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NIAGARA NEWS BRIEFS

New lanes to ease travel on Rainbow, Peace bridges

Crossing the Peace Bridge in Buffalo and Rainbow Bridge in Niagara Falls is getting a bit easier for those with the proper travel documents.

A "Ready Lane" will be opened on both bridges during certain days and times to help expedite travel.

The new lane, part of an initiative from U.S. Customs and Border Protection, is intended for travelers with one of the following documents: enhanced driver's license, U.S. passport card, new permanent resident card or a trusted traveler card such as a NEXUS, SENTRI or FAST card.

The lanes will be open Monday through Thursday at both bridges, from 2 to 6 p.m. on the Peace Bridge and 3 to 7 p.m. on the Rainbow Bridge.

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County to release doctor from bid to buy property

LOCKPORT -- Niagara County appears ready to release a Tacoma, Wash., ophthalmologist from his bid to buy 16.9 acres of county property on Davison Road in Lockport.

County Manager Jeffrey M. Glatz said Tuesday a release is being negotiated with Dr. Douglas MacLeod, who bid $160,250 in an online auction last November.

His brother Donald MacLeod proposed a development of senior citizen condominiums, only to learn that the buildings' height would be illegal under the Town of Lockport zoning ordinance. A smaller project would be economically unfeasible, the MacLeods concluded.

Glatz said the likely outcome is that the county will allow MacLeod to back out of his bid and will return his deposit. There was one other bidder in the online auction, but County Attorney Claude A. Joerg declined to comment about whether the runner-up will be offered the land after the MacLeods are out of the picture.

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Country Line Dancers at farmers' market

WHEATFIELD -- The Country Line Dancers are the featured attraction today at the Wheatfield Farmers' Market. The market, with about 20 vendors, runs from 3 to 7 p.m. outside the town Community Center, 6812 Nash Road. The Line Dancers will perform from 6 to 7.

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Murphy will also run on Taxpayers Party line

LOCKPORT -- Patrick L. Murphy, Democratic candidate for Niagara County clerk, announced this week he will have an extra spot on the November ballot by filing petitions to create an independent line.

After filing almost 2,200 signatures, Murphy's name will appear on the Niagara Taxpayers Party line in addition to the Democratic line.

"I think those who signed petitions for the Niagara Taxpayers Party are hard-working county residents who think reducing the cost of county government should be a priority. That will be my goal as Niagara County clerk," Murphy said.

Murphy, the brother of County Judge Matthew J. Murphy III, is running against 16-year Republican incumbent Wayne F. Jagow.

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