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NIAGARA NEWS BRIEFS

School budget approved, board incumbents re-elected

WILSON -- Voters overwhelmingly approved the $23.48 million Wilson School District budget Tuesday, 400-146.

Voters also re-elected both incumbents in a four-way race for two Board of Education seats.

Incumbent Michael Leggett received 404 votes, followed by incumbent Christopher Carlin with 359 votes. Newcomer Eric Truesdell collected 196 votes and Christopher Srock earned 107.

The results were not provided in time for Wednesday's print edition deadline.

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School budget passes by vote of 1,037-551

NIAGARA FALLS -- The city School District's $122.4 million budget for the coming year, marking the 19th consecutive year without a local tax increase, won the approval of nearly two out of every three voters, the School Board was told Wednesday.

Administrators told board members that 1,037 residents voted in favor of the budget in Tuesday's referendum. They said 551 voted against it.

The figures are slightly different than those announced right after the polls closed, and they still are unofficial until a canvass is completed.

The tax rate for the 2012-13 school year will remain unchanged at $18.89 for each $1,000 of assessment, or a total of $1,889.60 for property valued at $100,000.

Vincent (Jimmy) Cancemi Sr., a furniture dealer and retired special education teacher, was re-elected as a board member with 1,018 votes.

His opponent, Joseph Marinello Jr., received 638 votes.

Cancemi said his goal as a board member is "to continue to have our graduation rate exceed the New York State standards [and] to see to it that every student, upon graduation, is ready for whatever career he or she chooses to pursue."

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Lawsuits withdrawn over unbuilt packet boat

LOCKPORT -- Four lawsuits have been withdrawn by a Buffalo man who was seeking damages from the City of Lockport and other city agencies following the demise of his plan to build a replica Erie Canal packet boat.

Michael R. Weekes was set to appear Thursday in small claims court in the city, but his case has been withdrawn, with little explanation.

"I got a notice on Tuesday and was told not to appear in court," said Lockport Mayor Michael Tucker, adding that it didn't appear Weekes had much of a case.

Work on Weekes' partially built "Pride of the Erie Canal" was suspended in January and he was suing the city for "failure to pay promised support for development, construction and marketing" of the boat, according to court papers.

Weekes had sought $5,000 each from the city, the Niagara County Historical Society, the Dale Association, and local tourism promoter Jay C. Krull.

City Corporation Counsel John J. Ottaviano said after the lawsuit was filed in April that there was no contract and no resolution from the Common Council to authorize the project.

Weekes acknowledged in April that he never had a written contract.