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Steve D'Orazio, UC Lending's regional vice president, has announced the promotion of Charles Guarino to branch manager of the company's Lockport office.

Guarino joined UC Lending in 1996 after serving as deputy director of development for the City of Niagara Falls from 1992 to 1996. Before that, he had been a bank manager with Liberty Bank of Buffalo for 17 years.

Guarino and his wife, Sharon, live in Niagara Falls.

Thomas Sheeran, a professor at Niagara University, has been elected president of the Niagara Falls Country Club for this year.

Joining Sheeran on the club's executive board are William Lewis of North Tonawanda as first vice president, Jerald Wolfgang of Youngstown as second vice president, Ronald Soluri of Grand Island as treasurer; and George Spira of Youngstown as secretary.

Other members of the club's board of governors are Mary Montani, John Trunzo, Michael Vitch, Joseph Catherine III, John Hoffman and Peter Cerra.

Thomas Heim, a seventh-grader at St. Paul Lutheran School in North Tonawanda, has won the school-level competition of the National Geography Bee and a chance at a $25,000 college scholarship.

Steven Kochems, also a seventh-grader, was the school's runner up. Alissa Kloc, grade 4, and Jeffrey Kochems, a sixth-grader, tied for third place.

Thomas now will take a statewide written test. Up to 100 of the top scorers will be eligible to compete April 7 in the state bee.

State champions will go to the national finals in Washington, D.C. in May.

The Consortium of the Niagara Frontier has awarded the 1999 Rev. Thomas A. McHugh Distinguished Faculty Award for excellence in teaching to Joseph J. Forrester, associate professor of chemistry at Niagara University.

The consortium is a joint undertaking by Niagara University, Canisius and Daemen colleges that offers college-level courses and degrees to prison inmates in three correctional facilities in Western New York. Forrester has been an active member of the consortium since its inception in the late 1970s.

He has been at NU since 1960, serving as acting dean of the College of Arts and Sciences in 1986 and director of the honors program from 1991 to 1995.

He holds a master's degree in chemistry from Iowa State University and a bachelor's degree from Canisius College.

Forrester is a frequent blood donor, having donated 15 gallons throughout the years. He enjoys traveling and golf.

A native of Niagara Falls, Forrester and his wife, Margaret, live in Amherst. They have three adult children.

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