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LOCAL NEWS BRIEFS

>4 candidates running for 3 School Board seats

BATAVIA -- Four candidates are in the running for three seats on the Batavia School Board after Wednesday's deadline for filing petitions.

The candidates are: Patrick D. Burk, a past president with more than 20 years on the board; newcomer Phillip Ricci; Steven G. Hyde, president and CEO of the Genesee County Economic Development Center; and Steven J. Mountain, Town of Batavia engineer.

The two top vote-getters will win three-year terms. The other will serve the remaining year of the term of Alice Ann Benedict, who resigned last year. Dr. Alan L. Siegel is leaving the board.

The ballot includes the district's $37 million budget for 2007-08 and a proposal to sell property near River Street to HomeCare and Hospice for $85,000. Voters had twice rejected selling the land, which was purchased in 1990 as the site for an elementary school. Voters go to the polls May 15.

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>Three seek one seat on smaller School Board

SILVER CREEK -- Two of three incumbents will be leaving the Silver Creek Central School Board this year.

Voters decided last year to reduce the size of the board from nine to seven seats. As a result, only one seat will be filled when residents go to the polls May 15 -- a one-year unexpired term.
The seat is currently held by Dolores DeTolla. The other two incumbents, Lou Dispenza and Marge Foxton, have also filed petitions to run for the seat.

A proposed 2007-08 budget of $18,397,666, which will also be considered by voters, features no increase in the tax levy. Residents also will consider a proposition to purchase two school buses at a cost of $185,000.

Meeting on Wednesday, the board authorized a land survey of all properties on the campus. The survey is in conjunction with the $10.5 million capital construction project, which was authorized in March and will begin this summer.

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>Slaughter bill to ban genetic screening OK'd

WASHINGTON -- The House of Representatives on Wednesday passed a bill introduced by Rep. Louise M. Slaughter, D-Fairport, that would ban insurers and employers from screening individuals based on their genetic predisposition to specific diseases.

The vote culminates Slaughter's 12-year effort to get such legislation passed.

The bill, already approved in the Senate, would keep insurers from charging higher premiums or denying coverage to individuals because genetic testing indicates they may develop a disease in the future. It would ban employers from using the same information in hiring or firing employees.

"For years, we've held up genetic research because people were afraid that their genetic information would be used against them," Slaughter said in a statement. "This legislation will address those fears by prohibiting improper use of genetic information by a person's employer or insurer."

Slaughter's office claims public support for the measure, citing a Johns Hopkins University study that showed 85 percent of those surveyed in 2002 did not want employers to have access to genetic information. That figure climbed to 92 percent two years later.

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