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Honor Roll / Recognizing the accomplishments of Western New Yorkers

Two Buffalo attorneys will receive awards at the New York State Bar Association's annual luncheon in New York City Jan. 27.

Defense attorney James P. Harrington, considered one of Buffalo's leading defense lawyers, will receive the Charles F. Crimi Memorial Award, for outstanding work by a private defense lawyer.

Joanne Macri, who runs an immigration law program for the New York State Defenders Association, will receive an award for outstanding contributions in the field of criminal law education.

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Team members of the Seneca Casinos recently donated holiday gifts through the Community Missions of Niagara Frontier's Adopt-a-Family Program to help 24 local families and 66 children have a happier holiday.

Each family also received a gift card to a local supermarket for a holiday meal.

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Keep Western New York Beautiful, a not-for-profit group, received a national award from Keep America Beautiful for its Green-to-Clean demonstration project. The project introduced urban gardeners to phytoremediation, a cost-effective way to clean up lead-contaminated soil using plants. Keep Western New York Beautiful partnered with Grassroots Gardens of Buffalo and Center for Urban Studies at the University at Buffalo to complete the project. The organization strives to make the region greener and cleaner through hands-on environmental and beautification programs.

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A University at Buffalo Law School alumnus with roots in Western New York and a deep involvement in the school will be honored on Jan. 28 with the Law School's most prestigious award.

Thomas E. Black Jr., founder and managing partner of the Texas law firm of Black, Mann & Graham, LLP, will receive the 2011 Edwin F. Jaeckle Award, the highest honor of the Law School and Law Alumni Association. The award will be presented to Black, who graduated in 1979, at the New York City Alumni Luncheon in the Union League Club in Manhattan. The award is given annually to an individual who has made significant contributions to the Law School and to the legal profession.

Previous recipients have included Charles S. Desmond, Matthew J. Jasen, Manly Fleischmann, Jacob D. Hyman, M. Dolores Denman and William R. Greiner.

Black, the son of a third-generation steelworker and a native of South Buffalo and West Seneca, and his wife, Bridget, who grew up in the Town of Tonawanda, now live in Texas, where his law firm has offices in Dallas, Flower Mound and Houston. The firm, with more than 130 employees, concentrates on mortgage servicing. It is the largest document preparation law firm in Texas, where preparing a mortgage loan document requires an attorney.

"Tom Black has set the highest standard in both his legal work in business and in his invaluable contributions to UB Law School," said UB Law Dean Makau W. Mutua. "His leadership on the Dean's Advisory Council has been of immeasurable value as we continue to work to become a Top 50 law school. I can think of no more fitting honoree for this year's Jaeckle Award."

The Blacks' support for UB Law has been financial as well, and their $1 million gift this year will establish a named professorship at the school.

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Read to Succeed Buffalo, an organization dedicated to improving literacy in Buffalo, debuts its 2011 calendar, which includes artwork from 12 local artists. The calendar is part of the Community Art Project designed to raise awareness of the importance of family and community literacy.

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"CogitoErgoSumians," a team of five students from the University at Buffalo, recently won the eTools Prize at the fourth annual Ergonomics Design Competition for Student Teams sponsored by Auburn Engineers Inc. of Auburn, Ala.

The group will join the company and competition judges at an eTools Users Group meeting in March before the Applied Ergonomics Conference and Expo sponsored by the Institute of Industrial Engineers in Orlando, Fla.

The student team is led by Piyush Bareria and includes Xinhui Xhu, Nicolette McGeorge, Yijun Liu and Michael Jenkins. Faculty adviser is Gwanseob Shin, Ph.D., in the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering.

lcontinelli@buffnews.com

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