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NIAGARA NEWS BRIEFS

Heart Center starts new fitness program

NIAGARA FALLS -- Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center has launched a new, medically supervised program at The Heart Center of Niagara for people seeking better physical fitness.

The Heart Center Wellness Exercise Program is designed to improve cardiovascular endurance, muscular strength, flexibility, body composition, glucose metabolism and blood pressure control.

The cost is $42, payable in advance, for 12 sessions. For information, call the hospital at 278-4019.

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State grant precludes privatizing water plant

LOCKPORT -- The acceptance of a $400,000 state grant means the city has dropped the notion of privatizing its water treatment plant, Alderman Patrick W. Schrader said Friday.

The grant, announced Dec. 21 by State Sen. George D. Maziarz, R-Newfane, will pay for a feasibility study on the possible merger of Lockport's water operation with that of North Tonawanda. The cities joined with Niagara Falls in seeking an additional $200,000 grant to see if that city also could be included.

Schrader, D-4th Ward, said Severn Trent Services, the British company that had given the Common Council a sales pitch last summer on taking over the Lockport water plant, never followed through with detailed cost estimates. He also said the executive with whom he had been in touch had left Severn Trent.

"It's off the table," Mayor Michael W. Tucker said in an interview last week.

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Metro Rail to extend New Year's Eve service

Metro Rail service will be extended New Year's Eve to accommodate passengers attending the 19th annual New Year's Eve Ball Drop in Roosevelt Square and First Night Buffalo in the Buffalo Convention Center.

Sunday, trains will run continuously, except 20 minutes prior to the midnight ball drop, when train service will be temporarily suspended because of celebrating crowds that obstruct the tracks.

Rail service will resume immediately following the completion of the ball drop.

The last outbound train will leave the Erie Canal Harbor Station at 2 a.m. New Year's Day.

All Metro Bus and Rail schedules are available at www.nfta.com.

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