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    The city of New Haven is installing new lights to help remind residents when a parking ban is in effect during snow emergencies. The flashing blue lights can be seen above traffic signals at some busy intersections. City officials hope they solve the towing problem they face every winter.

    “One of our biggest challenges is communication,” Director of Transportation Doug Hausladen said. “We have 60,000 cars on the street so how do you tell them when there’s a parking ban?”

    The 22 new lights ended up being the perfect solution. The system is the first of its kind in Connecticut, but was copied from a similar system in Vermont and Massachusetts.

    “Turns out it’s a really simple and good idea a way to let people know there’s a parking ban,” Hausladen said. “It gives us the chance to be a little more proactive and fair with our residents.”

    Hausladen said it comes down to space because plows need more of it and the tow yards run out of it. They are hoping the lights help prevent it from happening this winter.

    “I’ve had friends that have been towed before and it’s just a frustrating experience, so I think this will help,” Emily Cable of New Haven said.

    The lights have been installed at 22 different locations, including intersections and highway exits and entrances. City leaders are in the process of installing signs underneath the lights so drivers do not get confused the next time the snow falls.

    Their goal is to install even more lights next year and eventually cover all of the snow routes.



    Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

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    The Mexican government has said it aims to fulfill an extradition request from the United States for the notorious cartel kingpin Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, a source within the Mexican attorney general's office told NBC News on Saturday.

    Guzman, who was captured Friday during an operation in the northwestern Mexican town of Los Mochis, faces charges in numerous jurisdictions across the United States.

    He was transported shortly after he was apprehended to Antiplano — the same maximum-security prison where he escaped from on July 11.



    Photo Credit: AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell
    This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.

    Mexican drug lord Joaquin Mexican drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman is escorted by army soldiers to a waiting helicopter, at a federal hangar in Mexico City, Friday, Jan. 8, 2016. The world's most wanted drug lord was recaptured by Mexican marines Friday, six months after he fled through a tunnel from a maximum secuirty prison in a made-for-Hollywood escape that deeply embarrassed the government and strained ties with the United States.

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    Details have emerged about the Westport, Connecticut, lifeguard who was arrested on more than 400 counts of voyeurism, as well as child pornography charges, after allegedly setting up mini cameras in a beach lifeguard shack over the summer.

    Michael Collins, 29, of Westport, the captain lifeguard allegedly told police that while he may have felt like a creep spying on his coworkers kept filming them "anyway", according to a police affidavit. 

    On Aug. 14 the Westport Parks and Recreation administration reported that two unusual clocks had been found inside the lifeguard shack at Burying Hill Beach in Westport.

    Upon investigation police discovered the clocks had cameras inside of them and female employees said they were suspicious that the clocks had cameras inside. 

    Authorities identified Collins as the person suspected of setting up cameras in the employee room to record other people.

    Multiple videos were found on the memory cards, some labeled with employee's names and actions such as "my(name redacted)driesoff." Female and male employees can be seen drying off with towels, doing lunges, laying on the couch and change their clothes, an affidavit said. 

    Collins can be seen during his shift breaks adjusting the cameras which he appeared to do more often when he was working with a female lifeguard. In the affidavit, Collins said that female employees don't usually work with him because they are uncomfortable with him. Collins can also be seen using a camera with a long lens to take photos outside of a window in the shack, the affidavit said. 

    After police obtained a search warrant for Collin's home, he allegedly told police he purchased the spy cameras to make sure employees weren't leaving doors or windows unlocked. 

    Police said Collin's home is full of empty Coors light beer cans that reach halfway up the ceiling, several gallon canola oil containers filed with urine and a huge pile of crumpled, used Kleenex tissues next to a bottle of lotion on his desk.

    When police searched his home, they found nine sunglasses with cameras in them, laptop computers, DVDs, thumb drives and other electronic and surveillance items police said might have been used for illegal behavior in his bedroom and seized them, police said.

    Collin allegedly tells police that his only concerns about the police having his computer would be that they found his lifetime collection of pornography, according to the affidavit. 

    When police reviewed the devices, they found 391 videos, 160,635 photos, as well as child pornography, and 155 porn sites authorities said. Some images found in the apartment were of numerous women and children in their two piece or one piece bathing suits lying, walking or playing at Bury Hill Beach, police found. 

    Police said the images included naked when with nooses around their necks and plastic bags on their heads. 

    Hundreds of sexually deviant collages were also found with pictures of the heads of his colleagues glued onto the bodies of pornographic images. The collages had graphic writings sketched on them, police said. 

    Collins turned himself in to police at the end of December after learning that there was an active warrant for his arrest. He has been charged with 431 counts of voyeurism, 431 counts of eavesdropping and third-degree possession of child pornography.

    He posted $75,000 bond and is appeared in Norwalk Court on Jan. 7. Information on an attorney for Collins wasn't immediately available.



    Photo Credit: Westport Police Department

    Michael Collins has been charged with more that 400 counts of voyerism.Michael Collins has been charged with more that 400 counts of voyerism.

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    Temperatures will be warm Sunday, but rain could be problematic with a coastal flood advisory and frozen ground creating runoff issues. 

    There could be "minor to localized moderate coastal flooding" Sunday morning, according to the National Weather Service, which has issued a coastal flood advisory for southern Fairfield and New Haven counties Sunday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

    Sunday will likely see some rainfall with the heaviest precipitation happening between 10 and 11 a.m. and 4 and 5 p.m., according to NBC Connecticut First Alert Meteorologist Darren Sweeney. Wind gusts of up to 40 miles and hour could accompany the rain. As much as 1 to 1.5 inches of rain may fall, with a couple towns getting about 2 inches. 

    With any frozen ground, the biggest concern this brings is possible street and basement flooding as frozen ground sets the possibility for a lot of run-off. 

    Temperatures will be warmer reaching about 57 degrees. 

    An Alberta clipper is tracking too far north for significant snow in Connecticut next week, but snow showers are possible Tuesday night into Wednesday morning and that could affect the morning commute that day. 

    The storm to watch though next week has shown some signals of a bigger coastal storm threat Friday into the evening. The European model shows a sizable storm close by Friday afternoon. 

    There will be a strong storm developing somewhere in the south next week with a typical El Niño pattern on the southern jet stream. Our weather team is tracking where the storm is expected to hit. 



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

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    Two insurance employees and one water company employee are being accused of having a variety of drugs delivered to their apartment with the intent of selling them, police said.

    Chris Taveras, 25, of the Metropolitan District Commission,  Marilyn Monahan, 25, of Aetna, and Rachel Weiss, 26, of Travelers, have been charged with possession of narcotics with intent to sell, according to court documents. 

    On Jan. 7, officers posing as a U.S. Postal Service employee delivered a package full of 53 grams of MDMA to an apartment building on Trumbull Street in Downtown Hartford. After Postal employees scanned in the package as "delivered", Taveras came to pick up the package outside of his girlfriend, Weiss', apartment.

    Police stopped Taveras after he picked up the package. Officers began to search Taveras' apartment and Weiss' apartment who lives with Monahan.

    In the apartments, police found 50 grams of cocaine they believe was meant to be sold. 

    Weiss told police that Taveras handles online drug orders and gets cocaine delivered. According to Weiss, Taveras told her he had ordered the MDMA to her apartment approximately two weeks ago, the court documents said. 

    In addition to MDMA and cocaine, police confiscated various pills, a scale, marijuana, tabs of acid, and an Apple laptop with two thumb drives.

    MDMA is methamphetamine popularly known as ecstasy or Molly. It's a synthetic, psychoactive druf that has similarities to both the stimulant amphetamine and  the hallucinogen mescaline that increases energy, euphoria and empathy towards others, according to the National Institute of Drug Abuse.



    Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

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  • 01/09/16--09:18: Penguin Plunge 2016

  • We're Freezin' For A Reason – for Special Olympics Connecticut!

    Are you brave enough to dive into the chilly Connecticut water for the Penguin Plunge?

     

    Join the NBC Connecticut "Paddling Peacocks" on Sunday, Jan. 24  at 10 a.m. at Winding Trails in Farmington and participate in the largest grassroots fundraiser to benefit Special Olympics Connecticut.

    Grab a group of friends, put on your funniest costumes and join other “penguins” as you take the plunge to support over 14,000 Special Olympics Connecticut Athletes and partners!

     

    Be sure to say hi to our brave NBC Connecticut team including Bob Maxon, Todd Piro, Heidi Voight, Ryan Hanrahan, Kaitlyn McGrath and Max Reiss who will be taking the plunge! Over 20 of our employees are plunging!

    To join the fun, those who wish to jump must raise a minimum of $100 and must be at least 8 years old.

     

    Can’t make it out that Sunday? Not a problem! Plunges take place throughout the winter season, from January through mid-March across Connecticut. For more information and registration, click here.
     



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

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  • 01/09/16--09:40: Car Crash in Litchfield

  • State police responded to a car accident Saturday morning on Route 118 in Litchfield. 

    No further information was immediately available. 

    It's unknown whether there were any injuries. 



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

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    New Haven students traded in the morning cartoons for school on Saturday.

    “Who wants to get up at 5:30 on a Saturday morning? I know I don’t,” joked Roberto Clemente Principal Pam Franko.

    However, Franko, who has been employed by other districts with a six-day school week, says the program works.

    “You have small groups. You get a lot of small group attention. You know in our public schools we’re full. We’re full with 26 kids in a class,” Franko said.

    During a 7:30 a.m. briefing with a dozen teachers and paraprofessionals, Franko emphasized the goal.

    “Remember, it’s all about having fun. We’re learning, but having fun doing it,” she told them.

    Teachers appeared excited to welcome their students to class.

    “Everyone’s coming in with a lot of energy. I think we’ve got a group of teachers who bring the energy and the kids feed off of that,” said sixth grade English teacher Dan Hicks.

    The students were a tougher sell.

    “It’s weird to me. It’s just weird,” said sixth grader Isiah Hill. “Going to school Monday through Friday is working. We work all day long. We don’t stop.”

    “I wanted to just sleep,” added his classmate Nya Johnson.

    Soon, they realized that school on Saturday is a little different than during the week. Many of the lessons were built around games. Later in the semester, each of the students will receive their own tablet. Teachers said there are many fun reading and math games they can use the computers to really make those lessons stick.

    “We’ve played them ourselves already and I think they’re going to bring this back into the classroom and so many kids are going to want to come to Saturday school,” Franko said.

    School starts at eight a.m.. First, the students met in the gym for breakfast and a few team building exercises. Then, they divided into grade level for math and reading lessons, one hour each. Lunch was also provided to the students, before they left at noon. The goal is make students more excited to learn and give them more confidence in their abilities.

    “It’s fun to me,” said Hill.

    “We’re getting to see all of our friends extra,” Johnson agreed.

    The program is voluntary. So far, 300 families have signed up.



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

    New Haven students traded in the morning cartoons for school on Saturday.New Haven students traded in the morning cartoons for school on Saturday.

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    A brand of children's cough medicine sold at Stop & Shop has been recalled, the supermarket said Saturday.

    According to public and community relations manager Arlene Putterman, Care One Children's Mucus Relief Cough has incorrect markings that could potentially result in overdoses.

    The impacted products are the 4-oz. cherry flavor and expire in March of 2017.

    Perrigo Company plc has recalled the medication, and Stop & Shop has removed it from sale.

    The product can be brought with a receipt to Stop & Shop for a refund.



    Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

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    A Norwalk woman is facing animal cruelty charges after firefighters checking her home for a broken water pipe discovered deplorable conditions and learned that the owner hadn't checked on her dog and cat for a couple weeks, police said. 

    Amanda Calabrese, 26, of Norwalk, was issued a summons for a cruelty to animals charge. 

    Her house at 14 Ohio Avenue was flooded when a water pipe burst at the home, so firefighters went to check it out. When they arrived, they found a dog in the home alone, police said. The floors were covered in animal feces and urine, which gave the home an odor that made it difficult to breathe, according to police. 

    Norwalk police, animal control and health department officials were then called to the scene and the dog's owner returned as animal control was investigating. 

    Investigators learned that Calabrese also had a cat, which wasn't found at the scene, and that she hadn't checked on either animal for two weeks, police said. There didn't appear to be any food or water left on the floors for her pets. 

    Calabrese told police that someone was supposed to be checking on the animals for her. 

    Animal control officials determined the conditions in the home were unfit for the dog and cat to live in, so Calabrese surrendered the dog to the Norwalk Animal Control officer who responded. 

    It's unknown where the cat is at this time. 

    Police said Calabrese was issued a summons to appear in court on Jan. 20 for a cruelty to animal charge.


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    An 81-year-old former Naugatuck  park ranger reported missing Friday has been found. 

    John Zeneski, 81, of Naugatuck, who was recently hospitalized at Griffen Hospital in Derby had last been seen by his caregiver on Friday and his car had been left there, police said. He asked his caregiver for a ride to get his car, but it was recommended that he doesn't drive due to his medical condition, police said. However, he was thought to be driving a 2003 gray Toyota Highland Station Wagon. 

    Police located Zeneski on Saturday and found him safe and unharmed. 

    Zeneski went missing last summer on July 20 and had resigned as a park ranger at the Shepaug Dam, police previously said. 

    He was found safe a couple weeks later in August after going missing that time. 



    Photo Credit: Naugatuck Police

    John Zeneski has been missing for weeks and police are asking for help to find him.John Zeneski has been missing for weeks and police are asking for help to find him.

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    North Haven police arrested a 55-year-old man after a woman walking through a business parking lot with her 4-year-old child saw the man masturbating in his car, police said. 

    The woman reported to police at 5:30 p.m. on Friday that she saw the man lying back in the driver's seat of his vehicle with his genitalia exposed while he was parked right in front of the Washington Avenue business she was going into, police said. it happened near Blakeslee Avenue, according to police. 

    Officers identified the man as 55-year-old Ralph Capasso and arrested him on Jan. 8. 

    They charged him with breach of peace and public indecency. 

    Capasso is scheduled to appear in Meriden Superior Court Jan. 21. 



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

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    A woman is facing multiple charges after trying to buy over $1,800 in iPhones using a false identification card with an existing customer's name on it at Simply Wireless (Verizon) in Southington, police said. 

    Police responded to the cell phone store at 750 Queen Street to investigate after a store employee reported that a customer committed identity theft. That customer, identified as Maribel Hidalgo, 19, of Bronx, New York, tried to buy two iPhone 6S Plus phones valued at about $1,829 using a fraudulent identification card that bore the name of another customer, police said. The employee called police after growing suspicious and figuring out that the transaction wasn't authorized, police said. 

    Southington police arrested Hidalgo, charging her with third-degree identity theft, credit card theft, criminal impersonation and criminal attempt to commit fourth-degree larceny. 

    She was held on a $50,000 cash/surety bond and appeared in court on Friday. 



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

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    Video released Saturday shows the moment last month when an Iranian Navy ship fired unguided rockets close to an American aircraft carrier and an American destroyer, NBC News reported.

    The footage — from the Dec. 26 incident — is taken from the perspective of the viewfinder and reveals how the Iranian Revolutionary Guards (IRCGN) blasted rockets near a coalition and commercial ships, according to U.S. Navy Central Command.

    The ships, including the U.S.S. Harry S. Truman, were crossing international waters in the Strait of Hormuz when the IRCGN conducted the live-fire exercise, U.S. Central Command said in a statement.

    U.S. military commanders criticized Iran’s navy for the “highly provocative” actions.  



    Photo Credit: Getty Images

    Aircraft Carrier U.S.S. Harry S. Truman steams underway in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea.Aircraft Carrier U.S.S. Harry S. Truman steams underway in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea.

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    Chris Christie is standing by Maine Gov. Paul LePage who recently apologized for racially charged remarks he made about drug dealers impregnating white women, NBC News reported.

    Christie acknowledged the comments were offensive, but said that LePage genuinely apologized.

    "He's apologized," Christie told Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski in an interview set to air Monday on MSNBC's "Morning Joe."

    LePage said out-of-state drug dealers with names like “D-Money” come to Maine and “half the time they impregnate a young white girl.”

    LePage is a Christie supporter who campaigned with the presidential candidate in New Hampshire.  



    Photo Credit: AP

    Maine Gov. Paul LePage, right, speaks to reporters while visiting C&L Aviation with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Tuesday, Aug. 12, 2014, in Bangor, Maine.  Christie returned to Maine to campaign for LePage's re-election campaign.Maine Gov. Paul LePage, right, speaks to reporters while visiting C&L Aviation with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Tuesday, Aug. 12, 2014, in Bangor, Maine. Christie returned to Maine to campaign for LePage's re-election campaign.

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    Information from Hollywood producers may have led to the recapture of Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, the drug kingpin who escaped from a Mexican prison in July.

    NBC News has learned from multiple U.S. sources that Hollywood production companies contacted the Justice Department expressing their interest in traveling to Mexico to research for a biopic of Guzman. At least one of those companies — and a well-known actor — were in touch with El Chapo associates.

    At least one source says information obtained from the Hollywood contacts led to Guzman’s recapture.

    Guzman escaped from a Mexican prison in July though a tunnel, but was recaptured on Friday.
     



    Photo Credit: AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell

    Mexican drug lord Joaquin Mexican drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman is escorted by army soldiers to a waiting helicopter, at a federal hangar in Mexico City, Friday, Jan. 8, 2016. The world's most wanted drug lord was recaptured by Mexican marines Friday, six months after he fled through a tunnel from a maximum secuirty prison in a made-for-Hollywood escape that deeply embarrassed the government and strained ties with the United States.

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    In an interview to air Sunday on “Meet the Press,” Donald Trump told host Chuck Todd he’s in the presidential race for the long haul.

    Trump confirmed he would not leave the race if he lost in Iowa, despite any misgivings he had about answering in the past.

    “There’s no maybes…I’m going all the way. If I don’t win, I don’t win,” he said.

    In the latest Fox News poll out of Iowa, the GOP frontrunner is polling at 23 percent among likely Republican Iowa caucus-goers.  



    Photo Credit: AP

    Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump acknowledges the crowd as he walks onstage for a rally at the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake, Iowa, Saturday, Jan. 9, 2016.Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump acknowledges the crowd as he walks onstage for a rally at the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake, Iowa, Saturday, Jan. 9, 2016.

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    Two boys have been rushed to a hospital after falling through thin ice Saturday evening in Brockton, Massachusetts.

    Police say a 9-year-old and a 12-year-old fell into the icy waters of a pond near the intersection of Crescent Street and Plymouth Street, behind the Plouffe Academy.

    According to officials, the 9-year-old was near the edge of the water. He was rescued by two men who were in the area. The boy and the rescuers were hospitalized as a precaution.

    The older boy was found at the bottom of the pond and pulled out by firefighters. He had no pulse and responders administered CPR, and his pulse returned on the ambulance on the way to Brockton Hospital.

    The 12-year-old was then taken to a hospital in the Boston area.

    There was no immediate word on either child's condition.

    Friends say it started as a dare between six friends playing football.

    "They just left to go play on the ice," said 9-year-old Carlos Baez.

    "They went to the middle of the pond," said 10-year-old Alberto Baez. "One kid fell in and the other went to help him and he fell in, too."



    Photo Credit: Marc Vasconcellos/Brockton Enterprise

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    Many more expected El Nino storms, in combination with warming coastal waters, could lead to an increase of stranded animals off the coast of California, a specialized veterinarian with SeaWorld said. 

    "If more animals end up in trouble on our beaches, they will go find unusual spots to hollow out and to rest and just to warm up," said Hendrik Nollens, a veterinarian with SeaWorld San Diego. He works with stranded animals. "So we will see increased numbers of sea lions on our beaches this year."

    San Diego endured its first El Nino-fueled storm this past week, which left roads flooded and broken, thousands without power and many homes damaged from flood waters. When the rain quelled, one NBC7 viewer found a sea lion sitting on her porch

    Situations like those may become more common, Nollens said. 

    "We will see increased numbers (of stranded animals), which probably means that we will see increased unusual scenarios where sea lions sit in cars or on highways or on on ramps or on back porches," said Nollens.

    Sea lions especially can be quick and smart, Nollens said, so they are more likely to find dry and safe places. 

    The expected increase in stranded animals has been developing for years, due to warming temperatures in the water off the coast of California -- what Nollens called an ecosystem shift. 

    "The water conditions off our coast here in San Diego are definitely a little unusual; we are in the middle of a strong El Nino year," Nollens said. "But we already actually had an unusual circumstance for the last three years; we have had unusually warm water off our coast, which has led to increased, really unprecedented, high numbers of stranded California sea lion pups that have washed up on our beaches."

    In a normal year, SeaWorld San Diego will rescue 150 to 200 stranded seals and sea lion pups. Usually, April, May and June are their busiest months. 

    However, Nollens said, they haven't had a normal year in three years. Since Jan. 8, crews have already rescued eight animals. This year, they aren't sure what to expect when El Nino mixes with the warming waters. 

    "We don’t actually really know what to expect," said Nollens. "Something's going to happen; the two may compound each other, they probably will, its kind of an unusual scenario; we don’t know what to expect."

    To notify SeaWorld about a possible stranded animal, please call (800) 541-7325.



    Photo Credit: NBC7

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    New Haven police have arrested a teen charged in the murder of a 34-year-old New Haven man.

    Police say on Jan. 1 they responded to the 300 block of Winthrop Avenue on reports of a stabbing. When they arrived they found Chamar Suggs suffering from serious stab wounds to the abdomen. Suggs had no pulse. He was take to New Haven Hospital for surgery. After surgery he was listed in stable condition.

    Meanwhile at the scene witnesses reported an argument between Suggs and a 17-year-old male suspect. Witnesses told police the argument turned violent when the teen stabbed Suggs with a kitchen knife.

    Witnesses identified the suspect to Detectives who prepared the case. On Jan. 7, Suggs was removed from life support and died as a result of the assault, according to police.

    The 17-year-old suspect, from Hamden, turned himself in on Saturday afternoon. He was arrested and charged with murder. He is in custody of the Juvenile Detention Center in Bridgeport.
     



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

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