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Archive | October, 2013

Trick or treat in Cedar Spring—indoors and out

Are you ready to trick or treat in Cedar Springs?

Are you ready to trick or treat in Cedar Springs?

Are you ready for a night full of fun? Don’t let the forecast of rain keep you home Halloween night—there will be plenty of fun both indoors and out at the annual Cedar Springs Halloween Spooktacular in downtown Cedar Springs! Sponsored by the Cedar Springs Area Chamber of Commerce, area businesses and churches, the fun starts at 4:30 p.m. with spooky storytime inside the library, at the corner of Cherry and Second, and a scavenger hunt by En Gedi that starts at City Hall. That is followed by trick or treating from 5 to 7 p.m. at almost 40 Main Street businesses—so bring your umbrella!

If you are looking for more indoor activities, The Springs Church, located at 135 N. Grant Street, will host their Trunk or Treat inside the church. Calvary Assembly God will also hold their kids carnival inside at The Springs. There will be lots of candy for the taking, games, hot chocolate, cider and donuts. It will be fun for the whole family!

The Cedar Springs Fire Department will hand out hot chocolate and donuts at the firebarn at W. Maple and Second St. again this year, and the Cedar Springs Historical Museum will host a haunted school house inside the museum in Morley Park for the first time.

The En Gedi youth center’s “Ghost in the graveyard” at North Park (NE corner of Pine and Main) will be canceled if it rains.

Come see us at The Post! We will be handing out candy, along with many other businesses. Check out all the businesses and non-profits handing out candy this year on or just off Main Street (starting at the south end):

Cedar Street: The Cedar Springs Historical Museum

Between Muskegon (17 Mile) and Church Streets: Family Video, Hungry Howie’s, CS Family Chiropractic, Main Street Restaurant, Awesome Tan, and Admiral.

Between Church and Beech Streets: Amish Warehouse, McBride Accounting, United Methodist Church.

Between Beech and Ash Streets: American Legion, The Cedar Pub.

Between Ash and Cherry Streets: D&J Nails, Traveler’s Trunk, Link Wireless, The Hair Craft Company, Alpha Omega Coffee and Games, Round Up Tavern, Take Two Game Shop.

Between Cherry and Elm Streets: The Cedar Springs Public Library (Cherry Street), The Kent Theatre, Vitale’s Pizza, The Gun Tavern.

Between Elm and Maple Streets: Curves, Cedar Chest, Homemade Ceramics, Car Quest, Frog’s Legendary Billiards; Perry’s Place, Cedar Springs Fire Department (W. Maple), The Cedar Springs Post (E. Maple), and The Springs Church (driveways off E. Maple and First Streets).

Pine Street and North: Wesco, B&H Sporting Goods, Cedar Springs Tire, Dollar General, KC’s Kones and Coneys, Kelly’s Restaurant, Vanderhyde Ford.

 

 

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New 35,000 square foot arena a public/private effort

Property offers Olympic sized outdoor arena, indoor arena, trails

By Beth Altena

 

 Kent County Sheriff Deputy Celesta VanderVeen snuggles with horse Dewey during an event for the public to see the new arena. Children were given rides on the facility’s eight horses during the evening. Photo by B. Altena.

Kent County Sheriff Deputy Celesta VanderVeen snuggles with horse Dewey during an event for the public to see the new arena. Children were given rides on the facility’s eight horses during the evening. Photo by B. Altena.

“This is the result of public/private efforts,” said Kent County Sheriff Lawrence Stelma during the grand opening of the Kent County Sheriff Department’s Mounted Division indoor arena last Wednesday, October 16. The event happened two years after Kent County donated 30 acres of land and a 100-year-old barn to the Sheriff Department to house the mounted division at 4687 Kroes in Rockford.

Stelma said the new facility could not have happened without countless volunteer hours and effort and offers a permanent home to the horses of the mounted division. In addition, there will be a wide variety of opportunities for the public to interact with officers and horses and use the facilities for any number of equestrian events and competitions. The 35,000-square-foot arena went up this summer and will offer indoor riding, space for ten horses, classrooms, offices and equipment storage.

The need for a mounted division became apparent after the 2000 opening of Millenium Park, which Stelma characterized as a “very large park.” As a search and rescue tool, the mounted division is priceless for covering terrain of all types. Officers on horses are also ideal for crowd control because of the height and visibility of the riders. Stelma said it is estimated that one mounted officer is as effective as ten officers on foot in crowds.

The mounted division is an extension of the Traffic Squad, which is Kent County’s oldest civilian law enforcement support organization—serving Kent County since 1917. Mounted officers serve in a volunteer capacity and are responsible for their own gear and equipment. Stelma said the division currently has eight horses, but there is a need for ten or twelve. He praised Kent County’s Director of Parks, Roger Sabine, for recommending this property. He praised Kent County for having the vision to see what a good fit the property would be for the use and offering it.

The first phase for the project took place in 2011 with a renovation of the barn and fencing an outdoor arena and pastures. Phase II was the stalls, facility and riding arena. Visitors were told there are outside trails prepared as well. Stelma also thanked key personnel on the project, Don DeGroot who spent so many hours cutting and nailing the boards of the facility and stalls that his fellow officers threatened to buy him a hammock so he could sleep over. His efforts go back to day one.

“I told him we wanted a mounted division and he asked what the budget was,” stated Stelma. “I told him there wasn’t one.”

DeGroot said the research into what a mounted division would look like goes back two years before the “real” work began. He said most are reservists who keep their animals themselves. “We decided that wasn’t the way we wanted to go,” DeGroot said. He said it is much more efficient, especially for search and rescue, for the horses to be at one location. He described that all officers and all horses are cross trained, so if one horse is under the weather, another will do just as well.

 Kids were all smiles while sheriff deputies help them ride around the new arena for the Kent County Sheriff’s Mounted Division during a grand opening last week. Photo by B. Altena.

Kids were all smiles while sheriff deputies help them ride around the new arena for the Kent County Sheriff’s Mounted Division during a grand opening last week. Photo by B. Altena.

The department was able to purchase their first horse in 2007 and build up a stable that was kept at the Kent County Honor Camp. In 2011, budget issues closed the camp and the horses were stabled individually as space was available. DeGroot said mounted search and rescue is so effective the organization receives many requests for help all across the state of Michigan.

He said since the beginning, the organization of the project, and the fundraising, became such a challenge the department assigned the duties to Chad Wieber, who donated his hours free of charge on top of his full-time job with the Sheriff Department. “Chad has done a wonderful job getting us to this point.”

Stelma spoke about the importance of generous donors to the project and introduced a family member of the late Peter Cook to speak. Donations toward the arena allowed it to be the Peter Cook Arena, and Ryan Cook said, “Our community works best when we work together. The traffic squad is a good example of that.” He said the work of the volunteers offered the best bang for the buck. “It’s hard to say no to that.” He said he knew the mounted division does unparalled work in search and rescue, as well as many other duties, such as presidential security.

Stelma introduced world-renowned philanthropist Peter Secchia, who was on hand for the event. Secchia talked of his determination to see the mounted division become a reality. He recalled friends the late Fred Meijer and Peter Cook, who also strongly believed in the idea. “They were two wonderful, wonderful people. This was something they wanted and I wanted. I am sure they are looking down on this now. They wanted it to happen.”

Kent County Administer Daryll Delabbio and Cook were both presented with Kent County Mounted Division gold shields, but were warned the position was honorary and had no law enforcement powers included.

The arena and grounds will be available for the public to use for horse-related events, from shows to 4-H events and for the Rockford Public School Equestrian Team. Dr. Shibler, Superintendent of RPS, said the team competes across the state. He called the whole complex “outstanding,” and said he was most impressed that it was accomplished without taxpayer money, but by fundraising, donations and volunteer work.

 

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November = No food for some Michiganders

By Mona Shand

Michigan residents who receive federal food assistance will see their benefits decrease by the end of this week, even as Congress debates further cuts to the anti-hunger program. Photo courtesy of stockphotosforfree.com.

Michigan residents who receive federal food assistance will see their benefits decrease by the end of this week, even as Congress debates further cuts to the anti-hunger program. Photo courtesy of stockphotosforfree.com.

At the height of the recession, Congress authorized a small increase to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, or food stamps), but that extra funding runs out November 1, leaving many Michigan residents struggling even harder to put food on the table. Beginning next week, a family of four receiving SNAP benefits will see a loss of about $36 per month.

Gilda Jacobs, CEO of the Michigan League for Public Policy, declared that this is the wrong time to make any cuts to such a vital anti-hunger program, which serves Michigan’s most vulnerable.

“It goes to seniors, it goes to veterans, it goes to children, it goes to working families—many people who have no other way to get nutrition and healthy foods,” Jacobs said.

N-November-no-food2-plateThe U.S. House has passed a Farm Bill, including even deeper cuts to the SNAP program, which would eliminate 200,000 low-income men and women from food assistance in Michigan. A bipartisan version that passed in the Senate also makes a cut, but it’s quite small compared to the reduction of $40 billion over 10 years in the House bill.

According to Jacobs, the effects of cuts to the SNAP program go far beyond the dinner table in a state like Michigan, which is still struggling to pull itself out of the recession. “These dollars also help our local economies,” she said. “This money is spent directly in people’s neighborhoods. They go into small businesses. So, there’s really a ripple effect.”

Today an estimated 13 percent of Michigan households meet the definition of “food insecure,” meaning they do not consistently have enough food. That’s up from 9 percent just a decade ago.

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Hometown Hero

N-Hometown-Hero-Nagy-Samuel

Air Force Airman Samuel J. Nagy graduated from basic military training at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, San Antonio, Texas.

The airman completed an intensive, eight-week program that included training in military discipline and studies, Air Force core values, physical fitness, and basic warfare principles and skills.

Airmen who complete basic training earn four credits toward an associate in applied science degree through the Community College of the Air Force.

Nagy is the son of Richard Nagy of Newcosta Avenue, Sand Lake.

He is a 2012 graduate of Tri County High School, Howard City.

 

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The Post goes to Spain

N-Post-goes-to-Spain-Mabie-web

Tom and Claudia Mabie recently enjoyed a trip to Spain with Tom’s sister, Mary, and her husband Jack Eldred. They took this photo, with a copy of the Post, at the Alhambra in Granada, Spain. The Alhambra was established by the Nasrid dynasty in 1237 and experienced many occupations over the centuries. It was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1984.

The two couples were celebrating Mary’s retirement after 31 years of teaching. Jack and Mary are both 1965 graduates of Cedar Springs High School. They currently reside in New Jersey.

Thanks for taking us with you on your adventure!

If readers are going on vacation, take a copy of the Post with you, snap a photo, and send it to us with some brief information to news@cedarspringspost.com.

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Officer Feutz takes job in Greenville

Officer Paul Feutz

Officer Paul Feutz

Officer Chris Richardson

Officer Chris Richardson

Cedar Springs Police Chief Roger Parent announced that Officer Paul Feutz, a ten-year veteran on the force, has taken a job as a full-time public safety officer with the City of Greenville.

“Paul has always shown an interest to work for a larger police agency and was excited about going to Greenville where he can use his fire fighting skills,” explained Chief Parent. He said that Feutz would remain on the Cedar Springs Fire Department.

Officer Feutz usually worked the 3rd shift. “Paul took his role seriously and had very good work ethics, helping make the City safer,” remarked Parent. “Paul left in good standing and I wish him the very best.”

To fill the slot left by Officer Feutz, Officer Chris Richardson was promoted from part-time to full-time. Chief Parent said that Officer Richardson was hired in April 2013 and had been working another part-time law enforcement position in Grant.

“Chris will be a great addition to the police department and the transition should be seamless because Chris has been working and covering shifts over the last few months,” explained Parent. He will be working 3rd shift, 9 p.m. to 7 a.m.

 

 

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Four running for two seats on city council

 

City residents to vote on Tuesday, November 5

 

Residents of the City of Cedar Springs will vote in two new City Council members on Tuesday, November 5. Four candidates are running to fill two four-year terms. One seat is being vacated by Mayor Pro-Tem Charlie Watson, who decided not to run again, and trustee Pamela Medford-Conley’s seat is also up for reelection. The election will be held at the Cedar Springs City Hall.

N-Candidates-ClarkDaniel Clark

About him: “All in all I have lived in the City of Cedar Springs for 20 years. I met Donna at what later became known as Jordan College on Pine Street in 1972. I graduated from Jordan College that same year with a B.A. and then from Andrews University in Berrien Springs in 1975 with my Masters.  I received my teaching certification from Aquinas College in 2007. We lived in Oklahoma, Donna’s home state, and then in Israel from 1988 to 2000. In 2000, I was hired by Creative Technologies Academy, where I am currently employed as the Director of Operations and Maintenance.”

Primary reason running for office: “I would like the opportunity to work for the good of my community; to make a practical, positive difference; to offer workable solutions as challenges and issues arise. I want to be involved.”

Other experience: “While living in Oklahoma I served as a volunteer fireman for eight years in a department with three full-time firefighters and twenty volunteers. I served three of those years as a captain of a five-man team. I completed training as a second level EMT. Mustang’s population at that time was 10,000. Through the last 12 years since we relocated to Cedar Springs I have volunteered on many occasions at Creative Technologies Academy beyond my regular work duties and have helped Donna with many details to do with library programs and fundraising, such as helping to load and unload tables and books for Friends book sales, etc.”

Main strength he will bring to the board: “I was raised on a farm and have a strong work ethic. I keep up on the news both locally and around the world and feel that my various experiences will help me identify with the citizens of the community and hopefully make choices balanced between necessary regulation/expenditures and those offering greater personal/business opportunities to Cedar Springs citizens.

The major challenge he sees facing the district and what would he do about it:  He said the major challenge is rebuilding community good will, especially regarding the Red Flannel Celebration. Also he would work to provide activities and opportunities for our youth to discourage drug and alcohol dependency.”

Gerald Hall – No photo

About him: He was raised here and has lived in Cedar Springs for 64 years. He is retired from the City of Cedar Springs, where he was formerly the Superintendent of Public Works.

Primary reason running for office: Gerald believes his experience will help the future of the city.

Other experience: His experience includes serving on the City Planning Commission and six years on the Cedar Springs Board of Education.

Main strength he brings to the position: Gerald said the main strength he will bring to the position is his knowledge of the city.

The major challenge he sees facing the district and what would he do about it: He said the major challenge facing the city is a shrinking budget.

N-Candidates-Mark-LawsMark Laws

About him: I moved to Cedar Springs from Muskegon last June 2012. I am an operations management professional who most recently worked for Huntington Bank and before that the Federal Reserve Bank. I am now an entrepreneur.

Primary reason running for office: “I found myself complaining about some of the outcomes in the council meetings. My momma taught me to get involved and do something to improve the situation and get off the bench and into the game. Complaining about something never makes it any better and according to my momma it actually contributes to making it worse. We have so much potential here in Cedar Springs.”

Other experience and main strength he will bring to the board: “Twenty plus years of operating businesses and business units up to 7 billion dollars, making tough budget decisions, negotiating contracts, sales and marketing, continuous improvement implementations, innovative and outside the box vision, and a can do attitude are just the tip of the iceberg of previous experience that will be beneficial to the City Council position.”

The major challenge he sees facing the district and what would he do about it: “Residents and businesses need to know that City Hall is here to assist them to get ‘er done. Whatever that may be. I would have the attitude of if it is a good idea that will benefit the community I would find a way to accomplish that thing and do all in my power and ability to do just that. Can’t is not in my vocabulary.”

Other: “Contracts for services needed by the City should go to residents of Cedar Springs if at all possible. Keeping the money local is a good thing, even if the local quote is  $37 more than the out of town quote. It would also be nice to have Cedar Springs be the Red Flannel Town that the Clipper Girls gave us and we have enjoyed for 70 plus years. And just how much has been spent on attorney fees for this situation? And we don’t have any money is the line that is put out there. But the cost of the attorney fees says something different. Just sayin!”

N-Candidates-Pam-ConleyPamela Medford-Conley – Incumbent

About her: Pamela Medford-Conley is 43 years old, and has lived in Cedar Springs for 14 years. She holds degrees and certifications from Montcalm Community College, CMU, and GVSU in child development, speech pathology, theater, dance, history, secondary education, communication, and argumentation. She teaches policy debate, communication, and academic tools for Forest Hills Central High School. She is married to Clint Conley who is a teacher for KCTC. She has two children–a daughter, Abbi Conley, will be a senior at Cedar Springs High School this fall and her son, Caelun Conley, will be entering first grade at Cedar Trails.

Primary reason running for office: If re-elected this would be her second term on City Council. “I am looking forward to continuing to represent my fellow citizens and be what I hope they feel is a true representative of their concerns,” she said. “One of the biggest issues the city will face in up-coming years will be our aging water system and continued funding cuts brought by Michigan’s state government.”

Other experience: Past experience includes serving 6 years on the Board Of Education for Cedar Springs Public Schools, where she held the positions of Treasurer and Legislative Representative and made multiple trips to Washington DC and Lansing to advocate for kids in Cedar Springs; 5 years on the Library Board including part of that time as Vice President; one year on the PTO Board of Directors; one year on the Red Flannel Festival Board of Directors; 10 years  in the  Garden Club with 6 years as President; and 13 years as co-discussion leader of the Cedar Springs  Book Club.

Main strength she brings to the position: “I believe what I bring to the office is experience, the desire to always seek information before making any decision, and an open mind to listen to all positions and represent all citizens.”

The major challenge she sees facing the district and what would she do about it: “The major challenges I see on the horizon are dealing with our aging water system, and resolving the issue with the Red Flannel Festival regarding the use of logos and doing this with dwindling resources as Michigan’s State Government – both the legislative and executive branches continue to add mandates and restrict funding.”

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I want to see

TheSpringsPastor Barry Briggs

The Springs Church

135 N. Grant, Cedar Springs

 

How is your eyesight? Good, I hope. Recently my seven-year-old daughter, Ember, poked her eye with a hanger. I will spare you the details but, as you can imagine, her mother and I were very scared as we raced her to the emergency room. Although the injury could have been severe, she is fortunate and her eye is going to heal completely.

In Mark chapter 10, Jesus and His disciples were heading to Jerusalem and, along the way, they entered the town of Jericho. Alongside the road was a blind man named Bartimaeus who cried out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” When Jesus heard him, He called Bartimaeus over and asked him, “What do you want me to do for you?”  The blind man answered, “Rabbi, I want to see.” In that moment, Jesus healed him and “immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus along the road” (Mark 10:47, 51, 52 NIV).

In the Bible, blindness is a powerful metaphor for what is wrong with us spiritually.  In the Gospels, blindness is never just physical, but spiritual as well. Earlier, in Mark chapter 8, Jesus asked the disciples, “Do you have eyes but fail to see, and ears but fail to hear?…Do you still not understand?” (Mark 8:18, 21 NIV)

Paul says in Ephesians 1:18-19a (NIV), “I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which He has called you, the riches of His glorious inheritance in the saints, and His incomparably great power for us who believe.”

What does he mean when he says, eyes of your heart? When you were born God, gave you five senses—hearing, taste, touch, smell and sight. Everything you learn in life comes through the five senses. If you don’t have those, you don’t experience anything. That’s when you’re physically born.

When you’re spiritually born again, when you are reborn into God’s family, when you develop a relationship with Jesus Christ, God gives you a second set of senses and suddenly you get spiritual ears to hear some things that you never heard before. And you get spiritual eyes and you start to see some things about life you didn’t see before. And you begin to feel some things that you didn’t feel before. These are the eyes of your heart, the spiritual senses.

So how do I get these senses? How do I get the eyes of my heart opened? You must begin a relationship with Jesus Christ. That’s the starting point. Until you begin that relationship, you’re spiritually blind.  You can only see things from a human viewpoint. The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 2:14 (NIV) “The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned.” That’s why Jesus says in John 3:3 (NIV) “I tell you the truth, no one can see the Kingdom of God unless he is born again.”

You can be born again and begin a relationship with Christ today by asking God in faith to open your eyes. Pray the prayer that Bartimaeus prayed, “Jesus, I want to see!” If you do, you will begin to see life more clearly than you ever have before.

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Waiting for faith to be born

by Ronnie McBrayer

by Ronnie McBrayer

 

Making my usual pastoral rounds at the local hospital some time ago, I witnessed the most unusual thing. A dilapidated Buick had jumped the parking lot curb and had crash-landed in the flower garden just outside the main doors. The driver’s door was wide open, and a group of hurried and harried medical staff was doing something to someone in the driver’s seat.

I slipped out of the lobby to get a closer look. To my astonishment, a baby was being delivered right there in the car’s floorboard. Thank God I didn’t stumble upon this situation alone, for in the magnificent words of Butterfly McQueen, “I don’t know nothin’ ‘bout birthin’ no babies!” Within minutes a baby boy was born, and within days mom and son left the hospital in excellent health (in that same old Buick).

Granted, this birth was not typical. Some mothers labor for hours. Some children enter the world only by surgical intervention. Some babies are born in a maternity ward, at home, with a cadre of attending physicians, and indeed, some are born in the most bizarre of environments. What they all have in common is this: When it comes to birth, every newborn needs all the help he or she can get, to be healthy.

This, as I see it, should be the calling of the church. Congregations should provide safe, welcoming environments for faith to be born within people. Churches should strive to be delivery rooms where the new in faith can grow, be nurtured, and become the people God wants them to be. Let us not forget our role as incubators of developing faith, skilled midwives who assist with spiritual birth.

In my own journey of faith, many people have helped me, people with a soft touch but strong, steady hands. Few of these helpers ever lectured me, formally discipled me, twisted my arm, force-fed me Bible verses, or beat me over the head with the latest and greatest new book guaranteed to revolutionize my life.

No, recognizing that something new was struggling to be born, they were there to gently guide, encourage, support, and coach me. They dove right in—right where they found me—skilled midwives, who let me know that life and faith are worth their struggles. And when the pain of labor has passed, the anguish gives way to joy, for faith has been born in the world.

Ronnie McBrayer is a syndicated columnist, pastor, and author of multiple books. You can read more and receive regular e-columns in your inbox at www.ronniemcbrayer.me

 

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NEIL E. SIEGEL

C-obit-siegel

Neil E. Siegel, 82 of Cedar Springs, died Friday, October 25, 2013 at his home. Neil was born April 29, 1931 in Ensley Center, Michigan the son of Edd and Blanche (Welch) Siegel. He graduated from Sand Lake High School in 1949 and attended Michigan State University. He was a farmer, and retired from the Kent County Road Commission in 1993. He was married to Maureen (Boyle) Siegel for 27 years before she preceded him in death in 1995. He was a member of Mary Queen of Apostles and the Knights of Columbus. Neil was a great father and took his family on vacation each year, but was always glad to be back home. He now is truly home. Surviving are his daughters; Laura (Michael) Eppler of Evansville, Indiana, Kathleen Siegel of Cedar Springs; grandchildren, Noah, Mark, Luke, Mary, and Patrick; sisters, Mariel Hawley of Grant, Jeanne Forand of Florida; many nieces and nephews. He was also preceded by sisters, Dorothy Siegel and Lorraine Watson. The family received friends Monday, Oct. 28 at the Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs. Mass of Christian Burial was Tuesday 11:00 am at Mary Queen of Apostles, Sand Lake. Rev. Fr. Lam Le celebrant. Interment St. John’s Cemetery, Ensley Township. Memorial contributions may be made to the Knights of Columbus.

Arrangements by Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home

 

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