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July 3, 2012 - 11:34am
posted by Billie Owens in Oakfield, accidents.

An accident is reported in Oakfield. Three vehicles are involved, and in the third car, there's a man slumped over the steering wheel at 106 S. Main St. It is believed to have initially occurred on Orchard Road, for reasons that are unclear, those involved are in three different locations, spread over a mile-long area. An Alabama firefighter happens to be with one of the parties involved outside the village; she is said to be shaken up but otherwise OK. State troopers and medics are responding.

UPDATE 11:36 a.m.: Sheriff's deputies are also responding. Initial reports indicate that at South Main near Orchard, the driver of a green car "took out two others. They just didn't see each other." That driver was slumped over the steering wheel. The other vehicles are possibly at Route 63 and Fisher Road, and at Route 63 and the village line. Responders are taking more information and there is some confusion about the whole scene.

UPDATE 11:48 p.m.: Mercy medics are transporting the driver of the green car to UMMC. Oakfield Fire Department, which also responded to the scene, is back in service. The other people involved in the accident are not injured.

July 3, 2012 - 9:16am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, downtown, BID.

Press release:

The Batavia Business Improvement District has awarded four more façade improvement grants to its downtown businesses. The recipients are: Kenneth Mistler, owner of City Slickers, 59 Main St.; Rich Clark of CPR (Computer & Phone Repair), 216 E. Main Street; Paul Marchese, Marchese Computer Products, 220 Ellicott St.; and Gerald and Thomas Williams, The Williams Law Firm, 2 Court St. Plaza.    

They received the following matching funds for improvements to their structures: Ken Mistler and City Slickers - $1,944 for new signage on the front and rear of his building; CPR - $286.69 for signage on their frontage; Marchese Computer - $1,205 for signage and gooseneck lighting; and Williams Law Firm - $1,487.50 for awnings on the second floor. These funds were awarded based upon the Business Improvement District’s design guidelines.  

The Batavia Business Improvement District is a not-for-profit, municipal / business incorporated association. It was established back in 1997 by a group of business owners to make improvements above and beyond what the municipality was normally responsible for.

B.I.D. provides programs, events and economic benefits to more than 190 downtown property owners and tenants. It has contributed greatly to the renewed vitality of downtown, the preservation of the character of its structures and development of its streetscapes.

According to Don Burkel, downtown manager, these improvements demonstrate a long-term commitment by these business owners to downtown and positive steps for its future. Eighty-seven businesses within the district have benefitted from this program and received more than $323,380 in funding. You also have to consider that these businesses have reinvested in total project costs of over $2,450,935 in Batavia’s downtown, which is pretty impressive.

July 3, 2012 - 9:06am
posted by Howard B. Owens in agriculture, elba.

Elba's Maureen Torrey is featured in a story by McClatchy News Service on the shortage of farm labor:

With the peak harvest season at hand, Torrey’s concerns about a labor shortage are growing. A crackdown on illegal immigration, more job opportunities in Mexico and rising fees charged by smugglers are reducing the number of workers who cross the U.S. border illegally each year to help make up more than 60 percent of U.S. farmworkers.

The American Farm Bureau Federation projects $5 billion to $9 billion in annual produce-industry losses because of the labor shortages, which have become commonplace for farmers such as Torrey, who said there were 10 applicants for every job five years ago.

“In the last year that wasn’t the case,” she said. “We hired anybody that showed up for field work. It’ll be interesting to see how many people we have knocking on the door this year.”

July 3, 2012 - 9:04am
posted by Lisa Ace in Deal of the Day.

Alabama Hotel, 1353 Lewiston Road, Basom, NY: A historic and legendary tavern and restaurant. The Alabama Hotel is famous for its fish fries, but also serves a variety of top-quality entrees, featuring Certified Angus Beef. Now with expanded hours. We have a $25 gift certificate for $12.50.

Alex's Place, 8322 Park Road, Batavia, NY: People come from all over the region for a fine dining experience at Alex's. It's best known for its ribs, of course, but Alex's seafood is also a favorite of the restaurant's diners. We have a $25 gift certificate for $12.50.

Bohn's Restaurant, 5256 Clinton St., Batavia, NY: Fine dining in an atmosphere of casual elegance. Lunch and dinner, steak, prime rib and seafood. Ask about Bohn's catering services and banquet facility. We have a $25 gift certificate for $12.50.

Bourbon & Burger Co., 9 Jackson St., Batavia, NY: Batavia's newest burger joint offers more than two dozen different types of tasty hamburgers. Our menu also includes a variety of sandwiches, appetizers and an extensive beer list, plus a full bar. We have a $20 gift certificate for $10.

Ficarella's Pizzeria, 21 Liberty St., Batavia, NY: Dine-in, drive-thru or delivery. Featuring fresh, hearth-baked pizza since 1985, plus wings, pasta and more. We have a $20 gift certificate for $10. (Good only at the Batavia location.)

Jagged Edges Salon, 4140 Veterans Memorial Drive, Batavia, NY: Jagged Edges Salon is a walk-in and appointment salon for men, women and children. It is a fun, welcoming salon that offers all hair care services including cuts, color, highlights, lowlights, perms, styling/updos, treatments, and facial waxing. Hours are 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday. We have a $20 gift certificate for $10.

Kashmir Cafe, 85 Main St., Batavia, NY; This delightful cafe and coffee shop offers the finest flame-roasted artisan coffee and teas, a wide selection of sandwiches made with the freshest breads, and assorted baked goods. We have a $10 gift certificate for $5.

Larry's Steakhouse, 60 Main St., Batavia, NY: The name says it all -- Larry's is a great place for steak. Larry's has a fine dining atmosphere with a great menu and outstanding service. We have a $20 gift certificate for $10.

Oliver's Candies, 211 W. Main St., Batavia, NY: Oliver's, a Batavia landmark, offers the finest chocolate and confections in the area. We have a $20 gift card for $10.

Palm Island Indoor Water Park, 8250 Park Road, Batavia, NY: The newest family fun center in Genesee County, featuring a hot tub, monsoon lagoon pool and play area, tipping buckets, water slides, arcade with 15 games and birthday party rooms. We have a pair of gift certificates worth $40 in merchandise or services for $20.

Rancho Viejo, 12 Ellicott St., Batavia, NY: Traditional Mexican cuisine, from tacos and burritos to pollo norteno, Rancho Viejo brings a bit of "south of the border" to Batavia's restaurant scene. We have a $20 gift card for $10.

Rosie's Diner, 4974 Ellicott St. Road, Batavia, NY: Serving breakfast and lunches daily. Rosie's features delicious homemade food including Italian and Polish dishes and the freshest homemade soups. "Where good people meet!" We have a $10 gift certificate for $5.

Settler's, 353 W. Main St., Batavia, NY: Settler's has a 25-year history of serving great, affordable breakfasts, lunches and dinners to Batavians. We have a $20 gift certificate for $10.

Spirits, 78 Lake St., Le Roy, NY. Le Roy's favorite sports bar, where fun and good food are always on tap. Come try one of our many delicious burgers that we have to offer, as well as our HUGE Bomber Sandwich, homemade chicken fingers made to order, and the all-time favorite Dumpster Plate with many choices. We deliver. We have a $20 gift certificate for $10.

Sweetland Pines Golf Course, 5795 Sweetland Road, Stafford, NY: Sweetland Pines is a par 3 golf course, great for beginners and experienced golfers working on the short game. Relaxed golf game, average play is about 1 hour and 20 minutes, leaving the golfer time to enjoy rest of the day. We have a $25 gift certificate for $12.50.



Note: If you've never purchased Deal of the Day before, or are otherwise unfamiliar with the rules and processclick here.

July 3, 2012 - 8:56am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Medicaid, DSS.

The state is planning to take over all of the administrative functions for Medicaid, but the state isn't ready and shows no signs of being ready any time soon.

That's what Eileen Kirkpatrick, commissioner of Social Services in Genesee County, told the Human Services Committee during its meeting Monday.

New York has set a deadline of April 2018 for Medicaid administration to be switched from county DSS offices to state employees, either working in Albany or at local offices.

The state, she said, "failed miserably" in its first pilot project to take over administration for 12 counties, with hundreds of cases being mishandled.

It would be easy to think, Kirkpatrick said, that for the sake of local Medicaid clients, the county should hold onto local administration as long as possible, but the state has capped reimbursement for administrative costs.

If the county continues to administer the program, local wages and benefits and other expenses will continue to go up, but the state won't reimburse at a higher rate.

That's why, Kirkpatrick said, the county should go ahead and request the state take over the program, even if they aren't entirely ready for it on schedule.

In New York, Medicaid is a $53 billion program. About 3 percent of the expense goes to administration.

Currently, the county fills 22 full-time equivalent positions to administer Medicaid.  Some of the employees currently in those jobs would be able to transfer to the state payroll and continue doing much the same job as they do now.

July 3, 2012 - 8:30am
posted by Howard B. Owens in welfare, DSS.

Fewer than 100 people in Genesee County who are able-bodied adults are on welfare Eileen Kirkpatrick, commissioner of Social Services locally, told members of the legislature on Monday.

"The idea or belief that Genesee County has a huge cadre of its citizens just sitting around collecting welfare is a myth," Kirkpatrick said.

There are currently 626 people receiving cash assistance, and 348 of them are children, Kirkpatrick said.

Kirkpatrick presented her report to the county legislature during its Human Services Committee meeting.

Of the 278 adults receiving cash assistance, 179 of them are not considered employable. These are people who may be awaiting SSI benefits determinations or have temporary illness or injuries that keep them from working.

Of the able-bodied adults receiving cash assistance, many of them have jobs but do not earn enough money to fully support themselves. They get a small, partial grant, Kirkpatrick said.

The able-bodied adults who don't work are required to do volunteer labor with various local nonprofit agencies.

All able-bodied adults receiving assistance are required to take classes or get job training that may help them get better paying jobs.

There are two types of cash assistance. There is a 60-month Family Assistance program that is funded by the federal government.  The benefit was capped at 60 months by the Clinton Administration.

But, according to the state constitution, DSS is required to provide ongoing cash assistance to individuals who qualify once Family Assistance runs out. 

The second program that provides ongoing assistance is called Safety Net.

The cost of the Safety Net program is largely shouldered by county taxpayers. The state pays for only 29 percent of the program. The county pays 71 percent.

"The Safety Net program is mandated, yet localities have little or no control over the provisions of benefits, short of detecting fraud," Kirkpatrick said. "The state defines what must be funded, but has decreased their support for funding the program."

The county currently handles 158 Safety Net cases, serving 189 individuals.

That's an increase from 2010 when there were 108 cases, serving 138 people.

Family Assistance cases increased during the same period from 152 to 177.

Kirkpatrick said the increase is a result of the recession taking a bit of a toll on Genesee County.

From 2008 to 2010, Genesee was the only county in the state that actually saw a decrease in the number of people receiving temporary assistance.

Another myth Kirkpatrick said she wanted to dispel was that people getting food stamps don't have jobs.

Of the 2,888 households in Genesee County receiving food stamps, Kirkpatrick said, 72 percent have at least one adult who has a job.

The program brings more than $9 million into Genesee County, Kirkpatrick said, all of it federal dollars.

"A lot of folks don't realize there is no local share," Kirkpatrick said. "They think they see people with food stamps buying fancy steaks and lobster at Tops, or going to the 7-11 and buying surgary drinks and junk food, but there's no local cost to the benefit."

Food stamps are supposed to supplement a family or individual food budget, but DSS is seeing more cases, Kirkpatrick said, of recipients relying entirely on food stamps for their meals.

"Although the program is meant to supplement a family's nutrition, surgary sodas and cereals, candy and snacks, pre-packaged food and other unwise purchases are allowed," Kirkpatrick said. "While the Food Stamp Nutrition Education Program is made available to recipients, they cannot be mandated to attend."

The local cost for the food stamp program is in administration, and the state is covering less and less of that expense.

Currently, the county spends $542,505 on food stamp administration and gets $49,041 from the state.

Administration costs are also going up as the state encourages more and more people to sign up for the benefit.

Kirkpatrick said there is one group of Genesee County residents who may not be taking full advantage of the food stamp program -- seniors.

Only 451 people in Genesee County age 65 or older receive food stamps. Kirkpatrick said -- especially since eligibility is based on income, not resources -- many more local seniors probably qualify for the program than are using it.

ILLUSTRATION: A graphic that has been making the rounds on Facebook the past couple of weeks.

July 3, 2012 - 5:11am
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, alexander.

Route 20 is being closed to truck traffic between Route 63 in Pavilion and Route 77 in Darien because of an overnight tractor-trailer accident.

At 12:58 a.m., a tractor-trailer overturned on Route 20 in the area of Brookville Road, Alexander.

According to a dispatcher, the trailer broke away from the truck and the axles broke off the trailer.

A tow company is on scene now trying to upright the trailer.

Alexander Fire Department is on scene.

No injuries were reported.

UPDATE 6:38 a.m.: Chief Lance Schaulau on scene this morning said the driver reported swerving to miss a deer and went off the north shoulder of the roadway. The westbound truck was hauling retail items for a discount chain. Deputy Kevin Carlson estimated that Route 20 wouldn't open until after 7 a.m., and perhaps not before 8 a.m. Route 20 is closed to all traffic between Route 98 and Brookville Road.

UPDATE 7:38 a.m.: Two trucks are arriving on scene to gather up the spilled product.

UPDATE 7:51 a.m.: Darien fire at Route 77 and Pavilion fire at Route 63 are going back in service. Route 20 is reopened to truck traffic. The area of the crash will be reduced to one lane of traffic with a deputy and state trooper on scene to direct traffic. Alexander fire, which has been on scene since 1 a.m., is going back in service.

UPDATE 8:58 a.m.: Road reopened about five minutes ago.

July 2, 2012 - 8:17pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, accident.

A dirt bike rider has reportedly been injured at Area 51, 5100 Harloff Road, Batavia.

The rider lost consciousness but is awake, though disoriented.

Mercy Flight is on ground standby.

East Pembroke Fire and Oakfield Ambulance responding.

UPDATE 8:19 p.m.: The patient is now reportedly unconscious. Mercy Flight dispatched.

UPDATE 8:28 p.m.: Mercy Flight 5 in route.

UPDATE 8:30 p.m.: Patient is conscious and alert, complaining of hip and shoulder pain.

UPDATE 8:32 p.m.: Mercy Flight 5 is on the ground.

UPDATE 8:44 p.m.: Mercy Flight is flying to Erie County Medical Center.

July 2, 2012 - 7:25pm
posted by Billie Owens in Stafford, accidents.

A two-car accident with injuries is reported at Route 5 and Roanoke Road. Stafford Fire Department and Mercy medics are responding. It is blocking traffic.

UPDATE 7:25 p.m.: Fire police from Le Roy are called to stop westbound traffic at Route 5 and Buckley Road.

UPDATE 7:29 p.m.: They're going to turn traffic around at the Red Osier Restaurant.

UPDATE 8:25 p.m.: The roadway is reopened. The Stafford assignment is back in service.

July 2, 2012 - 7:05pm
posted by Billie Owens in accidents, bergen.

A two-car accident with injuries is reported at Route 33 and West Bergen Road. Bergen Fire Department and Mercy EMS are responding.

UPDATE 7:11 p.m.: There are three vehicles involved. There was airbag deployment, but injuries appear to be minor. The westbound lane is blocked.

UPDATE 7:14 p.m.: They want traffic stopped at 33 and West Bergen Road "so nobody goes north."

UPDATE 7:39 p.m.: Bergen is back in service, with the exception of one unit. The roadway is being reopened.

July 2, 2012 - 4:47pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, fire.

A mulch fire is reported at the ESL Federal Credit Union on Veterans Memorial Drive. Town of Batavia Fire Department is responding.

UPDATE 4:49 p.m.: A fireman on scene reports it is a small mulch fire and calls for a brush truck to respond in non-emergency mode.

UPDATE 5 p.m.: The fire is out. Town of Batavia is back in service..

July 2, 2012 - 2:57pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, darien lake, Darien.

If you're wondering where the report is on all of the arrests at the Beach Boys concert at Darien Lake on Friday, here's a news flash: There weren't any.

Apparently, nobody urinated on another patron, nobody was arrested for trespass for jumping a fence to get backstage, nobody tried to shoplift from a vendor and nobody took a swing at a security guard.

There weren't even any citations issued for underage drinking.

Perhaps less surprising, there were also weren't any citations issued for unlawful possession of marijuana.

"It was a completely different crowd than what we usually deal with," said Sgt. Steve Mullen, of the Sheriff's Office.

Mullen said people entered the venue in an orderly manner -- forming a single line instead of the usual "mosh pit" of pushing and shoving to enter -- and alcohol consumption was mostly confined a couple of beers or a glass or two of wine (people brought their own glasses).

"They even picked up after themselves," Mullen said.

One deputy we spoke to said concertgoers even thanked him for being there.

The evening wasn't without conflicts. Getting out of the Darien Lake parking lot is apparently a frustrating exercise even on a night when the band draws less than 8,000 people.

One patron, Janice O'Rouke, posted on the D&C's Web site that the situation in the parking lot was "ugly," but what she describes was really pretty tame compared to what might occur at a Brad Paisley or Drake show.

Chief Deputy Gordon Dibble confirmed there were some tense moments in the parking lot as people tried to leave, but only one or two confrontations and "certainly less than normal."


No one would ever describe the parking lot situation as pleasant or fast, I'm sure. Thousands of vehicles exiting onto one state highway and one county road will never be pleasant or fast by any stretch of the imagination. The parking lot funneling to the exits will always cause conflict that sometimes becomes physical. Alcohol abuse is a significant factor. 

The Sheriff's Office routinely has as many as 10 deputies directing traffic at the end of the concerts with the goal of getting everyone out as quickly and as safely as humanly possible and yet it will take the last of the patrons as much as two hours to get on the road from a large concert.

Accidents in the traffic pattern will pull deputies from traffic direction duty and cause additional back ups. The State Police also have patrols in the area working to keep traffic moving. Traffic backed up to the park from the Village of Corfu is common even though the Corfu PD assists traffic through their village as best they can. 

Private parking lots along Sumner Road result in gridlock and heavy foot traffic mixed in with bumper-to-bumper vehicle traffic in poor lighting with no sidewalks and narrow, unimproved shoulders. 

People need to understand the limitations at this venue, study the routes in and out, be prepared to take an alternate route and expect delays both getting there and leaving. 

This is a very difficult venue to manage under these conditions.  

Even with the inherant difficulties with the venue, Dibble said, the crowd Friday was very easy to work with.

"While the parking lots are usually littered with bottles and cans after a concert, there were few and far between at the end of this one," Dibble said. "People were polite and considerate as they entered and left."

Mullen agreed.

"It was a mature crowd," Mullen said. "They were there to enjoy the concert and have a good time and not cause anybody else problems. It was an honor to be there to serve them and they were glad to have us there."

July 2, 2012 - 1:30pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia.

There is reportedly a magazine sales company working in the area and residents in Batavia and Oakfield (I think Oakfield) have called to complain about sales rep activity.

Reps from the same company were in town last week and were told to get a permit from the City of Batavia. Batavia, as well as some other jurisdictions in Genesee County, require door-to-door sales reps to have permits.

This morning, a dispatcher checked with the city and there is allegedly no permit on file.

Sales reps can reportedly earn a trip to Rome if they do well with their sales.

UPDATE 2:04 p.m.: There was an inquiry as to whether the individuals could be charged for soliciting without a permit and a dispatcher replied, "I know you're going to find hard to believe, but their team leader isn't picking them up." Officer: "I'm shocked." The rep that was out with the officer says he just wants to return the money from the sales and their receipts and call it a day.

July 2, 2012 - 11:33am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime.

Jason D. Lang, 28, of 244 Liberty St., Batavia, is charged with falsely reporting an incident, 3rd, and aggravated harassment, 2nd. Lang is accused of calling 9-1-1 at 12:13 a.m., Saturday, to report hearing gunshots at a local hotel. Lang allegedly made the call twice. Batavia PD determined there were no gunshots at the hotel. Lang allegedly made several more calls to 9-1-1 "for no legitimate purpose." Lang was jailed on $5,000 bail.

Jamie E. Andrews, 28, of 15 School St., Batavia, is charged with reckless endangerment, 2nd, and assault, 3rd. Andrews is accused of driving on Swan Street and deliberately striking an acquaintance with her car. The alleged victim was treated and released at UMMC with a minor injury.  Andrews was jailed on $5,000 bail.

Philip A. Dodson, 21, of 662 N. Plymouth Ave., Rochester, is charged with harassment, 2nd. Dodson was arrested in Monroe County and turned over to Batavia PD. Dodson was arraigned in city court and released.

Tara L. Hall, 33, of 32 Brooklyn Ave., Batavia, is charged with harassment, 2nd. Hall is accused of threatening a neighbor during an argument.

Chad M. Johnston, 26, of 111 Liberty St., Batavia, is charged with criminally possessing a hypodermic instrument. Johnston is accused of possessing a hypodermic instrument inside his residence.

Luke W. Ritzenhaler, 29, of 67 Oak St., Batavia, is charged with criminal mischief, 4th, and harassment, 2nd. Ritzenhaler is accused of being in a fight at a location on Oak Street where he allegedly picked up another person and also threw an object at that person. He also allegedly damaged molding around a doorway.

Bruce V. Wiseley, 64, of 30 S. Main St., Batavia, is charged with disorderly conduct. Wiseley is accused of becoming unruly while at a business on West Main Street and shouting obscenities at employees.

Lyle Robert Henderson, 29, of Lakeview Avenue, Syracuse, is accused of a family court violation. Henderson was arrested in Oneida County and turned over to the Genesee County Sheriff's Office. Following arraignment, Henderson was jailed on $4,000 bail.

July 2, 2012 - 10:28am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, accident.

A man who suffered an apparent head injury in an accident early Sunday morning on Route 33 and was flown by Mercy Flight to Strong Memorial Hospital is being accused of driving drunk and trying to flee the scene of a personal injury accident.

Lawrence D. Boggs, 23, of West Main Street, Batavia, reportedly was helped out of his overturned vehicle at 12:19 a.m. and then tried to run down Wortendyke Road.

He was grabbed and detained by the driver of the other vehicle involved in the accident.

Boggs is charged with DWI, leaving the scene of a personal injury accident, speeding, failing to stop at a stop sign and unlicensed operator.

He is listed in stable condition at Strong.

The other driver, whose name was not released by the Sheriff's Office, was transported to UMMC with a minor injury, treated and released.

Boggs was driving a 1999 Dodge van southbound on Wortendyke Road when he allegedly failed to stop for a stop sign and stuck a 2008 Hummer eastbound on Route 33.

The van traveled off the roadway into a ditch and overturned.

The driver of the Hummer and other witnesses helped Boggs get out of the van.

The accident was investigated by Deputy Howard Carlson.

Assisting at the scene were other deputies, State Troopers, Mercy EMS, Mercy Flight and the East Pembroke Volunteer Fire Department.

(Initial Report)

July 1, 2012 - 7:38pm
posted by Billie Owens in pembroke, accidents.

A two-car, minor injury accident is reported 1643 Main Road, between Boyce and Cleveland roads. East Pembroke Fire Department and Mercy EMS are responding.

UPDATE 7:43 p.m.: A car is blocking the westbound lane. A tow truck is called.

UPDATE 8:05 p.m.: East Pembroke is back in service.

July 1, 2012 - 6:58pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, crime.

A fight in progress is reported at Austin Park in the city. Police just arrived.

UPDATE 7:01 p.m.: "You better swing down. It's a pretty large gathering," says an officer on scene to another. The incident had migrated toward Jefferson, then to Washington and Bank, verbal at that point. "It looks like now they're dispersing."

UPDATE 7:04 p.m.: There were estimated to be 30 or 40 people involved. "Now they're at Summit, looks like a fight is going on there."

UPDATE 7:13 p.m.: Now the group, or what's left of it, is moving back to Austin Park and an officer is remaining on scene to monitor the situation.

July 1, 2012 - 4:49pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in photos, corfu.

On my way back to Batavia, after being in Darien this morning, and before being rerouted by Billie out to Alabama for the cornfield fire, I stopped along Ellinwood Road, Corfu, to take pictures of this field of yellow flowers.

Before that, I took pictures of trains at the Colby Road crossing.




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