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LOCAL NEWS BRIEFS

>Hiring freeze defeated; vote is along party lines

FREDONIA -- The Fredonia Village Board on Tuesday night rejected Mayor Michael Sullivan's call for a hiring freeze, which the mayor requested until the village better understands expenditures and revenues expected for next year.

The vote ran along party lines, with the three Democratic trustees -- Gary Damico, Susan Mackay and Joseph Cerrie -- voting against the freeze, and Republicans Jacqueline Penfold-Williams and Michelle Twichell voting for the proposal.

Party lines also were the rule in the defeat of a proposal to hold a public hearing for additional input on a proposed amendment to the village charter and code that would eliminate the village justice court.

Damico, Mackay and Cerrie voted against the hearing.

Damico remarked, "The majority of the board does not feel it is good at this time to shift the court system to the Town of Pomfret." He added that the court is part of the village's income.

Sullivan said the village court's income has been decreasing over the years. Damico questioned the accuracy of the mayor's statement.

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>Rotary Club honors longtime food server

BATAVIA -- The Batavia Rotary Club on Tuesday honored a longtime food server who was 8 years old when the club was formed in 1919.

Wilma Nichols, who is approaching her 98th birthday, was named a Paul Harris Fellow, one of the club's highest honors for service to the club and community.

Nichols, once a farmer's wife and former school bus driver, has worked for a half-dozen caterers who have provided a weekly lunch for Rotarians for nearly 30 years.

She has four children, 22 grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.

Rotary in Batavia was founded in June 1919. Nichols was born in June 1911. She also received a proclamation from Assemblyman Steven M. Hawley, R-Batavia, who noted that she had served his grandfather and father.

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