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NIAGARA NEWS BRIEFS

Special meeting Monday to extend 8% sales tax

LOCKPORT -- A special meeting of the Niagara County Legislature has been called for 7 p.m. Monday to extend the county's 8 percent sales tax for two more years.

Assistant County Attorney R. Joseph Foltz said Thursday that Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo has signed a bill giving the county permission to continue charging the extra 1 percent. The county is required to use the proceeds of the eighth percentage point exclusively to pay for Medicaid.

Legislature Clerk Mary Jo Tamburlin said the extension can't wait until the next regular meeting Sept. 6 because the state Tax Department wants 90 days' notice. Foltz said the current authorization for the 8 percent sales tax expires Nov. 30.

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City lists closing times for pools, boat launch

NORTH TONAWANDA -- The Department of Youth, Recreation & Parks has announced end-of-season closing times for the pools and a weekend closing for the Gratwick boat launch.

The Memorial Pool on Payne Avene will close Saturday. The hours for its last Saturday are 1:15 to 4:30 p.m. and 6:30 to 8 p.m.

Because of warm weather, the Raindrop Wading Pool on Payne Avenue will stay open an extra week, until Aug. 27. Hours are 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Saturday.

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Ride of Steel coaster closed for the season

The roller coaster from which a Iraq war veteran fell to his death last month has been shut down for the remainder of the season, officials with the Darien Lake Theme Park Resort announced Thursday.

"While we regret to inform our guests that the roller coaster will be down for remainder of the season, we still have a large variety of rides and attractions for all ages to enjoy," said Christopher Thorpe, general manager of the park in a statement posted on the park's website.

The roller coaster, Ride of Steel, was closed for two weeks after James T. Hackemer, a double amputee, was ejected from the ride on July 8. It reopened but was shut down again on Aug. 11, after a mechanical failure that stranded 32 passengers.

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Students can get app for merchant program

LEWISTON -- Niagara University students will soon return for the fall semester, and will do so with mobile access to NU's Preferred Merchant Program.

Vidappe, a location-based mobile application developer, will provide NU students and employees with an opportunity to receive real-time notifications when they are within close proximity to one of the more than 60 vendors which participate in the program. "Preferred merchants" offer Niagara students in possession of a current university ID card at least a 10 percent discount.

The free app is available on iPhones (3GS and above), iPads, iPods and devices operating on Android software 2.2 or higher. It can be downloaded from iTunes and/or the Android Market.

To learn more about Vidappe, visit www.vidappe.com.