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LOCAL NEWS BRIEFS

ECMC official laments cost of health care benefits

An official of Erie County Medical Center told a County Legislature public hearing Thursday that health care benefits for unionized county workers continuing at current levels are "not sustainable in the Western New York health care market."

Nancy Tucker, ECMC's assistant vice president of compensation and benefits, told the hearing that health care costs in a fact finder's report resulting from the impasse between Erie County and Local 1095, American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, are only "minimally modified." Those costs, she said, remain the hospital's "most financially crippling component."

The fact finder's report has been rejected by both the county and the union after a mediation process also failed to resolve the contractual dispute.

The hearing took place as part of a mandated process that guides the county and union in their current impasse in negotiations. The Legislature will now determine the contract.

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Make-A-Wish to honor Billittier family

The Make-A-Wish Foundation of Western New York will honor the Billittier family of Chef's Restaurant with its Lifetime Achievement Shooting Star Award at a black-tie gala April 21 in Seneca Niagara Casino in Niagara Falls.

Recognized for their continuing support for the local Make-A-Wish chapter will be Louie Billittier, Mary Beth Billittier, Ann Billittier and the late Louis Billittier Sr. For ticket information, call 810-9474 or visit www.westny.wish.org.

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Blood donors can win $1,000 shopping spree

Blood donors this month in the American Red Cross New York-Penn Region will get a chance to win a $1,000 "Spring Fever Shopping Spree" at the home improvement store of their choice, Red Cross officials announce.

Donors will receive a "Points for Pints" scratch card when they give blood, which will enter them in a random drawing for the prize at the end of the month. There also will be a T-shirt giveaway to donors from Friday to April 15.

Blood donors are urgently needed to help stabilize the blood supply for hospitals to treat emergencies and for use in surgery and treatment. To schedule an appointment, call (800) GIVE LIFE or visit www.DonateBloodNow.org.

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