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LOCAL NEWS BRIEFS - Niagara

Horanburg retains GOP nod in Newfane

LOCKPORT -- Former Newfane Supervisor Timothy R. Horanburg held onto his Republican primary victory over incumbent Supervisor Eric P. Krueger when absentee ballots were tallied Friday at the Niagara County Board of Elections.

Horanburg outpolled Krueger, 22-19, on the paper ballots to win, 423-412. Horanburg had an eight-vote margin when the voting machines were tallied Sept. 13.

"We'll go in with a positive attempt to make good things happen again in the town," said a confident Horanburg, who still will face Krueger in the November election. Krueger won the Conservative Party's primary, 14-5. No Democrat is vying for the post.

Horanburg was supervisor for 14 years until stepping down in January 1998 to become county parks commissioner, a post he held for four years.

In another set of recounts Friday, Lockport Alderman Scott A. Cercone, GOP nominee for 15th District county legislator, held onto the Conservative and Independence parties' lines despite a write-in effort by Harry J. Apolito, the incumbent Democrat. Cercone won the Conservative race, 18-14, and the Independence contest, 23-18.

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Two taverns are given waivers on smoking ban

LOCKPORT -- Two Niagara County bars were granted waivers from the state ban on smoking in public places Thursday by the county Board of Health.

The waivers, allowing smoking in enclosed rooms with separate ventilation systems, were awarded to Cruisers on Porter Road in Niagara Falls and the Depot on Maple Avenue in Newfane.

The Depot's waiver was made conditional.

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Lower legal bill sought in casino lawsuit

LOCKPORT -- Niagara County Attorney Claude A. Joerg said this week he will write a letter to Buffalo attorney Michael B. Powers asking him to reduce his bill for services on the county's unsuccessful casino lawsuit.

Powers' firm, Phillips Lytle, billed the county $53,667 for its work on a suit against the City of Niagara Falls to try to win a share of the local revenue from the Seneca Niagara Casino. The suit was dismissed Sept. 1, although the County Legislature voted Tuesday to appeal that ruling.

The bill was criticized by Legislature Minority Leader Dennis F. Virtuoso, who said Powers billed the county for conversations with county Republican Chairman Henry F. Wojtaszek and State Sen. George D. Maziarz, R-Newfane. Virtuoso charged that the bills prove the lawsuit was cooked up by those two leaders.

Joerg said he will ask Powers to reduce the charges for talks with Wojtaszek July 5 and 20. "I haven't paid that bill yet, so let's get it cleaned up," he said. He and Wojtaszek contended the billing July 5, which said Wojtaszek was part of a conference on "settlement strategy," is mistaken.

July 20, Powers' associate Preston L. Zarlock is supposed to have billed for talking to Wojtaszek after the case was argued that day. Virtuoso charged that Wojtaszek met with other attorneys in the case that day, a charge Wojtaszek denies.

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