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LOCAL NEWS BRIEFS

>Milk prices, ethanol to be conference topics

DELEVAN -- State Sen. Catharine Young, R-Olean, chairwoman of the Senate Agricultural Committee, and Rep. John "Randy" Kuhl Jr., R-Hammondsport, a member of the House Agricultural Committee, will be featured speakers Saturday in a regional legislative conference sponsored by the New York State Grange in the Delevan-Yorkshire Public Library, 28 School Street, Delevan.

Top issues for the Grange this year are regional pricing for milk products in the Northeast and support for establishment of ethanol plants and incentives for the production of corn and other products used in ethanol.

The conference, which begins with a continental breakfast at 9:15 a.m., is open to the public. For information and directions, call Joanne Herman at 492-1627.

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>Officials consider closing Fire Station 2 on May 1

BATAVIA -- Local real estate listings might include a firehouse, which city officials are considering closing beginning May 1 to cut department expenses.

The City Council soon will decide the fate of the two-story building, including selling it. Firefighters staffing the station would be reassigned to headquarters near downtown, and a pumper would be sold.

Fire Station 2 was built 60 years ago to serve the south side of a city divided by the four-line New York Central tracks. Fire apparatus from north of the tracks often was delayed en route to a fire because of passing trains at grade crossings.

So in 1947, the city built the two-bay station on Ellicott Street. The need was eased in the mid-1950s, when the tracks were relocated to the city's southern border. Previous suggestions to close the station were dismissed.

However, the station's future may have been sealed with a March budget crisis that has resulted in a $23.6 million spending plan and a 20 percent property tax increase.

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