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LOCAL NEWS BRIEFS

Group to write plan for sports facility

DUNKIRK -- "We have to zero in on a building site and we have to put this into our business plan," Don Horton, vice president of the Chautauqua Multi-Use Sports Facility Committee, said at a meeting of the group Wednesday.

The committee is to meet again Wednesday to start writing a business plan, including whether it will combine efforts with backers of an equestrian center being proposed for the Chautauqua County fairgrounds in Dunkirk.

After speaking with various elected officials, the committee believes the fairgrounds could be a good location for the sports facility.

The committee will seek a $150,000 federal grant through Rep. Brian M. Higgins, D-Buffalo, for the 2007 fiscal year for the facility's building fund.

It also will launch a fund-raising campaign seeking donations from its expected users, including soccer and hockey groups.

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Registration under way for rural land workshop

ELLICOTTVILLE -- Owners of country property are invited to register early for Cornell Cooperative Extension's 14th annual Rural Landowner Workshop, to be held March 4 in Pioneer Central School in Yorkshire. For information, call the Extension office in Ellicottville at (800) 897-9189, Ext. 125, or Belmont at (888) 256-2762, Ext. 18.

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Utilities board seeks to buy new location

JAMESTOWN The Jamestown Board of Public Utilities is negotiating to buy land to relocate its operations center.

The board's first choice, property near Monroe Street, was considered too expensive, so the board has shifted its focus to an eight-acre site on Harrison Street, according to Wally Haase, the board's general manager.
Haase also announced that public hearings on the $145 million clean-coal generating plant, proposed for the board's current operations center on Steele Street, are scheduled from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. March 14 and 28, in Jamestown High School.

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Computer use taught as early as first grade

SILVER CREEK -- Technology is being used in the classrooms in first and second grade as well as in higher grades at Silver Creek Central School.

Andrew Wheelock, a teacher on special assignment at Silver Creek, said that technology, even the use of keyboarding skills, is started with very young children.

Wheelock told the Board of Education Wednesday that by the time children are in fifth grade, they are already using Microsoft Word and are very good at typing skills and using graphics as well as using the Internet for research.

Prior to the meeting, School Board members heard from David O'Rourke, technology adviser, who went over plans for improvements to technology for the next year.

The board discussed the need for computer proficiency with both Wheelock and O'Rourke.

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