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Archive | April, 2017

What you can teach your grandchild about Social Security

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By: Vonda VanTil, Social Security Public Affairs Specialist

One of the greatest gifts you can give a grandchild is the gift of financial literacy. Helping them save money early in life and showing them how to make wise spending decisions goes a long way toward a bright financial future. As they get older, they may want to save for special purchases or their college education. You can encourage them when they get their first job to begin saving for the future, including their retirement.

Planning for the Future with my Social Security

When you celebrate their graduation from high school, you can also remind them to set up a my Social Security account. They need to be age 18 or older, have a U. S. mailing address and a valid email address, and have a Social Security number. Even though their retirement is many years away, you can explain the importance of reviewing their earnings record each year since Social Security uses the record of earnings to compute their future benefits. As they start their first major job and begin saving, they’ll be able to monitor the growth of the estimates of benefits available to them. You can access my Social Security at www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount.

Share How Social Security Works

You can share your knowledge about Social Security with your young savers by explaining how the program works and how it has worked for you. About 96 percent of all Americans are covered by Social Security. Nearly all working people pay Social Security taxes and about 61 million receive monthly Social Security benefits. Encourage them to watch our Social Security 101 video at www.socialsecurity.gov/multimedia/webinars/social_security_101.html.

Share Your Retirement Stories

Social Security replaces about 40 percent of an average worker’s income, but financial planners suggest that most retirees need about 70 percent to live comfortably in retirement. Americans need more than Social Security to achieve that comfortable retirement. They need private pensions, savings, and investments. That means starting to save early and monitoring your Social Security record for accuracy. The best place anyone of any age can visit for quick, easy information about Social Security is www.socialsecurity.gov.

Vonda VanTil is the Public Affairs Specialist for West Michigan.  You can write her c/o Social Security Administration, 3045 Knapp NE, Grand Rapids MI 49525 or via email at vonda.vantil@ssa.gov 

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Fundraiser for Ricker brothers

 

Ricker brothers: Brison (left) and Preston (right)

Ricker brothers: Brison (left) and Preston (right)

May 7

There will be a fundraiser for Brison and Preston Ricker on Sunday, May 7, at Patterson Ice Arena, 2550 Patterson Ave SE, in Grand Rapids.

The fundraiser will run from 5-7 p.m. Cost is $5 per person with free skate rental.

There will be food provided for purchase by Classic Kelly’s restaurant, as well as silent auction items and bake sale items, with all proceeds going to the Ricker family.

On January 23, 2016, Brison was diagnosed with an incurable and inoperable brain tumor known as DIPG, which also comes with a zero percent survival rate. However, with alternative treatment from the Burzynski Clinic (which is currently running $20,000 per month) Brison is beating the odds! His strength, determination and strong faith in God to not let cancer win is truly inspiring to everyone.

On December 23, 2016, just 11 months following Brison’s diagnosis, Preston was diagnosed with Thyroid cancer that also had spread to his lymph nodes. Preston had surgery on January 9 to remove the thyroid and affected lymph nodes, followed by radiation treatment. Like his big brother, he also has the strength, determination and faith in God to beat this.

You can follow their story on Facebook by liking the page Team Rickerstrong, and you can donate at gofundme.com/rickerstrong.

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Right or wrong?

 

The other day, a man and his wife got into a petty argument. Neither would admit the possibility that they might be in error.

The wife finally said, “Look. I’ll tell you what. I’ll admit I’m wrong if you admit I was right.”

“Fine,” said her husband.

She took a deep breath, looked him in the eye and said, “I’m wrong.”

Her husband grinned and replied, “You’re right.”

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Hometown Happenings

Hometown Happenings articles are a community service for non-profit agencies only. Due to popular demand for placement in this section, we can no longer run all articles. Deadline for articles is Monday at 5 p.m. This is not guaranteed space. Articles will run as space allows. Guaranteed placement is $10, certain restrictions may apply. You now can email your Hometown Happenings to happenings@cedarspringspost.com please include name and phone number for any questions we may have.

Craft & Vendor Show at Hillcrest Community Church

Apr. 29:  On Saturday, April 29 the Hillcrest Community Church (5994 18 Mile Rd.) will be hosting the Spring Craft & Vendor Show from 9 am – 2 pm. It is an opportunity to experience a time when you can set aside the fast paced world and slow down, enjoy some coffee or tea, browse the craft tables, enjoy a relaxing lunch and visit with friends. Mother’s Day is coming soon and this is a great opportunity to shop for mom. We will have flowers, hanging baskets and ferns too. #17

Huge Adoption Fundraiser

Apr. 29: Rockford Reformed Church is hosting a HUGE Adoption Fundraiser Garage Sale for a local family in the Church Gym (4890 Eleven Mile Rd.) on Saturday, April 29th from 9 am to 2 pm. There will be a $5 bag sale beginning at 1 pm. Please join us for a great sale to support a great cause – tons of kids items, clothes, home décor, quality large furniture items and much more! #17p

Payton Christian in Cedar Springs

Apr. 30, May 1: Payton, an 18 year old actress/model/non-profit director/speaker, will share her testimony on Sunday, April 30 at North Kent Community Church, 1480 Indian Lakes Rd. NE, Sparta, MI 49345 at the 10 am service. At 5:30 pm Payton will speak to the youth at the community wide screening of “I’m Not Ashamed.” Monday, May 1 at 2:45 pm, Payton will speak to En Gedi Youth Center at Red Hawk School, 204 E. Muskegon St. Cedar Springs. For more information contact Pastor Craig Carter, Senior Pastor of North Kent Community Church, 616-550-6398. #17

Dinner at the Legion

May 1: American Legion, 80 S. Main St. Cedar Springs, is hosting a Baked Chicken dinner on Monday,  May 1, from 5 – 7 pm. Included will be baked chicken, mashed potatoes, stuffing, veggies, salad, roll, drink and dessert. The cost is $9 for adults, children (15 and younger) $4.00. Come and enjoy home cooking. Take out is available. 616-696-9160.  #17p

God’s Kitchen in Cedar Springs

May 2,9,16,23,30: Join us for dinner every Tuesday. God’s Kitchen – Cedar Springs welcomes families from Northern Kent County and the surrounding area to a Tuesday Evening Meal. No charge – no registration required!  Served from 5:30 – 6:30 pm at the St. John Paul II Parish, 3110 – 17 Mile Rd., Cedar Springs. For more information, call the Church office at 616-696-3904. #17

Parent and Child Yoga @ KDL

May 4: Amber Kilpatrick – founder of Mindful Vinyasa School of Yoga & creator of The Mindful Classrooms Project – will be hosting a special Parent & Child Yoga session, perfect for young children. Come learn about yoga and try a few poses. A story is included! The library has a limited number of yoga mats. First come, first served. Please bring your own if possible and join us! Thursday, May 4, 6:30 pm,  at the Spencer Township KDL Branch, 14960 Meddler Ave., Gowen. #17

Carnival Bingo

May 6: Come join the fund and help the North Kent Senior Citizens Association raise money to help pay for their furnace. We will have a baked good sale going on and chances to win gift baskets as well. So come check out the Senior Center, 44 N. Park, Cedar Springs, and have a great time playing bingo! Only 25 cents for 3 bingo cards per game to play. #17,18p

3rd Annual Kentucky Derby Party

May 6: Watch the Kentucky Derby, listen to music by Gordon Thayer Band, enjoy a Mint Julep, food, raffle, and silent auction. Pick your favorite horse. Saturday, May 6th from 4 to 12 midnight at Sparta Moose Lodge, 11510 North Division, Sparta. Benefit to support 2nd Chance School a school for troubled teens of any race, color, and national or ethnic origin. Questions? Call 616-293-2150. #17,18p

Discover Small Museums

May 6,7: “Spring Into the Past” and discover the small museums of the Tri-River Historical Museum Network, including Cedar Springs Museum, Rockford Area Museum, Oakfield (Twp) Museum and Plainfield Township’s Hyser Rivers Museum in Belmont. These and 25 other member museums from Hastings to Edmore, Plainfield to Sunfield will be open from 11 am to 5 pm for your convenience. Pick up one at any member museum. Ask about the new Tri-River Quilt Trail too. #17

Pierson School Reunion

May 13: The Pierson School Reunion will be held on Saturday, May 13th from 9 am to 12 noon at Pierson Bible Church, 101 Grand St., Pierson. Contact Dick Pierce or Francine Sherman, 616-550-4547. #17

Christian Women’s Retreat

May 13: The Carousel of Life – Strategies for Navigating Today’s World. Speaker – Leslie Anne Wood, Transforming Faith Ministries. Do you feel like you’re on a carousel? Life is spinning round and round and first you’re up and then you’re down. The music plays louder and louder. Let me off! But we can’t get off; we must learn how to ride the colored horses of life. We can do this with faith and perseverance and God’s help. Saturday, May 13, 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at Settlement Lutheran Church (1031 S. Johnson Rd., Gowen). Cost is $5 and includes registration, wake up coffee, snacks, and a light, healthy lunch. Register by Sunday, May 7 by calling Linda Hansen at 616-984-5557 or mailing her at 13680 Sprague St., Gowen 49326, or by emailing linda13680@sbcglobal.net. #17


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Actress in Columbine film to speak at local church

 

Payton Christian, an actress, model and speaker, will speak at North Kent Community Church on Sunday, April 30, and be on hand to speak to youth that evening at a community-wide showing of “I’m not ashamed,” a film telling the story of Rachel Scott, the first victim in the Columbine shooting in 1999. Courtesy photo.

Payton Christian, an actress, model and speaker, will speak at North Kent Community Church on Sunday, April 30, and be on hand to speak to youth that evening at a community-wide showing of “I’m not ashamed,” a film telling the story of Rachel Scott, the first victim in the Columbine shooting in 1999. Courtesy photo.

By Judy Reed

The shooting at Columbine High School in Colorado in 1999 was a tragic event that people will not forget. And the stories that came out of it—like the shooting of Rachel Joy Scott—the first victim, are a reminder of the courage of many of the students.

“I am not ashamed,” a movie that tells her story and is based on Scott’s diaries, came out last fall. It will have a special showing next weekend, April 30, at North Kent Community Church, 1480 Indian Lakes Rd NE, at 5:30 p.m. Payton Christian, an actress who plays a Columbine student in the movie, will be on hand to give her own testimony during the 10 a.m. service April 30, and will speak to youth at the community-wide screening at 5:30 p.m.. She will also speak to youth at the En Gedi Youth Center on Monday, May 1, at 2:45 p.m. at Red Hawk Elementary.

Payton is an 18-year-old actress and model who lives in Erin, Tennessee. Her faith and family are both important to her. She lives on a 200-acre farm called Christian Farm, with her mom, dad, and grandmother. She was homeschooled from about second grade on, because of an auto-immune deficiency. “I would be sick all of the time, catch colds and flu really easy,” she explained. So her mom decided to keep her home and homeschool her. It’s gotten better as she’s gotten older, but it’s still with her. “It’s just something I have, it doesn’t stop me,” she said.

When she was 11, she was watching New York fashion week, and told her mom she’d like to do that. So they looked at agencies, and chose a Christian-based agency. “They told me I was a little short for modeling but they could put me in a movie here and there,” she explained with a chuckle.

Her first movie was “Rumors of War,” when she was almost 12. “It’s an intense, faith-based film about the end of days,” she explained. “Not for kids under 13.”

Payton has done a variety of movies—both secular and Christian, but said her heart is with faith-based movies. “I love God and love doing films about Him and his word, and how he’s worked through people’s lives,” she said.

The Post asked Payton how she became involved with “I’m not ashamed.”

“I had seen some talk about it, and I helped with some of the casting. My agency was doing the casting and I was there that day, and I listened and watched as the actors read for their parts. I later talked to my manager about it, and said ‘If there is anything I can do to be a part of it, I want to do it.’ So I was there from day one to the last day,” she recalled.

She said they were all happy with the response to the film. “So many people showed up at the premier, and huge groups came to see it,” she said.

Payton Christian loving on a parrot, on the farm she lives on with her parents and grandmother in Kentucky.

Payton Christian loving on a parrot, on the farm she lives on with her parents and grandmother in Kentucky.

When Payton is not acting, modeling, or speaking, she likes to spend time reading—“I have 500 books in my room,” she confessed. She also spends time with the animals on their farm. The farm is home to an array of animals, including regular farm animals as well as camels, zebras, and birds. But one of her favorite things is working with the rescue horses they take in. “I feed and help them put on weight and just love on them. I have a real passion for that. It’s a humongous this for me,” she explained.

Payton’s big heart is not just for animals. She is also involved in a foundation called “To write love on her arms,” a depression awareness and suicide prevention cause. And she also just started a new foundation called Bibles in Battle, a foundation to provide bibles to every soldier fighting overseas. She said she would have a donation box set up when she comes to speak in case people want to donate to that cause.

Payton said that she feels faith should be important to everyone. “People are worried about everything. But whenever we leave this earth, those things we worked so hard to get won’t be important. God doesn’t care how much money we make, where we live, what we drive. He cares that we love him and follow his word. He should be our number one priority.”

When she talks to the youth in Cedar Springs, she will try to impress on them that no one is ever perfect. “Don’t try to make yourself perfect. To God you are already perfect from day one—he loves you the way you are. It doesn’t matter what group you are in; you don’t need to prove yourself. You have God and that’s enough,” she said.

What does Payton see in her future? “My goal is mostly to do what my heart tells me—what God wants me to do—to spread his message and do as much good as I possibly can,” she said.

Payton has never been to Michigan, and is looking forward to it. “I’m overly excited that I get to be here and talk to everyone,” she remarked. “And I’m looking forward to seeing the sights!”

For more information on the showing contact Pastor Craig Carter at 616-550-6398 or craigcarter8282@gmail.com.

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Library to close this week

 This photo shows how the library at 43 W. Cherry looked when they shared it with the fire station. Courtesy photo.

This photo shows how the library at 43 W. Cherry looked when they shared it with the fire station. Courtesy photo.

Still needs 200 boxes

By Judy Reed

An era will come to an end this weekend when the Cedar Springs Public Library, at the corner of Cherry and 2nd Streets, closes its doors to get ready to move into a brand new location at the corner of N. Main and W. Maple Streets, near Cedar Creek.

According to The Cedar Springs Story, by Sue Harrison and Donna DeJonge, the first library was in the Congregational Church, at the corner of Beech and Second Streets. It was later torn down and Dr. J.H. Teusink later bought the property to build a home.

This photo shows a former librarian at 43 W. Cherry. Does anyone know who she is? Courtesy photo.

This photo shows a former librarian at 43 W. Cherry. Does anyone know who she is? Courtesy photo.

In 1936, plans were made to raise money for a new home for the library. The library was housed in two rooms in a building rented by the Cedar Springs Clipper. The Clipper moved in 1941, and it was necessary for the library to move to a new location. The Village gave permission for the library to use the old jail at 43 W. Cherry. The story goes that when Mae Hawkins, librarian at the time, was taken to the building and saw the two “gorilla cages” and damaged wainscoting, she immediately resigned. Officials talked her into staying until the building was improved.

Later the Library shared a building at the same location with the Cedar Springs Fire Department. The fire station had the west part of the building, and the library the east side, until a new fire barn was built in the late 1970s, or early 1980s.

This Saturday, April 22, will be the last day that the library at 43 W. Cherry will be open to the public. They will be open Friday, noon to 6 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. After that, books can be dropped off in the drop box in front of the library until May 1.

The library staff will be packing to move the week of April 24, and plan to reopen in the new library on May 8, with a grand opening on May 13 from 2-5 p.m.

The library still needs 200 boxes 12×19 and 10x18x11.5 (like what copy paper reams come in). If you have boxes the library can use, just knock on door next week and drop off or leave outside in good weather.

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West Michigan Works! opens satellite site 

 

New site opens at North Kent Community Services

 

N-West-Michigan-Works-logoNorth Kent Community Services, 10075 Northland Drive NE Rockford, is now offering services to help people find jobs. On Mondays and Wednesdays from 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m., West Michigan Works! will help people with resume writing, cover letters, and more at the NKCS location. Anyone can use West Michigan Works! Services. You do not have to be a client of NKCS.

West Michigan Works!, a workforce development firm that aims to develop Michigan’s economic future, helps clients take the next step in their new career, free of charge. “The best way out of poverty is through livable wage employment,” said Claire Guisfredi, Executive Director of North Kent Community Services. “People need the right skills to be competitive in the workforce. To have this vital resource available to people at NKCS will impact northern Kent County in a powerful way.”

Through North Kent’s partnership with West Michigan Works!, clients will have the opportunity to utilize the resources provided at NKCS, such as access to its computer lab, printing, and fax services. “We are pleased to partner with North Kent Community Services to better coordinate services for residents in northern Kent County,” said West Michigan Works! CEO Jacob Maas. “Employers are looking for talent; this new location will offer a variety of job search resources to make that connection.”

For more information about West Michigan Works! and to see upcoming hiring events and workshop schedules, please visit westmiworks.org.

 

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The Post travels to Ohio and Kentucky

N-Post-travels-Corwin

Kathy and Katia Corwin took the Cedar Post and spent spring break with Dave and Diane Taghon visiting relatives in Ohio, celebrating Katia’s 16th Birthday, and touring the National Air Force Aviation Museum. They then traveled to Mammoth Cave in Kentucky, Keeneland Horse Race Track, and Kentucky Horse Park. The vacation ended with them enjoying The Ark Encounter and The Creation Museum, also in Kentucky.

It sounds like you had a great time! Thanks so much for taking us with you!

Are you going on vacation? Take the Post with you and snap some photos. Then send them to us with some info to news@cedarspringspost.com or mail them to Post travels, PO Box 370, Cedar Springs, MI 49319. We will be looking for yours!

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Michigan Day: May 6 at the Michigan History Center 

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Celebrate real things, real places and real stories of Michigan

Michigan Day is a new twist on a tradition that began more than 60 years ago. On Saturday, May 6, the Michigan History Center in Lansing debuts a new signature event celebrating our Michigan pride. Michigan Day features free admission, special guests, activities, hands-on explorations, demonstrations and make-and-take projects highlighting the full range of Michigan’s diverse history.

The event takes place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Michigan History Center, located at 702 W. Kalamazoo St. in downtown Lansing.

Although Michigan Day is new, the idea behind it is not. In 1950, a group of Michigan business leaders formed a task force to promote Michigan as a great place to live and start a business. Michigan Week was born out of the initiative and first celebrated in 1954. The inaugural celebration ended with the groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of the Mackinac Bridge.

Costumed docents will represent all eras of Michigan history and run hands-on activities for visitors of all ages.

Costumed docents will represent all eras of Michigan history and run hands-on activities for visitors of all ages.

“We are honoring Michigan Week’s original mission of promoting pride in all things Michigan with this new Michigan History Center signature event,” said Michigan History Center Director Sandra Clark. “Our focus is always on getting people curious about Michigan and sharing its history in new and interesting exhibits, programs and activities. Michigan Day brings an incredible range of stories together for a fun, one-day extravaganza.”

Michigan Day is made possible with the key contributions of Michigan History Center volunteers, said Sara Gross, Michigan History Center volunteer coordinator and engagement specialist. “Our volunteers work hard year-round to develop amazing educational tools; Michigan Day shows off their many talents and skills!”

Michigan Day will have a special focus on the 60th anniversary year of the Mackinac Bridge, a tribute to that first Michigan Week celebration. Visitors can take part in a family-friendly bridge engineering activity and see original documents from the Mackinac Bridge Commission. Other Michigan Day highlights include:

  • Explore the storytelling and cultural objects of Michigan’s First Peoples with special guests Pokagon Band of Potawatomi.
  • Watch a Civil War artist sketch scenes – and maybe even take a sketch home with you.
  • Meet with Rosie the Riveter to learn about steel pennies and the Arsenal of Democracy and even hear a song.
  • Celebrate the birthday of one of Michigan’s most famous rockers and vote on your favorite tune.
  • Try your hand at making old-fashioned radio sound effects.
  • Say ‘hello’ to the Lansing Flotilla of the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary and learn about safety on the Great Lakes.
  • Visit the Library of Michigan and try your hand at a family-friendly paper craft featuring the beauty and history of the Water Wonder Land.
  • Learn about the Detroit 1967 Project with the Detroit Historical Society.
  • Take part in more than 20 other hands-on activities celebrating Michigan’s unique past and present.

Free admission for all visitors on Michigan Day is courtesy of the Docents Guild & Associates, the 501(c)3 organization that serves the Michigan History Center volunteer program. The sponsorship is in memory of Bill and Marilyn Cochran. Bill was an original member of the Mackinac Bridge Authority and served there for 16 years.

The Michigan History Center and visitor parking are on the north side of Kalamazoo Street, two blocks east of M. L. King Jr. Boulevard. Weekend parking is free.

The Michigan History Center’s museum and archival programs foster curiosity, enjoyment and inspiration rooted in Michigan’s stories. The center includes the Michigan History Museum, 10 regional museums, Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary and Underwater Preserve, and the Archives of Michigan. Learn more at www.michigan.gov/michiganhistory.

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“After the Disaster” consumer alert 

 

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette recognized the start of Severe Weather Awareness Week this week by releasing a new “After the Disaster” consumer alert providing Michigan residents with tips to avoid be scammed after a severe weather event.

“While most business and charities act with the utmost professionalism and ethics, there are some bad apples who chose to take advantage of another’s misfortune,” said Schuette. “I urge residents to look at this consumer alert before severe weather strikes.”

SPOT IT: Post-disaster scams

  • Price Gouging – Basic goods and services are top priorities after disaster strikes: the demand for certain services increases and scammers take advantage.
  • Scammers attracted by FEMA payments – Scammers swarm to weather disasters to take advantage of otherwise careful consumers who have FEMA money for repairs and want to act quickly to avoid further problems like mold or rot.
  • Emergency home repairs – Home repair and disaster cleanup scams can be avoided if you know what to look for and take your time before you hire anyone.
  • Government Imposters – Criminals use everything from legitimate government references and threats of government action, to promises of government assistance to trick disaster victims.
  • Sudden business closures – If a business suddenly closes that you have dealings with, act quickly to stop any further charges or any scheduled payments by your bank or card company.
  • Flood-damaged vehicles – Flood-damaged cars can be shipped across the country to a car lot in your neighborhood just days after a flood. Many flood-damaged cars appear for sale on the internet or at car lots far away from the disaster without any mention or obvious signs of the damage.
  • Disaster relief charity scams — Scam artists see disaster tragedies as opportunities to enrich themselves.

STOP IT: How to avoid being scammed

  • Check credentials: Michigan law requires a Residential Builder license for any project costing $600 or more.
  • FEMA inspectors verify damages, but they do not involve themselves in any repair, and they do not “certify” any contractor.
  • Weather disasters and other unpredictable conditions can trigger suddenly higher prices. File a consumer complaint with the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division if you suspect price gouging.
  • Don’t put your hard-earned money into a flood-damaged lemon: inspect vehicles closely or take it to an independent mechanic to inspect.

Report Fraud

If you have been the victim of a disaster-related scam, or if you would like to file a general consumer complaint, please contact the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division:

Consumer Protection Division P.O. Box 30213, Lansing, MI 48909. Phone: 517-373-1140 Fax: 517-241-3771 Toll free: 877-765-8388. Online complaint form: https://secure.ag.state.mi.us/complaints/consumer.aspx

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