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LOCAL NEWS BRIEFS

Yo-Yo Ma booked to appear at Dec. 8 scholarship benefit

FREDONIA -- Yo-Yo Ma, one of the most recognizable names in classical music, will perform at Fredonia State College at 8 p.m. Dec. 8 as part of a scholarship benefit.

The world-renowned cellist will perform both as a soloist and with the College Symphony Orchestra in King Concert Hall. The artist has performed at the Oscars, Grammys and Olympics, as well as the inauguration of President Obama.

Tickets go on sale beginning at 9 a.m. Mondayand can be purchased by calling (716) 673-3501, online at www.fredonia.edu/tickets or in person at the Williams Center Ticket Office on the Fredonia campus. Tickets are being offered at four different pricing levels: a limited number for students at $15 per person and up to $250.

Ma will perform Dvorak's Cello Concerto, Strauss' Overture to "Die Fledermaus" and Elgar's "Enigma" Variations.

The cellist, who also will conduct an interactive master class for the campus, has been named a Williams Distinguished Visiting Artist. His appearance is being partially sponsored by the Williams Visiting Scholar/Artist program.

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Pruning at Bartlett House canceled in wake of storm

OLEAN -- Today's scheduled pruning of trees at the Bartlett House has been canceled because National Grid workers have been redirected to handle storm issues, city officials said.

The work will be rescheduled at a later date. For more information contact City Forester Sue Cooper at 376-5618.

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Board OKs 2011-12 budget reflecting $1.90 tax increase

FREDONIA -- The Fredonia Village Board adopted a tax increase of $1.90 per $1,000 of assessed valuation Friday during a special meeting in Village Hall.

The new tax rate for 2011-12 is $32.73 per $1,000. Taxes raised will support a budget of $5.5 million, which represents a 1.74 percent decrease from the current spending plan.

The board chose to use less of the fund balance -- $247,561 instead of the initially proposed $538,086.

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Ex-president of AMA named Medicare-Medicaid adviser

WASHINGTON -- Nancy Nielsen, former head of the Office of Medical Education at the University at Buffalo and past president of the American Medical Association, has been named to serve for a year as a top adviser for the federal government's Medicare and Medicaid reform efforts.

Nielsen will be senior adviser for stakeholder engagement at the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation in the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Established under last year's health care reform law, the center tests innovative approaches to making Medicare and Medicaid more effective and cost-efficient.

Michael E. Cain, dean of the UB School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, said Nielsen will serve as the school's senior associate dean for health policy when she returns to UB.