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Giambra orders flags flown at half-staff

Erie County Executive Joel A. Giambra has ordered all flags at county buildings to be flown at half-staff until Sunday evening in memory of the victims of the Virginia Tech shootings.

"This is but a small gesture to acknowledge those who lost their lives in this horrific and senseless tragedy," Giambra said Tuesday.


Cheektowaga-Sloan sets budget hearing

The Cheektowaga-Sloan School District will hold a public hearing on a proposed 2007-08 budget of more than $28 million at 7 p.m. May 8 in Woodrow Wilson Elementary School, 166 Halstead Ave.

Residents will vote on the spending plan May 15. The board held preliminary discussions on the spending plan during its meeting Tuesday night.

Superintendent James P. Mazgajewski said the May 15 ballot also will include a proposition to allow the continued presence of a student representative at board meetings.

School Board member Gary Sieczkarek is running unopposed for re-election.


Income tax deadline is now midnight Thursday

ALBANY -- New Yorkers will have an extra two days to submit their state income tax returns because of widespread damage from the early spring storm that produced snow and flooding across many sections of the state, Gov. Eliot L. Spitzer said Tuesday.

The deadline -- for state, not federal taxes -- moves to midnight Thursday.

The extension is for "taxpayers directly impacted" by the storm, said Thomas Bergin, a state tax department spokesman.

The agency is painting a fairly broad brush to characterize such taxpayers, he said. There will be no penalties or interest on taxpayers who file their state returns during the additional 48-hour window, Spitzer said.

The Internal Revenue Service also is giving taxpayers affected by the Northeast storm a 48-hour extension beyond today's deadline to file their federal tax returns.

Those affected by the storm also will have until midnight Thursday to file without incurring penalties. Tax day originally was moved to Tuesday because the usual deadline of April 15 was a Sunday, and Monday was a holiday in Washington, D.C.

Paper tax returns should be marked with the words "April 16 storm." Individuals filing electronically can use the "disaster" feature, if available, on software, the agency said.


$75,485 grant directed to five school districts

Five school districts in Erie and Niagara counties have received a total of $75,485 in grants from the Peter and Elizabeth C. Tower Foundation to buy specialized equipment for developmentally disabled elementary and middle school pupils.

The grants include $12,098, Akron Central Schools; $25,000, Buffalo Public Schools; $5,950, Lockport Schools; $17,127 to Niagara Falls Schools; and $14,500, Sweet Home Schools.

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