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Health Department Releases Information on Gypsy Moths


The Northeast District Department of Health released information on gypsy moth eggs in the area. 

"There is no public health threat associated with this natural, temporary phenomenon," the Brooklyn, Connecticut-based department said. 

The department said they partnered with the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station in New Haven to release information to the public about gypsy moths and their eggs.


  • Gypsy moth eggs started hatching the last week of April. These are small larval "instars" that are "ballooning" off of the trees and the wind is carrying them to multiple locations. 
  • A couple of weeks after the short ballooning stage, older caterpillars will settle into trees to feed, crawling up and down and eventually deforest the tree. 
  • There is a natural fungus with long-lasting spores located toward the bottom of the tree and soil. The fungus requires rain to germinate, infect and kill the caterpillars. Due to the drought, the state has not had enough rain the past two years to allow the fungus to germinate.
  • This is a temporary phenomenon. It may take a while for nature to catch up, but there are good odds that the issue will take care of itself.

Reaction to Exposure

  • Gypsy moth larvae (i.e., caterpillars) do not bite. They do have two types of hair (called setae) that they use to defend themselves which can create a stinging sensation. Reactions to these stinging hairs vary from mild to moderately severe itching with an accompanying rash, similar to contact dermatitis.
  • The onset of discomfort is usually noticed within 8 to 12 hours after contact, often becoming more pronounced 1 to 2 days later. Most cases resolve in a few days or up to two weeks.
  • Delayed hypersensitivity reactions sometimes result in irritation to the eyes, inflammation of the nasal passages, and shortness of breath. This is especially common in the case of airborne hairs of adult gypsy moths, or contact with clothes hanging on outdoor lines when the moth is locally abundant.
  • Exposure to the larvae and hairs is more likely while the young larvae are “ballooning” or contact w/ the adults.

What You Can Do

  • There are no state programs for spraying, so the department recommends that people with sensitivities limit their exposure.
  • Rains are forecast for this next weekend (May 5 to 7). The state should start to see germination of the resting spores of the gypsy moth fungus. While there is usually notice the fungus hitting the older caterpillars as they move up and down the tree, it can affect the younger instars as well, providing optimism that the fungus will provide natural control of the gypsy moth caterpillars this year.
  •  If anyone has any medical concerns, check with your primary health care provider.

For more information go to CT DEEP's website or the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station.

Photo Credit: Northeast District Department of Health

Looking Into Eastbury Elementary Records About Air Quality


The NBC Connecticut Troubleshooters looked into the air quality situation at The Eastbury School in Glastonbury through a school facilities survey every public school district must regularly fill out and share with the state.

The survey, last completed by the Glastonbury school district in 2013, said The Eastbury School was built in 1948, with its last major renovation in 1996.

In terms of indoor air quality:

  • The school has carbon monoxide detection and warning equipment
  • The school district gave Eastbury's ventilation, hazardous material reduction measures, and moisture elimination measures all “excellent” grades

According to state guidelines, that means those systems are either new, have undergone extensive renovation, or have been updated and maintained at a very high level.

Given today's incident, and the finding that there was an issue with the school’s ventilation system, it will clearly be examined again. These air quality surveys are on a state department of education website.

You can check the air quality and many other conditions at your child’s school by going to this link.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

50-Year-Old Man Struck by 2 Cars in Waterbury

State Layoff Notices Imminent


Governor Dannel Malloy’s office confirmed Thursday that layoff notices are expected to go out “very soon,” to as many as 1,100 state employees.

The notices are a legal requirement based on collective bargaining agreements to inform employees that their position may be eliminated.

Even though the notices are distributed, some employees have what are referred to as, “bumping rights,” which allows the employee a limited ability to move into another position.

"Just because somebody gets a pink slip doesn't mean they're going to be laid off,” said Lori Pelletier with the Connecticut AFL-CIO.

The governor’s administration is currently in negotiations with the State Employee Bargaining Coalition, known as SEBAC, as it tries to secure hundreds of millions in concessions in an effort to save money.

Such concessions, Malloy has said, are needed in order to avoid employee layoffs.

Organized labor has said collectively that both union leaders and rank and file members are disappointed the governor and lawmakers are choosing state workers as the first route to balance the state budget, and not looking at things like tax breaks, loopholes, and higher taxes on the wealthy.

Raising the minimum wage has also been mentioned by union groups as a way to generate activity.

The layoffs, they say, could make running the state of Connecticut even more difficult.

"What government needs to do isn't going away,” said Pelletier. “We're just going to do it with less people and basically say sorry and that doesn't work."

Overall, Malloy has said as many as 4,200 workers could be targeted for layoffs as a way to reach savings targets, if his administration can’t secure $700 million in annual concessions from organized labor.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Cinco de Mayo: 5 Things You May Not Know


Cinco de Mayo is here. Friday marks the 155th anniversary of the holiday synonymous with margaritas, cervezas (beer) and Mexican food.But many would be surprised to learn that Cinco de Mayo is a bigger deal in the U.S. than in Mexico. In fact, it isn’t a Mexican holiday at all. It's an American holiday, created by Latinos in California during the Civil War, according to UCLA professor David Hayes-Bautista.So before pulling out the piñatas, sombreros and other Mexican accouterments, here are five things you may not know about Cinco de Mayo.

Photo Credit: Denver Post via Getty Images

Best Ways to Stay Safe From Ticks and Prevent Lyme Disease


Summers in Connecticut mean mountain hikes, beach trips and music festivals. But it also means ticks are out and waiting to latch on to you and your pets. Here's ways the CDC says to protect yourself. Looking for advice in Connecticut? Check out how to keep ticks off your lawn.

Sanders Slams Trump for Praising Australia's Health Care


Who will get the last laugh?

Senator Bernie Sanders laughed at President Donald Trump on Thursday despite his Obamacare repeal-and-replace achievement, calling out Trump for praising Australia's health care system — which is universal and funded by the government.

As CNBC reported, Trump had spoken earlier in the day in New York at a press conference with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and touted Republicans' latest health care bill.

"It's going to be fantastic health care," Trump said of the bill passed by the House on Thursday. "I shouldn't say this to our great gentleman and my friend from Australia because you have better health care than we do."

"Thank you, Mr. President," Sanders said when he was shown video of the president's remarks while appearing on MSNBC. "Let us move to a Medicare for all system that does what every other major country on Earth does: guarantee health care to all people at a fraction of the cost per-capita that we spend. Thank you, Mr. President. We'll quote you on the floor of the Senate."

Photo Credit: AP, File
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Bible Verse Marked With Blood Before Hernandez's Suicide: Report


More than 100 pages of previously unreleased documents are shedding light on Aaron Hernandez's life in prison as well as the circumstances surrounding his death, including the bible that was marked with blood in his cell.

The documents, which NBC Boston Investigators obtained through a public records request, include accounts from inmates who knew the former Patriots tight end.

"Hernandez had recently mentioned a rumor ... if an inmate has an open appeal on his case and dies in prison, he is acquitted of his charge and will be deemed not guilty," one inmate told investigators.

Hernandez had been serving a life sentence for the murder of Odin Lloyd and had an active appeal for that conviction.

The documents describe the scene officials found when they discovered Hernandez hanged from his cell window. Photos show his Bible, which was marked with blood at John 3:16, a verse that describes eternal life for those who believe in God. The verse name was also written in blood on the wall and in pen on Hernandez's forehead.

According to the documents, Hernandez was given CPR and taken to a hospital after being found.

The interviews give further weight to religious references found in Hernandez's cell, with inmates describing him as someone who "kept to himself, was very spiritual, appeared to be positive, liked to meditate." Those inmates "did not observe him to be acting differently or having any issues."

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One inmate, who claimed to be one of Hernandez's closest friends, said he "just spoke with him [before his death] and he was in a great place."

"He was a spiritual guy who was always quoting the Bible," the inmate said. "Since Friday's verdict, he had been talking about the NFL and going back to play, even if it wasn't with the Pats."

He said he talked about his daughter and spending time with her, and that "there was no indication that he would do anything like that."

The file also includes photos of Hernandez's 15 tattoos, which included depictions of a gun barrel and shell casing, tattoos prosecutors had said were references to the 2012 murders of Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado. The photos also show tattoos with religious references.

The file has 31 pages of disciplinary records as well, including the final disciplinary report in October when another inmate told guards Hernandez and an inmate were locked in his cell together.

"After the unit was secured, I did open Cell 55 and [the inmate] housed in Cell 15 walked out and back to his cell," an officer wrote.

The report states that Hernandez had been written up for acting as a lookout during a fight, for a fight that had to be broken up with a chemical spray, and for hiding a homemade lighter in his waistband.

He was also written up for failure to maintain acceptable hygiene.

For those incidents, he lost visitation, cell phone, gym and yard privileges.

The report also includes music he downloaded for an MP3 player, including "Selfish Girl" and "Unfaithful" by Rihanna, as well as songs by Drake and The Weeknd.

The document lists eight boxes of property belonging to him, which includes toiletries, mail and personal photos. It also includes items missing from his cell, such as a Walkman, a chess table game, headphones and a shirt.

The Department of Correction denied NBC Boston Investigators' request for Hernandez's call and visitor log, saying they are not public records.

However, the report says police listened to seven final phone calls the evening prior to his death.

"All content was future oriented and did not elicit any concerns for safety even in retrospect," it said.

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Photo Credit: Massachusetts Department of Correction

Where to Get a McDonald’s Frork in Connecticut


There is no reason that you would need a device that turns your French fries into a dipping device, but McDonald's came up with one for a new sandwich promotion and it's called a "Frork."

McDonald’s calls the Frork an “Unnecessarily Superfluous Utensil” for the new Pico Guacamole, Sweet BBQ Bacon or Maple Bacon Dijon sandwiches.

Starting April 30, customers can call 1-844-MCD-FRORK (1-844-623-3767) to learn how to get the Frork and coupons to try all three Signature Crafted Recipes.

On May 5 only, Frorks will be given away at select McDonald's locations nationwide when you buy a Signature Crafted Recipes sandwich, while supplies last. These are the participating restaurants in Connecticut:

  • 185 New Britain St., Berlin
  • 108 West Main St., Clinton
  • 44 Division St, Derby
  • 19 Chesterfield Rd; Flanders 4 Corners, East Lyme
  • 28 Hazard Ave., Enfield
  • 1835 Black Rock Turnpike, Fairfield
  • 2915 Main St., Glastonbury
  • 2320 Dixwell Ave., Hamden
  • 244 Prospect Ave., Hartford
  • 783 East Main St., Meriden
  • 611 S. Main St., Middletown
  • 439 Bridgeport Ave., Milford
  • 40 Martin Luther King Drive, New Britain
  • 2375 Berlin Turnpike, Newington
  • 129 Washington Avenue, North Haven
  • 26 Belden Avenue, Norwalk
  • 79 Town Street, Norwich
  • 465 Liberty St, Pawcatuck
  • 22 Albany Turnpike, Simsbury
  • 1103 E. Main Street, Stamford
  • 89 Talcottville Rd., Vernon
  • 881 Wolcott Street, Waterbury
  • Brass Mill Commons, 325 Union St., Waterbury

From May 4 to May 8, with the purchase of a Signature Crafted Recipes sandwich, customers will receive a free medium fry and soft drink at participating McDonald's.

Photo Credit: McDonald's

Bombay Gin Recalled in Canada for Having Too Much Alcohol


No, Canadian bartenders don't have a heavy pour. 

Authorities in Canada are recalling a popular brand of gin after bottles containing nearly double the advertised amount of alcohol were discovered.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency said some bottles of Bombay Sapphire brand London Dry Gin were found to contain 77 percent alcohol by volume instead of the average 40 percent.

According to the company, a batch of Bombay’s London Dry Gin was bottled before it was correctly diluted during production.

The company said that up to 6,000 Bombay Sapphire bottles may be affected. The affected bottle were only sold in Canada.

Consumer’s are advised not to imbibe the gin in 1.14-liter bottles with the product code L16304. The recalled product should be thrown out or returned to the store where they were purchased. Businesses have been told to remove the drink from their shelves, the agency said.

Bombay Sapphire is produced by the private firm Bacardi, which is well know for its rum products and Grey Goose Vodka.

There have been no reported illnesses associated with the consumption of the gin.

Photo Credit: Getty Images for BOMBAY SAPPHIRE

Cruise Lines Overdue for Instant Overboard Alert System, Man Says After Wife's Death


Mother’s Day brings with it a pain that won’t go away for Karl Broberg.

“I just remember collapsing on the floor,” he said of the holiday weekend in May 2016 when he got a dreaded phone call.

On the other end of the line was the U.S. Coast Guard. His wife Samantha had been lost at sea. Broberg practiced his words to their four kids that mom wouldn’t be coming back home from the cruise. It didn’t help.

“I explained to them that their mother was gone,” he said. “It was just a horrible accident.

His wife's first cruise was supposed to be a weekend getaway with girlfriends — a few days of fun while Karl cared for the family's four kids.

“Something that was on her bucket list that she had always wanted to do,” Broberg said.

“There were a bunch of text messages right as she was boarding the ship,” he remembered. “How excited she was and all the things she was seeing and doing.”

The next morning he got a call from one of her friends that she was missing. The ship posted an image of her for passengers to be on the lookout. In news reports at the time, passengers described the crew as going cabin to cabin trying to find her.

One passenger said, “We knew it wasn’t going to end well.”

Hours later, he got the call from the Coast Guard then would soon learn the details of his wife’s last hours. Those details are laid out in a federal lawsuit just filed against Carnival Cruise Lines.

Samantha Broberg was described as being “visibly and highly inebriated.” The lawsuit says the crew knew that but continued serving her alcohol. Video showed Broberg go to Deck 10 then step on a chair to climb to the railing. She sat with her back to the water and fell backward into the Gulf of Mexico. That was at 2:04 a.m.

The ship had infrared cameras that showed the fall, but no one knew her fall was caught on video until much later.

Broberg’s attorney, Miami’s Robert Gardana, claims Carnival sent no alert, didn’t slow or stop, didn’t turn around, or send a lifeboat.

“The Carnival Liberty Captain did not inform the United States Coast Guard that she went overboard until about 15 hours after she had been captured on the thermal camera,” Gardana said.

In an email, a Carnival spokesperson wrote, “The ship’s railings meet or exceed safety requirements and Samantha Broberg unfortunately chose to climb up, and sat on the railing before falling.”

Broberg says his lawsuit is for damages and to push ships to have systems that not only have cameras, but also can detect and send an alert when someone goes overboard.

“When you look and you see how many people have fallen off cruise ships to their death, you just can’t believe there’s some sort of technology that’s affordable to them in place where this could be prevented,” Broberg said.

Cruise industry expert Dr. Ross Klein has tracked the number of people who go overboard from cruise ships. His research on cruisejunkie.com shows nine passengers have gone overboard so far in 2017 and 294 people since 1995.

“There is normally nobody watching video,” said retired Coast Guardsman Dave Leone.

Leone’s company, Radio Zeeland DMP Americas, thinks it has an answer: a basketball-sized device that can be mounted on cruise ships. It uses cameras and lasers to detect when a passenger falls over.

Leone says he has tested it at sea by throwing plastic dummies over the rail.

"Either the camera or the laser sensor pick up the motion,” Leone said. “It will then immediately send a signal to the bridge or the console or the security officer, and it will automatically pop up on their device showing what is happening at that moment."

Leone says the captain could then decide what emergency steps to take.

He believes a system that notifies the crew immediately when someone has gone overboard could save lives.

He says no cruise line has purchased or implemented the system his company created. Leone says his product would cost about $1 million to install on a large vessel.

Carnival’s spokesperson wrote, “All of our ships have man overboard cameras and for several years now our company has been testing man overboard alarm systems. Historically these systems have been unreliable, generating a significant number of false alarms. The technology has been gradually improving and we continue to actively test it on our vessels.”

Broberg and Gardana believe the time has come for cruise lines to act.

“I think it’s incumbent on the industry to take a good hard look at what’s going on the cruise ships and make an effort to not only have image capture but to have detection,” Gardana said.

“Just put some safety mechanisms in place so no one else has to go through something like this,” Broberg said.

A bill has been proposed in Congress that would require the immediate notification of a person overboard.

“The statute would require both capture and detection to have that instantaneous alarm,” Gardana said.

Photo Credit: Karl Broberg

Shoplifter Threatened to Stab Macy’s Employee With Hypodermic Needle: Police


A shoplifter threatened to stab a Macy’s employee in Milford with a hypodermic needle, police said, and authorities are trying to identify him. 

Police said a loss prevention employee approached the man Thursday and he pulled out a hypodermic and threatened to stab the employee. 

The man police are looking for is between 6-feet-tall and 6-foot-2. He appears to be between 30 and 40 years old, has a distinct dark mole or birthmark on his left cheek area and weighs around 185 pounds.

Anyone with information that could help police identify the man should call the Milford Police Department Detective Bureau (203) 877-1465 or Detective Ken Catino at (203) 783-4729 or email kcatino@ci.milford.ct.us.

Photo Credit: Milford Police

Man Struck By 2 Vehicles in Waterbury: Police


A man was struck by two cars in Waterbury on Thursday night, according to police, and police are investigating.

The 50-year-old man was crossing the street at Cooke and Gordon streets when he was struck, thrown into the southbound lane, and struck again by another vehicle, police said.

Police are investigating. No additional information was available.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Police Searching for Pit Bull After Fatal Dog Attack in Windsor Locks


A dog had to be euthanized after it was attacked by a pit bull in Windsor Locks and police are trying to find the pit bull and identify its owner.

A resident of Spring Street contacted police Thursday to report that a gray and white pit bull attacked his rat terrier on the deck of his home.

He said he hit the pit bull with a plastic rod, but the dog wouldn’t drop his pet. When he hit the pit bull with a shovel, the dog dropped his animal, but the damage was so severe that a veterinarian had to euthanize the rat terrier, police said.

Police said the department was notified later and an officer checked the surrounding area for hours, but couldn’t find the pit bull.

At one point, police received reports from two people who said they saw a blood-covered gray and white pit bull running in the area, but officers haven’t been able to find the dog.

Police are also trying to identify the owner of the pit bull and said it’s not clear if the person lives in Windsor Locks. Animal control was also notified and is investigating.

Anyone with information should call Windsor Locks Police at 860-627-1461.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

House Hit By Bullets in Hamden


A house in Hamden was struck by bullets Thursday night as cars sped through the neighborhood and police are investigating. 

Police said they responded to Dix Street around 7:30 p.m. after receiving reports of gunshots and learned that two motor vehicles were speeding down the street and the driver of the second car was holding a gun. 

Police said the car went on George Street, toward Dixwell Avenue, and people heard several gunshots. 

No one reported being injured, but police said a home at Dixwell Avenue and Dix Street was hit by bullets. 

Anyone with information should call Detective William Onofrio of Hamden Police Department’s Major Crimes Division at (203) 230-4040.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Health Care Bill Likely to Spend More Time in Senate


The GOP health care bill, which was passed by the House Thursday at a whirlwind pace, is now headed to the Senate, where members will likely spend more time reviewing and editing the plan, NBC News reported.

"We're not under any deadline, so we're going to take our time," Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, the majority whip, told reporters.

Senators also can't formally take up the House bill until the Congressional Budget Office finishes its analysis, which could take one to two weeks, and the Senate parliamentarian reviews it.

Sen. James Lankford, R-OKlahoma, said the House-approved measure is "definitely still not the final product," predicting it would take at least six weeks to advance the edited, completed bill.

Photo Credit: Alex Brandon/AP, File

Car Crashes Into Canal in Windsor Locks


A car crashed into a canal in Windsor Locks early this morning and crews had to bring in equipment to pull the vehicle from the water. 

Three people were in the car when it went off Route 159, crossed over tracks at Main and Church streets, went through a guardrail and into the water. 

Witnesses told police that they saw the car speeding just before 12:30 a.m.

Officials arrived to find the car submerged and said all three people were able to get out of the vehicle on their own and one had minor injuries.

Police said the driver, 22-year-old Thomas McCabe, of Broad Brook, was given a field sobriety test and did not appear intoxicated. He was charged with reckless driving.

All three refused medical treatment, according to police.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Police ID Person of Interest in New Fairfield Woman's Death


State police have identified a person of interest in the suspicious death of a New Fairfield woman and he is in police custody on an unrelated charge. Police said they charged him with larceny after finding him with a stolen car.

Authorities have identified 32-year-old Steven Flood as a person of interest in the death of a 55-year-old woman found in the home at 26 Candlewood Road on May 2 and said he lived at the same address.

State troopers responded to the home for a well-being check that morning. After forcing their way inside, they found the woman’s body and deemed her death suspicious, state police said. Police have not released the woman's name.

While checking the home, police identified Flood as a person of interest and searched several addresses for him.

Police found him Thursday, camping in the woods in Union. Authorities said he was driving a stolen car and obtained a warrant charging him with third-degree larceny. 

The warrant is sealed, but state police said Flood had a 21-year-old New Fairfield man’s car and that was the reason for the charge. 

Flood was arrested and held on a $100,000 bond. He is due in court today. 

It’s not clear if he has an attorney. 

Photo Credit: Connecticut State Police

Police Chief Issues Warning to West Hartford Restaurant and Bar After Several Complaints


After receiving nine new complaints over the weekend, West Hartford Police Chief Tracey Gove has sent a new warning to the Los Imperios Restaurant and Bar on Farmington Avenue to address issues or pay for police details in the future. 

He is calling on the business to the address several issues, including “excessive noise, illegal parking, garbage left behind buildings, fights and drug and alcohol abuse.” 

Grove’s letter also noted two incidents in which patrons firing handguns in the street. 

To “keep the situation under control,” the chief says, the police department normally attempts to station police officers at Los Imperios on Thursday, Friday and Saturday during peak hours, but neighbors worry that the proactive approach is creating other problems. 

“If they are here, then they are not patrolling the rest of the town,” Gilda Liebowitz said. 

In the letter, Chief Grove also wrote that officers had to be pulled from the Los Imperios detail over the weekend to respond to an accident after a vehicle struck a pedestrian. 

“The department can no longer provide this type of coverage free of charge as it is stripping resources from the rest of the community," Chief Grove wrote to the owner of Los Imperios. 

If the complaints continue, Chief Grove said he will require Los Imperios to hire two police officers with cruisers on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. 

Los Imperious recently began a Wednesday night DJ and the cost for the officers will be $1,362 a night and payment must be made each night to the Town of West Hartford. 

For some a warning is not enough. 

Liebowitz said the restaurant and bar has tested residents’ patience and she would rather see Los Imperios close for good. 

“They have had plenty of chances,” Liebowitz said. 

NBC Connecticut has reached out to Los Imperios several times for comment, but we have not heard back.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

How to Protect Yourself From Surge in Lyme Disease Ticks


The Center for Disease Control has predicted a surge in the number of Lyme-carrying ticks in the Northeast and Midwest from April through the beginning of the summer.

While there is a higher risk of contracting Lyme disease this year compared to previous years, there are various precautions people can take to reduce their risk of getting the tick-borne illness after spending time outdoors. 

“When hiking, wear pants and socks, stay in the middle of paths as much as possible, avoiding tall grass and leaf piles where ticks tend to hide,” Dr. Patricia DeLaMora, a pediatric infectious disease physician at Weill Cornell Medicine and New York-Presbyterian, said in an email.

DeLaMora advises people to wear insect repellent with 20-30 percent DEET while outside. She also suggests treating “camping, shoes and gear” with Permethrin, an anti-parasite spray.

Ticks can also find themselves into your home via your household pet.

“Check your pets for ticks as well, as a tick can ‘catch a ride’ on a pet and then attach to a human,” DeLaMora said.

Lyme disease symptoms vary and can be similar to the flu. Symptoms include, fatigue, muscle and joint pain, headache and fever.Circular rashes are also a product of the disease.

Symptoms can appear in less than a week after a tick bite, according to experts.

A doctor should be contacted for medical advice and treatment immediately if someone believes they have been bitten by a tick.

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