August 10, 2005
Vol. 1 No. 43

Editor: Tom Willard

Deafweekly is an independent news report for the deaf and hard-of-hearing community. It is mailed to subscribers every Wednesday morning and available to read at For information, contact

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Investigators in Wilkes-Barre, Pa. have launched a full-scale investigation into the murder of an 87-year-old deaf woman. Mary Leo was found stabbed to death in her apartment last Tuesday night. Luzerne County District Attorney David Lupas said Leo was stabbed with a "rather large" knife that was recovered at the scene. "I'm outraged by this incident and act of violence," said Lupas. "No one, let alone an 87-year-old woman, should die in this fashion." Leo lived above a family-owned restaurant, Abe's Lunch, where she worked most of her life. She was found by a neighbor who became alarmed to see the door open to her ransacked apartment. County Coroner George Hudock told the Times Leader the 5-foot-3, 120-pound victim bled to death slowly inside the apartment where she lived alone. "She didn't die suddenly," he said. Investigators hope surveillance tapes from the area will help lead them to a suspect.


A deaf and mentally disabled man who was mistakenly jailed for two years in Washington, D.C. will receive between $1.2 million and $1.5 million under an agreement approved last Thursday by a federal judge. According to the Washington Post, Joseph Heard, 45, was arrested in November 1998 on a misdemeanor charge of unlawful entry. A D.C. Superior Court judge ordered him released in October 1999 after doctors found him mentally incompetent to stand trial, but he was taken to jail instead due to a computer error. He remained in jail until August 13, 2001, when jail officials wondered why they could not locate his records. For 22 months, Heard received no visits from family, friends or attorneys. He often wrote "innocent" on scraps of paper, but guards and mental health staff ignored his pleas. Heard now lives in Orlando, Fla. with his sister, Sandy Hayes, a nurse. "Hopefully, this will improve his life and he'll forget about those two years they took from him," she said.


An American Sign Language teacher will go on trial next month for allegedly attempting to sexually assault one of his students. Roger Wilkins, 38, is charged with attempted rape, forcible sodomy and forcible sex abuse. Wilkins, who worked at Salt Lake Community College and Utah Valley State College, is being accused by an 18-year-old deaf woman who lived with him and his family in Lehi, Utah for a month. According to the Deseret Morning News, the unidentified woman says Wilkins undressed her and touched and kissed her breasts and genitals, even though she told him "no" in sign language. Wilkins, who pleaded not guilty to the charges in May 2004, is a registered sex offender. He was convicted of molesting two boys in 1994 at a summer camp for deaf children.


Police and animal control officers in West Duluth, Minn. last week removed an estimated 100-plus cats from the home of a deaf woman. According to the Duluth News Tribune, an interpreter was brought in to explain the situation to the homeowner, who was not identified. Animal control officer Carrie Lane said the woman took good care of the animals, with plenty of food and water for the cats in the house. "They're so healthy, it's actually amazing," she said. Lane said the woman took in a pregnant cat a few years ago and may not have had the money to have the kittens spayed or neutered. "And then there were more and more," said Lane. "This is pretty much the way it works." Officials were in desperate need of people to provide foster care or permanently adopt the cats.


As Indianapolis police attempt to locate three men responsible for a series of "takeover style robberies," some of their best information has come from a customer said to be deaf and mute. According to WTHT-TV News, the deaf woman was ordered to the ground during one of the robberies. "She relies on her visualization and she provided us an outstanding physical description of the three suspects," said Indianapolis Police Detective Gary Woodruff. The crime spree started June 21 and the most recent robbery occurred last Monday.


Eugene Cromety, 36, of Stratford, Conn., has been sentenced to 17 years in prison for raping his girlfriend's deaf 13-year-old daughter. Cromety was convicted by a jury in December of first-degree sexual assault and risk of injury to a minor, reported the Connecticut Post. He had been living with the woman and her daughter in 2001 when the assaults occurred. Cromety's lawyer, John Walkley, said the conviction would be appealed. "The conviction was based solely on the alleged victim's testimony," said Walkley, noting the girl later recanted her story. "She said my client didn't do it," he said. But State's Attorney Mary Galvin said that the girl recently retracted her recantation in an interview with school officials.


Searchers are still looking for Sam Friel, 20, a deaf man who disappeared from a Madera, Calif. hospital two weeks ago. Friel wandered away from Madera Community Hospital, where he was taken from a deaf camp in Ahwahnee after showing signs of depression. Friel is said to be afraid of people wearing uniforms, reported KFSN-TV News. "I think he was scared and didn't know what was going on," said Brooke Myers, a friend of the missing man. "As far as we know, the security guard that was guarding him got up and Sam had the opportunity to bolt." Hospital officials said any mental health patients taken to their facility will now be transferred to other hospitals that have the means to care for them.


The parents of a 16-year-old deaf girl in Massachusetts are considering a discrimination lawsuit against a driving school that doesn't want to pay for a sign-language interpreter. According to the Cape Cod Times, the cost of interpreting the 30-hour course for Ashley Jones could run as high as $1,500; the course itself costs $414. "How am I going to stay in business doing stuff like that?" asked Robert Samson, owner of Professional Driving Schools Inc. of Hyannis. He denied that he refused to provide an interpreter but claimed Ashley's parents, Michelle and Jeffrey Jones of West Barnstable, can afford to pay the interpreter costs themselves. Jeffrey Jones said he won't pay based on principle. "What about the guy behind (Ashley) who doesn't have the money?" he said. "It's not about economics. It's about the law. It's about setting precedent."


CBS 5 in San Francisco reported last week on Oliva and Tallulah Hogan, 14-month-old identical twins from Saratoga, Calif. who were surgically fitted with cochlear implants. They are among fewer than 50 youngsters nationwide who have received implants in both ears, said to be a very new procedure. "When you have information going into each ear, the information goes up your auditory pathway into your brain and you get an increase in understanding speech information," said audiologist Becky Highlander. Last Tuesday, at the California Ear Institute in Palo Alto, Calif., the devices were slowly activated. Tallulah was momentarily shocked as she heard her first sounds -- cameras recording the moment. "Hopefully this will open up many different doors for them, educationally, vocationally, socially," said Highlander.


A final vote on a zoning ordinance that would allow construction of the proposed town for sign-language users of Laurent, S.D. was delayed last week after farmers spoke out against the ordinance. According to the Aberdeen American News, attorney Todd Epp says land use is the issue. "The fact that they want to put this proposed community smack-dab in the middle of highly productive animal agriculture is befuddling to the folks I represent," he said. Dairy farmer Jim McGregor agreed. "Every time you mix people and agriculture, it causes problems," he said. The McCook County Commission delayed final action for two weeks to make sure the land is properly zoned. "We're frustrated by the lack of progress," said Laurent co-founder Marvin Miller. "But I understand that the wheels of democracy, they don't always move quickly."


A complaint filed recently with the Texas Education Agency claims that Willis High School misdiagnosed a profoundly deaf girl and failed to provide a proper education over the past nine years. According to the Humble Courier, Tina Garza alleges that her 17-year-old daughter, Monica, who started losing her hearing at age 8, was forced to work as a janitor, was sent to a storage closet for timeout, has become suicidal and is on antidepressants. Garza also claims school staff members refused to give Monica her medication, which resulted in hospitalization. "She deserves to have an education," said Garza. "Knowledge is power. They've stolen her power." Willis school district superintendent Brian Zemlicka denied the allegations. "If our district ever does anything wrong, I'd be the first one to apologize and make sure it's right," he said. "I don't have any evidence that anyone did not educate a student."


Two nonprofit agencies in Ohio have decided to combine their summer camps for children with hearing loss. Deaf Services Center Inc. of Columbus and Community Services for the Deaf in Dayton have joined forces to sponsor the Deaf Adventure Camp, which takes place this week at Camp Kerns in Oregonia, about 40 minutes north of Dayton. About 60 children with hearing loss are expected to be in attendance.


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Police in Greece have uncovered an international crime ring that has exploited dozens of deaf people from the Ukraine and other countries of the former Soviet Union. According to the Athens News Agency, victims were put to work as street vendors in Greece, Italy and Spain and forced to hand over their earnings under threat of violence. Last Monday, police on the island of Corfu arrested a deaf couple from the Ukraine who allegedly handed over two-thirds of the money they collected to a deaf person nicknamed "Doll," who then delivered the money to the gang leader, a Kiev resident nicknamed "the Clown." The investigation is continuing, with cooperation from Italian, Spanish and Ukrainian police forces.


Students from the Muneshwari Deaf and Dumb School in Bangalore held a protest last Saturday in front of the office of the Deputy Director of Public Education Department. The students allege that sports officials insulted them at the a sports meet held in April, reported the Deccan Herald News Service. They claimed Trilok Singh, a physical education teacher and sports official, verbally abused them when they took part in the meet, said institute secretary H.V. Gopalappa in a complaint, and they also were not given the prizes they had won in the event. Public Education official D.K. Shivakumar arrived on the scene, discussed the matter with officials and promised that the prizes would be given to the students.


A police officer in the U.K. has launched a disability discrimination case against the West Yorkshire force. Constable Dennis McCoy claims he was rejected for a job because he suffers from tinnitus in his left ear. McCoy, 39, is a volunteer with the force and was named Special Constable of the Year in his region in February. According to The Mirror, he has put in 1,000 voluntary hours in the past year and made 41 arrests in two years. He was unaware that he suffered from tinnitus until he failed a police medical exam in 2003. A consultant said his hearing could be brought up to a minimum standard if he wore a hearing aid, as some other officers do. "I love the job," said McCoy. "It seems bizarre they allow me to basically do the same job as a regular officer in an unpaid role."


Scientists at Scotland's Dundee University are building a device that could restore the hearing of millions of deaf people, reported The Scotsman last week. Doctors hope the device -- called SMARTFIT -- will help people whose middle ear has been damaged by an infection. The device is a prosthesis designed to replace the tiny bones that conduct sound from the outer canal to the inner ear. Professor Eric Abel, who leads the team of bio-engineers, said the artificial bone implant could help people with conductive hearing loss, a condition that affects around eight million people in the western world. "We are very optimistic that our new concept in prosthesis design will prove to be a technical and clinical success," he said.


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Thousands of Americans lose their hearing overnight due to viral infections. Researchers are now working on a treatment to help them regain at least some of their hearing. Doctors believe steroid cortisone can help, but high doses of cortisone pills can lead to serious side effects for people with high blood pressure, diabetes and other medical problems. A new technique under testing at eight medical centers nationwide calls for doctors to inject a shot of cortisone directly behind the eardrum. Researchers are now using the injection technique to see if it yields the same results as pills without the side effects. Said one test subject: "I can't put a phone to my ear or anything like that, but I hear noises, which is quite an improvement."


The Nashville Tennessean reported last week on Bob and Beverly Geldreich, the first married couple to receive cochlear implants at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Bob, 56, wanted to hear the voices of his wife and their two children and wondered what Nashville traffic sounded like. Beverly, 54, wanted to hear her family first, and then environmental sounds such as the birds and the bees and the wind blowing in the trees. The Franklin, Tenn. couple, married 33 years, had their implants turned on last Monday during an all-day session that included listening to tones and determining which sounds were comfortable. "When one decided to get the implant, the other did, too," said daughter Ginger Jones, a speech pathologist. "That's just the way they are."


An eight-year-old girl named Dynasty "longs to feel the love of an adoptive family," reported WFAA-TV News in Dallas last week. Dynasty was born with normal hearing but became deaf due to a lack of proper medical care. It hasn't deterred her one bit, said caseworkers with Child Protective Services. "She likes playing outside, likes riding bicycles, likes hide and seek, likes swimming, said Cathy, a caseworker. Dynasty reads lips, knows some sign language and "is destined for greatness," said Starla, another caseworker. If you would like to know more about Dynasty, call 1-800-228-8226 during weekday business hours.


A visor card for deaf and hard-of-hearing drivers is available on the Internet. The card is designed to "smooth out the bumps" when police stop a driver with hearing loss, said former police officer Robert MacPherson. "I would encourage all of our family of hearing loss to seriously consider the FREE download, print, and then display of the visor in your vehicle," he said. A wallet card is also available. Go to



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Ohio University Southern is teaming up with the deaf studies and interpreting department at Ohio University Chillicothe to offer one-year certificates in specific areas of deaf studies. According to the Ironton Tribune, the 45-hour certificates are designed to enhance students' marketability in the work force and provide professionals with up-to-date information on requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The certificates are available in criminal justice, mental health, health care professionals, education and business.


The University of Iowa Graduate College has awarded a Graduate Dean's Distinguished Dissertation Award, consisting of a signed certificate and $500 cash prize, to Bryan K. Eldredge. Eldredge was recognized for his dissertation, "The Role of Discourse in the Formation and Maintenance of Deaf Identity and the Deaf-World." Eldredge, who earned his doctorate in linguistic anthropology in 2004, is now program coordinator and assistant professor for the ASL and Deaf Studies Program at Utah Valley State College.


A green parrot at the Oakland Zoo named Brock squawks "water" when he's thirsty, reported the Pleasanton Argus, but Liz Jarashow would be more impressed if he knew the sign language symbol for water. Liz, 17, a junior at the California School for the Deaf in Fremont, volunteers at the zoo once a week and is believed to be the first deaf person to work at the zoo. CSDF teacher Gene Harris says Liz has a gift for working with animals. "She's very slow and calm," he said. "She comes into their presence and animals look and they trust." Liz isn't sure she'll work in zoos forever; she plans to attend Gallaudet University and her dream job is to become a photojournalist.


Joel Marler, who is blind, wanted to hire a person with a disability for the Alabama National Guard cafeteria he manages, so he contacted the Alabama Institute for the Deaf and the Blind (AIDB) in Talladega. The school put him in touch with Linda Jackson, 42, a deaf woman who had been working at a campground. Marler, 53, offered Jackson a job and soon began taking one-hour sign language classes each week. "I didn't want to have to pull somebody in every time I wanted to talk to her," he told the Birmingham News. Marler's decision to hire a deaf worker and learn sign language has made him a hero to some at AIDB. "I don't know that I could pull up another story like this one in my memory, and I've been around a long time," said AIDB president Terry Graham.


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"After Image," a 2001 movie starring deaf actress Terrylene, is coming out on DVD. After Image, a low-budget drama filmed in Rochester, N.Y., features Grammy winner John Mellencamp and Academy Award winner Louise Fletcher in what the DVD cover calls "an intense psychological crime story that delivers thrills in the must-see tradition of Insomnia and One Hour Photo!" The film was directed by Robert Manganelli (Terrylene's husband) and is rated R for violent images, nudity and language. Bonus features include "The Making of After Image," production notes by Manganelli, and "Portraying Death: The Art of Special Effects Makeup."


Two artists with hearing loss are exhibiting their work this month. The Geneva Gallery in Morristown, N.J. is hosting a two-person exhibit through August 31 that includes local graphic artist Christian Markovic. According to the Newark Star-Ledger, Markovic has pioneered artistic training for the deaf and runs his own graphic design studio in Morristown ( In Glendale, Calif., painter Mary Rappazzo is taking part in a group show August 21 to September 15 at the Brand Library and Arts Center. A news release says "Rappazzo creates narrative paintings with a saturated color palette where the artist portrays people in everyday life reflecting on the artist's personal, cultural and political views." Rappazzo's website may be seen at


The Media Access Office (MAO), a California state program that seeks to integrate people with disabilities into the entertainment industry, has relocated from its North Hollywood office. The office is now located at the Canoga Park One Stop Career Resource Center in Canoga Park. For more information on the MAO's programs and services, contact program director/casting liaison Gloria Castaneda at


Few people can say becoming a clown changed their life, reported the Religion News Service on Sunday, but Buddy Lemaster can. Lemaster lost his hearing at age 21 after inhaling fruit tree poison on his parents' property in Huntsville, Ala. Unable to cope, he battled alcohol addiction and depression for nearly 30 years. For the past 14 years, however, Lemaster has entertained thousands of children as "Freedom Rose: The Patriotic Clown." Since the early days of his career, he has conspicuously sewn "I am a Christian clown, I don't just speak it, I live it," onto the back of every costume.


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The item in Deafweekly Aug. 3 headed Deaflympics Database ... was brought to my attention. I believe you are a fair person so I would appreciate it if you would go to then click on the Games tab and pick any Games (prior to 1977) and then click on participants. Read the disclaimer and then decide whether or not the article which you gave wide circulation was worthy.

I'm doing this task all by myself. We had two choices: keep the database under wraps until completed or open it to the public so they could view the progress. We chose the latter path since I figure it is going to take a bit more than two years to do it. I sure wish Mr. Pinchas could have supplied us with 985 corrections. That would have been greatly appreciated.



EXECUTIVE SECRETARY, President’s Office, Job #05113.

Gallaudet University has a position available for Executive Secretary who will perform high level secretarial support for the Office of the President in a professional, proficient manner while maintaining a high level of confidentiality; will provide administrative, logistical support to the President; will draft correspondence and responses to inquiries to the Office of the President including voice and TTY calls and incoming mail. REQUIRES: HS diploma or GED and six years secretarial experience. (Combination of formal related training and experience equal to six years may be considered.) Two years administrative secretarial experience. Thorough knowledge of office practices and procedures. Excellent writing, editing, proofreading skills. Proficient with computer software programs, i.e., MS Word, Excel, Outlook; experience with file maintenance and database management. Excellent organizational and interpersonal skills. Able to handle complex and routine tasks effectively. Fluency in American Sign Language. Gallaudet offers highly competitive starting salary (high $37K) and excellent benefits including 13 paid vacation days and 13 paid sick leave days per year, paid holidays, health, life, dental insurances, retirement plans, and educational assistance programs. To apply, send resume and cover letter to: Gallaudet University, Human Resources, 800 Florida Avenue, NE, ATTN: Job #05113, Washington, DC 20002. Faxes (202-651-5344) and emailed documents ( are accepted. EOE

ADMINISTRATIVE SECRETARY II, President’s Office, Job #05114.

Gallaudet University has a position available for Administrative Secretary II who will provide administrative and general secretarial support for the Office of the President; will prepare correspondence and documents for the President including speeches, presentations, and reports; will maintain significant, historical hard copy and database records; will respond to inquiries including all TTY telephone calls. Requires: High school diploma or GED and 4 years secretarial experience. (Combination of formal, related training and experience equal to 4 years may be considered. Thorough knowledge of office practices and procedures. Good writing, editing, and proofreading skills. Experience with computer software programs, i.e., MS Word, Excel), file maintenance, and database management. Excellent organizational and interpersonal skills. Able to handle complete and routine tasks. Sign language skills required at time of application.
Gallaudet offers highly competitive starting salary (high $32K) and excellent benefits including 13 paid vacation days and 13 paid sick leave days per year, paid holidays, health, life, dental insurances, retirement plans, educational assistance programs. To apply, send resume and cover letter to: Gallaudet University, Human Resources, 800 Florida Avenue, NE, ATTN: Job #05114, Washington, DC 20002. Faxes (202-651-5344) and emailed documents ( are accepted. EOE


Employment Opportunity (Third Posting)

Position: Member Services & Information Technology Officer, TDI

General Description: Member Services & Information Technology Officer is responsible for member services, webmaster/layout design activities, and information technology for TDI’s publications, websites, and related programs/services.

Salary: Negotiable, commensurate with experience & education
Organization: TDI

Type of Appointment: Full-time
Location: Silver Spring, MD
Posting Date: 7/29/2005
Closing Date: 8/12/2005

Duties & Responsibilities:
Maintain membership database on a regular basis. Resolve member/subscriber service issues.
Conduct layout/graphic design services for the Blue Book, the GA-SK Newsmagazine, TDI’s website, biennial TDI Conference, and any other TDI operations including but not limited to: brochures, membership and subscription application/renewal forms, promotional cards, program books, power point presentations, and video clip productions.
Assess information technology needs of TDI’s operations, develop plans, and implement action to accomplish these needs.
Represent TDI at various events hosted by consumer, industry and/or government groups.
Perform other duties as assigned by the Executive Director.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities
Required - Substantial knowledge of techniques, tools, and other resources in database management, online SQL experience preferred.
Required - Ability to create and layout written material for websites, publications, information and referral program, and outreach/training activities.
Required - Ability to produce video clips and other interactive features for TDI’s in-house and remote websites.
Required - Substantial knowledge of techniques, tools, and other resources in database management, and information technology.
Required - Excellent personal interaction skills with diverse individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing, late-deafened, deaf-blind or hearing.
Required - Excellent writing and research skills.
Required - Excellent computer skills including familiarity with Word, Excel, Publisher, Power Point, and Access. Experience with Web design and/or database management software preferred.
Required - Self-starting ability, and planning and organizing skills in nonprofit management environment.
Required - Experience with user interface web design and architecture.
Required - Knowledge and application of web accessibility features required by Section 508 and by W3C/WAI.
Required - Skills in HTML, SQL, and JavaScript development.
Required - Familiarity with SQL and other database programming languages.
Preferred - ASP.NET or PHP programming experience.
Preferred - Familiarity with the latest Internet technologies (Flash, multimedia video).
Preferred - Knowledge of accessibility regulations, policies and procedures in telecommunications, media, and information technology for individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing, late-deafened, or deaf-blind and their families.
Preferred - General knowledge of resources in hearing loss at local, state, and national levels in relation to telecommunications, media, and information technology

Training and Experience Requirements:
Preferably a Master's degree in communications, computer science, engineering, mathematics, information technology, or related curriculum and one year of experience; or a bachelor's degree in one of the above fields and three years of experience. Experience in database administration, technical writing, and design documentation.

How to Apply:
All applicants must submit a letter of interest and a resume to TDI. Applications must be received at the TDI office by 5:00 p.m. on or before the closing date. Email submissions are welcome. No phone calls please.

TDI selects applicants for employment based on job-related knowledge, skills, and abilities without regard to race, color, gender, national origin, religion, age, disability, sexual orientation, or political affiliation.

Contact Person: Claude L. Stout, Executive Director
Contact Agency: TDI
Contact Address: 8630 Fenton Street, Suite 604, Silver Spring, Maryland 20910-3803
Contact Numbers: TTY: (301) 589-3006; Voice: (301) 589-3786; Fax: (301) 589-3797
WWW & Email:


Position Announcement: CEO

DCARA is seeking a strong and dynamic Chief Executive Officer to lead the agency and to build on over 40 years of continuous growth and evolution of the agency. The CEO will report directly to the Board of Directors and will be responsible for all aspects of the agency's operations, programs, finances, and personnel. DCARA is a non-profit, community-based social service agency serving the Deaf community in the San Francisco Bay Area.

SALARY: Negotiable (plus excellent benefits)

For more information, visit or email CLOSING DATE: Open until filled.


Assistant Director, Office of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (#ODHH-05-01)
Salary: Grade 16 (Range $38,578 - $59,475)
Closing Date: August 12, 2005
Maryland offers a competitive salary and a very generous leave and health benefits package.

The successful candidate will oversee the daily administrative functions of the Office of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (ODHH), to include providing delivery of the following services: Awareness/Sensitivity Training and Technical Assistance, Constituent Services and Community Outreach and Education. Responsibilities include representing the ODHH in various settings.

Bachelor’s Degree (Masters Degree, desirable) from an accredited four-year college and five years of professional experience in a behavioral or social science field, including three years of managerial experience that involves program development. Training and/or experience in working with deaf and hard of hearing persons. The ability to communicate with individuals who are deaf, deaf-blind, hard of hearing, hearing and late deafened is required. A Master’s Degree in a Behavioral or Social Science related field may be substituted for two years of the required experience.

A complete list of responsibilities and minimum qualification requirements can be found at our website Call 410-767-4720 or email with any questions.

To Apply: Resumes will be evaluated based on the materials submitted in relation to the position requirements. Therefore, it is important to provide complete and accurate information to describe your prior training and experience. Please include a cover letter with the job # and salary requirements to: Steve Serra, Director, Recruitment and Examination Division, 301 West Preston Street, Baltimore, MD 21201. Application materials may be submitted via email at This is a Special Appointment position. Resume materials must be received by 5 PM EST on August 12, 2005. EOE


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