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LOCAL NEWS BRIEFS

> AGRICULTURE

Disaster loans available to farmers in three counties

Farmers in Erie, Chautauqua and Cattaraugus counties are eligible for disaster loans resulting from severe winter conditions, according to the Farm Service Agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The agency, formerly the Farmers Home Administration, said farmers who suffered production losses of at least 30 percent are eligible for winter damages from Feb. 15 to May 12, 2010, as well as the period between Dec. 28, 2010, and Feb. 19, 2011.

Additional information is available from the agency's Jamestown office at 664-2351.

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> CITY OF BATAVIA

New agreement is reached with operator of ice rink

BATAVIA -- The City Council and the operator of the city's ice rink have come to terms on a new agreement, the Council learned at a conference meeting Monday.

Firland Management President James Cain and City Manager Jason R. Molino worked out details that will increase annual lease payments starting at $15,000. Over the past four years that Firland has managed the Falleti Ice Arena, the city has received $25,000. The new five-year pact raises that sum to $85,000, which will be put into a capital reserve fund for future improvements.

Firland, a Maine-based company, will also pay $11,000 a year for the recent purchase of a Zamboni. The new lease calls for payments on March 1 each year instead of monthly.

Firland's president says the firm has plans for the ice arena, which has had a checkered history since it was built in 1978. He outlined an extensive schedule of spring and summer activities to complement local high school hockey and public skating.

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> FUNERAL

State Police issues alert on services for trooper

The State Police is alerting motorists that there will be an extensive funeral procession Friday morning from an Amherst funeral home to a Clarence church where services will be held for Trooper Kevin Patrick Dobson, who died in the line of duty Saturday.

The procession will start at about 10:30 a.m. outside Amigone Funeral Home, 5200 Sheridan Drive, Amherst, and head east on Sheridan and then turn north onto Harris Hill Road in Clarence, where it will continue up to the Harris Hill entrance to the Eastern Hills Wesleyan Church.

Services at the church are set to begin at 11 a.m.

Dobson, 43, was fatally struck shortly after dawn Saturday by an elderly man driving a pickup truck.

The trooper was making a traffic stop on the shoulder of the Youngmann Memorial Highway in the Town of Tonawanda.

Preliminary results from an Erie County Medical Examiner's Office autopsy indicate the trooper died from "multiple blunt force injuries to internal organs and head and a fracture to the neck," according to a statement released Tuesday by the State Police.

The investigation into the accident is continuing.

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