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NIAGARA NEWS BRIEFS

Time Warner Cable, MSG finalize agreement

It's official.

Time Warner Cable and MSG Media formally finalized the verbal agreement announced Friday and put it in writing, the cable company announced Monday.

Terms of the agreement were still not disclosed.

"Time Warner Cable has finalized a multiyear agreement with MSG Media for carriage of MSG, MSG and Fuse," said Joli Plucknette-Farmen, communications manager for Time Warner in Western New York.

In a separate statement by MSG officials, the regional sports network that has the exclusive rights to telecast Buffalo Sabres hockey games said it was "pleased to announce that late Friday night the companies finalized a multiyear agreement."

MSG officials also would not disclose the terms of the agreement.

The tentative agreement returned Sabres hockey to the airwaves for Time Warner subscribers in time for Friday night's shootout loss to Montreal. Time Warner customers will be able to watch tonight's game against the New York Islanders in the comfort of their homes.

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Medical Center purchases robotic surgery system

NIAGARA FALLS -- Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center announced Monday that it has purchased a $1.7 million robotic surgery system.

The da Vinci Si unit is to be used by specially trained surgeons in minimally invasive operations, in which small holes rather than incisions are made in the patient's body.

"News of this technology coming to Niagara Falls Memorial has already prompted several of Western New York's most distinguished and well-regarded surgeons to apply for operating privileges here," hospital President and CEO Joseph A. Ruffolo said.

An open house and demonstration of the unit, open to the public, is scheduled from noon to 6 p.m. March 6. The system will be used for surgery beginning March 8.

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DEC seeks public comments on revised cleanup plan

NIAGARA FALLS -- The state Department of Environmental Conservation is seeking public comments on a revised cleanup plan for the Tract II site on Highland Avenue.

The DEC wants to change its plan for the eastern portion of Tract II, where waste and fill materials are up to 9 feet thick beneath heavy brush and the ruins of a warehouse. The new plan calls for on-site treatment of waste and fill, which would then be paved over or built upon.

A former owner, Honeywell International, has agreed to foot the $6 million bill for the Superfund cleanup. According to the DEC, the site was used as a production facility by several business form companies from 1903 to 1970.

A public meeting is set 6:30 p.m. March 1 in the Doris Jones Family Resource Center, 3001 Ninth St. Written comments will be accepted through March 15.

The City Council has voted to sell the 18-acre property, along with the adjoining 5-acre Tract I, to developer Jon Williams for $1. His plan for the site includes a retail development, an incubator building for light industry and a park.