at saving money within the Medicaid program in the state budget for 2011-12.

Giglio, a Republican, is also a member of the Assembly Minority Medicaid Waste, Fraud and Abuse Task Force.

"The current system must be thoroughly reviewed," Giglio said. "The Medicaid Redesign Team will be focused on gathering information and reviewing all ideas. We need to focus on how we can redesign the Medicaid system to make it more effective and cost efficient to assure the financial well-being of the taxpayers and the state."

The team is tasked to report its findings by March 1. The state's nearly $60 billion Medicaid program is funded by taxes, with the state and counties each paying 25 percent of the tab and the federal government, the balance.

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>Regional Planning Board to get updates on projects

SALAMANCA -- The Southern Tier Regional Planning Board will meet beginning at noon Thursday in the Center for Regional Excellence to receive updates on projects throughout the Southern Tier.

An agenda will be released at that time.

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>Federal role in education being explored by League

The League of Women Voters will present a forum, "Race to the Top: Hope or Flop?" at 7 p.m. Thursday in the WNED studios.

Paul Theobald, interim dean of Buffalo State College's School of Education, will be the keynote speaker. The event officially begins the League of Women Voters' two-year national study about the role the federal government should play in education.

Panelists will include Donald Ogilvie, Erie 1 BOCES superintendent; Claity Massey, director of the King Center Charter School; Samuel Radford III, vice president of Buffalo's District Parent Coordinating Council; and Mike Preskop, regional staff director of NYSUT.

The forum, sponsored by Buffalo State College and the American Association of University Women, is free and open to the public. The snow date is Jan. 27.

The event will be recorded and broadcast later.

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>Martin Luther King Day closings

This is how the following area offices and services will be affected Monday by the Martin Luther King Day holiday.

City Court .... Closed

County courts .... Closed

State courts .... Closed

Federal courts .... Closed

City offices .... Closed

County offices .... Closed

State offices .... Closed

Federal offices .... Closed

Post Office .... Closed

Schools .... Closed

Banks .... Closed

Most stores .... Open

Metro Bus, Rail .... Saturday service

City garbage .... Regular