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LOCAL NEWS BRIEFS

Board OKs retaining names of two elementary schools

BATAVIA -- The cost of new signs and tradition have convinced the city School Board to retain the names of two elementary schools involved in an unusual consolidation.

John Kennedy, Jackson and Batavia Middle will take 380 students from Robert Morris, which was closed when classes ended a week ago.

John Kennedy, named for a widely known educator who was superintendent of the district in the early 20th century, and Jackson whose name comes from its street address and the nation's seventh president, will keep identities known for more than a half-century with a small addition.

The board suggested they be known as Jackson Primary for pre-K through first grade, and John Kennedy Intermediate for grades two through four.

Fifth-graders will move to the Middle School. Staggered hours will ease congestion from adding students to a facility that already has three grades and 550 pupils.

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Mosquitoes in Amherst test positive for West Nile virus

Erie County Health Commissioner Dr. Gale Burstein on Friday urged residents to use insect repellent and take other measures to minimize mosquito contact following the discovery of West Nile virus positive mosquitoes in Amherst.

The Department of Health reported that a pool of 50 mosquitoes that tested positive for the virus were collected from a trap June 14 and were the first collected in Amherst this year.

"With summer here and more people being active outdoors, it's imperative to take steps to minimize mosquito contact with your skin and decrease the mosquito burden in your immediate area," Burstein said in a statement released by the Health Department.

Burstein urged adults to use insect repellent containing at least 25 percent DEET and for children to use repellent containing 10 percent DEET, when possible. Long sleeve shirts and long pants can also be used to minimize contact with mosquitoes.

The Health Department also advised residents to eliminate mosquito breeding grounds in their yards by dumping standing water, cleaning clogged gutters and changing water in a bird bath.

People who are at a higher risk for mosquito bites are the immune-compromised, the elderly and the very young, Burstein said.

For more information, visit the Health Department's website at http://www2.erie.gov/health/.

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Weinberg Campus employees OK pact featuring wage hike

More than 300 nursing-home workers at the Weinberg Campus in Getzville have voted to ratify a contract that features a 4 percent wage increase over two years and provides increases for employer contributions to the pension and training funds.

The contract represents members of 1199 SEIU United Healthcare Workers East who work as licensed practical nurses, certified nursing assistants and in service and maintenance. The contract also maintains employer contribution to employee health insurance.

The agreement comes after two months of negotiations.