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Substantial lake cover delays ice boom removal

A substantial ice cover on the eastern end of Lake Erie is delaying a springtime ritual -- the removal of the ice boom.

"It's not going to happen Friday, but at some point afterwards," said Michael Saltzman, spokesman for the New York Power Authority.

Ice boom regulations require that the removal of the boom start April 1, unless there is more than 250 square miles of ice on the eastern end of the lake.

The International Joint Commission estimated late last week that about 27 percent -- or about 530 square miles -- of the lake's eastern basin was covered with ice.

The 1.7-mile boom -- made up of metal pontoons linked together -- holds back ice floes from entering the Niagara River and damaging water intakes for the Power Authority's Niagara Power Project.

Last year, crews started removing the boom on March 22. The earliest the boom was removed was March 5, 1998, and the latest, May 3, 1971, according to the International Joint Commission's International Niagara Board of Control.

Steve McLaughlin, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service at Buffalo Niagara International Airport, estimated that it could be at least a week before enough ice melts on the lake to remove the boom.


Board grants approval to seek capital bond notes

SILVER CREEK -- The Silver Creek School Board on Wednesday gave authorization to seek bond notes to cover the cost of the capital improvement project.

Voters approved the $13.2 renovation and remodeling project last Thursday in a special election. School Superintendent David O'Rourke said the project, which still requires the approval of the state Department of Education, might begin in late summer or early fall, with the first priority roof repairs.

O'Rourke has promised district residents that the would not have any local tax impact.


Three graduates praised in Hall of Fame induction

BATAVIA -- Three graduates of Genesee Community College were praised for their success and community involvement at their induction Wednesday in the college's Alumni Hall of Fame.

Jacqueline E. Dwyer of Batavia, a nursing school graduate in 1996, capped a career in education by becoming a registered nurse as a nontraditional aged student. She then went to work at city schools and as an instructor at Genesee Valley BOCES. She and her husband, John C., worked for years at GCC capital projects and fundraising.

Benjamin J. Bonarigo, a 1977 business graduate, went on to the University at Buffalo Law School and is a practicing attorney in Batavia. He is a member of the State Bar Association House of Delegates. He served for ten years on the board of trustees at Notre Dame High School where he was honored with a Volunteer Service Award.

Matthew B. Locker, a 1988 graduate, helped start the college's radio station in 1985. He parlayed that experience into a radio and TV news career in New Jersey. He founded and is president of Winbeam Light Labs, which developed the first high-definition fluorescent lamp.

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