November 2, 2006

Face to Face with Your Candidates for State Senator and Representative

The Memphis Democrat asked a series of five questions to the candidates in the First District State Representative and 18th District Senate races.



1. Amendment #2 seems to be one of the more divisive issues on the November 7th ballot. Where do you stand on stem cell research?



BRIAN MUNZLINGER - I am against Amendment 2. I am for adult stem cell research, which has had luck in finding cures, but I am against embryonic stem cell research where they destroy a human embryo; it still has yet to develop a single cure. Amendment 2 is the most far reaching of any amendment for Missourians to ever vote on. It takes away any legislative oversight and mandates that state funding can never be cut. It redefines cloning to fit their needs and would change our MO Constitution in 45 sections.

BEAU HICKS - I am against human cloning and Amendment 2 does ban human cloning, something that is NOT banned in this state at this time. I am and always have been 100% pro-life and feel as Governor Blunt that this is a very Pro-Life Amendment...pro-every life. There is a lot of misinformation out there on this and I encourage folks to take time to study the issue and vote what they feel best with and I will use the vote of the First District as a guidepost in my votes on this sort of issue in Jefferson City. Personally I will vote for Amendment 2 because I think all life precious and because God gave us the gift of knowledge we just must be good users of that knowledge.

WES SHOEMYER - I have served six years in the legislature voting pro-life 100% of the time. This amendment language clearly bans cloning and the attempt to clone. It would allow Missourians access to the same life saving cures as the rest of the country. I believe that life is precious the whole life. Missourians should be allowed to benefit from that research.

BOB BEHNEN - Ill be voting no on Amendment 2, the stem cell initiative, and my reasons are both from faith, morals and personal based. My faith tells me that you shouldnt create a life and summarily end a life in order to save a life.

Sanctity of life isnt an issue you can have and not have for political gain; its a true system of beliefs. From a scientific standpoint, there are absolutely zero diseases or illnesses that are proven to be scientifically curable through embryonic stem cell research.

Finally, my decisions are deeply personal. Earlier this year, my sister, who has juvenile diabetes, became gravely ill, went into septic shock and nearly died. I sat with her in the hospital, and this very topic came up. I asked her what she thought, as the supporters of this proposal were looking to her as someone who might benefit from this initiative if passed.

She said, When I get to Heaven, I dont want to have to think whether or not I took a life to save mine. I agree, and that reason, coupled with the sanctity of life issues, are why Ill be voting no.



2. Rural Missouri continues to struggle with population drain, as our youth have to go where the jobs are. What ideas do you have for economic development to stop this devastating trend?



BEAU HICKS - We must see progress in this district because too many of our children are leaving because they see no progress here...no good jobs being created. I want to make sure that our name is on the table in Jeff City and that prospective businesses know that we are ready for them and that we have incentive packages ready for them to bring good paying jobs with benefits to our region. I also plan to work on bringing back the Main Street program from the days of Sen. Merrill to help revitalize our struggling main street businesses that are fighting the big guys to stay alive. This is an area where I see great potential and cant wait to work for some REAL RESULTS. -

BRIAN MUNZLINGER - We all know that a large employer of 1,000 or more is probably not going to happen locally so we need to tailor help to boost small employers. Education can play a key role in building entrepreneurship in our rural areas. Agriculture is another area that we cannot overlook as times changethere are opportunities that may be available.

WES SHOEMYER - We need to look at the policy that forged our ethanol industry in Missouri. It ensured we give priority to local ownership by farmers. If Archer Daniels Midland would have owned the plant in Macon, we would only have 27 jobs, and all of the profits would leave the state. The Macon ethanol plant was the first ethanol plant with 312 local owners, including owners who live in Scotland County. As a result, the profits stay in our local communities. This in turn allows for more taxes to be paid and gives young people, like my son, a greater opportunity to come back to the family farm. We need to expand this model to locally or cooperative owned businesses to keep what wealth we have here at home.

BOB BEHNEN - Ive helped create two strong initiatives in the past few months to bring jobs to rural Missouri. I spearheaded the effort in Kirksville to bring the first Missouri Rural Enterprise and Innovation Center north of I-70 to the region. This will help current business owners wholl receive much-needed support and advice from economic development professionals. It also will help potential small business owners who just need that extra push to fully develop an idea into a thriving market. The center will serve the next generations of Northeast Missourians very well, and I worked hard to bring this to fruition.

I also believe my BRING program - Businesses Reinvesting in the Next Generation - will help small and mid-sized businesses in rural Missouri, allowing them to take a tax-free part of their profits and invest it for job training, equipment updates, or new product lines, helping to fight off potential closures. We hear time and again that in rural Missouri, businesses close because they cant compete with the incentives offered from other states or cities.

I believe these types of ideas and plans are what earned me the endorsement of the Missouri Chamber of Commerce, the National Federation of Independent Business, and the Associated Industries of Missouri.



3. Cuts to Missouris funding of social services have come under fire during the election. Does the current system work, and if not what needs to be fixed?



BOB BEHNEN - From 1965 to 1995, Missouri Medicaid had built up its roll to 500,000 people. Over the next 10 years, we doubled what wed done in the previous thirty years. We had 1 million people on the rolls in 2005. This exponential growth, coupled with declining revenues, caused us to come to a crossroads as to how to reform the system.

Further, distressing reports from the state auditors office, noting that half the recipients were not annually verified for eligibility, meant that precious dollars were being taken away from those who most needed the assistance. So what we did is slow its growth; we didnt cut Medicaid. In fact, Medicaid was the single-largest increase in the budget last year with an additional $284 million. Only in Jefferson City is a $284 million increase considered a cut.

Clearly, Missouri voters wanted the state to live within its means. Tough decisions were made in order to make sure our citizens most in need received the necessary assistance. So, we went through the entire Medicaid program directing money to those who needed it the most, making it more efficient and realizing savings of over $137 million.

We need to further make the programs more efficient and make sure our citizens who need the help the most are addressed before we move the program to different levels. We must take care of the needy, not the greedy.

WES SHOEMYER - The cuts that were implemented were cruel and certainly not efficient. The vast majority of the fraud in the Medicaid system is on the provider side. We need to root out waste, fraud and abuse so that we have the resources to provide the services that are needed by our seniors, children, and disabled. I will work to find a solution to restore these cuts.

BRIAN MUNZLINGER - Missouris Medicaid still had the largest increase of any state program this year$280 million. I think we all agree that we need to have a way to provide health care for the needy, but I have heard of cases of program abuse where families making over $60,000 a year were being subsidized by our tax dollars. My constituents must have heard of abuses also because 89% responded to my questionnaire that they would rather see us slow the growth in Medicaid rather than raise taxes. We currently have a committee looking into changes that will help get care to where it is needed without the abuse. There are tax and spend liberals who want to restore the old program where there were over 30,000 people who did not even qualify but were benefiting with our tax dollars at the needys expense!

BEAU HICKS - Missouris Healthcare system is broken and we must step back and fix it. We cannot continue to put band-aids on this system...we can NOT continue to take a meat axe approach by cutting hundreds of thousands of people off of their healthcare plans. We must address the real problems and that starts with the drug companies and the prices that we have all seen soar in the past years. We need a Representative who will not just go along with the crowd but who will stand up and fight the fight that needs to be fought. No one in Northeast Missouri should have to choose between healthcare and food...there are many right here in our district who think it is cheaper for them to die than to fight the system of continuously raising healthcare cost. Rep. Munzlinger voted for these cuts and has yet to give us a good reason why, when I cast a hard vote I will explain my actions to you the people whom my actions will affect.



4. Voters are hearing the pros and cons of raising the minimum wage via Proposition B. Where do you stand on this issue?



WES SHOEMYER - If people do not have money they cannot spend it. If their economic status is so low, the state ends up providing services. The earning power of the minimum wage is lower than ever. Citizens deserve a raise and that is why I support it.

BOB BEHNEN - I will be voting against Proposition B, because I believe it will cost people jobs who were ultimately trying to help.

Obviously, like everyone else in Northeast Missouri, I believe people should have the opportunity to earn more. But, employers have told me time and again theres only a finite amount of money to go around. I think the way for employers to pay more is to have more competition for employees, allowing them to pay higher wages and better benefits. But, others are poised to lose their jobs altogether. All were doing is shifting the amount of money already being used.

We need to find a way, through economic development, to increase the amount of money we see in the state. We dont need a bigger piece of the pie; we need a bigger pie. The proposed minimum wage increase will benefit some, but at the expense of others.

BEAU HICKS - The minimum wage in the state of Missouri is too low and I think we can all see that, however I do have an issue with Proposition B. This proposition not only dramatically increases the minimum wage but it also puts in a cost of living raise each year and that is where my problem is. Many of us would simply love to see a cost of living increase each year based on the national rate but, that just is too often not feasible, especially to a small business.

BRIAN MUNZLINGER - I am against Prop. B. What we really need are good paying jobs. Most people do not realize that this affects the whole pay scale and not just the bottom end. I know of very few minimum wage jobs anyway, but our youth would suffer as they try to get part-time jobs to earn money.



5. The Northeast Missouri Grain, LLC, the cooperative that owns the Macon ethanol plant has ties to Scotland County. What roll does alternative fuel play in the future of our state and what other plans do you have for the states agriculture policy?



BRIAN MUNZLINGER - Value-added agriculture can play a large roll in the future of our state. Missouri is the leader in production of several agriculture products. As we have increased production of corn and soybeans in this state, the fuel alternative industry is one where we can be a leader. Our 10% ethanol bill shows Missouris strong commitment to alternative fuels. As we produce these fuels, we also produce livestock feed, another ag area that has growth potential. All of this combines to provide a stable rural economy and jobs. Wind energy is something new on the horizon that I think we need to look into.

BEAU HICKS - Value Added Agriculture is the future of our area and I truly believe that our State Representative should be actively working with community leaders and farmers to bring these industries into our area. We see value added plants popping up from Quincy to Keokuk yet here we sit, there is a lot of potential in this area and I WILL WORK to bring industry right here into the First District. The Macon Ethanol Plant is a wonderful investment in the future of our state, but I also believe that we can work on other sorts of value added ventures for the First District without affecting the personal investment of our Representative or any of the other investors in Northeast Missouri Grain, LLC. Examples include; Corn Flour, Corn Oil, Soy Oil and other ventures looking to locate small plants into the Midwest with good paying jobs and benefits and opportunities for local investments.

WES SHOEMYER - As I have mentioned, locally-owned ethanol plants like the Macon plant with several Scotland County co-owners will play a pivotal role in many family farmers personal operations. But, more than that, it will help to reduce our dependence on foreign oil, help keep our environment clean and it helps rebuild our local economies. I will also continue to be an unwavering voice for family farmers fighting to return their right to save their own seed. This will keep more of our wealth at home and keep us competitive in the world market.

BOB BEHNEN - Missouri is among the first few states in the nation to pass an ethanol bill. I wrote, sponsored, and never wavered in my support for this bill, bringing lower gas prices, more jobs, and giving a significant boost to our rural farmers. Im the only candidate in this race that can make that claim.

I also strongly support our move to implement other forms of alternative energies, such as our support of biodiesel and the opening of the new Biodiesel Plant in Mexico.

Its time we took a stand as a state and as a nation to stop sending money overseas to people who hate America and the values we stand for and hold dear. We need to keep our money here. We dont need to look to the Middle East for our future energy needs; we need to look right here in Middle America.

I also plan to sponsor legislation to remove the sales tax on diesel fuel and fencing materials used for farming purposes. That, plus my 100% voting record, motivated the Missouri Farm Bureau to endorse me over my opponent, who has a 24% voting record with Farm Bureau.

Irritable Jowl Syndrome

I once made a ‘feller’ down around Rutledge, MO so mad, with one of my letters to the editor, that he went into the “Constricting Heaves”, which then caused “Abdominal Vapors”, complicated by “Carbonic Bunions” on his toes! He hopped around for three weeks, like a ‘Frozen Toed Rooster’, until he finally calmed down!

Yes, I seem to have that effect on some folks, especially when I pen one of my well-written, provocative, yet witty, letters to the editor!

Take what happened to my friend (he still is by the way) Chris Feeney, editor of the Memphis Democrat.

Upon reading my recent letter “The Board of One Accord”, Chris had smoke rings coming out of his ears! He went into “Bilious Spleen Vapors”, which then progressed into “Irritable Jowl Syndrome”!

This sad situation got started by the article in the Memphis Democrat “City Marshal Position in Question Following April Election”.

First, let me say at this point, that I have nothing personal against any city council member. And I have NEVER said anything against Bill Holland. I think he is a good man.

I also know, that it isn’t easy, being a city council member, or for that matter the member of a hospital board, school board, or even some church committees. It can be frustrating, and make one feel that it is a thankless job.

I expressed some ‘misgivings’ I had about the article ‘in question’. It just sounded to me like the city council wielded a proverbial “Sword of Damocles” over the position! With the power of the ‘purse strings’ for example, and the example of a past city collector position being done away with by simply defunding the position.

There also seemed to be an inordinate fear of, what candidate, the voters might elect.

Now, if I’ve got it wrong, I apologize. I just don’t know why these things would be alluded to, if not for the purpose of eliminating what the “Board of One Accord” considered to be an obsolete office. Obviously the voters felt differently. The big difference here, is that the county collector position is still an elected office.

Now, back to Chris’s malady of “Irritable Jowl Syndrome”. You never know what he might say next! Downright mean stuff!

I’m ‘gutshot’ over those “Peanut Gallery” remarks Chris! I mean, damn, now everyone thinks of me as being like that “Lounge Lizard” over at the Texas Road House, that just hangs out in the waiting area, gobbling buckets full of peanuts, all the while hurling insults at the paying customers as they come in! Shish! (Actually this could be partly true.)

And, I am still reeling from that “non-resident” tirade of yours Chris! To me, it sounded a lot like Obama’s “You Didn’t Build That” speech. Gosh… you don’t talk like that to the guys on the police department, and they’re not residents of Memphis either.

Furthermore, I’m heartbroken, over those mean comments about my personal hygiene problems. That hurts!

I’ll have you know, that where I grew up, we didn’t even wear shoes or socks all summer! Socks are important to me now.

And, so what, if I do get a “little Gamey” toward the end of the week. I want you to know that I take a bath every Saturday nite, whether I need it or not! (goin’ swimmin’ counts as bath.)

So… you readers oughta tune in next week to see what “slings and arrows of misfortune” ‘mean Chris’ will throw at me, Dave, a poor non-resident of Memphis, who is diligently striving for World Peace and Harmony!

Cipherin‘:

When you add up the votes.

The side that wins, is the one with the most.

“What if it’s a tie?” someone jokes.

Them I’m takin’ the last train to the coast!

At least I’ll still have the Father, Son and Holy Ghost!

Davis M. Burrus

New Replacement Trees Planted by Rutledge School Restoration Society

One more entry has been removed from the bucket list of the Rutledge School Restoration Society. Bob Hunolt, Lonnie Triplett, Oren Erickson, and Leon Trueblood recently rounded up their spades, water buckets, and measuring sticks to get two new American Linden trees planted (exactly as instructions for planting read) in the school yard.

These trees, when fully grown, will graciously replace the ever-popular Ash and Maple trees which, until early spring this year, had graced the school lawn for many decades. It was determined by the utility company the trees were a detriment to the electrical lines, so they had to go.

Thanks to Aaron Dannenhauer, the stumps were removed; and the sawdust from this grinding has appropriately mulched the new trees. The nursery-provided information claims the new trees to be well-adapted to Missouri daily weather change… so with hopes for fast growth, there will be shade on the Rutledge School lawn once again!

Three Teens Hurt When Vehicle Crashes Into Bridge

Three area teenagers were injured in a one-vehicle crash in Schuyler County at 6 p.m. on Thursday, May 17th west of Greentop.

According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, Allyssia J. Jackson, 17 of Queen City, was southbound on Ranch Road when she lost control of the 2003 Ford Escape on the gravel and collided with a bridge rail. The vehicle ran off the right side of the roadway, collided with a bridge support and overturned.

Jackson suffered moderate injuries in the crash as did a passenger in the vehicle, Paige A. Humphrey, 15, of Queen City. A second passenger in the car, Cobe J. Coop, 18, of Memphis suffered minor injuries.

Jackson and Humphrey were transported by Schuyler County Ambulance to Northeast Regional Medical Center in Kirksville. Coop was taken by private vehicle to the Kirksville hospital.

The vehicle sustained moderate damage in the accident and was removed from the scene by Lakeside Towing of Memphis.

The Patrol was assisted at the scene by the Schuyler County Ambulance Service and the Schuyler County Sheriff’s Office.

Memphis Man Killed in Crash Near Arbela

A Memphis man was killed and another seriously injured in a two vehicle accident over the weekend in rural Scotland County.

According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, Harley D. Stone, 24, of Memphis was killed when the 2015 Polaris Can Am all-terrain vehicle he was driving collided with a pickup truck on a hill crest on County Road 456 west of Arbela.

The Stone vehicle was eastbound when it crested the hill and met at the center of the road a westbound 2001 Dodge truck driven by Christopher M. Chabert, 29, of Memphis.

Stone and a passenger in his vehicle, Jacob A. Blessing, 21, of Memphis both were ejected from the ATV. Stone was pronounced deceased at the scene at 4:40 a.m. by Scotland County Coroner Dr. Jeff Davis. Blessing sustained serious injuries in the crash. He was transported by Scotland County Ambulance to University Hospital in Columbia.

Chabert was not injured in the crash, which occurred at 4:00 a.m. on May 20th. Chabert was ticketed for driving while intoxicated.

The Patrol was assisted at the scene by Scotland County Fire and Rescue, Scotland County Ambulance and Scotland County Sheriff’s Office.

SCR-I Band to Make ‘Long March’ to Washington DC to Take Part in National Memorial Day Parade

As residents of a rural school district, Scotland County R-I students are used to long bus rides. However on Thursday, some three dozen SCR-I musicians will be boarding a bus for a trip that will exceed their bus mileage for the year, just one-way.

At 4 p.m. on Thursday, May 24th the Scotland County R-I band, along with support staff, boosters and chaperones will be boarding a charter bus departing the SCR-I high school parking lot bound for Washington D.C. The public is invited to line the road to show the band support on its departure.

“Last minute preparations are well underway as the Marching Tigers are putting on the finishing touches on their performance,” said band Director Nathanial Orr. “You may even hear the band marching around town.”

The trip to the nation’s capital is more than 900 miles, with the group expecting to arrive on the East Coast  in time for lunch on Friday.

After the meal with tour manager Barbara Longnecker at Union Station, the group will take a tour of the U.S. Capitol before enjoying dinner at Bertucci’s Italian Restaurant. That evening the group will be treated to a parade at the Marine Barracks featuring the US Marine Band in full dress uniform.

Saturday will feature a full day of tours including stops at Lafayette Square, the White House and the National Archives Building, home of the Declaration of Independence, Bill of Rights and the Constitution.

After lunch they will visit Ford’s Theater where President Lincoln was assassinated before touring Arlington National Cemetery to witness the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. The evening will conclude with tours of the US Air Force and Pentagon 9/11 Memorials, as well as the Jefferson, FDR and Martin Luther King, Jr. memorials.

The nation’s history will be on display again on Sunday as tour members will visit the Lincoln, and Vietnam and Korean War memorials as well as the US Holocaust Memorial Museum before spending the afternoon at the Smithsonian Institution’s museums. The evening will be capped off at the National Memorial Day Concert on the west lawn of the Capitol. The event will broadcast live on PBS.

Finally on Monday, the band members will get to work, participating in the National Memorial Day Parade.

“The band will be performing ‘Colonel Bogey March,’ a tune featured in ‘Bridge over a River Kwai’,” said Orr. “The color guard will be wearing homemade uniforms representing a different branch of the armed services.  Each member of the guard has a connection as parts of the uniform they will be wearing are from the uniform of their family members.”

Orr said the parade will be televised on the Armed Forces Network as well as streamed on YouTube.com, Military.com or NationalMemorialDayParade.com.

“Due to time constraints and commercial breaks, there is no guarantee that SCR-I will be televised,” he said.

Later that evening, the group will visit the World War II Memorial and place a Scotland County High School wreath at the base of the Missouri state marker.

Tuesday, day 6 of the event, will feature a trip to Mount Vernon, before boarding the tour bus at 2 p.m. for the return trip to Memphis. The group is expected to arrive back home Wednesday, May 30th around 9 a.m.

The trip has been made possible through the hard work of the band students and boosters as well as the generous contributions of local supporters. Work began last May after word was received the band had received the honor of participating in the national event. Numerous fundraisers were held over the next 12 months to fully fund the more than $1,000 price tag per band member for the trip.

Larry Gieseke to Address 72nd Annual Memorial Day Services

Larry Gieseke will be the featured speaker on Monday as the Wallace W. Gillespie Memorial Post #4958 of the Veterans of Foreign Wars hosts the 72nd Annual Memorial Day Services on the lawn of the Scotland County Courthouse.

The services will begin at 10 a.m. with Post Commander Lloyd Erickson and program chairman Donnie Middleton welcoming the crowd.

Veterans Floyd C. Baker and Mike Stephenson will perform the traditional wreath placement at the soldiers’ memorial on the southeast side of the courthouse. Fellow serviceman Bill Camp will lead the gathering in the Pledge of Allegiance.

Sonny Smyser of the Lancaster Church of Faith  will lead the invocation prior to the performance of the National Anthem by the Memphis Community Players, who will also provide additional patriotic music for the service.

Judge Gary Dial will again have the honor of introducing the service’s guest speaker.

Following Gieseke’s speech, veteran Jamie Parker will sing Sleep Soldier Boy.

Following the benediction by Smyser, the VFW members will present a 21 gun salute before the performance of taps by service member Melinda Briggs with ECHO played by Chris Kempke.

The service is open to the public. In case of inclement weather, the program will be moved indoors at the VFW post.

Fifty-Seven Units of Blood Donated at Spring Blood Drive

The spring community blood drive held on May 8th at the First Baptist Church of Memphis resulted in the donation of fifty-seven units of blood to the American Red Cross. We would like to thank all those who took time out of their busy day to come and donate.

Of the sixty-seven people who came out to donate, five were first-time donors: Laura Carr, Reilly Shoemaker, Luke Triplett, Matthew Woods and Mark Zeiset. May this mark the beginning of a lifelong habit of helping others through this life-saving gift.

The following donors are recognized for reaching their respective donation goals: a one-gallon pin was awarded to Harley D. Saulmon and a two-gallon pin, to Mike M. Blain. Carol McCabe earned a five-gallon pin, Sara Frederick earned a seven-gallon pin, and Bruce Childress was awarded an eight-gallon pin. David M. Ahland earned his fourteen-gallon pin. Way to go, Mike! But, the greatest achievement goes to Larry Riney who has reached 20 gallons, which is equivalent to 160 units of blood. This is the average total amount collected from two of our community blood drives. Thanks, Larry, you are an encouragement to us all and remind us that even one committed person can really make a big difference. Let’s be encouraged by their commitment, knowing that we, too, can make a difference, Congratulations to all these who have reached their respective goals and to all first-time donors. Your much-needed donations are greatly appreciated.

Special thanks are in order to Lighthouse of Faith for their generous supply of homemade cookies, to Community Bank for providing sandwiches, to Pizza Hut for donating free pizzas to student donors and to J’s Food for providing orange juice to all donors. And a very special thank you to all the local Red Cross volunteers for making this event possible by serving food and drinks to donors and providing comfort and support to both the Red Cross workers and all who give. God Bless!

BABY CICERO

Mandi and Chris Cicero, along with sisters, Kara and Alexis, would like to announce the birth of Christina Violet Cicero, born May 2, 2018 at Capital Region Medical Center.  She was born at 3:19 p.m., weighed 7 lbs 14 oz and was 21 ½ inches long.  She is the granddaughter of Wayne and Terri Bulen, Stephanie Cicero, and Kelly Wiles.

BABY BUCKNER-DAVIS

Kira Stark of Kahoka and Dante Davis of Kahoka are the parents of a son, Trevon Land Buckner-Davis, born May 12, 2018 at 8:45 a.m. at Scotland County Hospital in Memphis. Trevon weighed 6 lbs 8 oz and was 20.5 inches long. Grandparents are Dede Segovia of Kahoka; Steven Stark of Kahoka; Carissa Smith of Keokuk, IA; and Rick Davis of Keokuk, IA.

BABY HILL

Justin and Diana Hill of Bloomfield, IA are the parents of a son, Maverick Gabriel Hill, born May 5, 2018 at 8:06 p.m. at Scotland County Hospital in Memphis. Maverick weighed 7 lbs 14.8 oz and was 21.5 inches long. Grandparents are Monty and Isle Hill of Bloomfield, IA; Jim and Linda Snowbarger or Marshalltown, IA; and Thomas Upton of Mediapolis, IA.

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