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August 10, 2015 - 11:58am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia.

Batavia PD is investigating a missing person report to see if it's connected to the body of a deceased African-American male found Friday afternoon in the Tonawanda Creek behind Kibbe Park, said spokesman Det. Eric Hill.

"We do not know if this missing person is associated with the body found in the Tonawanda Creek or not," Hill said.

Over the weekend, police said there was no missing person report that could be connected at that time with the deceased person.

The name of the missing person is not being released at this time, pending further family notifications, Hill said.

The body of the dead man is at the Monroe County Medical Examiner's Office undergoing forensic and DNA testing. The person has not been identified and police have asked the public's help in potentially identifying the person. The cause of death remains undetermined.

August 10, 2015 - 9:23am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, byron, Oakfield.

John F. Brown, 56, of Woodcrest Drive, Batavia, is charged with criminal tampering, 3rd. Brown allegedly used a pen to scribble on a picnic table at Williams Park at 8:13 a.m., Saturday.

Alton G. Williams, 38, of Bacon Street, Le Roy, was arrested on a warrant for alleged failure to appear. Williams is accused of failing to pay a fine. He posted an unspecified amount of bail and was released.

Andrew J. Leaton, 30, of Walkers Corner Road, Byron, is charged with DWI/Drugs. Leaton was stopped at 1:18 a.m. April 23 on West Main Street Road, Batavia, by Officer Christopher Lindsday.

Joshua Daniel Barber, 21, of North Road, Fillmore, is charged with unlawful fleeing a police officer, 3rd. Barber was allegedly involved in a brief police pursuit on State Street at 5:10 p.m., Saturday.

Joseph W. Gottstine, 26, Elmwood Avenue, Buffalo, is charged with unlawful imprisonment, 2nd, and harassment, 2nd. Gottstine was arrested on a warrant stemming from an alleged incident at 6:34 a.m., July 19. He was jailed on $2,000 bail.

Dawn M. Morford, 54, of Weber Avenue, Oakfield, is charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th. Morford was arrested on a warrant while at the Genesee County courts facility.

Joshua K. Williams, 24, of Ross Street, Batavia, is charged with criminal mischief, 4th, criminal possession of a weapon, 3rd, and menacing, 2nd. A warrant was issued for Williams on the listed charges stemming from an alleged incident at 2:15 a.m., July 31. Williams turned himself in. Williams allegedly threw a glass bottle at the windshield of a vehicle during an altercation, damaging the windshield. He was released under supervision of Genesee Justice.

David Nicholas Greco Sr., 65, of Merrill Road, Byron, is charged with criminal mischief, 4th, and harassment, 2nd. Greco allegedly pushed a woman and used a hatchet to break out the window of the woman's car. An order of protection was issued.

August 9, 2015 - 9:20pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in pets, cats, animals, batavia, missing pets.

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From Marybeth Stefani:

I recently moved to Ross Street. My cat Mittens was always an indoor cat, but since moving to the new place she was eager to get outside, so we let her. She was only going as far as the neighbor's and would show up periodically throughout the day. We have been here for a month and a half. Well last Monday is the last I’ve seen of her

She is a female cat who is about 14 years old. She has a scar on her lower side (from a cat fight from before I adopted her). When she went missing, she was wearing a purple flea collar on which I had written her name and address. She is friendly but hides from people she doesn't know.

She could be hiding under a porch or even a garage, so I am asking people to keep their eyes out for her.  She is a family cat and we are missing her terribly! I can be contacted by phone 585-297-7418.

August 9, 2015 - 11:00am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, darien lake, Darien, darien lake performing arts center.

The following people were arrested by the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office during the Florida Georgia Line Concert at Darien Lake Performing Arts Center on Saturday.

Arunas M. Gecas, 28, of Van Voorhis Avenue, Rochester, is charged with criminal trespass, 3rd, after allegedly running past the ticket takers and entering the venue without a ticket. Gecas was arraigned in Darien Court and jailed in lieu of $500 bail.

Jessica L. Pychel, 20, of Claremount Circle, Welland, Ontario, Canada, is charged with resisting arrest and three counts of harassment, 2nd, after allegedly kicking, pushing and biting deputies and security officers. Pychel was arraigned in Darien Court and jailed in lieu of $2,000 bail.

Sean P. Biggie, 22, of Jane Drive, Syracuse, is charged with harassment, 2nd, after allegedly grabbing a deputy's wrist trying to pull a deputy to the ground. Biggie was arraigned in Darien Court and jailed in lieu of $250 bail.

Brett I. Hall, 34, of South Gravel Road, Medina, is charged with disorderly conduct and two counts of harassment, 2nd, after allegedly punching windows in a van and then striking and shoving two Darien Lake security officers. Hall was arraigned in Darien Court and jailed in lieu of $250.

Adam R. Penney, 33, of Sylvan Hill Road, Echo Bay Ontario, Canada, is charged with disorderly conduct and harassment, 2nd, after allegedly punching windows on a van and then punching a Darien Lake security officer in the face. Penney was arraigned in Darien Court and jailed in lieu of $500 bail.

Carrie A. Trojanczyk, 22, of Eastgate Drive, Rochester, is charged with trespass after allegedly reentering the concert venue after being ejected.

Savanna L. Sciabarrasi, 21, of Two Mile Road, Olean, is charged with criminal trespass, 3rd,  after reentering the concert venue after being ejected.

Christopher E. Aydelotte, 36, of Edson Street, West Seneca, is charged with criminal mischief, 3rd, after allegedly he punched a window out of a vehicle.

August 9, 2015 - 10:29am
posted by Howard B. Owens in elba, Elba Onion Festival, Onion Queen.

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Emily Tomczak is crowned Elba Onion Queen during the 2015 Elba Onion Festival on Saturday evening by outgoing queen Alexandra Lacey. Runners up, from left, are Cecilia Villanueva and Sierra Holland.

No word yet on who won the Mustang.

UPDATE: The Mustang raffle winner is Clyde Easton, of Oakfield. No word yet on whether Clyde is taking the car or the cash.

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August 9, 2015 - 10:23am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia's List, thebatavian, Sponsored Post, advertisement.

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Visit Batavia's List and post your ad today!

Also: Sign up for our new daily e-mail newsletter. Get the day's headlines plus the latest marketplace posts delivered to your inbox every day at 5 p.m.

And: Like Batavia's List on Facebook.

August 8, 2015 - 9:26pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Attica, Attica Rodeo, sports, rodeo.

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Photos from the Saturday matinee at the Attica Rodeo.

The rodeo concludes with a final performance at 2 p.m., Sunday.

For more rodeo coverage, visit the Wyoming County Free Press. Julia Ferrini has done a great job with it.

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Recommend viewing of the slideshow: Full-screen mode.

August 8, 2015 - 9:06pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in foxprowl collectables, batavia, business, Ellicott Street.

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Brian Sandstorm and his son Luke pose for a picture with professional wrestler Eric Young today at the five-year anniversary celebration of Foxprowl Collectables on Ellicott Street.

In five years, owner Bill Hume has grown the inventory, the variety and the floor space of his store.

When I remarked, "you've come a long way," he said, "You know, passion and hard work. It's what I love."

In the seven-year history of The Batavian, this is the first time we've covered both the opening of a new business and its fifth anniversary.

Below, Hume with Young and Matt Troisi, owner of Limited Edition Collectables, who help Hume secure Young's appearance at Foxprowl today.

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August 8, 2015 - 12:45pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia.

There is no new information available on the deceased white male whose body was found yesterday around 2 p.m. floating in the Tonawanda Creek behind Kibbe Park.

Chief Shawn Heubusch​ said the body is still with the Monroe County Medical Examiner's Office.

Previously: Body of white male retrieved from Tonawanda Creek near Kibbe Park this afternoon

August 7, 2015 - 10:23pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in elba, parade, Onion Festival.

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To purchase prints, click here.

August 7, 2015 - 10:07pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Vibrant Batavia.

Vibrant Batavia is sponsoring a communitywide garage/yard sale weekend and many of the sales have been posted to the Garage Sale Map on Batavia's List.

If your sale isn't posted, post it.

 

August 7, 2015 - 5:58pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in GLOW Corporate Cup, sports, 5K, batavia, YMCA, business.

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Photos by Shannon Dent.

Previously: Record-setting day for GLOW Corporate Cup

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August 7, 2015 - 5:46pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in WNY Aviation Adventure Camp, Genesee County Airport.

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Students in the WNY Aviation Adventure Camp completed their course work today and received their certicates of graduation at the Genesee County Airport.

The program gives students an opportunity at a variety of hands-on learning opportunities in the aviation field. Field trips included visits to FL Soaring Club in Dansville, the Niagara Aerospace Museum along the classes at Boshart Enterprises & Aircraft Services.

Photos by Jill Breslawski include some of the activities from throughout the camp.

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August 7, 2015 - 5:25pm

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Genesee Cancer Assistance held its annual golf outing today at the Batavia Country Club.

Above, Andy Squire, of Spencerport, hits a shot off the first tee.

Below, Debbie and Dan Fischer, of WBTA, flank Mary Blevins and Andrea Mazukiewicz, ESL Credit Union, while playing bocce ball.

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August 7, 2015 - 5:18pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in history heroes, hlom, batavia.

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The History's Heroes summer educational program at the Holland Land Office Museum culminated today in historical scenes and music performed by the students who took part in the day camp at the museum. They performed in the Legislature chambers at the Old Courthouse.

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August 7, 2015 - 9:09am
posted by Howard B. Owens in GLOW Corporate Cup, Merrill Lynch, batavia, business, sports.

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With 840 runners and walkers, 51 company teams and 42 corporate tents set up in Batavia's Centennial Park, the third year of the GLOW Corporate Cup proved to be the biggest yet.

The event, organized primarily by executives with the Merrill Lynch office in Batavia, will have raised more than $20,000 for the GLOW YMCA once receipts are tallied.

Batavia City Schools fielded the winning team and Corey Brown of Crickler Vending posted the race's fastest time at 17:42.

The organizers got a lot of positive feedback, said Joshua Dent, a VP with Merrill Lynch.

"If they're serious runners, the racers are very happy with the course Steve Tufts set up," Dent said. "It runs like a professional race. Then, unlike most races, there is this incredible after-party that makes it unique and different. The environment is fun. So we get the serious runners who are happy with the event, and then the businesses who participate and send walkers and then get to hang out after and listen to a band and they're satisfied as well. Those two aspect help make it a successful and unique event."

Dent looks forward to seeing the event grow, especially as the promoters work to attract more corporate teams from Orleans, Livingston and Wyoming counties.

It's gratifying to see the hard work of Tufts and John Ritter pay off in a big way for the GLOW YMCA, Dent said.

"It obviously means a lot to be able to give that much back to the community," Dent said. "The support of all the volunteers means so much. There's just an incredible amount of work that goes into putting this together. John Riter and Steve Tufts worked tirelessly to pull this off.

"It's not a one-day process. It's days and days and days. So to see the culmination, to see all the businesses that participate and do something that is fun and good for you and get the chance to hang out on a beautiful day and network, it clicked on all points."

UPDATE: Photos posted previously were from last year.

Top photo: City fire's team.

If you have photos to share, e-mail them this morning to [email protected]

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Upstate Toyota's team.

Three photos below, from Genesee Community College.

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Photo from Elizabeth Downie

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The Crickler Vending team. Photo submitted by Bob Brown.

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Reader submitted, but company ID not included. Will try to update when we get it.

August 6, 2015 - 4:52pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, chamber of commerce.

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The smoke-gray, vinyl-sided building may not look like much now, but when Genesee County Chamber of Commerce officials gaze upon the vacant house converted into office space on Park Road, they see a spruced-up facade and a big sign that says "Visitors Center."

It's been a decades-long dream for the Chamber to relocate its headquarters and visitors bureau to space closer to the Thruway exit in the Park Road/Oak Street area.

Now plans are coming together to purchase this building on Park Road across from the Sheriff's Office and just south of the Clarion Hotel.

The building isn't as visible as something right at Park and Oak, but it will still be plenty visible to visitors passing through Genesee County, said Chamber President Tom Turnbull.

"The location is right in the middle of everything," Turnbull said. "There are 800 hotel rooms right in the area. There's the Clarion, Batavia Downs, Alex's, Applebee's. It's where we want to be. It's someplace where we can capture people as they come into the area and bring them into the county. That's what we've always wanted to do. That's been the dream to get there."

There's a sign outside the current chamber offices in the City Church building on East Main Street that says, "Visitors Center," but tourists rarely stop there. There's also the visitors hut in the parking lot of the Holland Land Office Museum, but with the median on Route 5 restricting traffic flow, it's hard to access and is seldom visited.

Turnbull thinks the proposed location on Park Road will get more tourist activity and help the tourism staff and volunteers do a better job of guiding people to the abundance of sightseeing opportunities locally, from HLOM, to Darien Lake, to the Jell-O Museum to Genesee County Park & Forest and the Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge.

"We want to get people out into the county," Turnbull said.

Turnbull has heard from the critics, the people who are skeptical or concerned about chamber leaving Downtown.

We can do more for Main Street out there than we can down here," Turnbull said, adding, "The chamber itself might be better off here, but tourism isn't. While the chamber can be good out there, tourism can be great out there."

The location, at 8276 Park Road, was first spotted on Google Maps when a committee of chamber members were scouring the area for a potential location.

Turnbull admits that at first he didn't see the potential for the building.

"My vision isn't very good," Turnbull said. "I looked at it and said it's an ugly old house, but start talking to people and they say you can dress it up and put a nice facade on it."

Ed Smart has been hired to do a feasibility study and initial architectural drawings so officials can see just what can be done with the building.

Turnbull remembers the chamber talking about a project like this in 2000, when he was president of the Board of Directors, and in 2001, the chamber was about to purchase the former armory at Oak and Park, but then the 9/11 tragedy happened and the federal government decided it wanted to hold onto its buildings. The INS now occupies that space.

Then in 2007, the chamber and Town of Batavia started talking about a joint facility a little further west on Park Road, where Park turns south and Veterans Memorial Drive splits off to the west.

The plan was to open a joint court facility shared with Elba and Oakfield. But Elba and Oakfield backed out of the project as it neared the approval stage, so its languished since, which is what sent the chamber on a quest to find another potential location to fulfill its dreams.

The chamber has made a purchase offer that is contingent on the outcome of the study.

The plan is to tap into the $500,000-bed-tax reserve to pay for the tourism bureau's portion of the project. This is the kind of project the bed tax is meant to help fund, Turnbull said -- and County Manager Jay Gsell agrees -- and so the chamber will seek County Legislature approval for the expenditure of nearly all of the reserve.

The bed-tax money can only be used for the facade to promote tourism and the downstairs portion of the building that will be used as a visitors center. That is the bulk of the cost of the project.

But since this project is primarily about promoting tourism, Turnbull said he expects tourism revenue to fund some 70 to 80 percent of the total project. The chamber itself will pay for the balance and he said that balance is within the chamber's financial reach.

If the project goes through, the new visitor center could open in about a year.

August 6, 2015 - 11:34am
posted by Howard B. Owens in chalk the walk, Summer in the City, batavia, downtown, GO ART!.

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Gena Korn and Jennifer Gray are creating a bit of chalk artwork in front of City Hall this morning to help promote GO ART!s Chalk the Walk event Aug. 15 during Summer in the City. (Photo by Howard Owens).

Press release:

GO ART! will be presenting the second annual Chalk the Walk on Aug. 15th from 9 a.m. - 6 p.m. during Summer in the City. Artists, professional and amateur and young and old, will be able to purchase a square section of concrete by the City Center to decorate with chalk pastels. There will also be a children’s section for fun scribbling.

Using materials available, artists will follow the theme “GO ART!...Where does art take YOU?” to create inspired pieces for a crowd of more than 2,000 people. Prizes will be awarded to those whose pieces are most outstanding. Adult First Prize will be $250. People’s Choice Award will be a $20 Alex’s Place gift card, two T-shirts, and two mugs. The Youth Prize will be a basket of goodies worth over $50.

A jury will select the winners for Adult First Prize and the Youth Prize. People’s Choice will be chosen by the general public by way of donation voting (ie: the art piece that receives the most donation money will be the People’s Choice winner). All donations collected for the People’s Choice Award will go to funding GO ART! youth programs.

To sign up for this event, people need to register online at http://www.goart.org/chalk-the-walk/ or register in person at GO ART!, 201 E. Main St., Batavia, from Tuesday through Friday between the hours of 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. People can also sign up and pay the day of the event but it is highly encouraged to do so ahead of time.

Remember, no one is officially registered until payment is received. Fees are $20 for adults (18+) and $10 for Youths (17 & under). Every registered artist will receive a box of chalks and a drink to get them started. There will be a chalk swap area where people can trade out their chalks for other colors they need. Artists are encouraged to bring their own chalks as well.

It is important to assure that each artist and their work, as well as the event itself, is respected, so there will be rules and regulations. These are available on the Web site at athttp://www.goart.org/chalk-the-walk/.

People can find updates on Chalk the Walk by going to the Web site:http://www.goart.org/chalk-the-walk/ or by following Chalk the Walk on Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/BataviaStreetPaintingFestival.

Please consider participating! It's going to be a great event! If you have any questions, please feel free to phone 585-343-9313 or visit [email protected].

August 5, 2015 - 7:49pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in City Fire, batavia.

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From this day forward, when city firefighters pass down the hall leading into the aparatus bay to answer an alarm for a fire or medical call, they will pass a picture of Capt. Loren J. Michel, the only city firefighter to ever die in the line of duty.

The memorial to Michel also contains his badge, ID and the page from the logbook of his final call Aug. 5, 1965.

Looking over the mementos of his late friend, Bill Benedict stared at each item intently. It was a sad, sad day, the day he died, Benedict said.

"A lot of sadness that day," he said. "I was there that day. I was driving the aerial truck. I was on the top floor ventilating the roof. After I cut a hole in the roof, I nearly passed out with the gas. It was bad, bad gas."

The structure fire was reported at 402 Bank St. and a resident indicated her two children might still be inside. As acting chief that day, Michel led his crew into the house, kicking down the front door. As firefighters entered ahead of him, a fireball of flames exploded out of the house and Michel apparently inhaled the flames, burning his lungs. His face was also burned.

Michel was not wearing an air pack and staggered out of the house to get some oxygen. Wilbur Hinz, president of the Western New York Volunteer Firemen's Association, helped Michel walk to the truck.

Hinz drove Michel to Genesee Memorial Hospital.

Michel told Hinz to go to his house and tell his wife and daughter that he would be OK. By the time Hinz returned to ER, Michel was dead.

The service today, attended by members of Michel's family, included prayer and remembrances. A plaque was dedicated that will be placed on the outside of the fire hall and a wreath was lain at the grave of Michel in Grandview Cemetery.

The service was intended to recall the kind of man Michel was and his dedication to firefighting. He was an instructor, instrumental in creating the mutual aid and emergency management coordination that is still in place today.

He served the city for 24 years and was an honorary member of every volunteer fire company in the county.

"Capt. Michel's death was a devastating loss to his family, his community and the entire fire service," said Adam Palumbo, president of Local 896.

Palumbo and firefighter Mike Dorgan took the lead in organizing today's service.

Leonard Smatak, a firefighter and son-in-law of Michel's, recalled how this fallen hero devoted his life to serving others.

He shared one story of a structure fire that started with a boy who accidently lit his sister's bed on fire. The alarm was sounded quickly and the house was saved, but the boy was nowhere in sight when it was all over. Firefighters and police began a neighborhood search, but Michel said he would handle matters.

He figured the boy was hiding in the house, and he was right. Soon he and the boy came walking out of the house hand-in-hand. Michel sat the boy on the front seat of a fire truck and had a private chat with him. Smatak said that to this day, that boy, now a man, credits Michel with changing his life.

"To truly honor Capt. Michel in all that you do, do it right the first time, take no shortcuts, do it by the numbers, just as you were all trained to do," Smatak said.

Standing before the memorial, all city firefighters will pass from this day forward. Benedict said he'll never forget his friend or that tragic day.

"He was a nice man, a good leader," Benedict said. "Everybody liked him. He was well respected. We all miss him."

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Firefighter Greg Ireland presents the Pledge of Allegiance at the start of the service.

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Firefighter and Local 896 President Adam Palumbo with opening remarks.

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City Fire Chief Jim Maxwell.

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Firefighter Ryan Hendershott sounds the final bells for Capt. Michel.

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Michael Szustak and Michel Lujan

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Retired firefighter, Capt. Mike Mullen.

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The service pin, as shown above, is the same one city firefighters will wear from now on on their Class A uniforms to honor Capt. Michel and the date of his death.

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The laying of the wreath at Grandview Cemetery.

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Four of the county's volunteer firefighters pay tribute to Capt. Michel.

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Contact: Howard Owens, publisher (howard (at) the batavian dot com); (585) 250-4118

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