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LOCAL NEWS BRIEFS

Health care workers seek support at rally

LOCKPORT -- A union rally Saturday will attempt to win public support for the workers at Odd Fellow and Rebekah Rehabilitation and Health Care Center, who are threatening to strike if a contract isn't reached with the nursing home at bargaining sessions set for early March.

Local 1199, Service Employees International Union, United Healthcare Workers East, will rally from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. Saturday in Ida Fritz Park, West and Park avenues.

The union has said it intends a one-day strike March 8 against the not-for-profit Lockport nursing home, which reduced full-time workers' hours from 40 to 37.5 per week in November and cut some employees from full-time to part-time.

"We want to get the information out into the community as to what's going on so we don't have to strike," union spokeswoman Franchelle C. Hart said. She said the rally will emphasize the cutbacks' impact on patient care.

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Hospital running contest to name surgical robot

NIAGARA FALLS -- Entry forms have been sent to 60 area elementary schools, urging students to suggest a name for Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center's new surgical robot.

The contest, announced by the hospital Wednesday, pertains to the $1.7 million robotic surgery unit the medical center will put into service March 8. Its purchase was announced Monday.

The winning entry will win that child an Amazon Kindle e-reader and a pizza party for his or her classmates. The entry deadline is March 9. More information about the "Name the Robot" contest is available by calling 278-4604 or emailing HealthBeat@nfmmc.org.

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Buffalo to be host city for National Veterans Games

The 2012 National Veterans Golden Age Games haven't even taken place yet, but already Buffalo is looking forward to the 2013 games.

Buffalo will be the host city for next year's event and anticipates 2,500 people will attend or participate.

The announcement was made Tuesday in the chambers of City Judge Robert Russell, who established the nation's first Veteran's Treatment Court.

The games are for veterans over the age of 55 and involve 14 sports and recreational activities, including swimming, cycling, golf, shot-put and horseshoes.

This year's games begin May 31 in St. Louis.

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VA death certificates turned over to City Clerk

Death certificates that had been housed and processed by Veterans Affairs of Western New York Healthcare System are now archived and processed at the Buffalo City Clerk's Office.

The changeover from the VA to the city took place Feb. 1.

For more information, contact Deputy Clerk of Vital Statistics Milly Castro at 851-5442.