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February 10, 2016 - 4:49pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in warming center, batavia, news.

The Warming Center is open tonight from 8 p.m. to 8 a.m. for women and children in need of shelter at the United Methodist Church, Lewiston Road, Batavia.

For assistance, call (585) 993-6371.

There will be pickups at both McDonald's locations in Batavia.

Light meals will be served.

February 10, 2016 - 12:53pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in sports, hockey, batavia, Batavia Ramparts.

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From Jeffery Whitcombe:

The Batavia Ramparts Squirt Tier 3 team participated in the Empire States Winter Games last weekend (Feb. 4th thru 7th, 2016) in Lake Placid. The Squirt Ramparts were the only team representing the Western Region of New York State. The Team ended up winning a bronze medal ending up in third place for the weekend. The Team is made up 9- and 10-year-olds from the Batavia area. They are:

Mason Cook
Chase Cummings
Cooper Hamilton
Ryan Hamilton
Noah Hudson
Alex Johnson
Brady Johnson
Jamison Motyka
Brenna Munn
Carter Prinzi
Noah Whitcombe
Mac Wormley

Kevin Hamilton- Head Coach
Jeff Whitcombe - Assistant Coach
Dan Hudson - Assistant Coach
Fred Hamilton- Assistant Coach
Bob Johnson- Manager

February 10, 2016 - 12:32pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Park Road, Batavia Downs, batavia, business, news.

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Members of the Batavia City Council are ready to raise a ruckus about a proposal for the Town of Batavia to sell a portion of Park Road to Batavia Downs, leading to a closure of the road to thru traffic.

About a dozen Redfield Parkway residents attended Tuesday's council meeting to express their concern about the potential for increased traffic on their residential street if Park Road is closed.

"Redfield will become the new Park Road," is the battle cry.

But that won't necessarily be the case, said Mike Nolan, COO of Western OTB. A traffic study commissioned by Batavia Downs indicates there will be minimal impact on city streets, Nolan said.

"We've been working on this for a year," Nolan said. "We've met with all the stakeholders, the business owners on Park Road, the Sheriff's Office, the fire department and we're trying to mitigate the impact in every way. This wasn't just something thought up a month ago."

City Manager Jason Molino worried that the traffic study doesn't really address the impacts on parallel streets, such as Redfield, Bogue, Union, all the way down to Oak Street.

A couple of weeks ago, Park Road was closed on an emergency basis because of construction work related to the new hotel at Batavia Downs and traffic backed up on Redfield. 

Nelson Baker (top photo) and other speakers expressed concern that the congestion represents Redfield's future if Park is closed.

Maybe, maybe not, Molino said.

"Obviously, people are concerned with that closure that is going to be the type of traffic congestion that could take place," Molino said. "That has some merit to it. On the flip side, it was an emergency and that is going to cause traffic to congest because nobody has time to plan on getting around it. If the closure is well known ahead of time, then people have time to plan. With one incident, it's hard to judge, but it certainly raises awareness and puts focus on it."

That congestion was a one-time event and the traffic study indicates people will find alternatives, more sensible routes, if Park is permanently closed, Nolan said.

The main issue for Batavia Downs, Nolan said, is one of pedestrian safety.

When the racetrack was first built in 1940, the kind of high-volume entertainment center Batavia Downs has become wasn't envisioned, so building it right on Park Road wasn't an issue.

Last year, more than a million people visited Batavia Downs, creating two million pedestrian crossings on Park Road, and Batavia Downs is just going to continue to grow, Nolan said. 

"This is all about trying to solve a big problem, and that's public safety," Nolan said. "That is what the town and Batavia Downs are addressing."

The City Council will take up the issue at its next conference meeting to discuss drafting a letter to the Town Board opposing the plan and maybe directing a council member to personally carrying the city's concerns to the town.

The decision is entirely within the hands of the Town of Batavia. All the city can do is share concern and monitor the issue.

"We as a city are going to be affected and we don't have a say in this, so I would encourage everybody in the city to speak out to the town as well," said Councilman John Canale. "I'm not sure how much of an effect that is going to have on the decision, but it's frustrating because it's going to have a negative effect on city streets."

February 10, 2016 - 10:30am
posted by Howard B. Owens in wbta, batavia.

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Fifth Ward Councilwoman Kathy Briggs presented Dan Fischer, co-owner with Debbie Fischer of WBTA AM/FM, with a resolution Tuesday night from the Batavia City Council in recognition of the radio station's 75th anniversary.

February 10, 2016 - 10:17am
posted by Howard B. Owens in alexander, veterans, batavia.

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Samuel C. Norris, 91, of Batavia, formerly of Alexander, was lain to rest Tuesday with full military honors.

Norris, a past assistant chief of the Alexander Volunteer Fire Department, served with Canada in World War II. His unit landed on Juno Beach, France, on D-Day.

He was born Dec. 30, 1924 in Welland, Ontario, Canada.

For full obituary, click here.

Photos by Laura Friend.

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February 9, 2016 - 4:47pm

Press release:

The Santa Rosa Labyrinth -- a winding path in which participants walk from beginning to end -- will be set up at Blue Pearl Yoga on Saturday Feb. 13. It takes approximately 20 minutes to walk the labyrinth.

This seven-circuit labyrinth is divided into four quadrants and includes a unique space on the fourth circuit in line with the labyrinth’s “mouth” or center. Called the “heart space” this area is not walked by serves as a sacred vessel for holding symbols of one’s issues, needs, or celebrations. Looking at the path, walkers realize that this heart space is approached from all four directions, allowing the participant to view his/her symbols from various points of view.

There are many examples of the Santa Rosa Labyrinth in the United States but the one at Blue Pearl Yoga is on loan from the First Unitarian Church in Rochester and will be hosted by Harriette Royer. Harriette will be offering a brief introduction to the Labyrinth Quest throughout the afternoon so participants can deepen their experience as they proceed through the labyrinth.

Marianne Skye, owner of Blue Pearl Yoga says, “Walking the Santa Rosa Labyrinth is a beautiful experience and one that I am happy to share with our Blue Pearl Yoga community.”

Anyone interested may visit the labyrinth between 12:30 and 3 p.m. on Feb. 13. There is no cost but donations will be given to the Spay Our Strays program at the Batavia Animal Shelter. For more information visit www.bp-yoga.com.

February 9, 2016 - 9:42am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, Le Roy, byron, Darien, Oakfield.

Adam M. Kruetz, 27, of Ross Street, Batavia, is charged with strangulation, 2nd, petit larceny and criminal mischief, 4th. Kruetz allegedly grabbed the throat of another person at 10:20 a.m. Sunday at 5 Ross St., Batavia, and caused that person to nearly lose consciousness, then stole property and broke an item belonging to that person. Kruetz was jailed without bail.

Elizabeth A. Wortman, 28, of Lake Street, Le Roy, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater and driver's view obstructed. A witness reported a vehicle driving erratically on Lake Street Road, Le Roy, on Monday. A Le Roy PD patrol stopped Wortman's vehicle on Lake Street and Wortman was allegedly found to be intoxicated.

Michael J. Elmore, 25, of Liberty Street, Batavia, is charged with criminal impersonation. Elmore was located in the parking lot of 305 E. Main St., Batavia, and Elmore allegedly provided false identification to a Batavia police officer in an attempt to avoid arrest on a warrant.

Joseph A. Auricchio, 25, of Broadway Road, Darien, is charged with possession of a hypodermic instrument. Auricchio was allegedly found in possession of a needle at 4:53 p.m. Monday at a location on South Main Street, Batavia.

Brant Gordon Matthews, 21, of Maple Avenue, Le Roy, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. Matthews allegedly showed up to a probation meeting at 2:08 p.m. Monday with marijuana in his pocket.

Tyler D. Price, 23, of East Main Street, Batavia, was arrested on a warrant for alleged failure to meet conditions of sentencing.

Todd Patrick Galen, 53, of Merrill Road, Byron, is charged with criminal contempt, 2nd. Galen allegedly violated a court order by failing to comply with animal control regulations.

Tyler J. Penepent, 21, of Oakfield, is charged with petit larceny. He allegedly stole a car lighting bar worth $12.96 from WalMart. 

Kristen E. Dwyer, 23, of Rochester, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. Dwyer was stopped on Judge Road by State Police for an alleged expired registration. She was allegedly found in possession of 3.5 grams of marijuana in a baggie, a glass pipe containing burnt marijuana and a multicolored glass pipe containing burnt marijuana residue.

February 8, 2016 - 12:25pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Vernon Avenue, batavia.

Batavia PD is asked to check on a loud rooster on Vernon Avenue, Batavia.

The caller wishes to remain anonymous at this time.

The rooster is believed to belong to a resident on Vernon Avenue.

February 8, 2016 - 11:42am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, Oakfield.

An East Rochester man, whom federal authorities say has ties to the Hells Angels, has associates in Genesee County and was arrested in 2009 in Corfu as part of reported scrap metal heist, has been sentenced to 12 months in federal prison on a racketeering charge.

Timothy M. Stone, 36, was convicted of being an accessory after the fact to an assault with a dangerous weapon in aid of racketeering activity.

Stone was convicted of participating in a May 31, 2006 baseball bat attack on a male patron at Spenders Bar in Rochester. Surveillance cameras recorded the attack and the video was stored on a computer hard drive. Stone forcibly removed the hard drive and took the hard drive from the bar and later destroyed the hard drive and the baseball bat used in the attack.

The case is part of a larger investigation that stretches from Monterey, Calif., to Oakfield, with Oakfield residents James H. McAuley Jr. and Donna Boon being charged, along with others, of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute, and to distribute, 500 grams or more of methamphetamine.  

Gordon L. Montgomery, of Batavia, has already been convicted on the charge. He is scheduled to be sentenced May 3.

Robert W. Moran Jr., of Rochester, and Gina Tata, of Rochester, are charged with assault with a dangerous weapon in aid of racketeering activity; and McAuley is charged with conspiracy.

A jury trial for Richard W. Mar, of Monterey, McAuley, Moran, Boon, Jeffrey A. Tyler, of Rochester, and Tata, is scheduled to begin March 7.

Some of the prior related stories:

February 8, 2016 - 11:06am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, schools, education, sports.

High school student-athletes interested in playing sports in college are invited to a discussion tonight in the library of Batavia High School starting at 6:30 p.m. The workshop is open to student-athletes grades eight through 12 and their parents and will provide information on NCAA rules and requirements, eligibility, scholarships and recruiting. Kelly Cruttenden, an associate athletic director at University at Buffalo, will lead the discussion.

February 8, 2016 - 10:47am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, Pavilion, Le Roy.

Lionel J. Anderson Sr., 44, of Oak Street, Batavia, is charged with criminal trespass, 2nd, and harassment, 2nd. Anderson allegedly tried to enter a residence on Dellinger Avenue at 10:55 p.m. Sunday after being told to leave. He allegedly pushed one of the residents. He was jailed on $5,000 bail or $10,000 bond.  (UPDATE: Though the reported times are different, Det. Eric Hill confirms this arrest is related to this report last night).

Adrian P. Morris, 36, of South Street, Le Roy, is charged with felony DWI, felony driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, and inadequate headlights. Morris was stopped by Le Roy PD on West Main Street, Le Roy.

William J. Hixenbaugh, 26, of Le Roy, is charged with harassment, 2nd. Hixenbaugh was allegedly involved in a fight in the Village of Le Roy on Friday.

Lisa M. Volk, 21, of Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. Volk is accused of shoplifting at Walmart. She allegedly took $40 worth of nail polish.

Jessie Benedict Joy, 20, of Telephone Road, Pavilion, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, drinking alcohol in a motor vehicle, driving while using a mobile phone, driving left of pavement markings. Joy was stopped at 3:43 a.m. on Telephone Road, Pavilion, by Deputy Ryan Young.

Richard Andrew Germony, 30, of Wildwood Place, Buffalo, was arrested on a warrant for alleged failure to pay fine. Germony is being held in the Genesee County Jail pending his next court appearance.

Andrew C. Webster, 22, of Gillete Road, Alexander, was arrested on a warrant for allegedly failure to comply with court-ordered treatment. He was jailed on $1,000 bail.

Kathryn M. Yark, 18, of Harlem Road, of West Seneca, is charged with criminal possession property, 5th, and unlawful possession of a personal ID, 3rd. Yark was arrested on a warrant and released back to a treatment program.

Jennifer L. Stack, 29, of South Main Street, Batavia, is charged with criminal contempt, 2nd, and harassment, 2nd. Stack was allegedly involved in an incident Feb. 4 on West Main Street, Batavia, where she threatened another person and violated an order of protection. Stack was jailed on $1,000 bail.

Yolanda E. Johnson, 29, is charged with West Main Street Road, Batavia, turned herself in on a warrant for alleged failure to appear on a traffic citation.

Maggie S. Dipilato, 21, of Hutchins Street, Batavia, is charged with criminal mischief. Dipilato was arrested following an investigation into a domestic incident. Dipilato allegedly struck a male in his face damaging his eyeglasses. She was jailed on $500 bail.

Gerard H. Altenburg, 21, of Main Road, Corfu, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .18 or greater, and moving from lane unsafely. Altenburg was arrested following an investigation into a motor-vehicle accident on Gilmore Street, Pembroke, reported at 9:04 p.m. Friday. The accident was investigated by Deputy Ryan DeLong. Altenburg was jailed on $1,500 bail.

Robert C. Paris, 26, of West Main Street, Batavia, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, and failure to stop at stop sign. Paris allegedly failed to stop at a stop sign on Redfield Parkway, Batavia, at 2:14 a.m. Saturday and was stopped by Deputy Ryan DeLong.

Jacqueline Jane Kurcoba, 38, of Pittsford Mendon Road, Mendon, is charged with DWI and insufficient tail lamps. Kurcoba was stopped at 1:14 a.m. Sunday on Lewiston Road, Alabama, by Deputy Eric Meyer.

Kyle Lee-Maddison Michaels, 18, of Overlook Drive, Batavia, is charged with trespass. Michaels allegedly refused to leave the BOCES campus on State Street Road, Batavia.

Ann Marie Schiegel, 38, of Porter Road, Medina, was arrested on a warrant stemming from two counts of petit larceny. Schiegel was jailed on $250 bail.

A 17-year-old resident of Byron is charged with unlawful surveillance, 2nd. The youth is accused of using a mobile phone to view a female victim in a woman's bathroom stall.

Coty Lee Kimmel, 22, of Alleghany Road, Corfu, is charged with criminal possession of a stolen property, 4th. Kimmel allegedly possessed a credit card belonging to another person without permission.

February 8, 2016 - 10:23am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia.

Troopers are dispatched to Kmart to investigate an individual in a black pickup truck who is at the side of the building loading wooden pallets into the vehicle.

The individual was told to stop and leave, but reportedly has stayed and continued to load pallets.

UPDATE 10:25 a.m.: The subject has left on Lewiston Road. He is described as a white male with a beard and glasses.

UPDATE 10:31 a.m.: It sounds like the person was located and the deputy is returning to Kmart. He said, "no charges."

February 7, 2016 - 9:01pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia.

A caller believes as many as eight people are trying to break into her residence on Dellinger Avenue.

She reports at least some of them having baseball bats.

Batavia PD just arrived on scene.

A deputy reports some sort of "commotion" on the Walnut Street bridge.

A suspect may have left in a gold van.

UPDATE 9:06 p.m.: Police are searching for a suspect.

UPDATE 9:08 p.m.: A second suspect is described as a Jamaican and wearing a red T-shirt.

UPDATE: For a related arrest, see today's Law and Order.

February 7, 2016 - 3:00pm

The 20th Annual Betty Ellison Memorial “Strike Out” for Crossroads House Bowling Tournament will kick off Friday night, Feb. 12th, at 6 p.m. at the Mancuso Bowling Center. Rick Mancuso and Mike Sputore teamed up with organizers Cindy and Tara Lowder to make this the biggest tournament yet. This year we are offering an extra Friday night shift, live bands, more raffle prizes and as always at Mancuso’s, a top-notch bowling experience. 

The Betty Ellison Memorial Tournament is the oldest running annual fundraiser for Crossroads House. The first two tournaments took place before the house opened its doors in 1998 and was instrumental in funding the launch of this area’s only 24-hour comfort care home for the dying. 

Shifts are available: Friday Feb. 12th at 6 p.m.; Friday, Feb. 19th at 6 p.m.; Saturday, Feb. 20, at 3 and 6 p.m.; Sunday, Feb. 21st, at 1 p.m.

Five-person teams are $100. Registration forms are available at Crossroads House: 11 Liberty St., Mancuso Bowling Center: 214 E. Main St., or online at www.crossroadshouse.com where you can pay securely with PayPal.

In addition to the bowling will be live bands at T.F. Brown's. On Friday night, Feb.12th, M.A.C. will perform at T.F. Brown's starting at 10 p.m. and the following Friday the 19th, Savage Cabbage will play. Both bands will be available for a $2 cover charge with proceeds going to Crossroads House.

Sign up to bowl or just come out on either Friday night for great music, drinks and food.
For more information call Cindy (585) 993‐0584 or Tara (585) 409‐0136

February 5, 2016 - 4:31pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in St. Joe's, batavia, crime.
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     Daniel Kuczka

A 73-year-old man faces criminal charges following an incident during student mass at St. Joe's this morning, after the man allegedly took a student by his arm who was in line for Holy Communion and led him through it and then back to his seat in a pew.

Police did not indicate what the man's motivation might have been or what statements he may have made while inside the church, but said the man has no prior relationship with the church nor the student involved in the incident.

Daniel S. Kuczka, 73, is charged with harassment, 2nd, and criminal trespass, 3rd.

According to police, Kuczka entered the church during a private Mass for students of St. Joe's and Notre Dame. He made "inappropriate" comments to staff and was asked to leave.

During Communion, Kuczka reportedly returned to the Mass and grabbed a juvenile who was in line, saying, "Come with me."

Police were called and when patrols arrived, Kuczka was taken into custody without incident.

Police say that investigators found there was no attempt by Kuczka to remove the student from the service.

February 5, 2016 - 3:42pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in wbta, batavia, business.

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Submitted story:

WBTA Radio, Genesee County's only locally owned commercial radio station, marks its 75th year of broadcasting this Saturday.

The station went on the air at 7 a.m.,  Thursday, Feb 6, 1941. It has been licensed as WBTA since its inception.

The first voice on the air was that of the “genial” Jerry Flynn who opened the program, “Rise and Shine,” according to an article published in the Daily News. Flynn became better known later as a sports announcer. The station's studios and offices were located on the second floor of 90 Main St. in Batavia where they remained until 1957.

WBTA studios moved several times over the years. Its next location was 22 Seaver Place, now the JCPenney store's loading dock. For several years the station occupied the second floor and later the first floor of 413 Main St. at the corner of Harvester Avenue. The station moved to 113 Main St. in 2004 when it was purchased by its present owner, HPL Communications, Inc., owned by Daniel and Debrah Fischer.

As the studios and offices moved, the station's transmission and tower site has remained on Creek Road in the Town of Batavia. In the early years, an engineer was required to be at the transmission site whenever the station was on the air. Technical improvements in the late 1950s allowed the station to be remote controlled from the studio.

The station was originally owned by three Batavia residents: Joseph Ryan, of Union Street; Edward P. Atwitter, of East Main Street and Edmund R. Gamble, of Vernon Avenue. Gamble also served as the general manager.

After the outbreak of World War II, several members of the station's staff left for military service including Gamble.

The next local owner of WBTA was William F. Brown. Brown was best known for his regular editorials on local issues. He won 16 Best Editorial awards from the New York State Broadcasters Association.

Brown expanded the station's news coverage, which was apparent in the 1971 coverage of the Attica Prison Revolt.

In February 2004, the Fischers' formed HPL Communications, purchased WBTA and moved to Genesee County.

New digital studios were built and WBTA moved to its present location at the corner of Main and Center streets, which became the name of the station's morning talk show, “Main & Center.”

From 1977 to 2000, WBTA operated an FM station that was licensed to Attica, NY. The station was sold and became WLOF, which beams Catholic programming into the Buffalo area.

Under HPL, the station launched another FM station in 2014. It is licensed under the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) translator rules and allows WBTA to broadcast in stereo at 100.1 Mhz. The station also streams 100 percent of its programming on the Internet at WBTAi.com and via mobile devices with custom apps for Android and iPhone systems.

“We are proud of WBTA's legacy of service to Batavia and Genesee County,” Fischer said. "As a licensee of a broadcast station, we pledge to the FCC to 'serve the public interest, convenience and necessity as a public trustee.' ”

WBTA is known in the industry as a “heritage” station, Fischer added, “our listeners have grown up with us.” Over the years we have reported individual milestones: births, anniversaries and obituaries. In times of war, the station has reported on service of local men and women in uniform.

The station has broadcast hundreds of local sporting events and have followed area high school teams to regional and state championships. WBTA has been the broadcast voice of Batavia's professional baseball team, the Muckdogs.

Through affiliations with national news organizations such as ABC Radio, WBTA has provided coverage of the most notable events of the 20th and 21st centuries including the Pearl Harbor attack, the assassinations of the 1960s, wars in Korea, Vietnam and the Middle East, the manned moon landing and the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

“Radio broadcasting has certainly undergone significant changes over the past 75 years and will continue to change and evolve over the next 75 years,” Fischer said, “but I believe its basic commitment to serving the public interest will never change.”

Photo by Howard Owens. Pictured, Dan and Debbie Fischer.

February 5, 2016 - 3:00pm

Our biggest sale of the year - 50-75% OFF - 4 Hours Only! Suits, sportcoats, slacks, shirts, ties, hats, caps, scarves, gloves, outerwear & more! 

February 5, 2016 - 11:42am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Tonawanda Valley Federal Credit Union, crime, batavia, business.

Press release:

Attention Tonawanda Valley Federal Credit Union Members: We have been made aware this morning, Friday, Feb. 5, that an automated call is being made to members and non-members saying that TVFCU needs their card information. This is a scam and you should hang up the phone immediately.

Please do not enter any information during these phone calls! TVFCU will never call and ask for your card number or any other private information. 

If you have given your card information during the phone call and you are a TVFCU member please call us at (585) 343-5627.  

If you are a non-TVFCU member please contact your own financial institution. 

We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused you.

UPDATE 1:30 p.m.: Officials at the Le Roy Federal Credit Union contacted us to report many of their members are reporting the same scam. "We've been getting many calls and walk-ins from members stating that they have been receiving these calls as well. We also advise to NEVER give out card/account numbers over the phone. If they have questions, they may call us at (585) 768-7207," says Kimberly Antinore, Member Services, Le Roy Federal Credit Union.

February 5, 2016 - 10:07am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia.

CIty fire and Mercy EMS are dispatched to Oak Street and North Lyon for a woman in labor reportedly delivering a baby.

UPDATE 10:07 a.m.: A police officer on scene reports the baby has been delivered.

UPDATE 10:15 a.m.: "ER go ahead." "In route with a mother and baby -- delivered in the field -- baby's fine, mom's fine. We'll see you in 10." "You're clear."

UPDATE 10:27a.m.: Batavia Police Officer Frank Klimjack said the baby's father made the delivery prior to his arrival on scene. They are all at UMMC now.

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