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April 24, 2017 - 6:34pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in VA Hospital, batavia, news.

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The VA Hospital honored its volunteers today with a luncheon at the Quality Inn & Suites in Batavia.

The volunteers with the most hours, more than 1,750 were Phyllis Scharader, Robert J. Shepard, Douglas Titus and James Yoder. Pictured with three of the top volunteers above is Danielle Bergman, assistant medical director, on the right.

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The volunteers with at least 20 years of service were also honored, though not all could make it to the luncheon. The volunteers with at least 20 years are Helen Batchelor, center of the photo, with 31 years, Emerson Campbell, Joshua T. Dickens, Joseph Flynn, Joseph Guppenberger, 31 years, Robert Jurewicz, Lee Kauffman, Robert Mellody, Anthony Palmer, 32 years, Robert Radley, and John Scott, with 31 years.

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The Elks from Brockport made a $1,500 donation to the VA Center.

April 24, 2017 - 6:02pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in circus, garden brothers circus, batavia, Falleti Ice Arena, news.

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Garden Brothers Circus have brought to town clowns, jugglers, magicians, acrobats, stunt riders and everything else that goes with a professional, touring circus.

Including elephants.

This is the last tour that elephants will be included in the Garden Brothers Circus, so miss the show at 7:30 p.m. at Falleti Ice Arena and maybe you miss your last chance to see a circus with elephants.

These pictures are from the 4:30 p.m. performance today (no elephant pictures because I couldn't stick around until the end of the 90-minute show, but from what I saw, this is a circus well worth seeing).

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April 24, 2017 - 4:06pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news.

miller_mug_rob2017.jpgA Batavia resident who robbed a Subway restaurant on East Main Street in January and was tracked down by K-9 Destro will spend at least two years in state prison.

Ricky Miller II had previously entered a guilty plea to third-degree robbery.

Defense Attorney Jamie Welch sought an adjournment of the sentencing in Genesee County Court this afternoon to give Miller more time to complete $254 in restitution in order to avoid fees and surcharges.

Miller is expecting a tax-refund check the first week of May, so Welch asked for sentencing on May 8.

District Attorney Lawrence Friedman said it would cost the county more than $250 to house him in the local jail those additional days.

Judge Charles Zambito denied the request.

Miller can avoid some additional fees if he makes restitution before May 8. If he doesn't, then he must pay $25 per month until restitution is paid (Welch asked for $10 a month and Friedman countered $50 per month and Zambito went to with $25).

When asked to make a pre-sentence statement, Miller declined.

He was given two to four years in prison.

News partner WBTA contributed to this report.

April 24, 2017 - 2:07pm
posted by Billie Owens in garden brothers circus, batavia, news.

A family tradition for more than 100 years comes to Batavia today -- the Garden Brothers Circus. This is your last chance to see this circus in Batavia with live elephants!

Plus there will be elephant rides, camel rides and pony rides and a Kids' Fun Zone one hour before each show.

Performances are at 4:30 and again at 7:30 p.m. at Falleti Arena, located at 22 Evans St. in the City of Batavia.

The Garden Brothers has everything you’d expect to see at a Circus.

"We are bringing an all new, fast paced; totally exciting show to town!”

See "Motorcycle Madness" with motorcycle daredevils somersaulting and spinning in a big "Globe of Doom"; Chinese acrobats; "The Human Slingshot," watch camels, llamas, horses-and a buffalo perform together for the first time; crazy comedy with Circus Clowns; daring aerialists; cirque artists.

It's 90 minutes of excitement and fun!

April 24, 2017 - 11:39am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, Darien, batavia, alexander, Alabama.

Elizabeth Ann Hicks, 34, of Jackson Street, Batavia, is charged with promoting prison contraband, 1st, criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th, and possession of a hypodermic instrument. Hicks was allegedly found in possession of a needle and syringe with Suboxone while being booked on an unrelated charge. She was jailed on $5,000 bail, $10,000 bond.

David Henry Luther, 56, of Cider Mill Court, Lancaster, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, consuming alcohol in a motor vehicle. Luther was charged following a "check the welfare" call on Bloomingdale Road, Tonawanda Indian Reservation, at 7:43 p.m. Sunday by Deputy Michael Lute.

Alicia Brandi Clark, 41, of Halstead Road, Batavia, is charged with endangering the welfare of a child, unlawful possession of marijuana, mobile phone use on highway and misuse of dealer plates. Clark was stopped at 4:35 p.m. Saturday on Lewiston Road, Batavia, by Deputy Michael Lute.

Timothy McCarthy, 47, of Alexander, is charged with DWI and driving with a BAC of .18 or greater. McCarthy was stopped by State Police.

Shawn Matthew Szczcygiel, 39, of Tinkham Road, Darien, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, moving from lane unsafely, unsafe tires, and inadequate exhaust. Szczcygiel was stopped at 4:54 a.m. Saturday on Tinkham Road by Deputy Eric Meyer.

Hector Maximilliano Vidal, 22, of Eggert Road, Tonawanda, is charged with petit larceny and unlawful possession of marijuana. Vidal is accused of shoplifting at Kohl's.

Dustin W. Bogue, 35, no permanent address, is charged with trespass. Bogue allegedly entered property owned by another person after being advised to stay off the property. He was jailed on $1,000 bail.

Ashley N. Ziccardi, 24, of Brooklyn Avenue, Batavia, was arrested on a warrant for alleged failure to appear.

Tiffany M. Brown, 25, of Maple Street, Batavia, was arrested on a warrant for alleged failure to appear. Brown was arrested by Sheriff's deputies and turned over to Batavia PD on a City Court warrant.

Russell R. Miles, 48, of South Main Street, Batavia, is charged with criminal contempt, 1st. Miles allegedly violated an order of protection. He was allegedly found at the residence of the protected party in violation of the order. He is accused of violating the same order at least twice in five years. He was jailed without bail.

Brian J. Hawkins, 37, of Pries Avenue, Buffalo, was arrested on warrant for alleged failure to appear. He was taken into custody at the Erie County Holding Center on the warrant. He was jailed on $300 bail.

April 24, 2017 - 10:43am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Tompkins Bank of Castile, batavia, business.

Press release:

Tompkins Bank of Castile is expanding its presence in Western New York, adding a new role to lead the further development of its commercial lending customer base in Erie and Niagara counties. The bank is also beginning a search for office space in the Buffalo area to support this expansion.

Adam Desmond, a banking industry veteran who is native to Buffalo, has been named Regional Market Leader for the Buffalo market. Desmond joined the company on April 3 and will lead the efforts to further grow the bank’s presence in the area.

“We are excited to have Adam lead our effort to significantly expand our growing presence in the Buffalo area,” said John McKenna, Tompkins Bank of Castile President & CEO. “He brings extensive banking experience, a deep network and knowledge of the Buffalo market to our team.”

Desmond joins Tompkins Bank of Castile with more than 15 years of financial services industry experience in Buffalo. In addition to his professional experience in Buffalo, Desmond was born and raised in the area and lives on Grand Island, N.Y., with his wife and children. He is active in the community, including serving as Vice Chairman of the board of the Buffalo chapter of Literacy New York. Desmond completed a bachelor’s degree with a concentration in Finance at the University of Buffalo and an MBA with a concentration in Accounting at Canisius College.

As the company looks to establish an office location in the Buffalo market, there are plans to add additional team members to support banking, insurance and wealth management customers. Founded in 1869, Tompkins Bank of Castile has a tradition of providing long-term value for its clients in Western New York.

“As a community bank, we pride ourselves on our local decision-making, which allows us to help local businesses grow,” said McKenna. “Establishing an office in the Buffalo area will allow us to provide even better service to our growing customer base across all Tompkins businesses in Erie and Niagara counties.”  

April 24, 2017 - 10:20am
posted by Howard B. Owens in VFW Post 1602, batavia, veterans, Sea Cadets, news.

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A contingent of Navy Sea Cadets volunteered their time Saturday to help clean the grounds of the VFW Hall on Edwards Street, Batavia. The exterior work comes after members recently completed interior renovations.

April 24, 2017 - 10:03am
posted by Howard B. Owens in pets, animals, batavia, news.

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Yesterday, as Don Mengs was leaving the Country Max store on East Main Street, Batavia, an English bulldog pushed open the door of a van and charged his two German shepherd puppies.

One of the puppies, Roamer, slipped from his splitter and collar and ran south into the woods and area of the quarry behind the store. 

Batavia PD officers helped search the area for a length of time, including the area of the park on the other side of the lake. Mengs returned from 6 to 9 p.m. and searched the area with one of his older dogs but they could not find him.

Batavia PD is resuming the search this morning. 

Roamer is just over three months old, a black and tan German shepherd. He weighs 30 pounds and is 18 inches high. He responds to his name and sits and shakes quickly on command. He has a distinguishing Roman-helmet-looking mark on his snout with light-colored eyebrows.

If found, call Batavia PD at (585) 345-6350.

April 22, 2017 - 10:47pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news.

Police received reports of possible youths dropping bricks or throwing bricks from the train track overpass on Lehigh Avenue, Batavia.

Units responded and two individuals have been spotted and police are trying to catch them as they move along the train tracks.

Both are described as white males, one wearing a black sweatshirt and black pants and the other is wearing a red sweatshirt.

UPDATE 10:51 p.m.: There is debris in the roadway that needs to be cleaned up. Police are still searching for the two individuals.

April 22, 2017 - 7:29pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in St. Joe's, batavia, news.

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The crowd at St. Joe's annual Mammoth Sale today was huge before I could there, I'm told, but even later in the afternoon, there were still a lot of great deals for shoppers.

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April 22, 2017 - 6:58pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in softball, sports, batavia, news.

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After running teams for a couple of years in Byron-Bergen, Stan Kaus and Matt Landers got to talking last year about getting more girls involved in fastpitch softball and bringing the teams back to Batavia.

"After last year we decided there are more girls in Batavia who want to play softball, so we kind of looked at each other and said, ‘Are you sure you want to go bigger?’ and we said, ‘as long as the parents step up and help,' " Kaus said.

The response, Kaus said, "has been phenomenal."

The new Batavia Girls Fastpitch is incorporating as a nonprofit with an eight-person board. There are eight new coaches, 17 sponsors and so far 35 girls signed up.

There are two 12-and-under teams and for the first time a 10-U team. Next Tuesday, they will host a meeting to form at least one, and maybe two, 15-U teams, which will add another 12 to maybe more than 20 more girls participating.

"I think the word will get out," Kaus said. "I think a lot of girls felt their only choice for playing ball was Little League. I think if they can come out and watch softball and see fastpitch, I think it will be great."

The Stingers, as the teams are known, also have new uniforms.

"The fact that it's back and we're breathing new life into fastpitch softball is kind of exciting," Kaus said.

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April 21, 2017 - 6:10pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Roswell Cancer Institute, batavia, news.

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Emma Harris, now 6, the subject of community support, including a cheer-a-thon fundraiser in 2015, has completed 826 days of chemotherapy in her fight against leukemia and today at Roswell Cancer Institute, she got to ring the bell celebrating the completion of her treatment.

Photo (submitted photo and info): Iris Hatcher, Hassan Harris, Emma Harris, and Athena Nesbeth. 

April 21, 2017 - 6:03pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Falcon Re-Furnishings, Harvester Center, batavia, business.

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The idea of starting a business, not working for somebody else, seemed like a good idea to Matt Cryer after he recently retired from the Army, so he and his wife Michelle talked it over and decided to work together on a new venture.

They've started Falcon Re-Furnishings, with manufacturing space in the Harvester Center.

The business is all about creating unique home decor and furnishing using salvaged items that can either be repurposed or restored. They either come up with their own ideas for their finds or they take custom orders.

"The beauty of it is we can build what you want," Michelle said. "How many times have you looked for a specific table for a specific spot in your house and it has to be this many dimensions? We needed one for in our bathroom. We only had a nine- to 12-inch space and we couldn’t find anything. Now we can do special orders for people, certain sizes or you need special colors to match your decor."

Their workspace has a few old chairs and tables that they will restore or repurpose -- Michelle is planning on recovering an old loveseat with lush, pink fur.

Matt does a work with discarded pallets, making tables, shelves, chairs and even a bar for a client.

One of the tables now is made from pallets and cast off cast iron from an old porch railing.

They're building a website, can be found on Facebook and plan to sell through Etsy.  They didn't want to open a retail store just yet, not until they understood the business better and see how it's going to grow.

Matt said with his military pension, as a fresh retiree, it seemed like the perfect time to give owning a business a try.

"If it works, it works," he said. "If it does, it doesn’t. At least I say I at least tried it."

Michelle thinks Batavia is a great market for them to try this type of business because much of what they'll make isn't available here, or there isn't much competition.

"You would have to go to Rochester or Buffalo to get a lot of this," she said. "We've got a lot of good feedback so far."

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April 21, 2017 - 5:16pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in BID, downtown, batavia, news.

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The Business Improvement District held its annual meeting and awards breakfast this morning at City Church's Generations Hall on Cedar Street, Batavia.

Above, Director Beth Kemp delivers opening remarks.

The Spirit of Downtown Award was given this year to Steve Hawley and his downtown business, The Insurance Center.  Hawley was out of town, so not available to accept the award.

Photos below: Amy Worthington, owner of Amy's Fluffy Friends, and a tireless volunteer for the BID, received one of two volunteer of the year awards. The other went to Corey Wolcott, bottom photo, manager of Angotti's Beverage, for his volunteer work on Beertavia, which is now heading into its third year as a local annual event.

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April 21, 2017 - 4:54pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, news, YWCA.

Press release:

BATAVIA -- It was a photo-worthy moment to see the surprised reactions of Zonta Club members during a special announcement Wednesday during the club’s monthly meeting.

Zonta Club of Batavia-Genesee County members learned that Zonta is the recipient of this year’s Women of Distinction Peace Award.

“It’s a total shock,” Member Patti Pacino said. “We don’t ever go for awards, we give them. It’s such a lovely surprise. Working with YWCA is an incredibly wonderful meld because we can help you with things for domestic violence.”

Jeanne Walton, executive director of YWCA of Genesee County made the announcement as part of her ongoing community talks to promote the annual awards gala. Zonta was chosen for its dedication to community needs local and afar, especially in regard to saying no to domestic violence.

“Zonta Club went above and beyond to create many tote bags filled with toiletries and other items as a way to pamper and truly care for victims of abuse,” Walton said. “The club has certainly given many forms of peace to this community and is so deserving of this award.”

The gala is at 5:30 p.m. June 15 at Genesee Community College, 1 College Road. An awards ceremony will be in Stuart Steiner Theatre followed by a hearty appetizer and dessert buffet and an auction in The Forum.

The Women of Distinction Awards Gala is a way for YWCA to honor and recognize those individuals, groups and businesses that have contributed to the overall betterment of this region. Award recipients have also, through their personal and professional endeavors, strengthened YW’s vision to provide sustainable programs that foster healthy, balanced living for women and families.

Women of Distinction Committee members also chose the following recipients:

  • Roula Alkhouri, pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Batavia, for the Racial Justice Award. A native of Syria, Alkhouri was chosen for her efforts to support diversity and better understanding of world affairs from a local perspective and her ministry passions of spirituality, interfaith connections and social justice.
  • Krysten Schmidt, of Ladies First for the Advocacy/Civic Engagement Award. Schmidt opened her Batavia business in October 2012 with a focus on providing women’s preventative health care. She was chosen for her sincere willingness to empower women and provide direct services to YWCA domestic violence clients.
  • Deanne (Dee) Quinn Miller, program coordinator of the state Defender’s Association, for the Military/Veteran Award. Although Miller does not have direct experience in the military, there is no doubt that her core philosophy has been that “veterans and military families deserved the best care and resources available,” according to her nomination letter.

“It is clear that with every role, Dee’s passion and commitment to veterans grows,” the letter stated. “It is clear that each and every veteran holds a special place in her heart.”

  • Western New York Tech Academy for the Economic Empowerment Award. This initiative offers local students a unique path toward educational and career success in the areas of science, technology, engineering and math by connecting them with mentors, area companies, job experience and a free two-year degree. The four-year plan prepares students for high-skill and financially stable career opportunities in a less traditional format for those students that may not have the resources and guidance necessary for the high school to college track.
  • Lewis Tree Service, the second-largest provider of vegetation management in the country, for the Corporate Social Responsibility Award. Based in Rochester, this philanthropic company – led by its Giving Tree Committee -- has contributed funds, staff time and  equipment to YWCA over the last few years to help support the nonprofit’s programs and services. In 2016, Lewis Tree Service received an ETHIE Award from Rochester Area Business Ethics Foundation for doing “the right thing” through strong ethical foundations, high standards of business conduct and multifaceted connections to ethics in others’ daily lives.
  • Georgann Carrubba, founder of Tencar Inc., for the Exceptional Entrepreneur Award. This new award recognizes a woman in the community who is making a difference through her business philosophies, investment practices and work ethics. A Batavia native and registered nurse, Carrubba is also an innovator. She developed an idea into a product to give comfort and security to patients with a Choice Cap ostomy prosthetic appliance, which has also meant an investment of $100,000 in this community for production.

This year’s event will include a fun basket, silent and live auction loosely titled “Eat, Drink & Be Merry” to capture the spirited theme. At least three dozen baskets will be up for bid, including a fully catered elegant dinner for eight, a lobster basket of gourmet treats, a tailgate party, a catered middle Eastern meal and, to include the animal lovers, a "Bone Appetit" package of assorted pet items.

Sponsorship opportunities are available, including a special one for each of the award categories Tickets for the Gala are $40 each or $350 for a table of 10, and may be purchased at YWCA, 301 North St., Batavia or by calling (585) 343-5808.

April 21, 2017 - 4:32pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, batavia, Le Roy, bergen, news.

Julie Ann Stymus, 41, of Ellicott Street, Batavia, is charged with misapplication of property. She was arrested at 1:52 p.m. on April 19 on Veterans Memorial Drive. The defendant allegedly borrowed more than 400 DVDs which were supposed to be returned to the owner(s) but which Stymus allegedly pawned. She was released on an appearance ticket for May 15 in Town of Batavia Court. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy James Diehl.

Todd Howard Campbell, 35, of Shrubbery Lane, Rochester, is charged with DWI and refusal to take a breath test. Campbell was arrested at 9:19 p.m. on April 11 on North Lake Street in Bergen for DWI. He allegedly struck a vehicle in Monroe County, causing injury to the driver, then fled the scene. Several witnesses followed his vehicle to the Village of Bergen where he was located by members of the Genesee County Sheriff's Office. He allegedly refused to take a breath test and was arraigned in Town of Le Roy Court where his driver's license was immediately suspended. Campbell was jailed in lieu of $1,000 bail and issued numerous traffic tickets by the Monroe County Sheriff's Office. The case was investigated by Genesee County Deputy Christopher Erion, assisted by Deputy Richard Schildwaster.

Shauna Elizabeth Driscoll, 28, of Wadsworth Avenue, Avon, is charged with: operating a motor vehicle with a BAC of .08 percent or more; DWI; harassment; driving left of pavement markings; and failure to use designated lane. Following the investigation of a traffic offense complaint on East Main Road in Le Roy at 9:58 p.m. on April 14, Driscoll was arrested and charged with the counts cited. She was released with an appearance ticket for Town of Le Roy Court on May 15. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Rachel Diehl.

On April 18, State Police Batavia Troopers arrested Alsimeon Peterson, 18, from Hampton, Ga., on a warrant that stemmed from a pursuit that took place on April 15. On April 15, troopers attempted to stop Peterson on Park Road in Batavia. Peterson allegedly refused to stop and proceeded down the New York State Thruway where he was eventually stopped in Monroe County by the Monroe County Sheriff's Office and taken into custody. On April 18, Peterson was released from the Monroe County Jail and turned over to SP Batavia Troopers. Peterson was charged with two counts of reckless endangerment, 2nd, one count of fleeing a police officer, 3rd, and multiple traffic violations. He was arraigned in the Town of Batavia Court and put in Genesee County Jail in lieu of $10,000 bail.

On April 19, State Police Batavia Troopers arrested Daniel Difrancesco, 35, of Batavia, for felony DWI following a traffic stop on Route 5 in the Town of Batavia. Difrancesco was stopped for having a broken tail light. He subsequently allegedly failed field sobriety tests and refused to take a breath test. He was processed and arraigned at the Town of Batavia Court and released to appear on a later date.

April 21, 2017 - 4:26pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in downtown, batavia, business, news, freshLAB.

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Demolition has started on the interior of the former Newberry's building in Downtown Batavia. The project will convert the building into a brewery and an incubator for startup restaurant businesses, known as freshLAB. The second and third floors will become apartments.

April 21, 2017 - 3:57pm

The Michael Napoleone Memorial Foundation Derby Day Gala is at the starting gate and preparing for this year's gala.

The event will be held on Saturday, May 6th, 2017 from 4-9 p.m. at Terry Hills Golf Course and Banquet Center, Clinton Street Road, Batavia.

Tickets are $75/per person and Win, Place, and Show Sponsorships are available.

The ticket includes entry into event, hors d'ouevres, grazing stations, beer, wine, soda, a professional photograph and a gaming ticket. Prizes will be awarded for the best Derby Hat for a woman, the best Dapper Derby Apparel Award for a man, and the Dapper Duo Derby Award for the best "Derby-dressed" couple.

This year in celebration of the foundation's 10-year anniversary, we will be having a fireworks display (weather permitting). We have a live and silent auction, basket and reverse raffles, the gold ball drop, and a new purse raffle this year, along with some MobileSchlagen. It is a great evening for a great cause.

All proceeds support the mission of the foundation: assisting families with a pediatric cancer diagnosis, supporting research, and assistance to youth activities. For a sneak peak at some of the amazing prizes or to see sponsorship opportunites, go to www.michaelshope.org. For more information on a sponsorship, a donation or getting tickets, call 585-861-0550 or 585-409-3275.

April 21, 2017 - 3:00pm

Nice solid city ranch in great condition! This well maintained 3 bedroom ranch has a nice open floor plan and has many nice features. Great hardwood floors, large living room with pretty wood burning fireplace, large room sizes, great bath with extra large jetted tub. Kitchen is newly upgraded within last 5 years and has porcelain floors, granite countertops and large center island for extra spread out room for the cooks in the family. There is an awesome three season room which overlooks fully fenced backyard and in ground pool for those great summer days! Back deck, large shed and hot tub are a few other bonuses this home has. Extra large basement with workshop if you are into that kind of thing and a great attached garage. Call Lynn Bezon today to see this listing or click here to view the full listing details.

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