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>Maziarz open to questions to readers

State Sen. George D. Maziarz will participate in a live online chat on at 12:30 p.m. Friday.

Readers will be able to talk with Maziarz and ask questions of one of the region's longest-tenured state lawmakers. Maziarz, R-Newfane, was re-elected in November and has been reappointed as chairman of the Senate Energy Committee. Those who would like to submit questions in advance should e-mail them to


>Dismissal of Hoffman anticipated in vote today

LOCKPORT -- Mayor Michael W. Tucker and Common Council President Richelle J. Pasceri said Tuesday they expect the Council to ratify Thursday's dismissal of Highways and Parks Superintendent Michael E. Hoffman at the Council meeting at 6 p.m. today.

Tucker laid off Hoffman in what was announced as a cost-cutting move. The mayor said Tuesday that Hoffman was informed of restructuring plans months ago; Hoffman said he didn't have any inkling that would include his departure.

Pasceri, speaking in the wake of an 80-minute closed-door session of the Council Monday, said she expects tonight's resolution will include a $10,000 raise for Director of Engineering Norman D. Allen, who is adding Hoffman's duties to his own.


>DiTullio named supervisor of courts in six counties

Erie County Judge Sheila A. DiTullio, one of Western New York's most active criminal court judges, is taking on additional unpaid duties as state court officials have named her supervisory judge for all criminal courts in six of the eight counties in the state's Buffalo-based Eighth Judicial District.

DiTullio, a top prosecutor in the Erie County District Attorney's office before she assumed the county court bench in January 1996, is taking over supervision of the criminal courts in Erie, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Genesee, Allegany and Wyoming counties.

State court spokesman David Bookstaver said State Supreme Court Justice Richard C. Kloch Sr., who has had the full burden of the eight-county criminal courts since 2003, will continue to supervise the criminal courts of Niagara and Orleans counties.


>House approves Lee bill to curb printing costs

WASHINGTON -- The House on Tuesday unanimously approved a bill by Rep. Chris Lee, R-Amherst, that ends a long-standing congressional practice that forces the unnecessary printing of countless pieces of legislation -- at a cost to taxpayers of $7 million a year.

Lee's bill ends a tradition whereby the Government Printing Office delivers to every lawmaker multiple copies of every piece of legislation that he or she has introduced or co-sponsored at the bill's introduction.

That meant the government last year printed nearly 2.8 million copies of legislation for congressional offices -- in an era when every bill is posted online. Lee called his legislation "a common-sense way for Congress to catch up with the private sector.

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