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Margaret B. Kownaski, 1997 president of the Greater Buffalo Association of Realtors, has been named Realtor of the Year by the New York State Association of Realtors.

Ms. Kownaski's selection marks the seventh time in the award's 39-year history that it has been won by a Buffalo-area real estate broker. The last time was in 1989 when long-time broker Milt Kader was honored.

"I'm just overwhelmed and extremely proud to have been selected," Ms. Kownaski said. She was selected from among 30,000 state association members. Ms. Kownaski was honored at the group's annual conference and trade exposition last month in Atlantic City, N.J. She also will be recognized at the national realtors convention in New Orleans in November.

The state award recognizes outstanding service to the realtor organizations at the local, state and national levels, a commitment to civic activity and business accomplishment and strict adherence to the National Association of Realtors' code of ethics.

Ms. Kownaski, a 20-year industry veteran, currently serves as broker-manager of Stovroff & Potter Real Estate Inc.'s Sheridan Drive office in Tonawanda. Later this week, she also will begin overseeing the firm's Grand Island operation.

HUD to reinsure
some SONYMA loans
The State of New York Mortgage Agency and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development have signed an agreement which could lead to construction of 2,300 new rental units statewide within the next five years.

HUD, recognizing SONYMA's experience in evaluating multifamily development credit risk and managing a portfolio of multifamily mortgages, will reinsure loans underwritten to SONYMA's standards for up to 2,300 rental units.

In addition, if a claim is filed, HUD has agreed to reinsure up to 50 percent of SONYMA's risk associated with the loans. This marks the first time HUD has signed such a reinsurance pact with a state housing agency.

Shooting range opens
in Wheatfield
Niagara Gun Range, Western New York's newest indoor shooting facility, has opened at 3445 Niagara Falls Blvd. in Wheatfield.

The center offers 50-foot and 75-foot indoor ranges, with 15 fully automated shooting positions. The facility also offers state pistol permits and training classes.

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