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NIAGARA NEWS BRIEFS

Community leaders in Falls address gun violence

NIAGARA FALLS -- After two homicides in less than two weeks, community leaders will gather to speak out against the city's gun violence at 3 p.m. Saturday at 21st Street and Ontario Avenue, the site of the city's most recent homicide.

Members of SNUG -- guns spelled backwards -- regularly respond to city shootings in an attempt to prevent future violence.

They met after Niagara University student Brandon Johnson, 20, of Rochester, was killed in a botched armed robbery in University Court on Dec. 8, and will meet again to speak out against the gun violence which killed Cortez Hill, 28, Monday at Ontario and 21st.

SNUG Field Supervisor Xavier Walker said members of the City Council, police, local church and business leaders, as well as Cortez Hill's family, will attend.

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Canal Homes seeking construction workers

LOCKPORT -- The construction crew on the Lockport Canal Homes project needs general laborers, Alderman Jack L. Smith Jr. announced.

Smith said job seekers should apply at the construction headquarters, Pine and Genesee streets. Housing Visions, a Syracuse-based not-for-profit agency, is constructing an $8.6 million makeover of Genesee Street that is to produce 30 apartments and a community center.

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Post office branches reduce hours for holiday

All post offices in the Buffalo Niagara region will be open the morning of Christmas Eve on Saturday, but window service will close at noon in all but one of them, postal authorities report.

The exception is the Cayuga Branch, 285 Cayuga Road, Cheektowaga, which will stay open until 3 p.m. Mail will be delivered as usual on Saturday.

Post offices will be closed on Christmas Day and Monday, although Express Mail will be delivered on both days. Regular mail delivery and post office hours will resume on Tuesday.

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Grisanti joins legislators seeking funds for NFTA

Add the name of State Sen. Mark J. Grisanti, R-Buffalo, to the local chorus of local state legislators calling for restoration of $10 million in transit operating assistance from New York State to the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority.

Grisanti joins Assemblywoman Crystal D. Peoples-Stokes, D-Buffalo, and Assemblyman Dennis H. Garbryszak, D-Cheektowaga, in writing to Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo to ask for the $10 million. The first member of the area delegation to petition the governor was Assemblyman John D. Ceretto, R-Lewiston.

The effort is now gaining traction after Albany dispatched $250 million to the downstate Metropolitan Transportation Authority to replace funds stemming from expired local taxes.

"If downstate can get $250 million for their transit authority, then upstate should get $10 million, Grisanti said. "My constituents need access to public transportation to get to work, if they can't get to work, then they will lose their job and go on some sort of public assistance."