Jarek Rutz Headlines, Education
The Delaware Chamber of Commerce recognized several state entities for their innovative and impactful programming. (Unsplash)
A First State college, high school and career development group have been recognized by the Delaware State Chamber of Commerce for their innovative and impactful programming.
Delaware Technical Community College, Odyssey Charter School and Jobs for Delaware Graduates, Inc. top the chamber’s 2023 Superstars in Education & Training awards, which have been given out by the chamber since 1989.
Each year, an independent training and certificate provider, a higher education program, and a Delaware high school are named winners.
Delaware Technical Community College
Del Tech was named a superstar for their Patient Care Assistant Pathway Program, created to address the growing needs of the job market.
The 600-hour, two-year, program partners Del Tech with school districts across the state to put high school students into a certificate-to-associate track.
It consists of classroom instruction, lab practicum and clinical work, and bringing students to long-term care facilities and other health care agencies.
Students can become certified nursing assistants within the first six months of the program, a phlebotomy credential mid-program, and a patient care technician credential by the end of year two.
Once completed, students are also eligible to earn up to 11 college credits towards a degree program at Delaware Tech.
Odyssey Charter School
The Chamber of Commerce named the Wilmington charter a superstar for its Food Studies Career and Technical Pathway.
Through the pathway, Odyssey trains students to see food as a reflection of societal values and priorities. It also helps students understand the importance of food as a foundation for individual, community, and environmental wellbeing.
Another goal of the pathway is to mold students to see food as an avenue for empowerment, citizenship, and social justice.
Part of the pathway brings students into a Hydroponic Learning Lab where they are introduced to technology through sustainable urban farming.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, Odyssey has donated more than 7,000 pounds of fresh produce and distributed more than 6,000 meal kits for people in need.
Jobs for Delaware Graduates
The Dover nonprofit was named a 2023 superstar for helping youth reach academic and economic success as part of its school-to-work transitional program.
The organization exposes middle and high school students to emerging careers and higher levels of education and training.
Programming includes providing students with weekly in-class instruction, credit towards graduation, leadership development, community service and career coaching.
It also gives students access to internships, job-shadowing and paid work experiences.
The JDG model has been replicated in 39 states, leaving a footprint across 1,500 communities nationwide. Their national affiliate, Jobs for America’s Graduates, is a state-based organization dedicated to preventing dropouts among at-risk students.
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The Chamber of Commerce also announced the Delaware Skills Center and the Early College School at Delaware State University will receive this year’s Award of Excellence.
Education, business and nonprofit leaders will join elected officials during the May 8 reception and awards ceremony.
It starts at 4:45 p.m. at Wilmington University.
For more information or to register, visit www.dscc.com.
Raised in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, Jarek earned a B.A. in journalism and a B.A. in political science from Temple University in 2021. After running CNN’s Michael Smerconish’s YouTube channel, Jarek became a reporter for the Bucks County Herald before joining Delaware LIVE News.
Jarek can be reached by email at [email protected] or by phone at (215) 450-9982. Follow him on Twitter @jarekrutz
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Spark Summer Camp and After School Program is quickly asserting themselves as a premier summer camp in Delaware. The camp, formerly a massive karate studio, allows hundreds of energetic children to play their favorite field day games, explore their creative minds, and even learn STEM. Patrick Preece, a karate master who was already running a summer karate camp, realized that “half the population has no interest in karate,” and he wanted to expand into a camp that offered something for all types of children. “I really just asked myself what an ideal camp would look like for my daughter, and then I went from there,” he said. So, in 2021, Preece brought his studio to life, transforming it into Spark Summer Camp. Now, in its second year of operation, Spark already has nearly 300 children enrolled in its three locations: two in Dover and one in Middletown. The camp is broken into three enrichment categories: instruction, creative and cognitive, and each category has an indoor and outdoor component. “My favorite part is when the coaches have us do stuff on the karate mats,” said fifth-grader Cecelia Ryan. “It’s always something new and fun, and I’ve really learned gymnastics, karate, and kickboxing.” Making each day unique for the campers is something Preece envisioned when he started the camp last year. Teams of campers — each with their own counselor — rotate through 45 minute activities. Preece still kept his passion for karate as the heart of the camp, which is evident through activities like bully-defense, kickboxing and martial arts. But to keep children interested, there are a slew of other activities, like arts and crafts that fall into the “creative” enrichment area, and simple machine building during the “cognitive” portion. “We build cool things like catapults using popsicle sticks and plastic spoons to shoot mini marshmallows,” said Preece, “so they’re going to learn about propulsion and leverage.” Spark creates thorough lesson plans during the offseason and develops educational videos and discussions to keep the children learning before they head back to school. “Say Jimmy doesn’t like kickboxing,” Preece said. “He only has to do it for 45 minutes and then — BAM! — onto the next activity, which might be completely different.” He said the constant rotations result in campers putting 100% of their effort, energy and focus into the task at hand. This one-size-fits-all approach has helped Spark rapidly grow, and they plan to open another location in Milford next year. Spark also partners with outside organizations to bring in experts to give the campers the best possible learning experience. “We have a black belt from Kaizen Karate Academy who will teach the karate lessons and we bring in a dancer from En Pointe Dance Studio to teach the dance lessons and then we get a gym teacher that teaches them gymnastics,” Preece said. Spark hours and cost The camp is open 11 hours a day and parents have flexibility as to when they can drop off and pick up their kids so as to accommodate their work schedules. Preece said no other day camp in the state is open for that long, and coupled with the wide variety of programs Spark offers, he said he has to charge a premium. It’s $233 a week, but can be discounted to $197 a week if a camper commits for the whole summer. Spark offers after-school programs as well during the academic year. “Our local YMCA is $310 a week for non-members and our Boys & Girls Club is like $95 a week, but then they have a thousand kids and they can’t really service them at a high level,” Preece said. Recommended: ‘Find the Killer’ in DelTech’s science camps But you can’t put a price tag on the experiences the campers have and the friendships they develop. Beverley Madrid, a first-grader, said her favorite thing to do at Spark is the cat-and-mouse obstacle course, where the “mouse” camper gets a head start and the “cat” camper chases after them to try to complete the course first. Madrid said she’s made 1,000 friends at the camp. Another first-grader, Emerson Smith, said she made 2,000 friends at the camp. Then fellow first-grader Aiden James one-upped her: he made 3,000 friends at Spark. The trend went on for about 45 seconds until Emerson silenced her competition by declaring “Well, I’ve made infinity friends this summer!” To learn more about Spark, or to register for camp or after-school services, click here. Jarek Rutz can be reached by email at [email protected] or by phone at (215) 450-9982. Follow him on Twitter @jarekrutz and on LinkedIn.
Boys Basketball Jason Winchell Ranking School Record Last Week’s Ranking Comments 1 Tower Hill 4-0 1 Nice comeback win vs Penn 2 Middletown 3-0 2 Faces Malvern Prep (PA) on Wednesday 3 Sallies 4-2 3 Faces Roman Catholic on Wednesday 4 Howard 2-0 4 2 wins last week to open season 5 Seaford 1-0 5 Travels to Slam Dunk to the Beach after Christmas 6 Caravel 1-1 6 2 home games this week 7 Appoquinimink 4-0 7 Host CR on Thursday 8 Sanford 1-1 8 No games till after Christmas 9 William Penn 2-2 9 Two losses to top 10 teams by 4 total points 10 Dover 3-1 10 Big conference game at Polytech Girls Basketball Jason Winchell Rankings School Record Last Week’s Rankings Comments 1 Caravel 2-2 1 3 more out of state games upcoming 2 Sanford 4-1 2 Faces Westown School at slam dunk to beach 3 Ursuline 6-0 3 Faces St E’s on 12/20 4 Tatnall 2-0 4 Big win over Conrad 5 AI Dupont 4-1 5 Won 2 games last week 6 St Elizabeth’s 2-0 6 Host Ursuline on 12/20 7 Archmere 3-1 7 Nice win over Howard 8 Saint Mark’s 4-1 8 At Conrad on 12/20 9 Appoquinimink 3-2 9 Off till after Christmas 10 Delmarva Christian 5-0 10 Travels to CR on 12/22 Wrestling Individua & Team Benny Mitchell 106 113 1. Clif Bakhsh St. Mark’s 9 2. Alex McEvoy Caesar Rodney 12 3. Anthony Andrews Sussex Tech 9 4. Louis Zitofsky St. Georges 11 5. Roman Kubler Appoquinimink 11 6. Jayden Ellis Wm Penn 1. Malachi Stratton Sussex Central 10 2. Ty Belarin Red Lion 9 3. Cole Moffett Caesar Rodney 10 4. Dominic Lucian Tower Hill 8 5. Matthew Avery Delaware Military 12 6. DeMarion Russ Lake Forest 9 120 126 1. Eddie Radecki Caravel 10 2. Chase Murray Sussex Central 11 3. Nick Moore Caesar Rodney 9 4. Vincent Jenkins Milford 12 5. Wyatt Miller Smyrna 12 6. Colin Nowak Wilmington Charter 12 1. Trevor Copes Caesar Rodney 10 2. Quantez Watkins Smyrna 12 3. Cam Davis Salesianum 12 4. Marcello Ioannoni Caravel 11 5. Holt Baker Cape Henlopen 12 6. Evan Cordery Sussex Central 10 132 138 1. Luke Poore Caravel 12 2. Talan Savage Sussex Central 11 3. Aaron Menickella St. Mark’s 10 4. Nathan Moore Caesar Rodney 9 5. Drew Pratt Tower Hill 12 6. Dylan Delcollo Delaware Military 1. Daniel Sinclair Wm. Penn 12 2. Daniel Williams Delaware Military 12 3. Dustin Elliott Sussex Tech 10 4. Josh Wright Cape Henlopen 12 5. Stanley Pete Laurel 10 6. Dylan Bennett Caesar Rodney 11 144 150 1. Jamar Wells Caravel 12 2. Jack Duffy Tower Hill 10 3. Case Dempsey Lake Forest 11 4. Matthew Copeland Salesianum 11 5. Vince Petrillo Wilmington Charter 12 6. Xavier Limehouse Laurel 11 1. Jordan Miller Caravel 11 2. Andrew Schaen Cape Henlopen 12 3. Cody Waski Caesar Rodney 12 4. Sam Munch Salesianum 12 5. Tyrus Kamenitzer Wilm. Charter 12 6. Andrew Long Sussex Central 12 157 165 1. Cameron Cataldi Caesar Rodney 12 2. Nurrideen Amad-Staats Lake Forest 11 3. Jacob Ebaugh Red Lion 10 4. Michael Lane Wm Penn 12 5. Erik Malmgren Delaware Military 12 6. Jason Wallace Middletown 11 1. Luke Bender Cape Henlopen 12 2. Luke Spoor St. Mark’s 10 3. Frank Norris Wm Penn 10 4. Malcolm Roy Delaware Military 11 5. Jace Hawkins Hodgson 10 6. Jadyn Craig Sussex Central 12 175 190 1. C.J. Fritchman Cape Henlopen 12 2. Matt Duarte Caravel 12 3. Drew Simpson Delaware Military 12 4. Gabe Cannon Sussex Central 11 5. Anthony Lucian Tower Hill 12 6. Beau Minner Salesianum 12 1. Justin Griffith Sanford 12 2. Frank Miller Salesianum 11 3. Alex Taylor Cape Henlopen 12 4. Kael Howell Smyrna 12 5. Hayden Moaney Delaware Military 11 6. Jordan Curry Milford 11 215 285 1. Max Agresti Salesianum 12 2. Tyler August Delaware Military 12 3. Conner Ridgway Dover 11 4. Brayden Hearn Laurel 12 5. Cullen Parsell Lake Forest 11 6. Ryder Robinson Sussex Central 12 1. Cael DiNigris Delaware Military 10 2. Chijioke Eule Smyrna 11 3. Aidan Zellman St. Mark’s 11 4. Ibrahim Kazi St. Andrew’s 12 5. Phil Crock Wilmington Friends 12 6. Michael McDonald McKean 12 DIVISION I DIVISION II Sussex Central Cape Henlopen Caesar Rodney Salesianum Smyrna Caravel Delaware Military Laurel Lake Forest St. Mark’s
Bills to ban semi-automatic firearms and restrict the purchase of guns by Delawareans 21 and older were released from a House committee Wednesday and will advance to the House floor for a vote. The hearing attracted a crowd of well over 100 concerned citizens on both sides of the issue, many of whom filled lawmakers’ seats in the House chamber. House Bill 450, which would ban semi-automatic weapons, asserts that “the proliferation and use of assault weapons poses a threat to the health, safety, and security of all citizens of this state.” “The intention of this legislation is simple and clear: to make sure that the next Uvalde, the next Buffalo, the next Sandy Hook, does not take place in the state of Delaware,” said Majority Leader Rep. Valerie Longhurst, D-Delaware City, the bill’s sponsor. “It’s to make sure in Delaware, it is against the law to obtain the kinds of weapons that can inflict this level of carnage and devastation — highly lethal weapons with their origins in the field of military combat, which have ended up in our schools and our shopping malls,” Longhurst said. A list specifying the weapons affected by the legislation is available here. HB 451 would make it illegal for a person under the age of 21 to purchase, own, possess, or control a firearm or ammunition except under limited circumstances. “We are witnessing things in this country that I never thought we would never see,” said House Speaker Pete Schwartzkopf, D-Rehoboth, the bill’s sponsor. “I have guns, I believe in the Second Amendment, but I also believe there’s a right, by government, to put certain laws in place and this is one I think we can do.” Democrats began the hearing by acknowleding the controversy surrounding the bills and imploring the public to respect others’ viewpoints and maintain civility, which, for the most part, they did. Republicans on the committee said the General Assembly should focus on improving mental health care and hardening schools. “We do have a terrible mental health crisis in America,” said Rep. Tim Dukes, R-Laurel. “But by just doing a gun-grab, I think we take a risk of losing our ability to protect ourselves. Minority Leader Rep. Danny Short, R-Seaford, drew attention to bills Republicans have introduced to install key card devices on school doors, bulletproof glass in school entryways, video cameras, and other security improvements to Delaware’s public and charter schools. “I’m saying we put $100 million toward helping our schools to get safe. That’s what we should be talking about today,” Short said. “This whole thing tears me up. I think we ought to be talking about something where we can really make a difference. This is going to divide people. This is going to make everyone in this room go to the corners.” Sen. Dave Lawson, R-Marydel, on Wednesday introduced the “Bipartisan Omnibus School Safety Fund,” which would allocate $65 million to hardening schools. “As the General Assembly debates issues pertaining to public safety, we must make school security a priority,” Lawson said in a statement. “Protecting our society’s youngest and most vulnerable, as well as those who are responsible for them in a school setting, is necessary.” Public commenters at Wednesday’s hearing were signed up such that they would alternate between those who support the bills and those who oppose them. As a result, classic arguments for and against gun control shot back and forth like a ping pong ball on a black-and-white checkered field. Proponents said the bills will protect children, remove guns from the hands of dangerous people, and ensure young people between the ages of 18 and 21 have time for their brains to fully develop before they assume the responsibilities associated with possessing high-power, high-capacity firearms. The right to bear arms is not absolute, proponents said, and it’s only a matter of time before the devastation experienced in other parts of the country finds its way into Delaware. Opponents said gun ownership is a right granted by God and enshrined in the U.S. and Delaware Constitutions. It’s designed so people may protect themselves, their families and their property against those who would wish them harm, including governments trending toward tyranny, opponents said, and the only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun. Longhurst acknowledged the bills, if passed, will be met with litigation. “I do believe in the three branches of government, the legislature — we make the laws, and the judiciary — they interpret the laws,” Longhurst said. “So that’s where it’s probably going to end up, but I can tell you the seven other states that have this in place have upheld the ban.” Both bills were released along party lines. House and Senate Democrats are also advancing Senate Substitute 1 for Senate Bill 6, which would ban firearm magazines that hold more than 17 rounds of ammunition. A bipartisan bill, HB 423, strengthens background checks by reinstituting the state’s Firearm Transaction Approval Program. Lawmakers are also expected to introduce two more bills in the coming days to hold gun manufacturers and dealers “liable for reckless or negligent actions that lead to gun violence,” and to ban the use of devices that convert handguns into fully automatic weapons.
Ask your Facebook friends to recommend a cheesesteak vendor, and the same shops pop up repeatedly. But if you request their favorite Reuben, the suggestions wildly differ. These posts elicit passionate responses, with some maintaining that you must go to Philly for a decent Reuben. But since it’s National Sandwich Day, it’s an excellent time to review the local options. Be prepared: Not all Reubens fit the classic mold. What’s in a name? Typically, a grilled Reuben consists of corned beef, Swiss cheese, sauerkraut and Thousand Island or Russian dressing on rye bread. While often linked to Jewish delis, this combo is clearly not kosher — it marries meat and cheese. The origin is as messy as the sandwich. Many credit Reuben — or Reubin — Kulakofsky, a Lithuanian-born Jewish grocer in Omaha who created the concoction in the 1920s for poker players. The game took place at the Blackstone Hotel, and the owner liked it so much that he put it on the hotel menu. Others credit Arnold Reuben, the German-Jewish owner of Reuben’s Delicatessen in New York. Reportedly, Broadway actress Marjorie Rambeau visited the deli late one night when supplies were low, and Reuben made do. (The pantry-raiding approach also inspired the Caesar salad in Tijuana.) Some say the inventor was the deli’s chef, Alfred Scheuing, a chef at Reuben’s. Interestingly, Irish immigrants reportedly bought brisket from Jewish delis for corned beef, which explains why Kid Shelleen’s Charcoal House and Saloon in Trolley Square — and now in north Wilmington — puts a Reuben on the menu near St. Patrick’s Day. The Reuben is a standard menu item at Murphy’s Irish Pub near Penny Hill and Sully’s Irish Pub in Middletown. Sully’s even offers Reuben eggrolls. Open to interpretation The North American invention is packed with flavor and texture regardless of origin. It’s salty, sweet, tangy, crunch and wonderfully gooey. Some maintain that a true Reuben has corned beef and sauerkraut, and you can find it at Stanley’s Tavern in Brandywine Hundred and BBC Tavern and Grill in Greenville, both of which use Thousand Island dressing. But restaurants take a lot of creative licenses, particularly with proteins. For instance, Crow Bar in Trolley Square uses five-day brined pastrami instead of corned beef. Rosenfeld’s Jewish Delicatessen may have closed in Wilmington. However, the Rehoboth Beach location is still going strong, and there are eight takes on the Reuben, including Papa Joe, which pairs corned beef and pastrami. Mr. Potato Head uses a knish instead of bread for an open-faced take. At Rosenfeld’s, diners can choose corned beef, pastrami or turkey. The latter is known as The Duncan at Arena’s Deli and Bar. But in most circles, a Reuben with turkey is a Rachel. Home Grown Café in Newark doesn’t bother with first names. The HGC Turkey Reuben consists of thinly sliced house-smoked turkey breast, Reuben dressing and Swiss cheese on locally baked marble rye. The Reuben also includes Home Grown’s power slaw, a blend of broccoli stems, tricolor carrots, kohlrabi, kale and Brussels sprouts in a creamy coleslaw dressing. To be sure, many chefs opt for coleslaw instead of sauerkraut. Arena’s Deli and Bar, which has locations throughout Delaware, offers the Reuben’s Reuben, which layers both. But one of the most innovative interpretations is at Ulysses American Gastropub in north Wilmington, home of the blackened catfish Reuben with chipotle slaw. (The menu also includes a smoked corned beef Reuben.) For the most part, a Reuben costs around $15 to $19. However, you don’t need to break the bank and your diet to enjoy one. At Capriotti’s, a small Capastrami — the sub version of the sandwich — is under $12, and Arby’s now has a Reuben with corned beef. Do they make the grade? It’s a matter of opinion since the great Reuben debate shows no sign of stopping anytime soon.
This rendering depicts FAME Inc.’s planned new $6.5 million Learning Lab to support STEM education and jobs. A non-profit that encourages minority students to pursue education, training and work in STEM fields is poised to build a $6.5 million learning lab in downtown Wilmington. The 17,000-square-foot lab will provide spaces for students to learn through hands-on experiential learning. The building also will feature a career center where adult learners will be able to develop skills and seek employment opportunities. FAME Inc., short for the Forum to Advance Minorities in Engineering, received $2.8 million through the 2022 state Bond Bill’s community redevelopment fund to build the lab. The 2022 Bond Bill included $70 million for one-time allocations that legislators earmark for nonprofits, schools and community agencies in their districts. The bill set a record with $1.3 billion of projects, because the state has a projected $1 billion-plus surplus to support them. FAME Inc. organizers say the new lab will inspire career confidence through academics, workforce development and innovation. With about 60% of the project cost covered by this grant and others, the organization is moving into the public phase of its capital campaign and hopes to start phase one of construction by late fall. The project involves retrofitting the FAME headquarters at 2005 Baynard Ave. in Wilmington, which formerly served as the home of Children and Families First. FAME was established in 1976 as one of the nation’s first non-profit STEM organizations. STEM refers to study and industry in the areas of science, technology, engineering and math. According to FAME, the organization “strives to disrupt intergenerational poverty and provide a lifelong continuum of programmatic services for underserved individuals living in Delaware, with a specific focus on Wilmington and greater New Castle County.” Sen. Sarah McBride, D-Wilmington, submitted FAME’s request for bond bill funding. “Diversity in STEM is not a luxury. It is a necessity to effectively craft solutions and products for a diverse world,” she said Tuesday. “FAME’s new Learning Lab, right in the heart of the First Senate District, will offer youth in the Wilmington area a state-of-the-art facility to explore their passions, deepen their knowledge and find pathways to opportunities in STEM.” McBride said the organization’s impact already is clear with 98% of FAME students going on to college and the vast majority of recent graduates entering STEM majors. “FAME has already empowered generations of youth to pursue their dreams and this new facility will only enhance their ability to do so,” she said. “I am so proud to have worked with Rep. (Nnamdi) Chukwuocha and the Bond Committee to make this investment in the next generation of scientists, engineers, mathematicians, educators and dreamers.” Such services are necessary, according to FAME, because “Wilmington lacks a comprehensive and coordinated plan to address poverty, education and unemployment, particularly in underserved communities.” The organization provides educational programs throughout the year, including weekend and summer classes. It also offers a four-week program for 11th and 12th graders to live on campus at the University of Delaware while taking college calculus, physics, chemistry and engineering courses. FAME also acts as a direct link to industry leaders, with students receiving internships, scholarships and opportunities to interact with top executives, engineers, scientists and technology specialists at Fortune 500 organizations. Many are themselves alumni of FAME. CEO Don Baker, is a FAME alumnus, said the new lab will allow students to earn the experience and knowledge necessary to join the labor force. For many, he said, it could change the trajectory of their families’ futures. “Our goal is to make sure that we have the resources necessary to make this a world-class space, but also to present individuals in this city and this state with world-class options,” Baker said. A FAME Inc. document outlining plans for the learning center notes that Wilmington “residents disproportionately experience financial, social and racial inequities and poverty (25%), graduation (72%), and unemployment (5.2%). Rates are increasingly magnified when a racial lens is used. Black and brown residents face higher percentages of poverty (black: 26.9% and Latino: 25.3%) and are 66% more likely to live below the poverty line.” While the organization specifically focuses programming toward girls and minority communities, FAME supports all Delawareans, he said. “We believe that all talented Delawareans deserve opportunities and that’s what we’re focused on providing as we move forward.” Floor plans for FAME Inc.’s new STEM learning lab The first floor of FAME headquarters will become the Career Confidence Center and include reception areas as well as career and workforce development programs. The second floor will house the administrative suite of offices, while providing conference and workspace for industry partners in financial services, engineering and information technology. The third floor renovations will focus on the development of the learning labs, which will include a series of laboratory spaces focused on computer programming, biotechnology, media, food sciences, chemical engineering and pharmacology. The lab will also feature a virtual reality exhibit and a rotating lab with other science-based studies and digital technologies. Renovations will place an emphasis on sustainability by reducing the building’s environmental impact. The building’s exterior will include operable louvers on the glass wall facing south to control daylight streaming and to block solar gain in the summer, while simultaneously taking advantage of passive solar gains in the winter, the report said. The building also will have a green ‘living wall’ as part of the solid brick wall facing Baynard Boulevard. The green wall will protect masonry, reduce heat gain in the building and remove toxins from the air. Solar panels will be placed on the roof, adjacent to a roof-top deck and garden area. Cisterns will collect rainwater that will be used as gray water for multiple purposes. To donate to the project, go to famedelaware.org/donate or email Grace Grennwich at [email protected] Contact Charlie at [email protected]
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