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LOCAL NEWS BRIEFS

Meckler takes position at Jaeckle Fleischmann

Lawrence M. Meckler, who recently retired as the executive director of the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority, began a new job Monday as an "of counsel" attorney for the Jaeckle Fleischmann and Mugel law firm.

Meckler, 58, retired from the NFTA on Dec. 31 after a 34-year career that included a stint as general counsel before assuming the top post in 1996.

"I think I can be an asset to the firm, and I think they feel the same about me," Meckler said. "It's a perfect fit for me."

He expects to specialize in development, labor relations, human resources and contracts for the firm, as well as lobbying in Washington and Albany.

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Fire district receives $139,413 federal grant

The Kenilworth Fire District 2 in the Town of Tonawanda has received a federal grant totaling more than $139,000 to replace outdated breathing apparatus with state-of-the-art equipment.

The $139,413 grant was announced by Sen. Charles E. Schumer, who helped establish a funding program for local governments and fire departments to help defray the rising costs of equipment and fire prevention.

The grants, which are administered by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, are awarded on a competitive basis to the applicants that most closely address the program's priorities and demonstrate financial need.

The funds can be used for training, equipment, personal protective equipment, wellness and fitness, and modifications to fire stations and facilities.

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Senior living apartments more energy-efficient

More than $400,000 has been spent to make the Iris senior living apartments in Hamburg more energy-efficient.

As part of the initiative, refrigerators were replaced and new water savers were installed in kitchens and bathrooms. Energy-saving shower heads and exhaust fans, as well as combination boiler and hot water exchanges also were installed. The retrofits are expected to save tenants nearly 10 percent annually on their utility costs. Also, Iris Apartments has implemented the use of paints and carpets to improve air quality, and recycling will be stressed.

Iris Apartments also will work with the Frontier High School Environmental Club to increase awareness for both groups.

The $400,000 is part of $1.2 million that People Inc.'s senior living apartments received in federal stimulus funding. People Inc. manages 17 senior apartments throughout Western New York.

"Having a smaller carbon footprint is very important to our organization," said Chief Operating Officer Rhonda Frederick.

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Hoyt will participate in online chat Friday

Assemblyman Sam Hoyt, D-Buffalo, will participate in a live and online chat on buffalonews.com at 3 p.m. Friday.

Readers will have the chance to ask questions of the veteran lawmaker, who was first elected to the Assembly in 1992.

His district covers Grand Island and a section of northwest Buffalo.

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