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January 10, 2017 - 3:07pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, Alabama, elba, pembroke, alexander, Oakfield, byron, news.

Investigators continue to work leads in the case of a series of battery thefts from trucks and farm equipment in Genesee County, and as a result previously arrested suspects face new charges.

Bart Towne, 48, of Alleghany Road, Alabama, is charged with grand larceny, 4th. He was first arrested Sept. 27 and has been charged in the jurisdictions of Byron, Oakfield, Alabama, Elba, Pembroke and Alexander. 

He allegedly stole batteries in each of those towns.

He is being held without bail.

Amber L. Heveron, 28, of Rice Road, Albion, is charged with grand larceny, 4th. She was first arrested Dec. 6. She was previously charged in Alabama, Pembroke, Oakfield and Elba. 

She is out of jail under supervision of Genesee Justice.

The investigation is ongoing and additional arrests are possible.

January 8, 2017 - 3:50pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in alexander, Alexander Fire Department, news, fire services.


The Alexander Volunteer Fire Department held its annual installation dinner and awards presentation at its rec hall on Saturday night.

Above, Ryan Hinz, ambulance captain, and Matt Pietrzykowski, firefighter. Hinz received the Chief's Award for his efforts on behalf of the ambulance service, and Pietrzykowski was recognized for his heroics at a house fire April 30 when he pulled another firefighter from a room in a house fire who had been hit on the head by a falling beam. The firefighter was not seriously hurt, but at the moment couldn't retreat from the burning building on his own. Pietrykowski was a member of the Alexander Fast Team that day.

Alexander's Firematic Officers for 2017:

  • Marshal Merle, chief
  • Paul Hirsch, deputy chief
  • Jim Burkhardt, 2nd assistant
  • Dean Hendershott, 3rd assistant
  • Tom Green, 4th assistant
  • Ryan Hinz, ambulance captain
  • Darlene Merle, ambulance lieutenant
  • Aaron Hirsch, truck captain
  • Carl Homer, truck lieutenant
  • Lance Scharlau, training captain
  • Sean McPhee, training lieutenant
  • Nate Fix, safety officer

Administrative Officers:

  • Dean Hendershott, president
  • Tom Green, vice president
  • Amanda Donnelly, recording secretary
  • Laura Scharlau, financial secretary
  • Jackie Lowe, treasurer
  • Trustees: Sean McPhee, Tom Lowe, Darlene Merle, Amanda Donnelly, Deb Green, Matt Pietrzykowski, Ryan Hinz.

Ladies Auxiliary: 

  • Donna Rhodes, president
  • Ann Buckenmeyer, vice president
  • Kate Goodman, secretary
  • Colette Guarino, treasurer
  • Marge Kelsey, flag bearer
  • Donna Rhodes, chaplain
  • Directors: Sandy Homer, Marge Kelsey, Linda Higley


Jennifer McPhee and Debbie Green received the Presidential Award of Service from President Dean Hendershott. McPhee and Green often volunteer to babysit the children of firefighters responding to emergencies.


Joseph Schmider and Carl Homer were recognized for their 25 years of service by Dean Hendershott and Laura Scharlau.


At the end of the evening, the department hands out a series of gag awards poking fun at some of the miscues of members during the course of the year. Apparently, at the time of the tractor pull, Paul Hirsch accidently knocked over a utility pole with a vehicle. He received a hat for his "new business," the Hirsch Pole Removal Service.

January 7, 2017 - 8:53am
posted by Billie Owens in fire, news, alexander.

A possible residential structure fire is reported in Alexander. "A pellet stove is smoking and won't shut off," says a dispatcher. The location is lot #6 at the West Bank Mobile Home Park at 3189 Broadway Road. Alexander and Town of Batavia fire departments are called to respond.

December 23, 2016 - 8:15pm
posted by Rick Franclemont in sports, alexander, basketball, byron-bergen.

Alexander Boys Varsity took down Byron-Bergen 53 to 40.

Standout sophmore Chris McClinic led Alexander with 21 points, three rebounds, three assists, and four steals.

Adding points for Alexander with strong games:

Matt Genaway -- 12 points, five rebounds
Erik Scharlau -- nine points, 10 rebounds, six blocks
Dustin Schmieder -- nine points

Leading Byron Bergen:
Brandon Burke -- 16 points, seven rebounds
Colin Noeth -- 11 points, eight rebounds

Alexander Coach Josh Bender said "I thought tonight my guys played great disciplined defense. These guys stepped up to the challenge and it was a great team win for us. We are starting to hit our stride and will look to continue to keep improving."

Current records:

Alexander 3-3 overall
Byron-Bergen 3-3 overall

More pictures from this game and other Alexander Varsity games can be found

December 23, 2016 - 6:40pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, alexander, news.
    Michael Schulz

An Alexander man is facing numerous drug dealing charges after being arrested on a sealed indictment, obtained following an investigation by the Local Drug Task Force.

Michael C. Schulz, 34, of Buffalo Street, allegedly sold cocaine to an agent working for the task force.

He was arrested after being observed driving on North Lyon Street by members of the task force and Deputy Lonnie Nati.

Schulz allegedly committed several traffic violations and was found driving on a suspended driver's license.

He is charged with six counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance, 3rd, and four counts of criminal sale of a controlled substance, 3rd.

At the time of his arrest, he was allegedly found in possession of cocaine.

The discovery led to two more counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance, 3rd.

Schulz was jailed pending arraignment in County Court.

The Orleans County Major Felony Unit assisted in the investigation along with the Genesee County District Attorney's Office.

December 16, 2016 - 5:37pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, news, alexander, Attica.

A three-car accident is reported at Route 98 and Prospect Road, Attica.

Unknown injuries.

Alexander fire and ambulance and Attica fire responding. Bennington fire is on standby for its ambulance.

UPDATE 5:41 p.m.: Traffic is being blocked at Route 98 and Buffalo Road. No extrication will be required.

December 9, 2016 - 1:37pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in basketball, sports, pembroke, alexander.


Pembroke pulled out a tight 44-42 win Thursday night over Alexander at Alexander.

Ried Miano scored 14 points for the Dragons. Ryan Carsdale scored 12 and Lucas Kohurst added 10.

For Alexander, Eric Scharlau scored eight and Brian George added six.






December 4, 2016 - 6:52pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, alexander, news.

A deputy is dispatched to the area of Sandpit Road, Alexander, to look for a gold, four-door sedan that may have hit a tree with a driver who may be in the car.

The caller may be in the car.

December 1, 2016 - 5:14pm
posted by Rick Franclemont in sports, alexander, trojans, varsity, basketball, Barker.

It came down to the last few minutes, and the Trojans could not hang on for the win.

Leading most of the game, Alexander put up some impressive stats:

Matt Genaway 21pts, 4 steals

Chris McClinic 10pts, 8 assists, 5 rebounds

Dustin Schmieder 12pts, 6 rebounds

Erik Scharlau 9pts, 12 rebounds

Alexander hosts Attica this Friday at 7pm.

More pictures from the game can be found here:

November 28, 2016 - 9:11am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news, elba, alexander.

Kayleigh Jean Allen, 24, of North Byron Road, Elba, is charged with felony DWI, felony driving with a BAC of .08 or greater and moving from lane unsafely. Allen was charged following an investigation into an accident reported at 2:36 a.m. Saturday on Route 98 in Alexander. The accident was investigated by Sgt. Jason Saile.

Maria Luisa Martinez, 21, of Chestnut Street, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. Martinez is accused of stealing $70.18 in merchandise from Kohl's.

November 26, 2016 - 8:54am
posted by Julia Ferrini in events, rob thompson, Attica, alexander.



Four grisly murders were committed during an 18-month period between 1922 and 1924 in the tiny hamlet of Linden, near Bethany, between Attica and Batavia. An additional murder in 1917, in which the modus operandi (M.O.) and crime signature were identical, caught the attention of local author Rob Thompson as well. Not an enthusiast of unanswered questions, Thompson began to dig.

“It was a form of criminal reverse engineering,” Thompson said. “In 1917, 1922, 1924 and 1934 six people were butchered and the killer was never caught.”

Frances Kimball, Hattie Whaley, Tom Whaley, Mabel Morse and Ben Phillips in Attica, and “Ruth” in 1917, were all brutally murdered, yet the cases have remained unsolved for close to 100 years. That is until Thompson’s inquisitive mind took him to the Genesee County Historical Society “just to see what they had.”

In his second book on the subject – “The Twisted Tree -- Final Words on the Linden Murders” – Thompson, who will be holding a book signing at the Alexander Fire Department from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, believes he knows the name of the killer.

Thompson’s interest in the Linden murders began with a casual conversation. Sometime during the 1980s a small book – "The Linden Murders...Unsolved" by William F. Brown – was written about the murders, however, Thompson noted that is was a “just a review of the facts of the crime.” 

“I wanted to know why they weren’t solved. I didn’t set out to solve the case, but I wanted to know why...As far as I can tell, the case was never solved because people were getting killed because they knew who the murderer was. I also believe there were a few cover-ups in the case as well.

“I connected ‘Ruth’ to the others by M.O. and signature...nearness to the killer's workplace and all cases being kept together as though there were a link.”

He became interested in the subject because it was something that happened in the area. According to Thompson, the murderer would be considered one of the most prolific serial killers in New York State. Not only because the case was never solved, but because there were at least six – and possibly more – deaths. The murderer is in the top 10 group of serial killers in the state.

“You find little pieces of information and that gives you hope. If you don’t tell the stories, they are going to get lost. History will get buried if you don’t talk about it.”

Studying the existing case files and using modern profiling techniques, Thompson enlisted the help of Mark Safarik, a retired FBI agent and media expert on serial killers. Safarik was host to the NBC Universal show “Killer Instinct” which explored notorious crimes as seen through the eyes of an FBI criminal profiler.

"It was about control. These were not murders committed for financial or sexual gain. He also struck fear into the hearts of the other residents of Linden, likely preventing them from telling authorities enough to result in his arrest.”

While locals were fearful of going to the police, one theory Thompson suggested included a cover-up by the killer's wife, Lorraine, immediate family members and the killer’s doctor, Dr. Bradley. While he suggests all knew of his crimes, they were remiss to go to the authorities.

“I think Dr. Bradley knew Lorraine was messed up her whole life and his thinking may have been ‘am I going to send two women to the electric chair or move on with my life and let the authorities deal with it?’ They (police) knew where the killer was and he was under constant observation. Additionally, how can you convene a Grand Jury without any real hard evidence.”

Thompson’s theory suggests, after the murder of Kimball, the killer had come home and wiped his hands on his wife Lorraine’s dress.

“He transferred the blame onto her when he wiped his bloody hands on her dress.”

When Thompson spoke with Safarik, he went to him with photos and supporting documentation and asked him to give him an idea of the type of person he was looking for.

“To me, it didn’t look like delusional behavior, but had a pattern of behavior. He (the murderer) was cunning, manipulative, glib...he felt like he could get away with things when speaking with authorities. He gave clues. He said he couldn’t fire a pistol but he could fire a rifle, but they didn’t pick up on that. I hit all these points in the research.”

In 1934, Rochester Police Det. John McDonald had said Phillips died when a fire in the bedroom caused the sheetrock to fall on his head. However, the photo of the crime scene shows the man's head is caved in, yet the detective dismissed those injuries to anything other than the falling sheetrock.

“So you had a detective come in and throw a monkey wrench into the whole thing and a DA who shot himself... there were so many conflicting stories, but once I matched up the signatures, I couldn’t help but make the connection.”

Thompson’s background in psychology, schizophrenics specifically, became the backbone to his research. While in Memphis, Tenn., he dealt with the most serious mentally ill people. Thompson called them the “most dangerous you can think of.” He worked in the field for 12 years, handling 50 clients a week.

“They weren’t in prison; they were the unmedicated. My job was to go out and bring them into the system. I worked with the police doing crisis stabilization, identifying the mentally ill. I can identify a pattern. You don’t necessarily need more than an image, a photo of the killer, to get a feel for the person.”

Pointing to one photo he notes the people around the murderer – he is standing in a dominant role, in front of everyone else, the 1924 victim was in the photo, barely seen in the back. Thompson says a photograph will tell you everything.

“It says a lot about a person's personality. Did that person’s personality match anything else about him? What about his hands? They matched the physical genetic deformity that was noted by his doctor.”

Among other clues Thompson found was at the same time Michael’s mother, Sophia, and sister, Julia, went to Detroit to visit another sister in September 1921, several arsons and crimes started to occur in Linden. When Michael was found guilty of those crimes, the judge’s house was set on fire. Witnesses say they saw two people enter the house and saw Michael leaving. Additionally, only two of the murders happened prior to his mother’s death.

Although the victims, witnesses, and the murderer himself have been dead several decades, Thompson believes that his research can contribute to closing the case. While he believes positively that he's identified the murderer, he noted what journalist Dan Hurbeck said about his certainty: “ ‘Don’t use 100 percent, use 98.6 percent.’ When guys like Hurbeck, who sat with Timothy McVeigh and looked into his eyes and knew what it was like to deal with these people said ‘You got it right man. This case is closed.’ I can be pretty confident I came to the right conclusion.”

Thompson’s conclusion stemmed from the killer's signature elements, a blitz attack, trauma to the head, overkill, and arson – Kimbell was hit in the head 22 times with a rock; Ruth’s face was beaten so severely, that to this day her identity is still uncertain; Morse’s head was crushed; and Phillips experienced blunt force trauma to the head.

The tough part was separating it all and putting together the process.

“The most interesting part of it all was discovery. Discovering something new – his marriage certificate, the cover up that Dr. Bradley hid, Julia and Lorraine’s involvement, what they knew but didn’t say. 

“In a small town everybody would have known everybody and they certainly would have known if a stranger got off the train and killed three people. And they would have likely known who the suspect was. There were a lot of gatherings at that time, so people talked.

“On the night of the triple murder, Morse’s son, Howard, who lived in Buffalo, got a call saying ‘you will never see your mother again.’ Then the caller hung up. Who would have had his number? Who would have known about the crime right after it had taken place?”

At one point in the investigation, Morse’s husband, George, was a focus because “Mable was allegedly romancing the younger farm boys.” 

In the end, George was cleared and Howard ended up owning the store, which closed about 26 years ago.

“There is a woman who lives in Linden and her father was born there. When the school closed he would travel to Attica to go to school. She said she remembers her father had said someone from Westinghouse (a factory in Attica) would ask him about the murders in Linden...what’s going on there? She believes it was the killer because he was working for Westinghouse and he knew the train’s schedule. She says her dad had said he was ‘very afraid’ of that man. She also says, that is all ‘makes sense now.’ ”

Thompson holds a college degree in English Literature and a bachelor of science degree in Human Services with practical experience.

“I liked solving puzzles and there is no greater puzzle than the human psyche. And if you can look at a person who is sleeping under a bridge and figure out the reason why – addiction, mental illness, a combination of both. Could the killer have been at that place? We don’t know because we know nothing about the first 27 years of his life.

“My goal is to write a history book that doesn’t read like one. The Linden murders is history. I’d like people to think about it (history) and ask questions. It’s to keep history alive.”

Other books by Thompson include:

    • “The Linden Murders...Solved”

    • “Notorious”

    • “The Prince of Java”

    • “Attica Gateway to the West”

    • “Attica Gateway to the Civil War”

    • “From Hell The Final Days of Jack the Ripper”

    • “They Fell Together” Emory Upton Biography (2017)

    • “The Emperor's Robe” (Ernest Hemingway biography due out 2018)











November 21, 2016 - 10:09pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in alexander, accident, news, Attica.


An Attica woman is in critical condition at Strong Memorial Hospital tonight after her 2003 Chevy Trail Blazer hit a large, thick patch of compacted ice on Route 98 in Alexander and then turned sideways and slid into an oak tree.

Lorna Johnson, 53, was the lone occupant in the vehicle.

The SUV struck the tree right in the middle of the driver's side door.

Johnson was reportedly unconscious when first responders arrived on scene. It took more than 30 minutes to get her stabilized in an ambulance before she could be flown to Strong by Mercy Flight.

The patch of ice and compacted snow was at least 50 yards long and an inch or more thick, the result of blowing snow across the highway that melted on the road in the afternoon and then froze as the sun went down.

The SUV traveled off the road another 25 yards or more after leaving the iced area and struck the tree in the front yard of a residence.

The Alexander Fire Department responded, along with the Alexander ambulance, and volunteer firefighters extricated Johnson from her vehicle.

Mercy EMS, the Sheriff's Office and State Police also responded to the scene.

Speed unsafe for conditions may also have been a factor in the accident, according to the Sheriff's Office.

Deputy Kyle Krzemien and Sgt. Ron Meides are heading the investigation. Trooper Robert Breidenstein assisted at the scene.

(initial report)



November 21, 2016 - 4:51pm
posted by Billie Owens in accident, alexander.

A car vs. tree accident is reported at 10505 Main St., Alexander. The driver is unconscious. Alexander Fire Department and medics are responding.

UPDATE 4:59 p.m.: The availability of Mercy Flight is being checked. The roadway is to be shut down.

UPDATE 5:01 p.m.: All available manpower is requested to the scene, which is in front of the Alexander Rec Hall.

UPDATE 5:06 p.m.: Mercy Flight #5 out of Batavia is en route. Firefighters are working now to set up a landing zone in the parking lot.

UPDATE 5:08 p.m.: Mercy Flight is on the ground.

UPDATE 5:50 p.m.: Mercy Flight is heading to Strong Memorial Hospital.

UPDATE 6:06 p.m.: The female driver struck an extremely slick icy patch in front of the rec hall, and her vehicle crashed into a tree, driver's side first. It took medics a long time to stabilize her and her injuries are very severe.

November 21, 2016 - 8:52am
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, alexander, news.

A motor-vehicle accident with injuries is reported at Alexander Road and Peaviner Road, Alexander.

Alexander fire and Alexander's ambulance are dispatched.

UPDATE 8:54 a.m.: This is a three-car accident. Mercy EMS also requested to the scene.

November 16, 2016 - 3:09pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, pembroke, batavia, Alabama, Oakfield, corfu, byron, alexander.

Frederich Welch, 57, and Doncella Loyd, 53, both of Rochester, are charged with criminal possession of stolen property, 5th. Welch and Loyd are accused of making several trips in and out of Kohl's, taking merchandise worth $719.91. Troopers stopped the vehicle in the Batavia Towne Center parking lot. Welch was jailed on $2,500 bail and Loyd was released under supervision of Genesee Justice.

Jonathan Dylan Jacob, 23, of Meadville Road, Alabama, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. Jacob was arrested following a report of an incident in the Town of Alabama. During law enforcement contact, he was allegedly found in possession of marijuana.

James Rosie Thomas, 20, of 367 West St., Lake George, is charged with resisting arrest, escape and he was arrested on a warrant out of Elba. Thomas allegedly ran and resisted arrest when Deputy John Dehm attempted to take him into custody on a warrant at a location on South Main Street, Oakfield.

Tracy L. Miller, 32, of South Lake Road, Pembroke, is charged with grand larceny, 4th. Miller is accused of stealing a purse, which contained several debit and credit cards. 

Nicholas Price, 29, of Batavia, is charged with driving while ability impaired by drugs. Price was stopped by a trooper after a report of an erratic driver, including a witness reporting seeing the vehicle hit a mailbox and continue down the road. Price was stopped and administered a field sobriety test before being arrested. He was also charged with leaving the scene of a property damage accident and criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th.

Daniel Hinca, 21, of Alexander, is charged with driving while ability impaired by drugs and speeding. Hinca was stopped by State Police in Byron. A trooper administered a field sobriety test prior to his arrest. 

Joshua Taro, 38, of Auburn, is charged with petit larceny. Taro is accused of shoplifting from a store in Pembroke. He was jailed on $500 bail.

Brandi Heidenreich, 26, of Oakfield, is charged with petit larceny. Heidenreich was arrested by State Police for allegedly stealing items from Walmart worth $45.18.

November 11, 2016 - 11:42pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in football, alexander, news, sports.


The best season in Alexander football history came to a disappointing end Friday night at New Era Field in Orchard Park, where the Trojans lost a regional playoff game to the #1 Class D team in the state, Maple Grove, by a score of 28-0.

The Trojans managed to hold the Dragons to just eight points in the first half, but turnovers and an inability to get its offense moving allowed Maple Grove to run away with the game.

Maple Grove held Alexander to 142 total yards on offense, most of them on the arm of P.J. Brennan, who was 10-29 passing for 122 yards.








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November 9, 2016 - 5:57pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news, pembroke, alexander, Darien.
    Dawn Piasta
    Jessica Reddy
    Michael Saeli

Dawn M. Piasta, 61, of East Main Street, Batavia, is charged with criminal sale of a controlled substance, 3rd, and criminal possession of a controlled substance, 3rd. Piasta was arrested on a sealed indictment. She is accused of selling crack cocaine to an agent of the Local Drug Task Force while in the City of Batavia. She was held on the warrant pending arraignment in Genesee County Court.

Jessica R. Reddy, 24, of McVean Road, Darien, is charged with two counts of criminal sale of a controlled substance, 3rd, and two counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance, 3rd. Reddy is accused of selling hydrocodone to an agent of the Local Drug Task Force while in the Town of Pembroke and in the Town of Alexander. Reddy was held pending arraignment in Genesee County Court.

Michael A. Saeli, 47, of Scribner Road, Pembroke, is charged with criminal possession of marijuana, 3rd, and unlawful growing of cannabis. Saeli is accused of having 87 marijuana plants growing on his property with an aggregate weight of more than eight ounces. He was issued an appearance ticket.











November 5, 2016 - 11:30am
posted by Rick Franclemont in sports, alexander, football, news.

Alexander's defense came through again, forcing six turnovers and recording six sacks, in route to a 19-6 win over Clyde Savannah to win the Section V Class D championship.

It's the first Section V football championship in school history.

Outside linebacker Derrick Busch has five tackles and three interceptions.

Adding to the Trojans' interception total were Chris McClinic and Dane Heberlein. 

Dustin Schmieder, who set a Section playoff record last week for sacks, had 2.5 of the team's total on Friday. Adding to the sack totals were Erik Scharlau, Zach Jasen and Mitch Gordon. 

QB P.J. Brennan was part of all three TD scores for Alexander, rushing for 77 yards on nine carries. He tossed a TD pass to Busch. Heberlein had 112 yards on 21 carries.

Alexander will now contend for the regional title against the state's #1 ranked Class D team, Maple Grove.

More photos can be found at:

October 31, 2016 - 5:02pm
posted by Billie Owens in accident, alexander, news.

Photos submitted by Glenn Adams.

There was a two-vehicle accident at 10198 W. Bethany Road this afternoon. Alexander Fire Department was called to the scene, with the Bethany Fire Department assisting. The two drivers were transported by ambulance to an area hospital(s).

UPDATE 10:06 p.m. (by Howard): John Brown, owner of Select Collision, wrote to us this evening. It was his son Brandon in the vehicle in the top photo. Brandon is at Strong with no major injuries. John said Brandon crested the hill and there was a vehicle coming at him on the center line. He swerved to avoid the vehicle and lost control, crossing into the truck's lane. His car was split into two. In John's words, "He walked away."

UPDATE Tuesday, Nov. 1 (by Howard): The accident was reported at 2:34 p.m. in the area of 10198 W. Bethany Road, Alexander. Brandon J. Brown, 17, of Conway Road, East Bethany, was driving a 2008 Subaru Legacy northbound on West Bethany Road and traveled over the center of the roadway, according to the Sheriff's Office, and was struck by an oncoming vehicle. That vehicle was driven by Joseph L. Graham, 49, of Werner Road, Attica, in a 2010 Toyota Tacoma pickup. Both drivers were able to exit their vehicles. Brown was transported by Alexander ambulance to ECMC with head and arm injuries. Graham was transported to Strong by Mercy EMS with neck and hip injuries. The investigation is ongoing. Assisting were the Town of Bethany Volunteer Fire Department, Town of Alexander fire and Mercy EMS.  The accident is being investigated by Deputy Chris Parker and Deputy Lonnie Nati and Investigator James Diehl.


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