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NIAGARA NEWS BRIEFS

>Commission taps Belue as executive director

The Niagara River Greenway Commission has appointed Rob Belue as its first executive director since being established in 2004 to develop a greenway of interconnected parks, trails and Niagara River access points from Lake Erie to Lake Ontario.

Belue, 56, of Grand Island, the public benefit corporation's administrative coordinator since November 2005, was named interim executive director in January.

The permanent position, at a salary of $65,000 a year, was approved at a commission meeting Wednesday evening at Beaver Island State Park, Grand Island.

Before joining the state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, Belue was general manager of the former Prime Outlets -- now Fashion Outlets -- mall in the Town of Niagara.

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>Conservation survey going to absentee land owners

Absentee property owners in Orleans County will be receiving a questionnaire asking them about conservation practices on their property.

The survey, which is being done by the Lake Plains Conservation and Development Council, is part of a three-year program to plan outreach and educational activities targeted to those who own land in the county but don't live on it or work it.

For more information, contact the Center for Absentee Landowners toll-free at (866) 792-6248.

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>Grants to aid Riviera and Carrousel Society

NORTH TONAWANDA -- State grants totaling $22,500 for the Riviera Theatre and the Carrousel Society of the Niagara Frontier, both in North Tonawanda, were announced Wednesday by Assemblyman Robin Schimminger, D-Kenmore.

The Riviera Theatre will receive $12,500 to help pay for ongoing restoration work at the historic building. Most of the money will be used to upgrade the sound system, said Frank Cannata, the executive director.

The Carrousel Society will use its $10,000 to fund new exhibits, informational teaching tools and educational events at the Herschell Carrousel Factory Museum, said Rae Proefrock, the acting museum director.

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