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LOCAL NEWS BRIEFS

>Retired mayor elected in Village of Barker

In Niagara County, Barker residents elected a retired mayor and re-elected a trustee in a four-way race for two Village Board seats.

Former Mayor John Hayden earned 66 votes, while incumbent Trustee Charles Fuller was the top vote-getter with 79.

Political newcomers Erin Goodlander and Kim Matheis finished with 35 and 15 votes, respectively.

In Middleport's uncontested Village Board race, Thomas Conley was re-elected to his sixth term with 51 votes, and newcomer Theresa Kirkpatrick was elected with 44.

And in Wilson, Milton Clark was voted back onto a board he has served since 1991. He was unopposed.

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>Springtime operation extended by two hours

The New York State Canal Corp. is extending the springtime operating hours of the canal system for two hours when the system opens May 1.

Traditionally, the canals have been open 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. during the spring, but the closing time will be extended to 7 p.m. for the 14 days before the canal's summer schedule of 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. begins May 5.

For more information, call (800) 422-6254, or log on to www.canals.state.ny.us.

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>Needler recovering from prostate surgery

NORTH TONAWANDA -- The Niagara County Legislature's majority leader is recovering from prostate surgery and expects to be back to work soon.

Malcolm A. Needler, R-North Tonawanda, was back home Tuesday, a day after successful surgery at Roswell Park Cancer Institute.

"I'm just fine," he said. "Luckily we caught this at a very early stage as part of my annual physical. After surgery they had me up and walking later that same day."

Needler said he expects to be able to take constituent calls by today and resume attendance at meetings within two to three weeks.

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