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BOARD OF ELECTIONS SETS EXTRA HOURS

LOCKPORT -- The Niagara County Board of Elections will be open extra hours tonight and Saturday to accommodate those who want absentee ballots for Tuesday's rescheduled primary election.

The board office in the Philo J. Brooks County Office Building, Hawley Street and Park Avenue, will remain open until 7 p.m. today and from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday for absentee ballot applicants.

Election commissioners Michael J. Norris and Nancy L. Sharpe said absentee ballots already submitted for the original Sept. 11 primary date will count and do not have to be refiled.

However, machine votes cast before Gov. George E. Pataki ordered the polls closed shortly after noon on Sept. 11 do not count; voters who cast them have to vote again.

Niagara Falls sells 50 properties

NIAGARA FALLS -- The city made $158,925 on Wednesday by selling about 50 tax-foreclosed and surplus properties, with nearly half that total coming from the sale of a former gasoline station on Main Street.

Anthony and Nelson Fasciano, who own a number of commercial properties in the city, purchased the building at 610 Main St., which most recently was used as a tourist information center, for $75,000.

The father-and-son team, who own Brown's service station at Main Street and Pine Avenue, said they didn't have specific plans for the building beyond cleaning it up and trying to lease it out.

Most of the properties in Wednesday's sale were one- and two-family residences and vacant lots. The lowest prices were for two vacant lots that sold for $25 and $50, respectively, according to City Controller Maria C. Brown.

A large brick commercial building at 1050 Ontario Avenue with seven storefronts and apartments above sold for $8,600. The property is assessed at $35,000.

An apartment building at 427 Ferry Ave., assessed at $20,000, sold for $4,600.

Family & Child Services awarded grant

NIAGARA FALLS -- Family and Child Services of Niagara has been awarded a $160,000 grant from the John R. Oishei Foundation to establish a network of emergency shelters for runaway youth in Niagara County.

Project Safe Place will link such youths to the services and trained staff at Casey House, the county's only emergency shelter for homeless and runaway youth. The facility at 710 Cedar Ave. has a service area of over 523 miles. While it provides easy access to the largest concentration of the county's population, its city location is not as accessible to youths in other parts of the county.

Under Project Safe Place, each emergency shelter location will have a team of trained volunteers who will be on-call to respond to emergency stituations in their local community. Program operators believe youths are more inclined to go a so-called safe place in their own neighborhoods than to seek available shelter outside their communities.

Volunteers are being to sought to serve at the local sites. They will serve under the supervision of professional staff and have to be trained in crisis intervention and conflict resolution. To volunteer, contact Thomas Piniewski of Casey House at 285-7125.

The Safe Place program will operate under the direction of both Casey House and Family and Child Services. It is the first program of its kind in the state.

Sheriff's PBA endorses Beilein

LOCKPORT -- The 131-member Niagara County Deputy Sheriff's Police Benevolent Association has endorsed Sheriff Thomas A. Beilein's bid for re-election in November.

Beilein obtained the endorsement by an 18-2 vote, with 10 members abstaining, at a union meeting Tuesday, said union President Deputy Edward Briggs. He said 31, including himself as the tiebreaker, is not a bad showing at a union meeting. The union represents road patrol deputies and criminal investigators.

Beilein is being challenged for the sheriff's post by Detective Lt. Richard Podgers of the Lockport Police Department.

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