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LOCAL NEWS BRIEFS

Falls firm helped by rejection of bid for duty-free silicon

Sen. Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y., said Tuesday a Commerce Department ruling against Dow Corning's request to avoid paying duty on imported silicon is good news for a Niagara Falls company.

Dow Corning had asked for a special foreign trade subzone to exempt it from paying a tariff on Chinese and Russian silicon. Two months ago, Schumer wrote to the Commerce Department to oppose that request, asserting that duty-free silicon for Dow Corning would hurt Globe Specialty Metals of Niagara Falls, which recently reopened a silicon plant and employs about 100 people.

The Chinese and Russian silicon is required to be taxed under an anti-dumping law that calls for special U.S. tariffs on imports being sold here below their price in the originating country or below the cost of production. Dow Corning sought to avoid the anti-dumping tariff.

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Board OKs sending Delano to class for new judges

New Cheektowaga Town Justice Dennis Delano should be able to hit the ground running when he takes the bench next month.

Delano, a former Buffalo police detective, defeated incumbent Justice James Vallone in a close race last month, but he did not attend the first of three mandatory training classes. In a unanimous vote Monday night, the Town Board approved his attendance at a makeup class next Monday in Albany.

"I think there's a test he has to pass. That should finalize our situation," Supervisor Mary Holtz said after the vote.

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Council postpones vote on Nevilly Court veto

The Common Council's plan to try to override a mayoral veto of funding for new athletic fields at a proposed recreation and education complex in South Buffalo has been delayed for a week.

A special session that was scheduled for Tuesday was canceled after one lawmaker had a death in the family and another was ill.

Lawmakers will likely try to override the veto of $450,000 in capital funding for the Nevilly Court project at its meeting next Tuesday.

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New judge to hear suit aimed at stopping Somerset Verizon

LOCKPORT -- Arguments in a lawsuit aimed at stopping Verizon Communications' $4 billion data center in Somerset will be heard today by Niagara County Judge Matthew J. Murphy III after another judge pulled out of the case.

State Supreme Court Justice Ralph A. Boniello III issued a letter Monday recusing himself from the case. Boniello said he thought he could handle it impartially, but he had informed the attorneys late last week that before he became a judge, he served stints as Niagara County attorney and counsel to the county's Industrial Development Agency, which are defendants in the lawsuit.

Arthur J. Giacalone, attorney for Mary Ann Rizzo of Amherst, the plaintiff in the case, had replied to that notice Monday by asking Boniello to recuse himself. The judge did so. "I prefer to err on the side of caution," Boniello wrote.

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