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NIAGARA NEWS BRIEFS

Income ceiling for seniors increased for tax exemptions

LOCKPORT -- The Common Council this week made it a bit easier for senior citizen homeowners to obtain a 50 percent property tax exemption on their houses.

The Council increased the income ceiling for such exemptions from $23,000 to $25,420. The increase will take effect for the 2012 tax roll, which will be used to assess the 2013 city tax. During Council discussion of the issue in March, indexing the ceiling to inflation was suggested, but that provision was not included in the final version.

The city had not increased the income ceiling in seven years. The move was sponsored by Alderman Kenneth M. Genewick, R-5th Ward, who also serves as director of the Niagara County Office for the Aging.

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South Isle span to see lane closings overnight

Motorists traveling northbound over the South Grand Island Bridge will find one of the lanes closed to traffic during overnight hours next week, the state Thruway Authority announced.

During that time, contractors plan to test and seal newly installed bridge joints. Contractors also will seal the reconstructed sidewalk and parapet joints on the bridge. This work follows the completion of a $48 million rehabilitation project that started a year ago.

Weather permitting, lane closings are scheduled for: 10 p.m. Monday to 6 a.m. Tuesday; 9 p.m. Tuesday to 6 a.m. Wednesday; 9 p.m. Wednesday to 6 a.m. Thursday; 9 p.m. Thursday to 6 a.m. Friday; and 11 p.m. Friday to 9 a.m. Saturday.

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WNY Applebee's offering free Easter dining for kids

Kids will eat free Easter Sunday at Western New York-area Applebee's Neighborhood Grill & Bar restaurants.

Children 10 and younger, who are accompanied by adults making an entree purchase, can choose one free meal from the following options: chicken fingers, mini cheeseburger, grilled cheese sandwich, Kraft macaroni & cheese, fried shrimp or hot dog. Kids also will receive a choice of a side dish and soft drink or juice with their meal. Participating WNY Applebee's locations include Amherst, Batavia, Buffalo, Blasdell, Cheektowaga, Lancaster, Dunkirk, Jamestown, Lockport, Niagara Falls, Olean, West Seneca and Williamsville.

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Second lawsuit lodged in bid to stop condominiums

FORT ERIE, Ont. -- A second lawsuit by Fort Erie taxpayers to prevent a controversial, 12-story Bay Beach condominium project in Fort Erie, Ont., was filed Wednesday in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice in Toronto.

The lawsuit claims the Town of Fort Erie exceeded its statutory authority when it agreed to give land to the Molinaro Group, the private developer, in return for services; provided prime waterfront land for below-fair market value; and formed a public-private partnership with the Molinaro Group without profiting monetarily.

The Fort Erie Town Council voted 4 to 3 March 23 to proceed with the project, reversing a Feb. 14 decision.