The U.S. Attorney's Office in Buffalo recently marked National Crime Victims' Rights Week by handing out awards to individuals known for their dedication and commitment to crime victims.
U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul Jr. presented awards to the following people:
*Assistant U.S. Attorney Everardo Rodriguez for his work in a case involving the murder of two young men.
*Secret Service Special Agent Greg Garmacini for his role in helping 61 victims hurt by an investment scam.
*Immigration and Customs Enforcement Special Agent Nelson Yera for his work in uncovering a multiple-state human trafficking ring.
*Federal Probation Officer Lindsay Maza for her role in preparing presentence reports in child exploitation cases.
*Kim Pettit of the U.S. Attorney's support staff for her assistance in coordinating victims and witnesses in a multiyear investigation involving two jury trials.
An unusual mother-son transition has occurred at the Genesee United Way where Christine M. Fix is being succeeded as executive director by her son, Erik.
Erik Fix took over April 30 after his mother served in an interim role for five months. UW is close to meeting its $420,000 goal, workers learned at an awards luncheon last week.
Erik Fix has been with the Genesee Area YMCA, leading its summer camp for the past 17 years. Christine Fix is also vice president of the Jerome Foundation, a leading philanthropic group in the area.
Students from Salamanca High School earned first, second and third places in the 2011 Western New York Extraordinary Stories in Our Schools contest, sponsored by St. Bonaventure University and Time Warner Cable's Your News Now (YNN) of Buffalo.
For their first-place entry, "Universal Pre-K," each team member from Salamanca will receive a $1,500 St. Bonaventure University scholarship, a $500 Apple gift card and the opportunity for their video to be aired on YNN. The students who produced the winning story are Andrew Horning, Jarron Ball and Pat Fitzgerald. Their adviser on the project was teacher Michelle Hill.
The other Salamanca winners were: second place, "Sports Productions" by Kameron Dry, Samantha Dry and Mikaela Hoag; third place, "ACDC" by Colleen McClure, Markie Mohr and John Mongillo.
The contest, open to high schools in Western New York, Rochester and Syracuse, invited teachers to involve their students in producing a video story in television news format about something that was happening in their schools.
Army Reserve Cpl. Jordan L.K. Ahrens has returned to Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J., after being deployed to Afghanistan serving in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
Ahrens is a food service specialist with the 307th Military Police Company, New Kensington, Pa. He has served 10 years in the military. He is the son-in-law of Angel Alverio of Dunkirk.
Two area residents have completed their basic combat training at Fort Jackson, Columbia, S.C.
Army Pvt. Zachary J. Gibson, son of Kim Gibson of Oakfield, is a 2011 graduate of Oakfield-Alabama High School; and Army Pvt. Joshua Paone, son of Donna and David Paone of Olean, is a 2010 graduate of Olean High School.
Army Lt. Col. John D. Ring has been awarded the Bronze Star. He is the command center land domain chief assigned to the North American Aerospace Defense Command/U.S. Northern Command at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo. The lieutenant colonel, who has served in the military for 18 years, also was awarded a Combat Action Badge at a recent awards ceremony.
He is the son of Bradley and Linda A. Ring of Hamburg. He graduated in 1990 from Frontier High School and received a bachelor's degree in 1994 from the U.S. Military Academy, West Point. He also earned a master's degree in 2003 from Long Island University.
Army National Guard Pvt. Rodney G. Kochersberger Jr. has graduated from One Station Unit Training at Fort Leonard Wood, Waynesville, Mo., which included basic military training and advanced individual training.
Kochersberger is the son of Donna and Rodney Kochersberger Sr. of Buffalo. He is a 2007 graduate of Hutchinson Central-Technical High School.
The following military personnel have graduated from basic military training at Lackland Air Force Base, San Antonio.
Air Force Airman Christian A. Malczewsky is the son of Carolyn Clark of the Town of Tonawanda and a 2009 graduate of Kenmore West High School.
Air Force Airman Royce R. MacIntyre is the son of Lillian Wilber and James MacIntyre, both of Jamestown. He is a 2011 graduate of Jamestown High School.
Air Force Airman Patrick J. Donohue is the son of Jacquelyn Kotowski of Angola and a 2011 graduate of Lakeshore High School, Angola. He earned distinction as an honor graduate.
Boy Scout Troop 325 honored Alexander Ducoli, 18, at an Eagle Scout Court of Honor last month at Selbert Hall at Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary Catholic Church in Elma.
Alexander cleaned up the fourth floor of the Buffalo Central Terminal to benefit the Central Terminal Restoration Corporation, an all-volunteer organization working for the preservation and restoration of the terminal. The fourth floor was littered with paperwork two feet high from the 1970s. He organized a fundraiser to purchase materials required for the project and recruited 25 volunteers to clean up 250 garbage bags of litter.
The Iroquois High School senior is the son of Frank and Lynn Ducoli.
Medaille College presented the 2012 Founders Day award to members of the community, local organizations and Medaille students, faculty or staff who have demonstrated a strong commitment to community service, which was held April 24 at the Twentieth Century Club.
Robert D. Gioia, president of the John R. Oishei Foundation, served as the keynote speaker.
The honorees included:
Individual recipient: Milania Lullo, for her contributions to HomeSpace, a program that provides independent living space for young, single parents.
Medaille faculty recipient: Dr. Brenda Fredette, chosen for her work with Science Firsthand, a program that engages urban youth in mentoring through informal science investigations.
Medaille student recipient: Jeffrey Gramlich, a Marine Corps combat veteran of Afghanistan and Iraq, recognized for tirelessly advocating on behalf of veterans at Medaille College.
Organization recipient: Hearts in Hands: Faith in Action, for making a difference in the community by matching residents, who are elderly or homebound, with volunteers to help them with everything from door-to-door transportation to help with yard work and paperwork.