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Red Flannel to celebrate 80 years

By Judy Reed 

Warm days and chilly nights, football, leaves beginning to change color—it all can mean only one thing—fall is almost here and it’s Red Flannel Festival time again! And not only is it that time again, it’s a milestone year. It was exactly 80 years ago that our town celebrated the first ever Red Flannel Festival. To celebrate that, the Post will be running a few articles that are oldies but goodies over the next few weeks—articles that will give you some insight on what it was like way back then, and how it came to be. The first one we are running this week on page one—Memories of the first Red Flannel Queen.

In line with the 80th celebration is this year’s theme: Still going 80—celebrating 80 years! According to RFF president Nancy Deyman, Rose Powell came up with this year’s theme. Brynadette Powell created the initial rough draft design of the logo, and artist Doris Vinton created the final design. 

The fun once again covers two weekends: September 27-28, and September October 4-5.

There will be a Silent Light Parade on the evening of September 27 after the football game, and lots of fun activities on Saturday, September 28, including
Kids Zone day from 11 -2 in the Heart of Cedar Springs park with games, bounce houses, raffle tickets for purchase, etc.; a 5/10k run/walk; a chili cook off from 9-noon; and the Lumberjack Supper and Queen’s pageant in the evening. That’s right—the chili cook off is back! Read more about that and some of the other events in our Red Flannel Post. Download here RedFlannelPost3819.pdf

Things to know about Red Flannel Day: the Lumberjack Show is back again this year; the car show will be back downtown again this year using both sides of Elm St.; the Market Place has been moved this year to Church Street; and the Children’s parade will line up inside the Main Parade (it no longer will be in the beginning of the main parade). 

Red Flannel booklets have been distributed around town at area businesses, and keep watching the Post for more news and information and a complete schedule of upcoming events!

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The Post travels to Alaska

The Post traveled to Ketchikan, Alaska, with Arvid Kiander of Cedar Springs when he traveled there in August to visit his sister. Together with his son and daughter-in-law, Kevin & Shila Kiander, they traveled on an Alaska Marine Highway Ferry from Bellingham, Washington to Ketchikan, through the inner passage. 

It sounds like you had a great time! Thank you to the Kianders for taking us with you!

Are you going on vacation? Be sure to take along a printed edition of the Post and get someone to snap a photo of you or your family with it. Send it to us along with some info about your trip (where you went, who went along, what you saw) and send the photo and info to news@cedarspringspost.com. We will print as space allows. If you forget the Post, please do not photoshop it into a photo. Just take it with you next time!

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MDHHS reports four new cases of mosquito-borne disease

And two additional deaths in Southwest Michigan

photo credit: James Gathany CDC

LANSING, Mich. – State residents are being strongly advised by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) to protect themselves from mosquito bites as four additional cases of Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) have been confirmed in Southwest Michigan—including two that were fatal.

MDHHS is taking further action to protect the public health as the mosquito-borne disease remains a threat that has now resulted in seven confirmed human cases of EEE in Michigan with onset dates in July. The new cases expand the geographic area affected by human EEE cases to include Barry, Cass and Van Buren counties, along with previously identified cases in Kalamazoo and Berrien counties. Two of these additional cases, in Cass and Van Buren counties, were fatal, as was an earlier case in Kalamazoo County.

MDHHS is encouraging local officials in the five Southwest Michigan counties that have been impacted by human EEE cases and St. Joseph, Genesee and Lapeer counties–which have had animal EEE cases–to consider postponing, rescheduling or cancelling outdoor activities occurring at or after dusk, particularly activities that involve children. This would include events such as late evening sports practices or games or outdoor music practices.

The MDHHS recommendation is being made out of an abundance of caution to protect the public health and applies until the first hard frost of the year.

The Kalamazoo County Health & Community Services Department also issued a recommendation to local municipalities and schools to consider cancelling outdoor events or moving them inside if they are scheduled at or after dusk.

“Michigan is currently experiencing its worst Eastern Equine Encephalitis outbreak in more than a decade,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, MDHHS chief medical executive and chief deputy

for health. “The ongoing cases reported in humans and animals and the severity of this disease illustrate the importance of taking precautions against mosquito bites.”

All Michigan residents can stay healthy by following these steps to avoid mosquito bites:

• Apply insect repellents that contain the active ingredient DEET, or other U.S. Environmental Protection Agency-registered product to exposed skin or clothing, and always follow the manufacturer’s directions for use.

• Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants when outdoors. Apply insect repellent to clothing to help prevent bites.

•  Maintain window and door screening to help keep mosquitoes outside.

• Empty water from mosquito breeding sites around the home, such as buckets, unused kiddie pools, old tires or similar sites where mosquitoes may lay eggs.

•  Use nets and/or fans over outdoor eating areas.

Infections can occur even when mosquito bite numbers are low.

EEE is one of the most dangerous mosquito-borne diseases in the United States, with a 33 percent fatality rate in people who become ill. People can be infected with EEE from the bite of a mosquito carrying the viruses. Persons younger than age 15 and over age 50 are at greatest risk of severe disease following infection.

Signs of EEE include the sudden onset of fever, chills, body and joint aches which can progress to a severe encephalitis, resulting in headache, disorientation, tremors, seizures and paralysis. Permanent brain damage, coma and death may also occur in some cases.

Anyone experiencing these symptoms should visit their physician’s office.

In addition to the human cases, as of Sept. 16, nine cases of EEE in horses had been confirmed in Barry, Kalamazoo, Lapeer, and St. Joseph counties. None of the horses were vaccinated against EEE and all animals have died. There is an EEE vaccine available for horses, but not for people. Also, five deer in Barry, Cass, Genesee, Kalamazoo, and Van Buren counties have been confirmed with EEE infection and were euthanized due to the severity of their disease symptoms.

For more information about mosquito-borne diseases, visit Michigan.gov/emergingdiseases.

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Ban of flavored nicotine vaping products effective immediately

Retailers will have 14 days to comply with emergency rules

LANSING, Mich. – Gov. Whitmer’s emergency rules banning flavored nicotine vaping products were released today. The flavored nicotine vaping ban was developed in response to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) finding of a public health emergency created by skyrocketing levels of youth vaping.

Michigan was the first state in the nation to announce a ban on the sale of flavored nicotine vaping products such as e-cigarettes. Whitmer announced her intention to issue these emergency rules Sept. 4, and they are effective immediately, although retailers and resellers—including online sellers—have 14 days to comply.

“I’m proud that Michigan has been a national leader in protecting our kids from the harmful effects of vaping,” Whitmer said. “For too long, companies have gotten our kids hooked on nicotine by marketing candy-flavored vaping products as safe. That ends today. This bold action will protect our kids and our overall public health.”

Following Whitmer’s announcement of the flavored vaping product ban, the White House followed Michigan’s lead with a call for similar actions by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Additionally, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced plans to move forward with flavored nicotine vaping product bans and the New York plans have been approved.

The MDHHS Bureau of Health and Wellness filed the Protection of Youth from Nicotine Product Addiction Emergency Rules with the Secretary of State.

“Today’s filing is necessary to protect the public health,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical executive and chief deputy director for health at MDHHS. “Youth vaping is a public health emergency and has been declared an epidemic by the U.S. surgeon general. Nicotine in e-cigarettes is harmful to developing brains and has dangerous long-term health consequences such as heart disease and cancer.”

The rules are effective for 180 days and can be extended for six months. MDHHS has also filed a Request for Rulemaking, which will allow the department to promulgate permanent rules to keep Michiganders safe from the harmful effects of addiction to nicotine.

On June 4, Whitmer signed Senate Bills 106 and 155, which prohibit the sale of ecigarettes and other non-traditional nicotine products to minors. In her signing message to the Legislature, the governor criticized the legislation for not going far enough to protect Michigan’s kids from nicotine addiction, calling the marketing, packaging, and taste of e-cigarettes a “bait-and-switch” engineered to “create new nicotine addicts.”

Nationwide, e-cigarette use among middle and high school students increased 900 percent from 2011-2015. From 2017 to 2018, e-cigarette use spiked 78 percent among high school students and 48 percent among middle school students. In 2018, more than 3.6 million U.S. kids, including 1 in 5 high school students and 1 in 20 middle school students, were regular users.

The rules and other information about Michigan’s flavored e-cigarette ban can be found at www.michigan.gov/e-cigarettes.

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Red Hawks roll over Northview 50-15

Aiden Brunin (28) and Miles Cartwright (4) celebrate in the end zone after Cartwright picks up a fumble and runs 65 yards for a touchdown against Northview. 
Photo by Rob and Kelly LaLone.

By Judy Reed

The Cedar Springs Red Hawks knew going into last Friday’s OK-White conference game against Northview that if they were going to have any chance at winning the game, they were going to have stop the Wild Cats’ explosive running back, Ja’kaurie Kirkland. 

When the Red Hawks took the field at Red Hawk stadium, they meant business. And it showed in the way they executed their game plan.

“We had a great week of preparation for the game, and we were really focused,” explained Cedar Springs Coach Gus Kapolka. “We wanted to limit their run game, establish our run game, and play inspired special teams—and we did all three of those things on Friday night.”

Cedar Springs kicked off to Northview to start the game, and after losing yardage in their first possession, Northview punted to Cedar Springs. They took possession on the Northview 47-yard line, and on the first play, with 9:54 on the clock, Red Hawk Nathan Elliston ran 47-yards for a touchdown. He also ran in the two-point conversion, to make the score 8-0 Cedar Springs.

The Wild Cats came back just a few minutes later to score when Daniel Frey passed to Kaden Boucher for a 6-yard touchdown. Kolbe Vandenberg then passed to Kinji Black for the two-point conversion and the score was now 8-8, with 6:18 left in the quarter.

Cedar Springs scored again on their next drive, when Ben Shaw ran for a 24-yard touchdown with 4:24 left on the clock in the first. Nathan Elliston ran in the two-point conversion. The score was now 16-8, Cedar Springs.

Northview failed to get a first down on their next drive, and tried a fake punt on fourth down. That resulted in Cedar Springs taking over on the Northview 36-yard line, with 2:57 left in the first. They worked their way down to the 10-yard line, where Aiden Brunin ran the ball in for a touchdown with 13 seconds on the clock. The two-point conversion was no good, and the score was now Cedar Springs 22, Northview 8.

Both teams scored again in the second quarter. Northview scored with 7:31 left on the clock on a pass from Daniel Frey to Kaden Boucher for a 9-yard touchdown. Eric Mendez then kicked the extra point. The score was now 22-15, Cedar Springs.

Then, with 2:42 left on the clock in the second, Northview’s Frey passed the ball to Boucher, who ran 3-yards and fumbled it. The ball was recovered on the CS 35-yard line by Red Hawk Miles Cartwright, who ran 65-yards for a touchdown. The extra point try was no good. The score was now CS 28, Northview 15.

Cedar Springs then kicked off to Northview, and on 3rd and 11, Frey passed to Prade Horling but it was intercepted by Red Hawk Aiden Brunin at the Northview 50. Cedar Springs then took over, and after several plays, they scored on a 23-yard pass from QB Jeremy Champione to Brunin. Ben Shaw then ran in the 2-point conversion. With just 13 seconds left in the half, the score was now CS 36, Northview 15.

When the 3rd quarter rolled around, Cedar Springs still had not run out of steam. Northview kicked off to the Red Hawks, and they started their drive on the Cedar Springs 35. Brunin ran for 10 yards on the first play, and then ran 55-yards for the touchdown. Champione then passed to Da’Montae Barnett for the two-point conversion. With 11:05 left on the clock in the third, it was now CS 44, Northview 15.

Cedar Springs scored again at the end of the 3rd quarter with 1:12 left on the clock. Northview’s Frey attempted to pass to Kyle Vanderjagt but Red Hawk Miles Cartwright intercepted it at the CS 25, and returned it to the Northview 49. That set up the next play, when Zack Schmid ran 49 yards for the touchdown. The two-point conversion was no good, and the score was now Cedar Springs 50, Northview 15, with one quarter left to play. Neither team scored in the fourth quarter.

How important does Kapolka think the turnovers were for their team? “Turnovers are always really big, but when you can covert turnovers to points like Miles’ fumble return for a touchdown, it breaks the back of your opponent,” he explained.

The Red Hawks garnered 367 yards rushing, with at least 10 different players each having a piece of it, and 9 of them had yardage in the double digits. Brunin led the pack with 98; Schmid had 69; Elliston 54; Shaw 34; Barnett 29; Jeff Clark 27; Champione 24; Nathan Male 15; Dylan Greenland 11; and Logan Petty 6.

Champione completed two passes on two attempts for 32 yards, to Brunin (23 yards) and Kaden Liggett (9 yards).

The Red Hawks limited Northview to a total of 120 yards rushing. Half of that was Kirkland, who had 63 yards; Frey had 28; and Gavin Jones 20.

Frey completed 13 passes on 24 attempts for 170 yards in the air. Receivers included Boucher, Vanderjagt, Kirkland, Horling, and Jailen Tatum.

On Friday, September 20, the Red Hawks will travel to Greenville to take on the Yellow Jackets in a long-standing rivalry between conference foes. What does Kapolka think they need to do to win?

“We need to continue our improvement on the offensive and defensive fronts in order to beat Greenville,” he said. “This is a rivalry game for us, and we look forward to the challenge that the Yellow Jackets pose.”

Cedar Springs is now 1-0 in conference, and 2-1 overall. Greenville is 0-1 in conference, and 0-3 overall. They lost last Friday to Lowell in conference play, 40-0.

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White robin

Robin Moore, of Sparta, sent us this photo of a white robin she spotted in her yard. She said that she saw it last summer and then again this summer. The difference this summer was that it had a baby bird with her, that wasn’t white.

Robin said she had been rototilling the garden and turning up the worms, which the birds were waiting for, so she left for awhile and let them get their fill!

According to audobon.org, in order to be classified as albino, the bird has to have red or pink eyes. Some white birds, that have regular colored eyes, may have a condition called leucism. Unlike albino birds, which completely lack the natural pigment known as melanin, leucistic birds produce melanin but can’t deposit it into their feathers. Some may even have partial leucism, resulting in a “pied” appearance.

We cannot tell with this bird whether it is albino or not because we cannot see its eyes.

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CTA staff model Character Education in the community

CTA Staff set up for a luau party for the residents at Green Acres

Academic Specialist Jenny Bangma did some outdoor labor for En Gedi Youth Center

The Creative Technologies Academy staff believes in the CTA mission, vision, and core values. During the first few weeks of school, the CTA staff came together to give back to our community. The staff spent a few hours partnering with City Impact, ​En Gedi Youth Center, Green Acres, Rise Up Church, Culver’s/Cedar Springs Chamber, and The Brook. Staff spent time visiting with residents and setting up for a luau party at assisted living facilities; doing landscaping and trash pick up for local organizations; distributing information on “Cones with a Cop” program; assisting youth with projects.

Staff helped spread the word about “Cones with a Cop,” which served as a school supply drive at the Cedar Springs Culver’s restaurant

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Velzy Park fundraiser

With their restroom under construction, the Velzy Park committee, Solon Township, has turned their efforts towards the purchase of playground equipment for the park. Fundraising is under way and local businesses have stepped up to help make the play area a reality.

On Tuesday, September 24, from 4-9 p.m., Big Boy, Cedar Springs, is hosting a fundraiser for the park. Twenty percent of all food purchases (with a flyer available at the township office, from their facebook page or at the event) will be donated towards playground equipment. There will be a silent auction as well, featuring donations provided by area businesses. The dinner will feature a taco bar as well.

The park has come together with the efforts of the community. Volunteers and donations have played a major role in its creation. Currently, Velzy Park includes walking trails, picnic tables, benches and a gazebo, with the restroom in progress. The committee is looking into memorial benches in the near future. For more information, contact Solon Township Office, 15185 Algoma Ave. or call 616-696-1718. Or check out their facebook page, Solon Township’s Velzy Park.  

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Community rallies to Breakthrough events

Many people here in Cedar Springs had never heard of the miraculous true story behind the movie Breakthrough, until last weekend. That’s when they not only got to see the movie, which is a Fox/Disney production now out on DVD—but they got to meet the real life characters as well.

L to R: Pastor Jason Noble, John Smith, and his mother, Joyce Smith shared their story with the audience at the Breakthrough events. Courtesy photos

The movie tells the story of the miraculous recovery of 14-year-old John Smith, who fell through the ice on a lake in St. Louis, Missouri in 2015. He was underwater for 15 minutes—and had no pulse for an hour. It was then that his mother prayed for Jesus to send his Holy Spirit and bring her boy back to life—and he did. But that was just the beginning of an amazing story.

A group of community leaders here in Cedar Springs wanted to give people the opportunity to see the movie and hear this inspirational story, so they created a weekend of events and brought the three main real life characters from the movie here to tell their story.

Last weekend’s Breakthrough events totaled almost 1,000 attendees. The events were coordinated by a Breakthrough Committee comprised of representatives from En Gedi, City Impact, Resurrection Life Church Rockford, and The Springs Church along with additional support from numerous community members, businesses, and organizations. 

The first of three events took place at the new community amphitheater located in the downtown Heart of Cedar Springs Park just west of the Community Library on Saturday evening. City Impact’s monthly worship service began at 5 p.m. A free roasted pig and hot dog dinner followed the service for the estimated 600 folks gathered. 

“It was a heart-warming site to witness the many community members and families sitting on blankets and lawn chairs surrounding the amphitheater and visiting with each other under perfect weather conditions,” said Sue Wolfe, and En Gedi representative working on the Breakthrough committee. “I believe this is exactly what was envisioned by all those who worked so hard on making the amphitheater a reality. Having this facility and working in partnership with existing organizations to provide free community-building events is part of En Gedi’s mission.” 

While waiting for the darkness to fall and the movie to begin, three of the real people featured in the movie Breakthrough spoke with the crowd and answered questions. A tapestry of miracles unfolded following John Smith’s accident, which were beautifully articulated by John, his mother Joyce Smith, and their then pastor, Jason Noble. John shared his story of struggling with being adopted, being rescued and brought back to life, and the loss of his opportunity to be a collegiate basketball player. Both his mother and pastor also shared their challenges and victories. 

“Our community is so fortunate to actually have three of the real people from this top ranked movie here to share their personal testimony. John is in his first year of college; Joyce has had some health issues; and Pastor Jason now lives in Oregon. Yet, they coordinated their schedules with a commitment to be here and share their walk of faith,” said Julie Wheeler, who was instrumental in making this connection and part of the Breakthrough Committee. 

Once it became dark enough and just prior to the start of the movie, the crowd paused, stood, and applauded in recognition and thanks for our local fire, rescue, and police officers. The movie features a heroic rescue by the St. Louis area fire, rescue, and police departments that set the stage to be reminded of the men and women who serve our community each and every day. 

The movie was then played on the 22-foot inflatable movie screen, donated by City Manager Michael Womack and his wife, Glenna. 

Sunday’s journey began with two worship services at Resurrection Life Church Rockford featuring Pastor Noble and the Smiths. After that, events took place at 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. at the Cedar Springs High School Auditorium, which included showing the movie, personal presentations, and the opportunity to ask questions. Ladies and Men of Honor, a partner with En Gedi, were on hand to share information about their faith-based program of developing honorable ladies and men. 

City Impact co-directors, Kelley Jo and Jonathan Bergsma, along with Sally Hart, Resurrection Life Church Rockford member, and Pastor Craig Owens, Executive Director for En Gedi’s free after-school youth center, were all instrumental with their leadership on the Breakthrough Team as well as securing funding and resources. 

“It was definitely a team effort to bring these events to Cedar Springs, which is what City Impact is all about,” explained Kelley Jo. “City Impact is an outreach organization for our community. I am grateful for all the businesses, organizations, and people who jumped in to help over the past weekend.” 

The Springs Church provided movie-goers with popcorn and had offered their fellowship hall as a back-up in the case of inclement weather on Saturday. Cherryl Rosenberger, The Springs Church office manager, also served on the Breakthrough Committee. 

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Students to create Athletic Hall of Fame

These Athletic Leadership Conference students spoke at the board meeting Monday evening. From L to R: Kaden Liggett, Kaylie Andres, Harlow Hovarter, Desiree Wise.

By Judy Reed

Do you know of someone that was an athlete or coach at Cedar Springs High School that excelled in their position, or went on to excel in sports outside of high school? That person might be a good candidate for the newly established Cedar Springs High School Athletic Hall of Fame.

The Cedar Springs Athletic Leadership Council (ALC), which is made up of student athletes and overseen by teacher Justin Harnden, has been working on this new Hall of Fame to “recognize and honor those Cedar Springs High School athletes, coaches, administrators, volunteers, and supporters who excelled in their respective sports or coaching/support roles.”

The student athletes have been working on the Hall of Fame for the last year—researching what other schools do, what Cedar Springs had before, planning how the nomination process will work, how the nominees will be elected, where it will be in the school. They will also design it and promote it as well.

Harnden said he knew they used to have something honoring athletes at the old high school (Red Hawk Elementary) and they had tried to find out what happened to it. He said his understanding was that it was more like press clippings and other things honoring the athletes, such as trophies. “This Hall of Fame will be something bigger and more prestigious—something at a higher level,” he explained.

Four of the students working on the project spoke with the Post on Monday, and went before the Board of Education Monday evening to talk about their plans.

“I think it’s a very special thing to start something as huge as this could be,” said Kaylie Andres, a senior. “It’s cool to acknowledge people I know and those who have been here before in athletics. It’s huge for the community.”

“We’ve been striving to improve the culture of the athletic department,” explained Harlow Hovarter, also a senior. “With this, the community gets to support our culture and see what we’ve been doing.”

Senior Kaden Liggett is excited about the work they’ve done, and will still be doing on the Hall of Fame. “I was really surprised we didn’t already have one,” he remarked. “When I have kids and bring them here, and I can point to it and tell them I helped create that. I had an impact here,” he said. 

He added that Cedar Springs is an athletically inclined community. “It’s a good way for the ALC to leave our mark,” he said.

Senor Desiree Wise has also been working on the Hall of Fame. “So many people focus on the here and now and don’t look at the success we’ve had. This will help us look at the show of leadership and be proud of what has come in the past.”

“It’s good to look at where we’ve come from and highlight Cedar Springs as a whole,” added Harlow. 

The goal is for forms for nominations to be out for distribution by Red Flannel Day, and they will take nominations through December. The forms will be available on the school website. Any community member can nominate someone, but Harnden said it would be a pretty stringent process. An athlete has to have been out of high school for 10 years. A coach has to have been at the school for at least 10 years, and then out of the school for at least five years. State champions or teams will automatically be considered, and do not have to be nominated. Once a person has been nominated, they will be up for consideration for five years. After that, they must be nominated again, and they can be nominated a total of four times.

No more than eight people will be chosen for the Hall of Fame each year, with a possible exception the first year. A board consisting 5-12 members will cast the deciding votes. To be elected, a nominee must get a yes vote from at least 75 percent of the board members. The board will be made up of the Athletic Director, a CSHS building administrator, a retired or former administrator, current and former coaches, current and former faculty members, and a current or former athletic booster member. They will each serve two-year terms. 

After the decisions are made, an induction ceremony will be held. 

The new Hall of Fame area will be in the hallway near the gymnasium, But it doesn’t come without cost. Harnden said that the Athletic Boosters have given them $1,000 in seed money, and if the community would like to donate to the Hall of Fame, they could do it through the Cedar Springs Athletic office. Any checks should note they are for the Cedar Springs Hall of Fame, and be sent in c/o AD John Norton.

Watch the Post for more information, as the forms for the first rotation of nominees for the Hall of Fame get ready to roll out!

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