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LEWISTON -- The union representing about 175 nurses and technicians at Mount St. Mary's Hospital and Health Care Center Monday threatened a job action if a contract agreement is not reached by Sept. 29.

Service Employees International Union 1199 Upstate served notice on the hospital of its intent to engage in a "strike, picket or other form of work stoppage." Contract negotiations began in May. The contract expired July 1. Contract negotiations were scheduled to resume today after breaking off Monday evening. The parties have requested the assistance of a federal mediator at the table.

Nurses are trying to win a greater voice in staffing and scheduling decisions, the elimination of mandatory overtime, wage increases that reward experience and long-term service, improved paid time off and retirement benefits, according to Linda Tucker, union chairwoman, and Larry Alcoff, the union's chief negotiator. Nurses also have proposed that their contract expire on March 17, 2001, the same time as the service and maintenance union contracts expire.

"We are still bargaining in good faith. We have not reached impasse," said Angelo G. Calbone, president and CEO. "Proposals have been exchanged, which we continue to negotiate. We have not yet negotiated wages. The hospital has always based its wage decisions on the need to remain competitive as well as on the need to be fiscally responsible. We prefer to negotiate in good faith at the table and not in public."

Mount St. Mary's employs 766 workers.

Wik elected Lockport city GOP chairman

LOCKPORT -- Former Alderman Gregory M. Wik was elected chairman of the City Republican Committee Monday during its reorganizational meeting.

Wik, who stepped down from the Common Council at the end of 1999 after serving three terms representing the old 8th Ward, replaces County Coroner Kenneth V. Lederhouse as chairman.

Alderman John Lombardi III of the 5th Ward, the only Republican on the current Council, said he was nominated for chairman but begged off, pleading a lack of time.

Lombardi will continue as vice chairman. Wik's wife, Kathleen, will stay on as secretary, Robert Scalzo was re-elected treasurer, and former Alderman Dennis J. Stachera was chosen sergeant at arms.

Stone house cataloging denied funds

LOCKPORT -- The city's Architectural and Historic Preservation Committee has lost out on a request for a $9,000 grant to pay for cataloging of the city's old stone houses.

Committee Co-chairman Marc R. Smith said the New York State Preservation League informed him that the money would not be forthcoming because of an excess of worthy projects and a shortage of funds.

Smith said the league had $120,000 to spread around the state.

"We were a little disappointed that there wasn't much available," he said.

The committee last year surveyed the city and found 72 houses built of stone. The cataloging was meant to prepare for an effort to get them listed on the state or national historic registers based on their architecture.

Smith said the committee intends to do as much of the work as it can itself on a volunteer basis and will hope that a local group might come up with some money.

The Grigg-Lewis Trust supplied $14,500 over two years for the initial compilation of the stone buildings. There were more than 100 counting all types, but Smith said the committee decided to apply for grants only for the residential buildings.

Pekin to dedicate new fire truck

PEKIN -- A new $369,000 fire truck will be dedicated in a ceremony at 2 p.m. Sunday at Pekin Fire Company, 3024 Upper Mountain Road.

The 2000 Sutphen Class A pumper is equipped with a pump that can throw 1,500 gallons of water per minute.

Fire company director Carl Meyers said the truck also has a 50-foot "snozzle" that can punch holes in a wall and deliver water more directly onto a blaze.

Meyers said the truck, with equipment, costs about $400,000. Financing was obtained through a bond issue, the Town of Cambria and fund raising.

State, county, town and company officials have been invited to Sunday's ceremony.

Niagara-Canisius recruitment program set

LEWISTON -- The seventh annual Niagara University-Canisius College professional schools fair will he held from 3 to 6 p.m. Thursday in the upper level of the Gallagher Center on the Niagara campus.

The free event is open to juniors and seniors at all local colleges, not just Niagara and Canisius.

Recruiters from more than 70 graduate and professional schools are expected to attend, looking for students interested in post-graduate work. They will include Notre Dame Law School, Syracuse University, the University of North Carolina and the University of San Diego.

Holiday decorating contest for businesses

TOWN OF NIAGARA -- The town's Business & Professional Association is holding a holiday business decorating contest from Nov. 18 through Jan. 6. First, second and third prizes will be awarded.

The group also is looking for volunteers and donations to help put Christmas displays at the corner of Packard and Military roads and at the corner of Factory Outlet Boulevard and Military Road.

For more information, call Leila Hutchins at 297-2547.

NU Business College co-sponsoring event

BATAVIA -- The Niagara University College of Business is co-sponsoring a conference Wednesday on "Solving the People Challenge in Transportation and Logistics."

The conference will be held from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Holiday Inn, 8250 Park Road.

At the event, Niagara also will launch its new LTM Center -- "Logistics, Training and Management." Jim Kling, faculty director of the center, and Keith Miller, dean of the College of Business, said the center's mission is to provide continuing education to businesses from Buffalo to Rochester.

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