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LOCAL NEWS BRIEFS

>Town Board appoints two to Greenway advisory panel

WHEATFIELD -- The Town Board appointed two of its own Monday to serve on the advisory board of the Niagara River Greenway Commission to safeguard the interest of riverfront property owners.

Councilmen Larry Helwig and Arthur Palmer were named to the board which is scheduled to meet March 23 at the Beaver Island Casino on Grand Island to continue discussions on the development of the Greenway project. One of the project proposals is a walking path along the river from Youngstown to Buffalo.

Of all the communities involved with the project, Wheatfield is the only one that does not have municipal access to the river, according to Supervisor Timothy E. Demler. All property along the river is privately owned. Homeowners have voiced concern that the commission could take their property through eminent domain proceedings or through easement condemnations.

"The Town Board has no issue with the plan as long as it is not along private property," Demler said. He suggested the Wheatfield section of the trail could go through greenspace as opposed to a river walk.

Town Attorney Robert O'Toole said he had seen similar maps that showed the path going through private property. He said the message to residents is to "keep your eyes open."

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>$285,560 grant to focus on work of at-risk pupils

NIAGARA FALLS -- A program to try to improve classroom performance of at-risk second- and third-graders at Harry F. Abate Elementary School is to be funded by a $285,560 grant from the John R. Oishei Foundation.

The money will be sent from the Buffalo foundation to the Health Association of Niagara County over the next three years to finance a series of after-school programs to be held in the Health Association offices, 1302 Main St., and in the Niagara Falls Housing Authority's Doris W. Jones Family Resource Building, 3001 Ninth St.

The programs, to begin in September, will include one-on-one and small-group tutoring, as well as fitness activities and exposure to artistic and cultural programs. Information about enrollment is to be announced this summer.

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