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SANBORN -- The Niagara-Wheatfield School Board on Wednesday approved a one-year contract extension for School Superintendent Judith Howard.

The additional year would bring the contract to June 30, 2004, for the superintendent, who was hired in 1998 at a salary of $108,000.

Business Executive Kerin Dumphrey said the board would continue negotiations and set a new salary in September.

In a related contractual matter, the board agreed to a settlement with its confidential and managerial employees for 2001-02. The agreement would grant average raises of 4 percent based on merit to administrators such as human resource director, business executive, assistant superintendent of curriculum, transportation director, cafeteria supervisor and director of facilities.

The next board meeting is scheduled for July 9.

Rezoning of old high school backed

NIAGARA FALLS -- The Planning Board Wednesday recommended to the City Council that the old Niagara Falls High School at 1201 Pine Ave. be rezoned from multifamily residential to neighborhood commercial.

The rezoning was requested by Save Our Sites In Niagara Falls, a grassroots group formed to save the school from demolition to make way for a strip plaza. The group has obtained title for the property from the city school board and plans to develop the building into an arts and cultural center.

The board also recommended rezoning several lots on Lindbergh Avenue to allow St. Charles Catholic Church to build a social and activity hall on property it owns.

County raising fee for Civil Service exam

LOCKPORT -- Niagara County is raising the fee for taking a Civil Service examination, effective July 1.

The prices will be $25 for uniformed protective service positions such as police and fire, and $15 for all other jobs. Those prices are $5 higher than the current ones.

Personnel Officer Harvey N. Albond said the hikes were triggered by increases passed along from Albany for preparing and grading the exams.

Normally, the state collects half the fee and the county keeps the other half. The county is expected to net an extra $5,000 in the final six months of the year.

Albond said the county will increase the discount for applicants who are indigent or on welfare from $5 to $10, so the increased fees will not affect them.

Lewis to be named N. Tonawanda judge

ORTH TONAWANDA -- Mayor Mary C. Kabasakalian said Wednesday she will appoint attorney William R. Lewis as city judge for the rest of the year.

"I certainly was impressed with his resume," the mayor said. "There was not anyone who has anything bad to say about him."

Lewis played it close to the vest Wednesday. He said he had met with Kabasakalian for "meaningful discussions. . . . I am enthused about the outcome of those discussions."

County Republican Chairman Henry F. Wojtaszek said Lewis is expected to receive the party's endorsement Monday to run for a full six-year term in the post in the November election.

Judge Richard C. Kloch Sr. has submitted his resignation, effective June 30, to take his new job as a judge of the state Court of Claims. The State Senate confirmed him to the post Tuesday.

Lewis has also resigned a part-time job as an attorney for the county Social Services Department, effective at the end of the month. That job pays $33,502; the city judgeship pays $54,400.

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