Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Moose Jaw Times-Herald: Volunteers of all ages participate in food drive

Bernice Coghlin hands Aidan Sommerfeld, 15, a
bag of food items for the Better Together Food
Drive in support of the Moose Jaw and District
Food Bank on Wednesday night.
Times-Herald photo by Lisa Goudy
By Lisa Goudy

There were more than just ghosts and ghouls out on the street in the chilly air Wednesday night.

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Moose Jaw Times-Herald: ‘Light duty’ for Hagel’s last weeks as mayor

By Lisa Goudy

There aren’t many major ends left for Mayor Glenn Hagel to tie up before the gavel is passed on to mayor-elect Deb Higgins.

“For me, it’s what I jokingly call light duty,” said Hagel. “I still continue servicing as mayor, of course, until the oath is taken (by Higgins).”

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Moose Jaw Times-Herald: Civic Centre hole to be filled by mid-November

The hole at the former Civic Centre
site should be filled by Nov. 15.
Times-Herald photo by Lisa Goudy
By Lisa Goudy

In a couple of weeks, the hole at the former Civic Centre site should be filled.

Bill Babey, vice-president of Colliers International in Regina and spokesperson for the Civic Centre Plaza Project, said the hole should be filled by approximately Nov. 15.

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Moose Jaw Times-Herald: Take down those campaign signs

By Lisa Goudy

Municipal election campaign signs need to be taken down from public property by the end of Wednesday.

“Really the candidates should be looking after taking down all their signs,” said city clerk/solicitor Myron Gulka-Tiechko.

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Moose Jaw Times-Herald: Connecting with the audience in an upcoming winter concert

By Lisa Goudy

Cantabile is a Latin word that translates to mean, “an anything style.”

How fitting, then, that the Cantabile Connection choir will be performing a variety of music at its upcoming winter concert, Many Gifts Of Praise, on Dec. 2 at 3 p.m. in the sanctuary of Zion United Church on Main Street. From Christmas music to contemporary folk music to ABBA, the concert will conclude with Handel’s Hallelujah chorus from The Messiah.

“We really try to move our concert in such a way that we can kind of go from really big pieces to meditative kind of songs as well so that we have both the excitement of the glorious Christmas sound as well as some of the things we need to think about as well,” said choir director Dorothy Yakiwchuk.

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Monday, October 29, 2012

Moose Jaw Times-Herald: Infrastructure a top priority in Wall’s luncheon

Premier Brad Wall delivers his speech at the
Moose Jaw and District Chamber of Commerce
business luncheon at the Heritage Inn on Monday.
Times-Herald photo by Lisa Goudy

By Lisa Goudy

Infrastructure, labour force development and debt reduction are among the main priorities in the Saskatchewan Party’s six-point growth plan.

“For me, there’s a real understanding and for our government there’s an understanding that on the front lines of growth, facing the challenges of growth in terms of infrastructure, housing — are municipalities,” said Premier Brad Wall after his speech at the Moose Jaw and District Chamber of Commerce business luncheon on Monday at the Heritage Inn. Wall was the featured speaker.

Moose Jaw Times-Herald: Flu clinics closed for risk assessment

Friday, October 26, 2012

Moose Jaw Times-Herald: City releases official election results

By Lisa Goudy

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Moose Jaw Times-Herald: Concerns raised about polling stations

By Lisa Goudy

A number of concerns have been raised at some polling stations during the municipal election this past Wednesday.

Some electronic voting machines rejected ballots that had at least one section that was left blank or the maximum number of candidates wasn’t filled out. Machines also rejected ballots if someone voted for more than the maximum number of candidates. The machine attendant working the election had to ask the person if they had intended not to vote for all the areas in the same open room where voting took place.

“An advantage of the electronic vote counting machines is that we have an ability to catch any voter errors before the ballot is deposited into the ballot box, which is not something that you have the option of doing in a paper ballot situation,” said city clerk/solicitor Myron Gulka-Tiechko. 

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Thursday, October 25, 2012

Moose Jaw Times-Herald: Lisa's Corner: The power of Twitter

By Lisa Goudy

I think it’s safe to say it’s going to take a bit of time before the election buzz dies down.

This municipal election was the first election I have covered in my journalism career and I now have a full understanding of how social media — Twitter in particular — is so useful.

While there was a provincial election when I was interning at the Regina Leader-Post last fall for my University of Regina School of Journalism program, being an intern, I didn’t cover the election; that was up to the full-time staff as it should have been.

Despite stories I’ve heard from journalism friends and colleagues, I was still slightly surprised in a good way at how many people came out to watch the results pour in council chambers at city hall.

All the time, the Times-Herald trio — fellow reporters Justin Crann, Cole Carruthers and I — were busy tweeting away on our Times-Herald official twitter account, @MJTimesHerald, updating it with results from polling stations as they came in.

There is no question that social media has been playing an increasingly important role in politics from all sides. 

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Moose Jaw Times-Herald: Encouraging screening for cervical cancer

By Lisa Goudy

Cancer prevention is the best way to save lives.

The Saskatchewan Cancer Agency is trying to increase awareness for preventing cervical cancer during the national Cervical Screening Awareness Week that began on Monday and runs until Sunday.

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Moose Jaw Times-Herald: Working to improve children immunization coverage

By Lisa Goudy

The Five Hills Health Region (FHHR) is working on improving child immunization coverage.

“We’re really wanting to try and improve our immunization coverage rates to keep our children safe and healthy,” said registered nurse Sherri Buhler who is also the director of public health services and primary health care teams for the FHHR. “One of the best ways for us to do that is for immunizations and understanding how we can make it as easy as possible for families to get their little ones immunized.”

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Moose Jaw Times-Herald: Accelerating university education in Moose Jaw

By Lisa Goudy

Anyone interested in taking an entry-level university class with smaller class sizes has the chance.
In Winter 2013, Campion College at the University of Regina will once again offer an accelerated 100-level course at Vanier Collegiate. It is open to any Moose Jaw and surrounding area Grade 12 students, past graduates and any community members.

There will be an information night to learn more about the U of R accelerated program on Nov. 1 at the Vanier Collegiate R.M. Hartney Library from 7 to 8 p.m. The course will mark the second year the program has been offered at Vanier.

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Moose Jaw Times-Herald: Familiar and new faces elected to council

By Lisa Goudy

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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Moose Jaw Times-Herald: Higgins elected first female mayor

Fraser Tolmie congratulates mayor elect Deb
Higgins after the election results came in
Wednesday evening at city hall.
Times-Herald photo by Lisa Goudy

By Lisa Goudy

Deb Higgins was all smiles as she was voted Moose Jaw’s first female mayor Wednesday.

“(I’m) pretty excited. It was a very tight race. The numbers were very close all night long. (I) finally had a little bit of breathing room with the very last polls,” said Higgins. “It was a little tighter in some of the areas than I thought it was going to be, but you know what, the end result was wonderful and we’ve got a very good mix of experience and new people on council and (I’m) looking forward to the next four years.”

In the initial results after Wednesday evening, Higgins received 53 per cent of the votes (5,239 votes) while Fraser Tolmie received 46 per cent (4,645 votes). Higgins said that being a lifelong resident of the city and her community involvement played a part in why people voted for her.

“I think also we ran a very good campaign that spoke to the issues people are concerned about with the infrastructure, with housing, made comments about Valley View,” said Higgins. “I mean, they’re all things that are important to the city of Moose Jaw and I think my campaign actually addressed a number of those issues or focused on them so that we know they’re a going to be a priority over the next four years.”

Higgins will be Moose Jaw’s 51st mayor.

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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Moose Jaw Times-Herald: One dollar can go a long way

By Lisa Goudy

Hunger in Moose Jaw volunteers make 300 lunches per day which are distributed to feed children in elementary schools.

For the second year, Hunger in Moose Jaw is launching its I Bought Lunch campaign. The campaign will take place from Nov. 3 to Dec. 22.

“We believe that it’s really important that children have high standards of nutrition in order to learn,” said Hunger in Moose Jaw executive director Carol Acton. 

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Moose Jaw Times-Herald: SIAST and CGA Saskatchewan formalize partnership

SIAST instructor and CGA Dave Richards speaks about
the benefits of becoming a CGA at the announcement
formalizing SIAST's partnership with CGA Saskatchewan
in the Macoun Lounge at SIAST Palliser Campus on Tuesday.
Times-Herald photo by Lisa Goudy
By Lisa Goudy

The relationship between SIAST and the Certified General Accountants Association of Saskatchewan (CGA Saskatchewan) was formalized Tuesday in Moose Jaw.

Faculty members from the business and accounting departments at SIAST made the announcement at the Palliser campus. The agreement stated that CGA Saskatchewan would formally acknowledge SIAST as a partner in education for the base accounting courses for their program. Also, SIAST will continue to promote CGA Saskatchewan’s program and the merit of pursuing a CGA designation to SIAST’s business accountant graduates.

“It really was about agreeing to promote each other’s programs to post-secondary study,” said Doug Rempel, program head for accountancy and financial services at SIAST.

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Monday, October 22, 2012

Moose Jaw Times-Herald: Close to 900 votes cast in advanced polls

By Lisa Goudy

Close to 900 people took advantage of the advance polls for Wednesday's municipal election.

Heather Walker, assistant in the city clerk/solicitor's department, said a total of 868 voters came out to the advance polls. The highest number of people came out on the last advance poll date this past Saturday with 311 voters.

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Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Moose Jaw Times-Herald: Lisa's Corner: Keep a healthy, respectful demeanor during electoral races

By Lisa Goudy

Respect is important during electoral debates and an admirable trait in leaders.

Looking to our neighbours in the States, it’s easy to see election tension heating up.

There was a lot of talk surrounding the latest face-off between President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney during their heated second debate earlier this week. While polls indicate Romney won their first match, polls indicated Obama won that match. The two are set to face off again soon and it’s definitely a heated, accusatory race.

A similar, although far less heated, debate is taking place in Moose Jaw between our two electoral candidates, Deb Higgins and Fraser Tolmie. With our election less than a week away, tensions seem to be rising in the Friendly City.

I should note here that it is in no way a means to compare our municipal to the presidential election in the States. However, the heated American debate and a few slightly heated discussions in the Friendly City did occur in the same week. 

I think debate is healthy and necessary in a functioning democracy, but I also think there are ways to have debate while still having respect for the others and that is important too.

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Moose Jaw Times-Herald: City advocating for photo radar to reduce collisions

By Lisa Goudy

Collisions, some fatal, are occurring at an increasing rate on the Trans-Canada Highway by Moose Jaw.

In an effort to get people to slow down and prevent collisions, the Moose Jaw Board of Police Commissioners is advocating for the provincial government to authorize a photo radar pilot project in place as soon as possible.

“There would be a photo radar documentation of vehicle speeds on the Trans-Canada as (the vehicle) passes through Moose Jaw,” said Mayor Glenn Hagel. “There would be bold signage as you enter that area from both sides, clearly indicating that photo radar enforcement is in place.”

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Moose Jaw Times-Herald: Proposed ward system to have specific councillors for specific areas

By Lisa Goudy

In addition to electing six council members and a mayor, voters will also have to decide on whether to adopt the ward system referendum.

Council voted to put the question of the ward system on the ballot as brought forward by Coun. Don Mitchell. According to legislation, a councillor running in a specific ward does not have to live in that ward.

“It’s the same with any election. They have to live in the city. They have to meet the residency requirements being in the city,” said city clerk-solicitor Myron Gulka-Tiechko.

“It’s the same, frankly, for provincial or federal elections. As long as you’re a resident in the province for example … they can represent an area of Moose Jaw, whether it’s Moose Jaw North or Moose Jaw Wakamow and they can live actually a couple of blocks outside of that boundary.”

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Monday, October 15, 2012

Moose Jaw Times-Herald: Crop quality considered average

Darren Lemieux, trader and market analyst at Simpson
Seeds, stands with some lentils on Monday.
Times-Herald photo by Lisa Goudy
By Lisa Goudy

Harvest in the Moose Jaw area has been wrapped up for a few weeks and the crops look pretty good.

“We mainly see lentils — the various types of lentils — and this year the quality overall is quite good,” said Darren Lemieux, trader and market analyst at Simpson Seeds Inc.

He said the good quality came from all regions of this area, although some areas had more diseases because of the thunderstorms and hail that bruised the plants. Some damage was seen in the southwest and western areas of the province, but Lemieux said they were “fairly lucky” that the crops are of good quality.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Moose Jaw Times-Herald: Fire prevention more than just one week

Dayton Vickaryous, 3, (left), Jaxson Bowerin, 6, (centre)
and Madison Duzan, 4 (right) check out the inside of a fire
 truck at the Moose Jaw Fire Department fire prevention
week open house on Saturday at the South Hill Fire Hall.
Times-Herald photo by Lisa Goudy
By Lisa Goudy

Sparky the Fire Dog interacts with children at the
Moose Jaw Fire Department fire prevention week open
house on Saturday at the South Hill Fire Hall.
Times-Herald photo by Lisa Goudy

Moose Jaw Times-Herald: Common, dangerous and unusual items collected

Brent Laroque with Envirotec checks the pH of a liquid
at the city complex at 1010 High St. for the city's
Household Hazardous Waste Day on Saturday.
Because the liquid turned blue, it has a pH of 10, which means it's not a very acidic substance.
Times-Herald photo by Lisa Goudy

Moose Jaw Times-Herald: Books, books and more books at sale

Liz Weiers checks out some of the
books for sale at the Friends of the
Library fall used book sale at the
public library on Saturday.
Times-Herald photo by Lisa Goudy

Friday, October 12, 2012

Moose Jaw Times-Herald: Gov't and SIAST react to decreasing jobs report

By Lisa Goudy

Moose Jaw Wakamow MLA Greg Lawrence believes Moose Jaw is doing well.

“Things in Moose Jaw are great. You can take a look at our revenue sharing. We’ve increased our revenue sharing to the city by 124 per cent,” said Lawrence. “I don’t see that as necessarily falling behind.”

Lawrence spoke with the Times-Herald in response to the report of provincial government presence in Moose Jaw that was presented to council on Tuesday night. The report revealed a significant decreasing trend in government jobs in the city, including SIAST, Crown corporations like SaskTel and Valley View Centre.

Lawrence said the new hospital set to begin construction next year is a $100-million project. Lawrence stated Five Hills Health Region has 98 per cent of surgeries completed in six months.

He said four years ago, the government pledged to reduce the size of the civil service in Saskatchewan by 15 per cent.

Moose Jaw Times-Herald: Building permits for September 2012

By Lisa Goudy

Most of the building permits issued in September were for residential use.

Only three permits out of the 25 issued last month worth approximately $4.22 million were for commercial and industrial purposes. In September 2011, the city issued 36 permits worth about $7.15 million.

Moose Jaw Times-Herald: Lisa's Corner: Good turnout for elections forum

By Lisa Goudy

I was pleased to see the Centennial Auditorium nearly full for the Kinsmen all-candidates election forum on Wednesday night.

For the sake of democracy, I was even more pleased that people’s questions for the candidates lasted longer than each of the candidates’ prepared speeches. The whole event lasted for nearly three hours.
There are 19 candidates for council and two for mayor and all were in attendance with the exception of council candidate Jack Smith, whose mother recently had a heart attack. The mayoral candidates were given five minutes each and council candidates were given three minutes. Those speeches took about an hour and the Q&A session took almost two hours.

It was wonderful to see so many people come out and engage in conversation with the potential candidates who will play a large role in running the city for the next four years. Everyone posed valid questions and some people even grilled a few of the incumbents running, which is an important part of accountability.

But perhaps what impressed me most was the attendance of a high school class at the forum, along with their teacher. While their attendance was part of a class assignment, I believe young people being there is the best thing that could’ve happened.

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Thursday, October 11, 2012

Moose Jaw Times-Herald: Higgins envisions continued growth for city

Mayoral candidate Deb Higgins speaks about
her ideas for dealing with housing issues in the
city during a press conference Thursday morning
 in front of the new housing developments in South Hill at
the corner of First Avenue Northeast and Maple Street.
Times-Herald photo by Lisa Goudy
By Lisa Goudy

Mayoral candidate Deb Higgins has a vision to keep Moose Jaw growing.

“There’s been a fair bit of progress in the past number of years and we need to make sure that that continues,” said Higgins, who served as a provincial representative for Moose Jaw for 12 years since first elected in 1999.

“First and foremost, city council works for the people of the city. So we need to listen to the people of the city — the citizens — and address issues that are important to them.”

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Moose Jaw Times-Herald: Six appointed to youth advisory committee

By Lisa Goudy

During the current council’s last regular meeting on Tuesday, council unanimously appointed six student representatives to the youth advisory committee.

Council appointed Emily Farago, Tanner Schier, Rosalie Rheaume, Kaitlynn Wright, Caitlin Betker and Josh Zimmer to the youth advisory committee for a term to start at once and end on June 30, 2013. 

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Moose Jaw Times-Herald: Infrastructure and recycling major issues at forum

By Lisa Goudy

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Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Moose Jaw Times-Herald: Study reveals provincial gov’t presence declining in Moose Jaw

By Lisa Goudy

Moose Jaw has been experiencing a downward trend in provincial government presence in the city.

Two researchers — Angela Markel and Irene Zadnik — were hired by the economic development commission (EDC) in April 2012 to do a review of the presence from 1990 to 2012 at a cost of $10,000. Markel was ill for Tuesday night’s council meeting, but Zadnik presented the findings to council.

The institutions examined were SIAST, provincial public service employees, SaskWater, SaskTel and Valley View Centre, which is slated for closure in 2016.

“Moose Jaw has been left behind compared to Saskatoon,” said Zadnik.

Moose Jaw Times-Herald: Machine voting will be used in election

Heather Walker, council assistant in the city
clerk/solicitor's department, demonstrates how the ballot will be fed in a secrecy sleeve into the electronic machine during the Oct. 24 municipal election.
Times-Herald photo by Lisa Goudy

By Lisa Goudy

Electronic voting is back again for the upcoming municipal election on Oct. 24.

“It’s a very effective method for cities in Saskatchewan,” said city-clerk/solicitor Myron Gulka-Tiechko, adding that it is also used in Regina, Saskatoon, Swift Current and Yorkton. “There’s no mechanical way to monitor votes or anything. It’s fairly fraud-proof.”

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Moose Jaw Times-Herald: Sole source contract for CPR dam repairs approved

Mayor Glenn Hagel closes the current council's
last regular meeting on Tuesday night.
Times-Herald photo by Lisa Goudy

By Lisa Goudy

Tuesday’s regular council meeting marked the last meeting of the current council.

Among other items, up for discussion at council was a report from the engineering department requesting approval to give Top Shot Concrete Systems a sole source contract for the CPR dam repair for the amount of $58,700 plus taxes. Council approved it unanimously.

Moose Jaw Times-Herald: Weekend Extra: To ward or not to ward

If the ward system is adopted, the city will be
divided into six wards based on population.
Times-Herald photo by Lisa Goudy

By Lisa Goudy

In addition to voting for the mayor and councillors, voters will have the choice to vote for or against adopting a ward system in the city at the municipal election on Oct. 24.

On the ballot, voters can vote on the following resolution: “That the City of Moose Jaw be divided into Wards for the election of six city councillors beginning with the 2016 Municipal Elections.”

“Assuming that there’s a positive vote on the referendum question on the 24th, council would pass a resolution adopting that motion and would give direction to administration to proceed with preparing to implement it for the following election which would be the 2016 election,” said city clerk-solicitor Myron Gulka-Tiechko.

If implemented, each voter would vote for the mayor and for a candidate for council to represent his or her ward. In total, there would be six wards and the councillors elected from each of the six wards would make up city council.

Gulka-Tiechko said candidates running for a specific ward would not have to live within the set boundaries.

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Moose Jaw Times-Herald: Lisa's Corner: Take more than just one day to say, “Thank you”

By Lisa Goudy

American writer Edward Sandford Martin once said that “Thanksgiving Day comes, by statute, once a year; to the honest man it comes as frequently as the heart of gratitude will allow.”

Seeing as Martin was born in 1856, his reference to man can now be taken to refer to all people, women too. The official celebration of Thanksgiving only shows up once a year in October for us Canadians, served with a fresh dose of turkey. Being thankful for one day out of 365 is not even close to enough, especially when we realize how lucky we are in Canada.

We have a lot to be thankful for. Of course we have our share of poverty. Of course we have our share of loss, homicides and countless other crimes or desperate situations. But compared to a lot of places in the world, we have plenty and for that we should be grateful all the time — we should spend this coming Thanksgiving with the people who matter most if we can, such as family and friends.

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Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Moose Jaw Times-Herald: Staying food safe to avoid E. coli

Owner Adam Fellinger wraps up some raw beef that he has
in stock at Fellinger and Sons Meats on Wednesday.
Times-Herald photo by Lisa Goudy
By Lisa Goudy

Fellinger and Sons Meats is having trouble getting beef orders thanks to the recent beef recall from XL Foods and the E. coli outbreak.

“I try to stay local. I don’t use that product so I don’t have any problem with the beef recall,” said owner Adam Fellinger. “I don’t do any business with XL at all. My company that I deal with is Cargill, but I’m having problems with them filling orders because everybody’s jumping over to them and ... we’re having trouble getting product in.”

He said he tries to buy products from locals who buy from big packinghouses. The purpose is to keep his burgers and beef products fresh, but he has no availability.

“But I can’t get product in here fast enough for my sales,” said Fellinger. “It’s just coming in trickles right now.”

Five Hills Health Region (FHHR) medical officer Dr. Mark Vooght said there was one case of E. coli in the region in August from the same strain as the 13 reported cases in the province. 

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Moose Jaw Times-Herald: Giving food to the needy

Simpson Seeds donates some product to charity

By Lisa Goudy

With harvest pretty well completed in the area, some producers are looking to fill more than their own bins.

Simpson Seeds makes a point of donating some of its product to charity.

“We participate in it because we feel it ties in with what our corporate values are. We have corporate values that are integrity, family, quality and innovation,” said Elyce Simpson Fraser, a trader at Simpson Seeds who works in business development. “It’s a very good way to extend those values that we have to be able to feed people, not just through our exports but through that type of donations.”

There are three different donations the company does — a provincial load of lentils to the bakery in Kyle, Sask., a national load with the program Gleanings for the Hungry and, when possible, an international load distributed through an organization with the Victory Church ministry.

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