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Archive | July, 2022

Man charged in road rage shooting

The photo shows the suspect’s truck as it passed the Hilltop General Store. Courtesy photo.
Brien Scott Velting. Courtesy photo.

A Cedar Springs man has been charged with intent to murder and several other charges after he allegedly shot at another vehicle during a road rage incident last week.

On July 19, the Mecosta County Sheriff’s Office asked for the public’s help to locate and identify a suspect involved in a road rage incident that resulted in him firing a shot at the other vehicle. They said the suspect, described as a white male with reddish hair and goatee, was traveling eastbound on Newaygo County’s 36th St into Mecosta County, when he fired and struck an eastbound pickup that had previously passed him on Jefferson Rd. They posted a picture of the suspect’s vehicle, which was obtained through video surveillance as it passed eastbound from the Hilltop General Store. The suspect was the only occupant in the truck.

The next morning, July 20, at about 10:30 a.m., the Mecosta County Sheriff’s Office, assisted by the Kent County Sheriff’s Office and the Michigan State Police, found the suspect and his vehicle at the park and ride on 17 Mile in Cedar Springs, near US131. The man, identified as Brien Scott Velting, 55, of Cedar Springs, was arrested and taken into custody without incident.

Velting was arraigned in 77th District Court on the following charges: Assault with intent to Murder, Assault with a Dangerous Weapon, (2) counts of Felony Firearm, and Weapons – Carrying Concealed.

Bond was set at $200,000 cash / surety.

Velting is a 20-year veteran and Captain of the Cedar Springs Fire Department but has been on medical leave since November 2021 and not active on any calls. According to Cedar Springs City Manager Mike Womack, “Mr. Velting has been relieved of his job duties with the City pending an internal investigation regarding the allegations against him.”

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We’ve been Hawked!

These red birds appeared on our lawn last week. That means it must be fundraising time again for the Senior All Night Party! Courtesy photo.

By Judy Reed

Have you seen the red flamingoes (or are they hawks?) gracing the yards of your neighbors recently? They might be coming to your yard soon, too!

The Post is one of several places in the area that was recently “hawked.” They showed up in the Post’s front yard, at 36 E. Maple Street last week. Accompanying the hawks was a note explaining that the red flamingoes (painted red like a hawk) is a fundraiser for the Cedar Springs Senior All-Night Party. The hawks will be in your yard for 24 hours and will then be picked up. For a minimum $10 donation, you can specify where they will go next. For $20, you can buy insurance that guarantees they won’t show back up in your yard. You put the money in the envelope, along with the slip that specifies where they go next, and you are all set. (If you cannot or do not want to donate, you don’t have to do anything. The birds will simply be removed.)

What a fun way to help out the Senior All-Night Party so that our kids are guaranteed a great evening. We hope that you can soon say you’ve been hawked, too! If you have questions or would like more info, email cshs2023sanp@gmail.com.

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Lightning damages tree

These photos were taken Sunday morning after storms rolled through during the night. It shows that a tree was possibly struck by lightning in the City of Cedar Springs. Photos from Jerry Gross.

Heavy thunderstorms rolled through the area Saturday night and early Sunday, bringing thunder and lightning, hail, high winds, heavy rain and scattered power outages. One resident who saw minor damage from the storm said it may be the result of a lightning struck.

Jerry Gross, who lives on 192 Oak Street, in the City of Cedar Springs, sent us some photos of a tree, which was split, and a photo of a chunk of it on his accessory building. 

We asked him if heard the strike. “Yes, it was loud and sounded very close,” he said. “The sound of the lightning and the impact were almost instantaneous.”

Gross explained that the tree is located in the back yard of 183 E Maple St. A section of the tree fell into the yards of 184 Oak Street and 192 Oak Street causing some minor damage to a fence and Gross’s accessory building. He said the tree has an area of splitting from the upper damage down to within approximately 15-foot from the base of the tree.

Gross doesn’t think it was just wind that caused the tree to split. “The area of the tree that was forcefully removed from the tree and the degree of the splitting is not typical of something that was just caused by the wind alone,” he said. “There are smaller splinters of wood and bark in our yard also.”  

Thanks, Jerry, for sending us your photos. We are glad the damage was minor!

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A Night of worship in the Heart

Thursday, August 4, at 6:30 p.m.

By Judy Reed

Pastor Tom Holloway and his wife, Kim. 

The Heart of Cedar Springs Park has been a busy place this summer, with the amphitheater playing a big part in the gatherings taking place there. There have been concerts there weekly this summer, and sometimes more. Next week, the former Cedar Springs man who started the research on design and construction of the amphitheater will be back in town, and will sing and play for us, with a group of friends, at the amphitheater that was only a dream when he left in 2015.

Pastor Tom Holloway, former pastor at Solon Center Wesleyan (now Frost Creek), will present “A Night of Worship” at the amphitheater in the Heart of Cedar Springs, on Thursday, August 4, at 6:30 p.m.

Holloway was a youth pastor at Solon Center Wesleyan from 2007-2011 and lead pastor from 2011-2015. He was also the first executive director at the En Gedi Youth Center, the brain-child of Holloway and CJ Maurer, former worship pastor at The Springs. When Holloway took the lead pastor position in 2011, Holloway stepped down from the En Gedi executive director position, but still remained involved. He also became involved with the Community Building Development Team (CBDT), the group committed to working to advance the construction of buildings and spaces where the greater Cedar Springs community can gather for educational, recreational and community events.

“My first task that was given to me by the CBDT was to help get the Amphitheater built in Cedar Springs,” said Holloway. “I regret that I wasn’t able to be there to see this through, but I consider it a privilege to be able to sing and play at a “Night of Worship” on Thursday, Aug. 4 at 6:30 p.m.  I will be playing with some great friends and musicians in the community that are more than friends to me, they are family.”

Along with the concert, En Gedi will be there passing out popsicles, at this free family-friendly event.  “This night will be filled with an opportunity to take in the best that Cedar Springs has to offer,” said Holloway. “Celebrating the families, businesses, and the communities of faith that make this community great.  Please bring a lawn chair, and come out and join us at the Cedar Springs Amphitheater on Thursday, August 4 at 6:30 p.m.  I would love to reconnect with old friends and make some new ones.” 

Holloway is currently pastor at Faith Wesleyan Church in Little River, South Carolina, in the Myrtle Beach area. He and his family are here on vacation and to attend a family wedding.

Upcoming concerts at the amphitheater:

July 31: CS Worship Fest, at 5:30 p.m. with music, hot dogs, and inflatables for kids. This event is a partnership between Faithful AVL, The Springs Church and other community groups.

August 3: The Carl Webb band (modern blend) from 7-9 p.m.

August 4: A Night of Worship with Pastor Tom Holloway and friends, at 6:30 p.m. En Gedi will also be on hand, passing out popsicles.

August 10: Hannah Rose (country rock) from 7-9 p.m.

August 17: Luke Warm & the Not So Hots (bluegrass) 7-9 p.m.

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Wizard of Oz

Pictured left to right:  Gordy, Olivia Wilbur, Zeph Kirsch, Gage Cassidy, and Jordyn Kerrish.

“It’s not about where you go, it’s about who you meet along the way.” Come see this group of friends as they make their way down the yellow brick road this weekend! The Cedar Springs Community Players are proud and excited to present their summer musical The Wizard of Oz: Youth Edition. Based on the classic motion picture, The Wizard of Oz, this edition is specially tailored for young actors and audiences of any age. 

The cast, co-directed by Angela Wilbur and Erika Wood, includes Emily Bidgood, Chelsie Carr, Clare Carr, Gage Cassidy, Gwen Cassidy, Gracie Chino, Shelby Cooper, Isabelle Finos, Ellison Glaesman, Jordyn Kerrish, Adah Kirsch, Ephraim Kirsch, Selah Kirsch, Zeph Kirsch, Sienna Maag, Delaney McGahan, Trenton McMahon, Hazel Morris-Armock, Hypatia Morris-Armock, Zoe Napieralski, Emma Nista, Harry Northway, Alayna Orvis, Harlee Ostrom, Colton Ream, Annabelle Smith, Desiree Van Dyke, Ainslee Wendell, Kasey Westerbrink, Olivia Wilbur, Lilly Wood, and Madalyn Woodard.  Toto will be played by the Kerrish family dog, Gordy.

Performances are Friday, July 29, at 7 p.m.; Saturday, July 30, at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m.; and Sunday, July 31, at 3 p.m.

All shows will be at the historic Kent Theatre on Main Street in Cedar Springs.

Tickets may be purchased at the box office or at the Cedar Springs Library. $10 (Adults), and $6 (kids 18 and under).

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Summer reading events entertain kids

Families enjoyed the Caribbean steel drums performance in the Heart of Cedar Springs amphitheater. Courtesy photo.

The Cedar Springs Public Library hosted two family events as part of their Summer Reading Program last week. 

On Wednesday, July 20, guests were taken to the Caribbean Islands as they listened to a Caribbean Steel Drums performance outside in the Heart of Cedar Springs. Kids were able to get an up-close experience that included singing, dancing, playing with hula hoops and doing the Limbo. The performers were full of pizzazz which made for a dynamic performance that kept the audience wanting more. 

Little ones enjoyed the Baby Shark event at the Cedar Springs Library last week. Courtesy photo.

Then on Saturday, July 23, the Baby Shark crew came to the Library and participated in Storytime where they sang songs, danced with the kids, read a story and posed for pictures. There was also a delicious pancake breakfast, several young entrepreneurs sold items, and eight kittens were adopted—finding their forever homes thanks to the Cannonsville Critters.

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Vet A Con promotes Veterans in the Creative Arts

July 29-30 at O’Flynns Art Gallery

We will have our first Veterans Arts/Craft show located at O’Flynns Art Gallery & Craft Shoppe at 60 N. Main St. in Cedar Springs on Friday, July 29 and Saturday, July 30, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day.

VetACon was envisioned by Desert Storm Veteran Bill Richards after winning Gold Medals in the National Veterans Creative Arts Festival as a way of showcasing any/all veterans in the creative arts.  

For more information check out https://vetacon.com.

VetACon Presents Veterans Creative Arts! Veterans Creative Arts is a program designed to assist veterans in battling PTSD, anxiety, and/or depression through channeling their energy into creating something (art, photography, music etc.) and then providing that veteran with veteran-only arts/crafts events where they can sell what they have created. Through this program, any veteran is requested and welcomed in joining. Come by O’Flynn’s for the First VetACon event and show your support for the veterans who are doing what they can in battling PTSD, anxiety and/or more. Every item at a VetACon event is made by veterans, so you know you are buying American.

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Man dies in motorcycle crash

An Indiana man hit this exit sign to M-82 with his motorcycle and died last weekend. Courtesy photo from the MSP.

Troopers from the Michigan State Police Lakeview Post are investigating a single motorcycle fatal crash that occurred overnight on N/B US-131 at the M-82 exit on July 24. 

The crash was discovered at approximately 6:18 a.m. Police said their initial investigation shows the motorcyclist struck the ramp exit sign. The 41-year-old male from Indiana was not wearing a helmet and was pronounced deceased on scene.

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Don’t forget to vote on August 2

The Michigan primary election is coming up on Tuesday, August 2. Voters will be asked to choose their favorite candidates in federal, state, and local elections, and vote on a few proposals. This will be the first election in the new districts, so be sure to check your ballot by going to https://mvic.sos.state.mi.us/Home/Index.

Following are some of the candidates running in races in our area.

Kent County Commissioner 3rd District

Jennifer Merchant – Republican

I was born and raised in Kent County, and my husband and I are raising our family in the community where I grew up. I am 32 years old, and my husband and I have an almost 4-year old son together, Tatum (Tater-tot), and I am the proud bonus mom to 3 children, Peyton (21), Gavin (19), and Grayson (16).  I currently work for the Michigan House Republican Policy Office as the Deputy Policy Director.  

This is my first time running for public office, but I have served on the J Board for the VanAndel Institute and other various boards.  I am running for County Commission because I love my community, and I want to ensure that we leave it better for our future generations. Now more than ever, Kent County needs elected officials that aren’t seeking the limelight and are solely dedicated to serving the residents. My goals, if elected, will be to fight for local control, support public safety, and ensure responsible spending of our tax dollars.

My campaign website is www.jennmerchant.com

Mark Laws – Republican

I was Mr. Mom for five years until my children were in full-day school. I am a semi-retired operations management professional, who gets more done while spending less. I have worked for UPS, the armored car industry, Rockwell Technology Group, the Federal Reserve Bank and Huntington Bank. I have lived in Cedar Springs for over 10-plus years. I have enjoyed proving a team of seven very specialty doctors wrong when they said I would never walk again. 

I have served on the Red Flannel Festival Board of Directors, the City of Cedar Springs Planning Commission, the wonderful Community Building Development Team, represented 1100 member banks of the 8th District of the Federal Reserve Bank on the committee to roll out new and improved Banknote Processing System that counts 60 notes a second, Chairperson for Single Adults of 85 church congregations in Michigan and NW Ohio.

I hope to earn the trust and confidence of the residents in my district by being prepared for every meeting, and then explaining to them how my vote supports and sustains the Constitution of Michigan, and the United States of America. My door will always be open, and my phone number available, to discuss any question or concern of Kent County Citizens about Kent County Commission business.

Election website address for more info: VoteMarkLaws.com

Janalee Keegstra – Democrat

I grew up in Plainfield Township on the northeast end of Grand Rapids where farms and apple orchards lined Plainfield Avenue. I am a 77-year-old retired office manager and have lived in Grattan Township for 51 years. My husband, Jim, and I have 2 children. Our son is a Master electrician and our daughter is a Speech-Language Pathologist who works in the public schools. This is the first time I have ever run for political office.

I served on the Grattan Volunteer Fire Department and the Michigan Appaloosa Horse Association, was a Kent County 4-H horse leader, a Cub Scout den mother, and served on the PTO at Grattan Elementary Public School.

I believe in a strong, effective, government that works for all people. As Commissioner I would support environmental protection and vibrant public schools that empower teachers and provide them with the tools necessary to do the job effectively.

She does not have a candidate website.

Candidates for state house district 91

The new 91st district covers the City of Cedar Springs, Village of Sand Lake, Oakfield Township, Solon Township, Nelson Township, and Spencer Township.

Pat Outman – Republican

Pat Outman is currently serving as state representative in the 70th District. He was born and raised in Six Lakes, MI, where he still lives, on the family farm with his wife, Autumn and son, Miles, where he can be near his family, friends, and the community he will always call home. Pat enjoys hunting and fishing and attends Lakeview Baptist Church.

Pat serves as a member on the board of directors for Montcalm County Farm Bureau and as a hunter and shooting sports enthusiast, Pat is a proud NRA member. Since a very young age Pat has been very active in Republican politics. He formerly served as the Montcalm County chair of the John James U.S. Senate Campaign and chairman of the Montcalm County Republican Party. He believes in building the grassroots of the Republican Party and has helped lead those efforts at a local level.

Pat fundamentally believes that people, not the government, are the best stewards of their hard-earned tax dollars. “We must always look at ways to allow Michigan residents to keep more of their income, and it’s even more important now as costs continue to rise.”

Check out where Pat Outman stands on all the issues at  https://www.patoutman.com/

Frank LaFata – Democrat

From his website: I am excited to run for this office and represent everyone living in District 91. I’m a husband, father, grandfather and resident in the district. My friends know that I build things. It is my job and I have been doing it for over 30 years. I have worked on bridges in Greenville, a power plant in Carson City, the S-Curve in Grand Rapids, and infrastructure all over the state. Let’s work together to Build a Better Michigan.

We can and should do more to assure we can LEAD in a Global Economy! I want to build on our educational foundation and a big part of that Build is support for our Educators. I will do that!

Check out his website at https://www.franklafata.com/home to see where he stands on other issues.

Tammy DeVries – Democrat (No photo available)

We don’t know anything about Tammy DeVries, other than she lives in the Cedar Springs area. She does not appear to have a candidate website sharing her views on issues or a social media site. She also did not list an email on her candidate listing. A recent article in the Greenville Daily News said she did not answer their questions.

Michigan Senate District 33

The newly drawn Senate District 33 covers Irons, Branch, Wolf Lake, Baldwin and part of Luther in Lake County, as well as Newaygo and Montcalm counties, and part of Kent and Ionia counties.

One Republican and one Democrat are running. 

Rick Outman – Republican

Senator Rick Outman is currently serving as senator in District 33. You can check out his official senate website at https://www.senatorrickoutman.com/ or his election website at https://www.rickoutman.com/.

Mark Bignell – Democrat

Mark Bignell is running on the Democrat side. To learn more about him, visit his election website at https://www.bigmarkforsenate.com/.

Representative in U.S. Congress – 2nd District

This new district covers mid and some of northern Michigan. There is one Democrat and two Republicans running.

John Moolenaar – Republican

Rep. John Moolenaar, of Midland, is currently serving in the 4th congressional district, and is now running for the newly redrawn 2nd district seat. You can check out where he stands on the issues at https://www.johnmoolenaarforcongress.com/issues.

Thomas Norton – Republican

Tom Norton, of Courtland Township, is also running for the 2nd District seat. A veteran of the Afghan War, Tom returned home and was inspired to run for public office in the Village of Sand Lake. As a Village Trustee and then Village President, Tom secured funding for infrastructure improvements that built better roads and provided quality drinking water, while also balancing the budget. His time there was not without controversy, however. His own board asked him to resign a month before his term ended, which he refused to do. You can read about that and more at www.cedarspringspost.com. To learn about where Norton stands on the issues, visit his website at https://tom.gop/.

Jerry Hilliard – Democrat

Jerry Hilliard, of Mount Pleasant, is running on the Democrat side. To see where he stands on the issues, visit https://jerryhilliard.com/.


Also on the ballot is the race for governor. You can access information on the candidates above, the governor’s race, and millage proposals by going to https://www.vote411.org/ballot.

You will also be voting for precinct delegates. You can find them at https://www.accesskent.com/Departments/Elections/.

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Allan Bruce Casterline passed away peacefully at his home in Pierson, MI on Sunday, July 24, 2022. Al was born on August 19, 1951 in Grand Rapids the son of Sherwood and Muriel (Scott) Casterline. Al was an avid outdoorsman from a young age. He traveled all over the country and Canada in pursuit of everything from pheasant, racoon, deer, bear, and mountain lion. Al graduated from Cedar Springs in 1970. After graduating, he served in the U.S. Army, a member of the 101st Airborne Division. Upon returning home, he began working for Gust Construction, until his retirement. He was a member of the Sand Lake Eagles Club. Al was an accomplished woodworker and carpenter. Surviving are his sister, Arlene (Tom) Culver; nephew, Scott (Melissa) Culver, Ethan and Alex; niece, Stacey Sage, Oliver and Maxwell all of Howard City. Brother-in-law, Ron Kelley of Gladstone, MI. He was preceded in death by his parents, sister, Ardith Kelley, brother, Arden Bryan. The family would like to give a big thank you to Spectrum Health Hospice for the wonderful care they gave Al, all the gals were wonderful. A special thank you to Cindy for the extra time and care, they had a lot of fun, she “got him”. The family greeted friends on Monday, July 25 at Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs where the funeral service was held on Tuesday. Memorial contributions may be made to the Sand Lake Eagles Club for their Annual Veterans Wish Tree Project.

Arrangements by Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs

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Wayne Leroy Price age 89 passed away at home surrounded by family Friday July 22nd. Wayne was born May 13, 1933 the son of Frank and Beatrice (Parker) Price. He is survived by his loving wife of nearly 62 years June Marie (Zimmerman) Price; children, Mark (Shelly) Price, Jon (Tammy) Price, Timothy (Laura) Price, Michael (Liz) Price. His loving family also includes grandchildren, Constance Price, Jordan (Megan) Price, Grace Price, Natalie Price, Nicholas Price, Gabriel Price, Nina Price; great-granddaughter, Nora Kay Price; brother, Alan (Nancy) Price; sister in law, Darlene Price. Extended family and their kids Betty (Adam) Verburg -Danielle Stewart and Harmony Verburg, Tricia (Robert) Hopkins- Joslyn, Stuart and Jade Gould, Michael (Kristi) Stewart – Hunter and Lillian Stewart. Wayne was preceded in death by his parents, brothers, Richard (JoAnn) Price, Charles (Louise) Price, Jack Price, sisters Barb (Tom) Mickam, Mary (Dale) Waller. Wayne attended Cedar Springs Schools. After he graduated he went to work at the local Kroger Store until he decided to enlist in the United States Air Force. He was active duty Air Force from 1955-1959 discharging as a Staff Sergeant. Shortly after getting out of the Air Force, Wayne married the love of his life June Marie Zimmerman, October 15, 1960 on Sweetest Day. Wayne worked at Lear Siegler (eventually changing to Smith Industries) in Grand Rapids for 42 years. Dad enjoyed being able to get out on the back deck and swing relaxing, enjoying the serenity of the backyard garden, birds, squirrels and rabbits that would visit. Dad would take mom often to Indiana, on their anniversary, to visit the Essenhaus and let mom do a little shopping. He loved to be on the computer. Doing genealogy and sharing it with other family members. He used to get together with other vets and guys he worked with at Lear down at the Cedar Springs Legion. He maintained the United Methodist Church’s attendance and prayer chain until it became too painful for his hands to type. The family greeted friends Wednesday, July 27, at 11:00 a.m. with funeral services at 12:00 p.m. at the Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs. Pastor Michelle Vallier, officiating. Interment Elmwood Cemetery. In lieu of flowers the family asks that donations be given to Spectrum Hospice which did a wonderful job caring for Dad during his last few weeks.

Arrangements by Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs

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Barbara Beintum Church passed away on July 21, 2022, after a long illness. She was born in 1935 on her grandparents’ farm in Cedar Springs, Michigan, and grew up in Rockford. Barbara was awarded a full academic scholarship to the University of Michigan, where she earned a degree in psychology and met her future husband, Philip D. Church. They moved to Gambier, Ohio, in 1963, where they raised their daughters Brooke and Susan, many cats, and one memorable dog, Walker. When her daughters reached school age, Barbara began working as a laboratory technician at Mercy Hospital in Mt. Vernon, eventually becoming the manager and guiding the lab through a hospital merger that became Knox Community Hospital. She built a large network of laboratory service contracts throughout central Ohio. Her daughters and former colleagues remember her bright smile and the gentle yet purposeful clip clop of her heels as she walked the tiled hallways of the hospital. She is also remembered as a beloved friend and mentor by generations of Kenyon students, who recall her patient, insightful interest in their lives and ideas. Barbara loved music, gardening, and reading. Her record collection was remarkably broad, including many first pressings of classic rock from the 1960s and 70s. She loved to be in her garden; her meadow of daffodils was a delight every spring. She also enjoyed scouring the countryside for antiques, and most of all, she loved to read. She was a voracious reader of all kinds of books and a lively conversationalist. She and her husband Philip talked for hours in the evenings. They were kindred souls, and she grieved deeply for him after his passing in 1998, never marrying again. Barbara moved to Durham, North Carolina, in 2010 to be closer to family. She is survived by her daughters; daughter-in-law, Sabrina; grandsons, Carl, Evan and Zachary; granddaughter-in-law, Vera; sisters, Susanne, Mary, and Peggy; brothers-in-law, Donn and Kenny, and many cousins, nieces, nephews, and friends. Donations in her memory would be gratefully accepted by the American Heart Association or other charitable medical foundation. Condolences may be shared at CremationSocietyNC.com.

Arrangements by the Cremation Society of the Carolinas, Raleigh, NC

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