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LOCAL NEWS BRIEFS

SUNY trustees appoint Podolefsky to presidency

Aaron M. Podolefsky was appointed president of Buffalo State College on Tuesday by the State University of New York board of trustees.

Podolefsky, president of the University of Central Missouri, will begin his new position July 1.

Podolefsky, 63, will earn an annual salary of $225,000. He will replace longtime Buffalo State President Muriel A. Howard, who stepped down last spring to become president of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities in Washington, D.C. He was one of three finalists for the Buffalo State job.

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Justice Department holds numerous inmate interviews

The U.S. Justice Department over the past two days privately interviewed numerous inmates in the Erie County Holding Center and reviewed hundreds of county documents, a department spokesman said Tuesday.

U.S. District Judge William M. Skretny ordered the county to open the jail to Justice Department lawyers and experts in suicide prevention after a spate of inmate suicides and suicide attempts there over 90 days.

The inspections that unfolded Monday and Tuesday mark the early stages of a Justice Department lawsuit alleging Erie County fails to protect inmate rights by condoning poor care on several fronts, suicide prevention among them.

County Attorney Cheryl A. Green was not available to comment about the inspections Tuesday.

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Paladino says health law will kill more than 9/1 1

Buffalo developer Carl Paladino said Tuesday that the national health care plan signed into law by President Obama will kill more Americans than the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks did.

"I fear the results of Obamacare will be so horrific that it will kill more Americans through deteriorating health care than were lost on 9/1 1," he said. "Nothing can lessen the terrible events of that day, but in terms of raw numbers, more will suffer and die through Obamacare."

Paladino, who is planning to announce his run for governor April 5 as part of the "tea party" movement, made the remark on the Curtis Sliwa radio show in New York City.

He called on Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo to join 13 states suing to stop the legislation. Paladino referred to Cuomo, a likely Democratic candidate for governor, as "Prince Andrew."

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Maid of the Mist ready to begin season April 10

NIAGARA FALLS -- The Maid of the Mist boat rides will begin their 2010 season April 10, two weeks earlier than last year, thanks to a mild winter and favorable ice conditions.

The rides in the gorge just below the falls in the Niagara River will depart, as usual, from landings on both the American and Canadian sides of the river, according to Christopher Glynn, president of the boat company. The 30-minute-long trips will start operating at 10 a.m. daily, with trips beginning every 15 minutes, Glynn said Tuesday.

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