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Postal carriers to seek food donations Saturday

For the 20th year, postal carriers in Western New York and across the U.S. will collect food donations for the Stamp Out Hunger campaign, the nation's biggest annual single-day food drive, as they deliver the mail Saturday.

Postal carriers ask people on their routes to leave a sturdy bag of nonperishable food -- such as canned soup, canned vegetables, rice, pasta or cereal -- next to their mailboxes. Food items also can be dropped off in the lobby of any post office.

Donations locally go to the Food Bank of Western New York and other food banks throughout the area. In Niagara County, donations are distributed to 29 agencies through the United Way of Greater Niagara.

The Buffalo Postal District repeatedly has been among the top donors and last year was ranked third in the nation. This year the goal is to collect two million pounds of food. The drive is sponsored by the National Association of Letter Carriers.


Legislature to spotlight cost of unfunded mandates

BATAVIA -- The Genesee County Legislature will hold a public event to spotlight the cost of unfunded state mandates.

The session, headed by Legislature Chairwoman Mary Pat Hancock, R-Batavia/Stafford, and current president of the New York State Association of Counties, will be held in the legislative chambers at 4 p.m. Monday.

It will focus on "fiscal relief for the mandate on service providers/payers."

Genesee County officials estimate that 40 percent of local property tax receipts go to Medicaid. Hancock, in her State of the County address in March, urged state officials: "Don't adopt a budget without Medicaid reform and local Medicaid share relief."

In her role as head of NYSAC, Hancock is urging other counties to add their voices to the protest. Earlier this week, the Wyoming County Board of Supervisors added its voice, claiming that in 2010 mandates ranging from Medicaid to pensions consumed 112 percent of the county's tax levy.


Bridge, tower going green for mental health awareness

The Peace Bridge connecting Buffalo and Fort Erie, Ont., and the Electric Tower in downtown Buffalo will be lit green Saturday evening in recognition of Mental Health Awareness Month.

Crisis Services in Buffalo, noting that one in four Americans live with a treatable mental health condition, is encouraging people ask for help and information for themselves or friends and family members by calling 834-3131 any time of day or by visiting


Cuomo appoints Brown to 13-member task force

Buffalo Mayor Byron W. Brown has been named to Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo's 13-member New York Works Task Force, which will prioritize the building and rebuilding of bridges, highways and parks.

Brown is the only Western New York member of the task force, which was established in the 2012-13 state budget.