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LOCAL NEWS BRIEFS

Strategy to be brainstormed on redeveloping brownfields

Residents, business and property owners will have an opportunity tonight to offer input on redeveloping the brownfields in the northwestern section of the Town of Tonawanda.

A public meeting is scheduled from 6:30 to 8:30 in the Sheridan Parkside Community Center, 169 Sheridan Parkside Drive.

The Tonawanda Brownfield Opportunity project seeks to develop a revitalization strategy for properties within a 1,093-acre area bounded by the Youngmann Memorial Highway, Niagara Thruway, Niagara River and City of Tonawanda. The site consists of 116 parcels along River Road, within the North Youngmann Commerce Center and the former Spaulding Fibre property.

Visit www.tonawanda.ny.us/BOA for more information.

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Mortgage tax receipts fall despite homebuyer credit

Erie County's mortgage tax receipts fell in 2010 when compared with the previous year, Comptroller Mark C. Poloncarz said Wednesday.

The receipts are shared with each municipality based on the number of closings within their borders, and nearly every municipality saw a decline in revenue from 2009, Poloncarz said in a report.

He said the federal government's first-time homebuyers tax credit program did not drive up receipts from the mortgage tax that helps local governments balance their books. The receipts declined from $14.9 million in 2009 to $12.3 million last year, he said. Erie County's mortgage tax receipts still have not rebounded to the $17.5 million total seen in 2007.

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Chestnut Ridge Park sets stage for seasonal celebration

The Erie County Winter Fest is coming back to Chestnut Ridge Park this weekend.

The celebration will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday in the area near the Chestnut Ridge Casino. There will no charge.

Activities include sledding, snowboarding, tobogganing, snowshoe hikes, cross-country skiing, snow sculpturing, hayrides and marshmallow roasting. Toboggans will be rented for $25 for two hours, $35 for four hours and $55 for all day. For information on this and other winter activities in county parks, call 858-8513 or visit www.erie.gov/parks.

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Monroe County DA picked for judgeship in Rochester

WASHINGTON -- President Obama on Wednesday nominated Michael Green, the district attorney in Monroe County, to serve as a federal judge in the Western District of New York, based in Rochester.

Green has served as DA since 2004. Previously, he was a prosecutor in the DA's Office, serving in several positions.

The White House noted Green has tried more than 100 felony cases, including 40 homicide cases. A graduate of LeMoyne College in Syracuse, he received his law degree in 1986 from Western New England College School of Law. The Western District has courthouses in both Rochester and Buffalo.

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