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LOCAL NEWS BRIEFS

>Line malfunction leaves 10,000 without power

OLEAN -- About 10,000 people in southern Cattaraugus County were without power for more than three hours Sunday night, including many Olean residents.

The outage also affected customers in the towns of Portville and Allegany, and in the Village of Allegany. Customers lost electricity at around 6 p.m. after a power line that was feeding a substation malfunctioned, according to Deb Emmert, a National Grid spokeswoman.

Olean Mayor David Carucci said there were still some customers in the city without power as of 10 p.m.

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>3 big Wal-Mart centers eyed in rural counties

BATAVIA -- A year from now, Wal-Mart will have three supercenters within 15 miles of each other, if current plans pan out.

Batavia's Wal-Mart is doubling its size, adding a supermarket and other goods and services. Construction got under way last month.

In Le Roy, hearings will be held within the next month on Wal-Mart's plans for a 163,700-square-foot supercenter on 52 acres of Route 5 near the village's western boundary. It would be the second full-sized Wal-Mart in Genesee County.

In Warsaw, there are plans to double the size of the Wal-Mart on Route 19, north of the village. The added size is largely to house expanded grocery sales.

Batavia's expanded store will open later this year. The Le Roy and Warsaw projects are slated for completion in 2008.

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>Tax help available for senior citizens

CATTARAUGUS -- The Tax Counseling for the Elderly Program has scheduled sessions at six locations to help senior citizens prepare their 2006 tax returns. The program, a joint effort of the Internal Revenue Service and AARP, pairs volunteer tax counselors with anyone over 50 who has questions about filling out routine forms.

No one is turned away because of age, but clients with rental income, depreciation issues or foreign investments are advised to see a tax professional. Counselors note that senior citizens who pay for long distance telephone service may be eligible for a credit regardless of income.

Clients should make appointments for counseling sessions at the following times and locations:

* Cattaraugus Free Library, 9 a.m. to noon each Wednesday from Feb. 7 through April 11.

* Ellicottville Memorial Library, 10 a.m. to noon Feb. 16, March 2, 16 and 30.

* L.K. Painter Community Center, 2355 Main St., Collins, 1 to 4 p.m., Feb. 7, 21, March 7, 21 and April 4.

* Salamanca Public Library, 1 to 4 p.m. Feb. 16, March 2, 16 and 30.

* Olean Senior Center, beginning Feb. 5, including 1 to 4 p.m Mondays, 9 a.m. to noon Wednesdays and Thursdays.

* Franklinville Community Bank, 9 a.m. to noon Feb. 12, 26 and March 12.

For appointments in Cattaraugus, Ellicottville, Collins or Salamanca, and to make special arrangements for shut-ins, call Don or Allison Girod at 257-3285.

Those wishing to schedule sessions in Olean or Franklinville may sign up in advance at the sites.

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