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Niagara Honor Roll / Achievers and achievements

* Sixth-graders from North Tonawanda city schools recently used their math, science and technology skills to win first and second place in a challenging statewide competition where they were asked to solve environmental issues. Nineteen gifted and talented students from Spruce and Gilmore schools participated in eCYBERMISSION, a Web-based science, technology, engineering and mathematics competition for students in grades six through nine.

The competition required students to follow the scientific method to solve a problem in their community. There were five teams of three to four students in North Tonawanda under the guidance of Amber Schneider. Two teams from Gilmore won first and second place in New York out of 120 teams across the state. The first-place team, Energy-Zims, focused on alternative energy sources in residential homes and included Erica Nugent, Lauren Flanagan, Emily Forkey and Joseph Russell. The second-place team, Green Dynamite, focused on the effects of oil spills in ocean waters and included Wesley Payne, Amanda Holler, Bailey Lemma and Emily Kaczor. All students on the first-place winning teams will receive $1,000 in U.S. savings bonds, and each student on the second-place winning teams will receive $500 in U.S. savings bonds.

The first-place winning teams will move on to the regional competition, where they will compete with teams in their grade across the Northeast for an additional $2,000 in savings bonds.

* Boy Scout Troop 829 announced that Thomas J. "T.J." Maries and Don C. "D.J." Eaves have completed the requirements for the rank of Eagle Scout.

A special Court of Honor will be held at 1 p.m. next Sunday in First Presbyterian Church of Youngstown, 100 Church St., Youngstown.

T.J., son of David and Deborah Maries, completed his Eagle project last August, at the Porter-on-the-Lake park. He installed stairs that lead to the beach of Lake Ontario.

D.J., son of Robert and Lori Russell, completed his Eagle project at the Porter-on-the-Lake park as well. He replaced soffits and fascia for a large picnic pavilion and the restrooms last October.

The rank of Eagle is the highest honor a Scout can achieve and is earned by only 2 percent of all boys who enter the Boy Scouts. The Court of Honor will be hosted by Scout Master Bryan Bullis and Committee Chairman Pat Foley.

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* For the fifth consecutive year, Niagara University has been named to the President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for exemplary service to the community.

The honor roll, established in 2006 by the Corporation for National and Community Service, is the highest federal recognition a school can achieve for its commitment to volunteering, service-learning and civic engagement.

In addition, Niagara is one of only three institutions of higher learning in New York State -- with New York University and Syracuse University the others -- to have received the "Honor Roll With Distinction" designation four times since its inception.

"As an institution, we remain committed to carrying on the spirit of St. Vincent de Paul, who taught us to serve those most in need, which we strive to do daily -- both on campus and especially within our local community," said the Rev. Joseph L. Levesque, Niagara president.

Through Learn & Serve Niagara, one of Niagara University's core programs, students contribute more than 50,000 hours of service annually as tutors in local school districts and as interns and volunteers in more than 40 social service agencies and organizations in Western New York and southern Ontario. The university also operates ReNU Niagara, a community outreach partnership center that coordinates programs in Niagara Falls. NU's four colleges also administer centers that provide research, training and professional and educational services for business and industry, school districts and families.

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