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Ruling for four-year term validates move to cut pay

LOCKPORT -- The Niagara County attorney's office confirmed Wednesday that the winner of the Nov. 4 election for District 1 coroner will have a fresh four-year term, not an unexpired three-year term, and therefore it was legal for the County Legislature to cut the job's salary Tuesday.

Assistant County Attorney R. Joseph Foltz said his research in state law and a 1979 opinion from the state attorney general's office showed the four-year term is correct. It is illegal to reduce an elected official's pay in the middle of his or her term.

Democrat James M. Joyce resigned as coroner in September, less than a year into the term he won in the 2007 election. His wife, Cindy-Lou Joyce, and Republican Russell Jackman II are running to succeed him. The Legislature Tuesday reduced the pay for the job from $22,473 to $17,500, effective Jan. 1, when the new term starts. It also gave the $17,500 salary to the county's other three coroners, although in their cases, it represents a $1,500 raise.


Computer simulation to aid firearms training

NIAGARA FALLS -- City police officers soon will be able to train with firearms using computer simulation.

The $50,000 Advanced Interactive Systems-Prism is the first of its kind in Niagara County and is being made possible through a state grant sponsored by Assemblywoman Francine DelMonte, D-Lewiston.

AIS training specialist Joseph Evans offered a demonstration of the technology in the Niagara Falls police station Wednesday. The system is expected to be up and running for the city's 150 officers in several weeks.

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