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NIAGARA NEWS BRIEFS

Cuomo will lead forum on community initiatives

NIAGARA FALLS -- Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo will hold a communitywide forum at noon today in the Conference Center Niagara Falls.

The forum is open to the public and will include topics such as civil and labor rights, health care, consumer fraud, the environment, housing and student loans. The meeting is part of Cuomo's Community Partnership Initiative.

The conference center is at 101 Old Falls St.

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Houghton elected head of Democratic Committee

NORTH TONAWANDA -- The City Democratic Committee has elected Mark Houghton as its new chairman.

Houghton, 53, assistant manager at an area retail store and manager of the North Tonawanda City Market, has been an active member of the committee.

Houghton succeeds Dan Rivera, who was recently re-elected to a two-year term as chairman of the Niagara County Democratic Committee. Rivera chose not to seek a fifth term as city chairman so he could concentrate on county duties. Rivera, a North Tonawanda resident, had led city Democrats since 2000.

"I am very pleased that Mark will be taking the reins in North Tonawanda," Rivera said. "I have full confidence in his abilities and commitment to the goals of the Democratic Party."

Along with Houghton, others elected to the city committee include Bonnie Higgins, first vice chairwoman; Joe Rich, second vice chairman; Melissa Kenney, secretary; Larry Higgins, treasurer; and Ed McDonald, sergeant-at-arms.

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