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NIAGARA NEWS BRIEFS

>Medical center announces discount prescription plan

NIAGARA FALLS -- Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center announced a new discount prescription program this week with a pharmacy on Pine Avenue.

The program, authorized under the federal Public Health Service Act, will be available to patients who have received qualifying health care services at the hospital if they get prescriptions filled at The Medicine Shoppe, 1806 Pine Ave.

The program will provide discounted prescriptions to patients who have large deductibles or no prescription coverage.

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>Planning Board approval expected for McDonald's

LOCKPORT -- The way appears clear for approval of the new McDonald's at South Transit and Hamm roads.

Building Inspector Eugene Nenni said Tuesday he expects the Planning Board to approve the project Tuesday, after a work session in which the board reached consensus on approval of a special-use permit for the drive-through window, along with the site plan and a determination that the project will not harm the environment.

The new restaurant, a beige masonry building with a yellow curved roof evoking the Golden Arches, is to replace a mid-1970s McDonald's on the other side of South Transit Road. The project also requires variances, which Nenni said the Zoning Board of Appeals is likely to approve in a special meeting at 5 p.m. today in Town Hall, 6560 Dysinger Road.

On other projects, the board received a traffic study for the proposed Cedar Creek condominium subdivision off Beattie Avenue. Developer David Ulrich said the plan has been revised to eliminate a north-south street and two ball diamonds that were supposed to be used by the Challenger Baseball League, a league for handicapped children, after residents of nearby homes objected.

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>Panel approves change in health insurance cost

LOCKPORT -- Veteran Niagara County legislators re-elected this year will have to pay 50 percent of the cost of lifetime health insurance if they last 20 years in office.

Currently, the county offers free lifetime health coverage to all lawmakers who serve 20 or more years, as long as they started their careers before 2004. Legislators who joined the body since then are ineligible for the benefit.

Tuesday, the Legislature's Administration Committee approved a resolution by Majority Leader Richard E. Updegrove to impose the 50 percent premium payment on lawmakers who take the oath for a new term after Jan. 1.

Updegrove said it would even apply to Legislator Sean J. O'Connor, D-Niagara Falls, who has served 22 years and is running for re-election. O'Connor was at the meeting and voted for the resolution.

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