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Veteran Buffalo prosecutor Michael T. Kelly has been elected vice chairman of the Criminal Justice Section of the New York State Bar Association.

Kelly, 57, has been a lawyer since 1973. Since 1981, he has been Buffalo regional director of the state attorney general's Medicaid Fraud Control Unit. He has lectured extensively on nursing home fraud, theft and fencing of stolen property, trial tactics, search warrants and witness examination.

Before joining the state attorney general's staff, he spent six years in the Erie County district attorney's office, where he prosecuted cases involving murder, organized crime, police brutality and public corruption.

A professor of aerospace engineering and a professor who teaches in three departments at the University at Buffalo were among 21 top researchers in the State University of New York system honored recently by SUNY Chancellor Robert L. King in Albany.

They are:

Christina L. Bloebaum, chairwoman of UB's department of mechanical and aerospace engineering, who also holds the chair for competitive product and process design at the university.

She has received more than $4.6 million in individual and collaborative research funding over the past nine years. She is internationally known for her groundbreaking research in multidisciplinary design optimization.

Bruce A. Holm, a UB professor of pediatrics, pharmacology and toxicology, and obstetrics and gynecology.

He is also senior associate dean of the School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at UB and principal investigator on a number of National Institutes of Health and Markey Trust-funded projects. His research focuses on the biology of lung development.

Two members of Boy Scout Troop 601 recently were awarded the Eagle Scout rank in Court of Honor ceremonies at SS. Peter & Paul Parish in Depew.

James R. Banach, who graduated in June from Lancaster High School, completed his Eagle Scout service project by organizing a food and clothing drive at the Ukrainian Club in Lancaster.

He is a freshman in the University at Buffalo honors program for mechanical engineering and a member of UB's men's volleyball team. He has been a member of the troop since April 1993 and has received many Scouting awards.

The other new Eagle Scout is Eric L. Kempski, a junior at Depew High School.

His Eagle Scout project involved repainting nearly all of the fire alarm box poles in the Village of Depew to make them more visible to the public. Because there were 109 poles to be painted in red and white colors, he was assisted by fellow Scouts in completing the project.

When he received his Eagle award, he also was given the honor of being named a troop guide.

Tom Trzepacz is scoutmaster of Troop 601.

George M. Hezel of East Aurora, director of the Affordable Housing Clinic in the University at Buffalo Law School, recently was honored by the Heritage Christian Home for his "outstanding" support of the agency and people with special needs.

He was cited for his initiative and expertise in developing a plan for affordable housing for people with developmental disabilities using federal low-income housing tax credits. He was praised for his exceptional command of the law, problem-solving skills and a willingness to learn the unique funding system for the developmentally disabled.

Richard J. Ryan of Orchard Park, chief financial officer of International Motion Control, will receive the Service to Mankind Award from the Western New York and Finger Lakes Chapter of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society on Feb. 24 at the chapter's ninth annual Diamond Ball in Samuel's Statler Ballroom in downtown Buffalo.

He was chosen for his outstanding support of the society and other charitable organizations.

Ryan, who earned a bachelor of science degree in accounting from Niagara University, has served on the local board of trustees of the society since 1993 and was chapter president from 1996 to 2000. He also is a member of the Council of Accountancy for Canisius College and Niagara University.

He has been with IMC for 18 years and has 30 years of financial management experience with international manufacturing organizations throughout Western New York.

Proceeds from the Diamond Ball will support research into leukemia, lymphoma and blood-related cancers as well as other service programs in the area. Information about the ball may be obtained by calling the society at 635-9111.

Harold Lockwood of Belmont, a sixth-grade dropout who became a Literacy Volunteers of America/Allegany County board member, has been selected as an outstanding adult student award recipient by the New York Association for Continuing and Community Education.

He will be honored at an awards dinner Feb. 12 in Albany. The next morning, he and Daniel Porter, executive director of Literacy Volunteers of America in Allegany County, will meet with state legislators to discuss issues facing adult education and the cost-efficiency of adult literacy programs.

They will tell the legislators that an independent auditing firm has determined that every dollar spent on Literacy Volunteer programs returns $33 to the community.

Lockwood entered the Literacy Volunteers program in 1991 and quickly improved his reading skills, earning his GED. In 1994, he switched roles from student to Literacy Volunteer tutor and has since become a tutor training workshop leader, a member of the local board of directors and mentor to the student council.

The board of directors of Suicide Prevention and Crisis Service, better known as Crisis Services, has appointed Douglas B. Fabian as the agency's executive director.

He left his post as deputy director of the Division of Substance Abuse for the City of Buffalo to join Crisis Services. He replaces Frank P. Mittin, who has joined the United Way of Buffalo and Erie County as director of its new not-for-profit Resource Center.

Fabian, a certified social worker, received undergraduate and graduate degrees in social work from Syracuse University. He is president of Erie County Network, a consortium of mental health agencies. He has more than 25 years of clinical and administrative experience.

Crisis Services operates Western New York's only crisis hotline (834-3131), which is staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The agency also operates the Kids' Hotline (834-1144), an emergency outreach service, and operates an advocate program for victims of family violence, rape and sexual assault and an outreach program for homeless people.

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