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LOCAL NEWS BRIEFS

New family court judges eyed for 3 WNY counties

The State Senate on Tuesday passed legislation that would add 21 new judges to family courts throughout the state. It would be the first significant increase in the number of family court judges in more than 30 years.

In Western New York, the new measure would establish one new judgeship in Chautauqua County, Erie County and Niagara County, effective next Jan. 1.

State Sen. John L. Sampson, lead sponsor of the bill, said, "It has been fully 20 years since a single family court judgeship was created for New York City, and in many upstate counties, the local family court is also reaching a breaking point. It is long past time to make this critical investment in the lives and well-being of children and families who have nowhere else to turn."

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Goodwill Industries getting funds to train homeless vets

WASHINGTON -- Goodwill Industries of Western New York has won a $204,774 grant to provide homeless veterans with job training.

The funding is one of 87 grants, totaling $24 million nationwide, that the U.S. Department of Labor is providing.

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July 12 deadline approaches for Taste of Olean spots

OLEAN -- July 12 is the deadline for restaurants to apply for places in the 20th annual Taste of Olean, to be held from noon to 6 p.m. July 25 on the Cattaraugus County Campus of Jamestown Community College here.

To qualify, restaurants must offer seating and be open year-round in the greater Olean area. Restaurants should plan on offering small portions of foods costing between 50 cents and $3.50. Regional and specialty foods must be approved by the Taste committee.

For information and applications, call the Greater Olean Area Chamber of Commerce at 372-4433 or e-mail taste@oleanny.com.

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Quick removal of vehicles after minor crashes urged

Officials on Tuesday morning unveiled a new campaign aimed at educating drivers to quickly move their vehicles from the road after a minor accident.

The "Steer-it Clear-it" safety awareness campaign asks drivers to take three steps when in an accident: check to make sure people in both cars are OK; see if your car can be driven; and if so, move to a safe area such as a nearby road, cross street or parking area.

"As you might imagine, the quicker we can clear those out, the less impact there is, the less of an opportunity there is for traffic, the less opportunity there is for collisions, and the safer working environment it is both for the traveling public and for the emergency responders," said Tom George, executive director for the Niagara International Transportation Technology Coalition.

George said there have been more than 20 "secondary accidents" since January that occurred when traffic backed up because of a crash.

The campaign will be visible on electronic signs on regional highways and will be broadcast on the area's highway advisory radio.