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State Senate likely to OK three members to the board

ALBANY -- The State Senate this week is expected to approve the nominations of three new members of the New York Power Authority's board, including a leading Buffalo banker poised to become the agency's influential chairman.

Two of the new members are from Western New York -- John Koelmel, the president and chief executive officer of First Niagara Financial Group, and Terrance Flynn, a Buffalo lawyer and former U.S. Attorney for Western New York in the Bush administration.

The third nomination to the power authority board by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo is Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney, a Republican who endorsed the Democratic governor in 2010.


Second vaccination offering set for Saturday at Hyde Park

NIAGARA FALLS -- Niagara County's second free rabies vaccination clinic this year for dogs, cats and ferrets will be held from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday in the Hyde Park Oasis/Centennial Pavilion off Robbins Drive.

James J. Devald, county environmental health director, said 668 animals received rabies shots at the first clinic April 21 in Hartland. The county plans a total of six clinics this year.

Two rabid raccoons were confirmed in Royalton during the first half of May, Devald said. In all of 2011, there were six rabies cases in the county: three raccoons and three bats.


Foreclosure specialists set to offer help to homeowners

Mortgage foreclosure prevention specialists from the state Department of Financial Services will meet with Buffalo area homeowners already in foreclosure or at risk of foreclosure.

The specialists will be available from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday at the department's Mobile Command Center, which will be parked at Belmont Housing Services, 1195 Main St.

The specialists will offer information about specific loan modification programs and guidance on how homeowners can file complaints of possible abuses such as predatory lending practices.

Also, housing counselors from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development will be available.

Homeowners should bring with them any documents relevant to their individual situations, such as records of mortgage payments or letters from lenders or mortgage servicers.

Homeowners also may file complaints using the department's website, or by calling the toll-free foreclosure hotline at 1-800-269-0990 or (518) 457-1654 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.


Applications being accepted for housing voucher program

NIAGARA FALLS -- The city's leased housing office will be accepting applications for the waiting list of its housing choice voucher program from Monday to June 15.

The program is funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and helps provide rental assistance to low-income families.

Applications can be obtained at under the News & Announcements section starting Saturday, or picked up at the Carnegie Building, 1022 Main St., starting Monday.