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LOCAL NEWS BRIEFS - Final

HUD giving $3.5 million to remove lead paint

Erie County will receive $3.5 million from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to reduce the hazards from lead-based paint in low-income neighborhoods.

A $3 million grant to Erie County will go to conduct risk assessments and lead inspections in 400 eligible homes and clear 200 homes of lead-based paint hazards in nine target areas. The county will provide more than $942,000 in matching funds or contributions.

An additional $500,000 grant will be used to enroll 150 homes in Erie County into local lead-hazard treatment programs to protect children from lead poisoning. The county will provide $258,274 in matching funds or contributions.

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Helfer airs proposal for low-cost hydropower

Republican mayoral candidate Kevin J. Helfer on Thursday called for state legislation to allow the New York Power Authority to provide low-cost hydropower to the City of Buffalo in a move he predicts could save $10 million per year.

"By implementing this plan, we can take a huge step forward to reduce our projected deficit for next year and implement real reform in City Hall," he said.

Helfer said he will propose that every City of Buffalo operation would be allocated the low-cost power, including all city-owned properties, city agencies and public schools.

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Judicial candidates start jockeying for position

A series of moves aiming at better position on the ballot for State Supreme Court justice began this week when Diane Y. Devlin, a Democrat, declined the Conservative Party's line.

Democratic Elections Commissioner Dennis E. Ward said Devlin, a city judge, decided to pass on the line to avoid a less advantageous spot on the ballot. Minor party nominations often are declined after judicial nominating conventions because of a complicated process that dictates where candidates can appear on the ballot.

Ward said the move could precipitate similar actions by other Supreme Court candidates in coming days.

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Literacy Center taking student applications

Buffalo State College's Literacy Center is accepting applications for children in elementary, middle or high school who need to improve their literacy.

The center will be offering two programs beginning in mid-October, each costing $100 per student.

The first, a literacy specialist clinic program, meets from 4:45 to 6:15 p.m. Wednesdays or Thursdays. The second, a classroom teacher diagnosis and tutoring program, which is less intensive, meets from 4:45 to 6:15 p.m. Wednesdays.

Both programs offer a diagnosis of the students' reading and writing skills and basic tutoring sessions offered by graduate students working under the guidance of reading experts.

For further information, call the center at 878-5917 or visit its Web site at www.buffalostate.edu/elementaryeducation/.

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