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LOCAL NEWS BRIEFS - Niagara

Phone records figure in campaign call

LOCKPORT -- The woman to whose home a controversial campaign telephone call was made Sept. 9 said Wednesday she'd allow her phone results to be released to the Lockport School District, but doubted it would settle the matter.

A call was made from a school district phone to the home of Evelyn Soulvie, which was answered by her son, David Betsch. The caller asked Betsch to vote for W. Keith McNall, the Board of Education president, in the 16th District Republican primary against Legislator Glenn S. Aronow.

Betsch reported the call to Aronow, who alerted the media. Aronow won the primary easily, but McNall is still in the race as the Democratic nominee.

School Superintendent Bruce T. Fraser said the district's phone equipment no longer shows the outgoing call, and the district can't get more detailed records from AT&T without Soulvie's approval.

However, Fraser said AT&T told him it would cost Soulvie $500 to $1,000 to obtain the records. Soulvie said she'd like to find out who called her. "If they don't find out, it's always going to be up in the air," she said, but she added, "It wouldn't do any good, because I've got the number (on caller ID)."

That number, 478-4800, is the district's main information line. Fraser said the district's technology firm has determined the call actually came either from Lockport High School or Charles Upson Elementary School, but the limits of the phone system's menu prevent a more detailed answer.

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Public scrutiny urged on school sale proposals

NORTH TONAWANDA -- The Common Council called Wednesday for full disclosure from the North Tonawanda School Board on the proposed sale of the former Lowry Middle School, which closed about two years ago.

The Council voted to ask the School Board to place both proposals for the property in the North Tonawanda Public Library for a week for residents to review.

The Payne Avenue property has been for sale since last November. The district has the option of selling it to Peregrine, a Syracuse developer interested in turning it into senior citizen housing, and Gersh Academy, which plans to use it as a college for students with neurobiological disorders.

The School Board will hold a special meeting to discuss and possibly vote at 4:15 p.m. Friday in the administration building, 175 Humphrey St.

In other business, the Council voted 3-2 to hire Flora Carozzolo as the city's assessor. Carozzolo, the city's assistant assessor, will have a starting salary of about $60,000, Council President Brett Sommer said.

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