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NIAGARA NEWS BRIEFS

City, county offices closed for Good Friday

LOCKPORT -- City and Niagara County offices and courts will be closed Friday in observance of Good Friday.

In the City of Lockport, garbage normally picked up on Friday will be collected today, City Clerk Richard P. Mullaney said.

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Road tolls don't apply to emergency vehicles

Gov. David A. Paterson has signed a bill into law allowing emergency vehicles to drive for free on sections of the Thruway that are toll roads, Assemblywoman Francine DelMonte's office announced Wednesday.

The measure, DelMonte's office said in a written statement, will apply to volunteer firefighters and ambulance workers during emergency operations. The bill has passed the Assembly each year since 2004, and finally gained traction in the Senate this year, said DelMonte, D-Niagara Falls.

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Funds to aid residents with job training

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced Wednesday that dozens of public housing agencies across New York will receive more than $2.5 million to provide lower-income residents with job training.

Locally, the Erie County Public Housing Agency Consortium, located in Amherst, will receive $145,640; Buffalo, $98,697; North Tonawanda, $48,102; and Jamestown, $34,340.

The grants are part of the nearly $50 million awarded nationwide to public housing agencies and local communities.

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Capital, operating budgets adopted for new fiscal year

NIAGARA FALLS -- Directors of USA Niagara Development Corp., the local subsidiary of the Empire State Development Corp., have adopted a capital budget of just over $15.4 million and an operating budget of $714,357 for the fiscal year that begins today.

The budget supports six staff members but does not mention any specific capital projects.

The agency is dedicated to the support and promotion of economic development initiatives by leveraging private investment and encouraging growth and renewal of the tourism industry here.

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