The Mille Lacs County Times The Mille Lacs County Times cover community news, sports, current events and provides advertising and information for Milaca, Minnesota and it's surrounding areas. Thu, 30 Oct 2014 22:12:56 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Write-in to determine School seat Thu, 30 Oct 2014 22:10:51 +0000 Voters in the Milaca School District will have three choices for four open spots on the School Board when they head to the polls on Tuesday, Nov. 4.
That means a write-in candidate will have an opportunity to be elected to the Milaca Board of Education.
And voters who live in the city of Milaca will be deciding who will sit on the dais as mayor and fill two City Council seats.
Another local race of interest to Mille Lacs County voters is the race for Mille Lacs County attorney, which has heated up in the past few weeks.
In the race for the Milaca School District Board of Education, three people — including incumbent Todd Quaintance — are running for four seats. Other candidates are Sarah Ploeger and Brandon Baker. The fourth seat will be elected by write-in. Three of the four seats are open because School Board Members Mark Herzing, Jody Chambers and Judy Pearson are not seeking re-election.
In the city of Milaca, Princeton Mayor Pete Pedersen is being challenged by Martin Shir.
Council Members Wayne Bekius and Norris Johnson are seeking re-election to the council and are being challenged by Laurie Gahm and Israel Powell.
On the Mille Lacs County level, auditor-treasurer Phil Thompson and Sheriff Brent Lindgren are running unopposed.
The Milaca area has a race for county commissioner in District 4, which includes Bogus Brook Township, the city of Bock and the townships of Borgholm, Hayland, Mudgett and Lewis. It also includes a swath on the county’s west and central parts, going from Page Township on the district’s south end just above Milaca Township, continuing north to include the townships of Dailey, Bradbury and Onamia. Incumbent Roger Tellinghuisen is being challenged by Paula Soderberg.
But it’s the race for Mille Lacs County attorney that’s might be garnering the most attention in the area.
Assistant County Attorney Mark Herzing is facing private practice attorney Joe Walsh. The two emerged to the forefront of the race for county attorney after defeating incumbent Jan Jude in an August primary.
Voters will also be heading to the polls to vote for a number of candidates who will sit in both St. Paul and Washington, D.C.
In the race for District 15A state representative, longtime representative and Republican candidate Sondra Erickson will face DFLer James Rittenour for the right to represent the district the next two years in the Minnesota House. This is an off-year for state Senate.
In the race for governor, DFL incumbent Mark Dayton faces GOP challenger Jeff Johnson and Independent Party candidate Hannah Nicollet.
Voters will also vote for secretary of state, state auditor and attorney general. In the secretary of state race, longtime secretary of state Mark Ritchie is not seeking re-election. Republican Dan Severson is running against DFLer Steve Simon and Independent Bob Hellend. For state auditor, DFL incumbent Rebecca Otto is facing GOP candidate Randy Gilbert and Independent Patrick Dean. In the attorney general race, DFL incumbent Lori Swanson is being challenged by Republican Scott Newman and Independent Brandan Borgos.
Area voters will also be choosing a U.S. senator and congressman.
For senator, incumbent DFLer Al Franken is being challenged by Republican Mike McFadden and Independent Steve Carlson. In the District 8 race for U.S. Representative, Republican Stewart Mills and Green Party candidate Ray Sandman are challenging DFL incumbent Rick Nolan.
Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Tuesday,  Nov. 4. Polls will be open at town halls in Bogus Brook, Borgholm, Milaca, Milo, and Page townships. Polls will also be open at Bock City Hall, Foreston City Hall, Milaca City Hall and Pease City Hall.

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County approves shooting range in split vote Thu, 30 Oct 2014 22:09:31 +0000 Mille Lacs County, in a split vote, has approved a controversial conditional use permit to allow the operation of a public trap and rifle shooting range in Onamia Township.
The County Board gave its approval on Oct. 21 at the end of a three-month process of looking into the issue. It included the county Planning Commission conducting two public hearings where views were heard for and against David Mahady’s request for a permit to operate public ranges for trap and rifle shooting. Mahady had also requested two separate conditional use permits for the same site – one to have an antique shop and one for an archery range.
At the end of the county commissioners’ approximately 45-minute discussion Oct. 21, the board unanimously passed motions to approve the antique shop and archery permits with little discussion. The archery range permit was approved with the specification that the conditions for the permit issued in 2010 for gun and locksmith services remain.
But the decision to act on the shooting range permit took much longer for the board.
The county Planning Commission had recommended denial of the trap and rifle ranges, stating that the ranges at that location would be “detrimental to the neighborhood.” The County Board went instead with county Zoning Administrator Michele McPherson’s recommendation to approve the permit for Mahady to have the shooting ranges.
McPherson told the commissioners that if they should concur with the Planning Commission and deny the trap and rifle range permit, they would have to first prepare specific findings based on background information to support their denial.
Commissioner Dave Oslin, of Isle, predicted, during the discussion leading to the board’s vote, that its decision on the shooting-range request would indicate the future direction of the county in regard to private property rights.
Oslin made the motion to approve the permit and Commissioner Genny Reynolds, Princeton, seconded it. The motion passed 4-1, with Commissioners Oslin, Reynolds, chair Phil Peterson, and Tim Wilhelm voting to approve, and Roger Tellinghuisen voting against.
Oslin noted that he lives about a mile from the Isle Sportsman’s Club shooting range, where he is a caretaker, and said he felt there aren’t objections to the Isle range.
Tellinghuisen viewed the shooting-range situation differently. Tellinghuisen said that during his past eight years as commissioner of Daily Township and the surrounding area, he maybe had only three calls about something not going right. But during the third week in October this year, he received at least six calls and eight or nine letters from people worried about what might happen if the Mahady shooting range were approved, he said.
Tellinghuisen said the only way he could agree to allow the shooting range is if it was given a short interim use permit so that the county could gauge how the operation works out in the interim.
McPherson answered that an interim use permit cannot be issued in this instance.
Some of the supporting comments for the Mahady request was that having a trap shooting range would be good for a high school and family sport and that both the trap and rifle ranges would help the area’s economy.
Among the conditions attached to the approved conditional use permit for the Mahady trap and rifle ranges are that it may only operate between 10 a.m. and 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and from noon until 4 p.m. on Sundays.
The owner is to also abide by a safety plan. Mahady has gun safety credentials and has pledged that he or a second gun safety officer will be at the site during its operation.
Finally, the general public will be prohibited from discharging at the Mahady ranges any fully automatic weapons or any ammunition of “50 caliber BMG or greater, or the use of tannerite products.”

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Partial eclipse Thu, 30 Oct 2014 22:07:09 +0000 Partial eclipse The October 23 eclipse of the sun is captured in this photo by Milaca High School science teacher John Shipman. Shipman took the image at the prime focus of an Orion 5.5” Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope with a Nikon D-90, shot at 1/30th of a second. Photo by John Shipman, Milaca science teacher

Partial eclipse
The October 23 eclipse of the sun is captured in this photo by Milaca High School science teacher John Shipman. Shipman took the image at the prime focus of an Orion 5.5” Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope with a Nikon D-90, shot at 1/30th of a second.
Photo by John Shipman, Milaca science teacher

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Letter: Disappointed in shooting range decision Thu, 30 Oct 2014 22:03:43 +0000 I was disappointed and let down when the County Commissioners voted 4-1 in favor of a rifle range and trap shoot in our neighborhood of Dailey and Mudgett townships. The public was not allowed to speak at this meeting on Oct. 21, 2014. The commissioners asked if there was any reason to oppose it. The only commissioner to oppose it was Roger Tellinghuisen, from this area. I feel that the rest did not do their homework very well and did not represent the neighborhood of Dailey and Mudgett.
There was a petition signed by the residents of these two townships, which, if the commissioners would have looked at the addresses, represented residents living in a radius of 2.5 miles with the rifle range in the center, that opposed the rifle range. Land owners within a half mile also opposed the rifle range. Their forefathers bought the land for their families to have a get away and enjoy the wildlife — not to listen to a rifle range. These people who faithfully signed the petition against the rifle range all pay taxes to the county.
There were 64 signers in this petition. Our reasons for being against the rifle and trap shoot were:
(1) Devaluation of our property, as people do not want to buy property next to a shooting range.
(2) Safety of the public living close by.
(3) Water drainage into the Rum River would be contaminated with lead from the trap shoot if located to the north of the buildings.
(4) Violation of Minnesota Statute 617.80 Nuisance Law due to loud shooting noise day in and day out that would be intolerable for close neighbors.
The Planning Commission did a very good job, and was patient and fair listening to all the information presented. They voted yes for the antique store, gun repair shop and archery shoot, and voted no for the trap shoot and rifle range. I don’t believe anyone was ever against the antique store, gunsmith shop or archery shoot, but we are certainly against the trap shoot and rifle range.

Mary Ann Straka

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ECM Editorial: Voters will have final say on Tuesday, Nov. 4 Thu, 30 Oct 2014 22:00:58 +0000 Minnesotans traditionally vote in large numbers during midterm elections. Will the Tuesday, Nov. 4 elections once again place Minnesota among national leaders in turnout? If past history is repeated, the state will again be a leader, much as it was four years ago when the state led the nation in voter turnout with nearly 56 percent of registered voters casting ballots. That’s good, but far below the 71 percent of registered voters who turned out for the 2012 presidential election.
Midterm elections often don’t have the draw of presidential election years, but in many ways they are equally important. On the national level, control of the U.S. Senate and Congress is at stake. Minnesota’s eight Congressional representatives and one U.S. Senator will be elected. On the state level, Minnesotans must decide who will occupy the House of Representative chairs and who will fill the state’s top offices, including governor.
City, county and school board elections are also on the ballot, giving voters even more call to duty.
Voting helps chart the course of our government, provides an opportunity for residents to elect representatives who will stay the course or advocate for new ways leadership, and it exercises accountability at all levels of government.
Over the past two months, the ECM Publishers Editorial Board has researched and interviewed a long list of candidates who are seeking office this fall. During October, newspapers under the ECM flag have published endorsements of candidates within their respective circulation areas. Below is a recap of the endorsements made by the board. Endorsements were formed in seven of the eight Congressional districts.
1st Congressional District: Rep. Tim Walz, DFL.
2nd Congressional District: Mike Obermueller, DFL.
3rd Congressional District: Rep. Erik Paulsen, R.
4th Congressional District: Rep. Betty McCollum, DFL.
5th Congressional District: Rep. Keith Ellison, DFL.
6th Congressional District: Tom Emmer, R.
8th Congressional District: We chose to make a double endorsement of two outstanding candidates, incumbent Rep. Rick Nolan, DFL, and Republican challenger Stewart Mills III. Nolan is solidly liberal and Mills is solidly conservative. Both will be strong advocates for their respective positions.
Governor: Gov. Mark Dayton, DFL.
U.S. Senate: Sen. Al Franken, DFL.
The final say now rests in the hands of voters. Voting is a right that should never be taken for granted nor neglected. We urge all state residents who are eligible to vote to join the process on Tuesday, Nov. 4. An opinion of the ECM Publishers Editorial Board

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Nathan: Five questions to ask school board candidates, members Thu, 30 Oct 2014 22:00:01 +0000 Here are five questions you might want to ask school board candidates or members running for re-election this fall. Because schools play a huge role in making communities attractive places to live and work, you might also talk with the other board members, whose seats aren’t up for election, about these issues.
–Are you committed to a yearly survey of families, students, graduates, community residents, faculty and staff about what they see as major strengths and shortcomings of the district and its schools? Are you committed to publicly sharing the results? This survey could cover many topics, from school safety to staff morale, whether families feel welcome and respected, and whether there is widespread understanding and agreement with key priorities for the district.
–Are you committed to yearly sharing the major ways you, as board members, evaluate the district’s (and individual schools’) progress?  Part of this will be test scores and graduation rates. But there are many other measures that can be used, such as percentage of graduates who have to take remedial courses on entering some form of higher education, or strengths and shortcomings identified in the surveys mentioned above.
–What are your priorities for the district in the coming year? Why and how did you select these issues? No organization can do everything that it might like to do. So priorities must be established. Hopefully budgets are allocated to respond to the established priorities.
–What is your own experience with public education? (I’m indebted to St. Cloud Board Member Jerry Von Korff for this one.) How has your own experience influenced your work as a board member?
–Do you see yourself primarily as a representative of the community or as a representative of the school system? This is a key question. I’ve talked with many board members who start off seeing themselves as community representatives. But they come under great pressure to be spokespeople and advocates for the district. It does not have to be either-or. But the reason we elect board members is because we need them to represent us. This means sometimes questioning or challenging things that are (or are not) happening in the district overall or in some of the schools.
“Minnesota nice” sometimes hinders the kind of tough questions and concerns that need to be raised. But school board members need to blend praise for progress with a frank discussion of problems and priorities.
The goal of schools is not first and foremost to be an employer. Schools should be serving students, families and the broader community. But what employees, families, community residents and students think should be shared and used by effective school board members.
Understanding and using views, along with reviewing and using results, can help produce more successful schools.

Joe Nathan, formerly a Minnesota public school teacher, administrator and PTA president, directs the Center for School Change. Reactions are welcome at

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Welcome the newest reporter, Brielle Bredsten Thu, 30 Oct 2014 21:58:28 +0000 My name is Brielle Bredsten, and I look forward to my new position as a reporter for the Mille Lacs County Times.
Topics I will be covering include the Milaca schools, Faith Christian School and Community Christian School, arts and entertainment, as well as other community news and feature stories.
I moved to Princeton in May and married my college sweetheart in June. My husband and I live with our two cats and two dogs in a house on about 2 acres of land. We love the freedom of living where we do — what a change from the city life. op_Bredsten
I grew up in St. Francis and moved a total of five times in my life. The experience of living in a small town, then the suburbs and later moving to the city, helped determine what I really wanted from life, and that meant living in the country.
Most of my free time is spent outdoors. Some of my favorite hobbies include hunting, fishing, camping, riding ATVs and enjoying the fresh air while I’m out for a run. You could describe me as an adventurous soul.
Writing has always been a passion of mine. When it became time to choose my major in college, writing was a no-brainer. For fun and some extra money, I submitted articles to Metro State’s monthly student newspaper, The Metropolitan. After two years of working for the paper I became the editor. It was great to be surrounded by other writers and learn about the production process.
Last December I graduated with a degree in professional writing and technical communication, with minors in creative writing and advertising from Metropolitan State University. It is exciting to utilize my schooling. Along with reporting for the Mille Lacs County Times, I’ll also be writing for the Isanti County News.
On the side, I am working on a “Choose Your Own Ending” children’s book to tap into my creative side.
I am very grateful for the opportunity to join the team here at the Mille Lacs County Times. It is so exciting to be able to grow in the community and learn about the area I now call “home.”
Please feel free to introduce yourself or suggest story ideas to 763-691-6017 or send me an email at

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Be thankful this month at the Milaca Library Thu, 30 Oct 2014 21:56:07 +0000 According to The American Heritage Dictionary (Fifth Edition) in the Milaca Community Library’s reference collection, gratitude is defined as “The state of being grateful; thankfulness.” Let’s enter November, the month of Thanksgiving (and turkey), with a sense of gratitude, taking time to acknowledge all we have to appreciate. I’ll get us started: I’m thankful to work in a community that so generously supports its public library. All of you contributed, in big and small ways, to making this library what it is today, and for that I am grateful.

Milaca Community Library librarian Lisa Wagner is excited about her new position and has “all kinds of ideas” moving forward.

Milaca Community Library librarian Lisa Wagner

Titles to Check Out this Month (all titles can be found in our system):
November is National Novel Writing Month. The following books are about writing novels:
1) Words for Pictures: the Art and Business of Writing Comics and Graphic Novels by Brian Michael Bendis
2) Writing the Paranormal Novel: Techniques and Exercises for Weaving Supernatural Elements into your Story by Steven Harper
3) 90 Days to your Novel: a Day-by-Day Plan for Outlining & Writing your Book by Sarah Domet
4) Writing Fiction for Dummies by Randy Scott Ingermanson
5) You Can Write a Novel by James V. Smith
6) The Everything Guide to Writing your First Novel: All the Tools you need to Write and Sell your First Novel by Hallie Ephron
7) The Complete Handbook of Novel Writing by the editors of Writer’s Digest Books
8) How Not to Write a Novel: 200 Classic Mistakes and How to Avoid them–a Misstep-by-Misstep Guide by Howard Mittelmark
Library Events this Month (all events are free, unless otherwise noted):
October 31st- November 8th, library open hours – The 2nd Annual Milaca Friends of the Library Silent Auction will be taking place at the Milaca Community Library. Bidding will close at 2:30p.m. November 8th, so bid early, and bid often!
November 7th- November 8th, library open hours – The Milaca Friends of the Library will be hosting a book sale! We’ve received some very generous donations over the past couple months, so this book sale is going to be a big one! Hardcover titles will go for $1.00, Paperbacks will be on sale for $0.25, Children’s items will cost $0.10, CDs and VHS will be $0.25, and DVDs will be priced at $0.50. Come take a look at what’s going to be a huge selection, and possibly pick up some Christmas gifts while you’re at it!
November 11th – The library will be CLOSED for Veteran’s Day.
November 19th, noon – The Milaca Friends of the Library will be meeting! Join us for fellowship and discussion of current library events!
November 27th – The library will be CLOSED for Thanksgiving. Happy Thanksgiving, and safe travels!
Thursdays, 10:30a.m. – Join us for Preschool Storytime here at the Milaca Community Library! We will not have storytime on Thanksgiving.
Frequently Asked Question(s):
Do you have a meeting room?
We get this question a lot. The answer: it depends on the size of your meeting. We have a study room available here at the library that comfortably seats three people. If you’re getting together for a tutoring session or brief meeting with a client or customer, give us a call to reserve the room. We recommend calling one to two weeks in advance, but if you want to set aside space sooner than that, feel free to do so. Otherwise, if the door is open and nobody is using the space, it’s available.
If you would like to host larger meetings, we, unfortunately, do not have space. If you’re willing to do a little driving, the Princeton Library has a meeting room. There is also meeting space available at City Hall here in town, to provide another option. Keep in mind that local churches might also be willing to make space available, if they are able.
While I wish we could offer meeting space here at the library to meet your needs, we are simply unable to. I hope the suggested alternatives help as you make plans and put meetings together.
Do you have a question about the library? Contact us by phone at 320-983-3677 or by e-mail at!

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Milaca Police Report: Oct. 20-26 Thu, 30 Oct 2014 21:54:48 +0000 The Milaca Police Department received the following calls Oct. 20-26. The listed times are when the calls were received and not necessarily when incidents occurred. Compiled by Joel Stottrup.
Monday, Oct. 20
2:19 p.m. Juvenile complaint Highway 23 W.
2:23 p.m. Request to removed unwanted person.
2:24 p.m. Juvenile issue at school.
4 p.m. Deceased dog removed from roadway at Highway 23 and 4th Ave. SE.
4:30-6:01 p.m. Fifteen individual warnings given for speeding.
Tuesday, Oct. 21
12:23 a.m. Suspicious vehicle reported in area. Gone on arrival/unable to locate.
8:44 a.m. Verbal dispute with roommate.
2:54 p.m. Agency assist – male coming down from heroin use. Released to responsible party.
Wednesday, Oct. 22
11:03 a.m. Harassing text messages.
3:32 p.m. Agency assist – accident at Highway 169 and Central Avenue.
Thursday, Oct. 23
6:55 a.m. Agency assist – collision at Highway 169 and 80th Street.
8:04 a.m. Tire on vehicle vandalized.
9:41 a.m. Juvenile complaint
12:14 p.m. Theft on 4th Ave. NE.
2:34 p.m. Removed unwanted/ suspicious male loitering.
2:40 p.m. Agency assist – suicidal party with possible firearm.
5:18 p.m. Removed unwanted/homeless person harassing customers.
10:06 p.m. remove unwanted subject that has been roaming around town all day.
11:12 p.m. Suspicious activity – flashlight seen at vacant property.
Friday, Oct. 24
2:49 a.m. Disturbance
7:43 a.m. Disturbance
11:25 a.m. Suspicious activity on 3rd Ave. SE.
4:47 p.m. Disturbance
Saturday, Oct. 25
2:07 a.m. Agency assist with DWI
11:27 a.m. Barking dog complaint
Sunday, Oct. 26
1:59 a.m. Noise complaint
10:58 a.m. Animal complaint
5:11 p.m. Criminal damage to property

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Swimmer Hendrickson earns two all-conference titles Thu, 30 Oct 2014 21:45:05 +0000 The Milaca Wolves’ Chloe Hendrickson made a huge splash in the pool at the Granite Ridge Conference meet at Becker High School on Saturday, Oct. 25
Hendrickson earned All-Conference in the 200 individual medley and the 100 backstroke.
Rachel Airhart also had a good meet, earning All-Conference Honorable Mention in the 200 freestyle while Tara Airhart earned All-Conference Honorable Mention in diving.
Ashley Cassens, Tara Airhart, Breanna Mehrwerth and Rachel Airhart each earned All-Conference Honorable Mention in the 200 free relay.
Milaca saw four more girls – Vanessa Deerberg, Emma Johnson, Agnes Palm-Fulep, and Alexis Tesch – qualify for the section swim meet in their individual events.
As a team, the Wolves placed third at the conference meet.
Milaca finished sixth in the 200-yard medley relay as Hendrickson, Ashley Cassens, Erika Maalis, and Ellie Hartung combined to finish in a time of 2:09.97.
In the girls’ 200-yard freestyle, Rachel Airhart finished third (2:14.20), followed by Tesch (12th, 2:22.01) and Madison Shores (17th, 2:28.46).
The girls’ 200-yard IM saw Hendrickson place second with a time of 2:31.40, which was ahead of teammates Abby Forker (15th, 2:50.13), Johnson (18th, 2:58.65) and Michelle Crandall (20th, 3:01.73).
The girls’ 50-yard freestyle had Mehrwerth finish seven with a time of 27.53. Her teammates in the race included Tara Airhart (ninth, 27.73), Kate Maneloff (15th, 29:13) and Becca Johnson (20th, 30.23).
Tara Airhart also competed in the girls’ one-meter diving, placing fourth with a finals score of 320.80. Jaedyn Kollar was 11th (2:37.05) while Stephanie Fulin was 14th (175.40).
In the girls’ 100-yard butterfly, Cassens was ninth with a finals time of 1:13.25, followed by Deerberg (1:18.27), Michelle Crandall (1:19.94), and Johnson (1:20.99).
The girls’ 100-yard freestyle saw Rachel Airhart place sixth with a time of 1:00.32 while Mehrwerth was eighth (1:00.72). Other Wolves’ swimmers included Tesch (13th, 1:03.76) and Kate Maneloff (14th, 1:03.98).
In the girls’ 500-yard freestyle, Milaca’s Kayla Trigg was 18th with a time of 7:08.35 while Erin Hackenmueller was 20th (7:14.82), Merrissa Peterson was 22nd (7:19.87), and Emma Eidsvoog was 23rd (7:30.37).
In the girls’ 200-yard freestyle relay, Milaca’s team of Cassens, Mehrwerth, and Tara and Rachel Airhart finished second with a time of 1:48.67.
The Wolves’ combination of Tesch, Becca and Hannah Johnson, and Kate Maneloff, meanwhile, was sixth, finishing at 1:56.55.
In the girls’ 100-yard backstroke, Hendrickson was second (1:11.09), followed by Cassens (11th, 1:14.79), Abby Forker (14th, 1:17.33) and Madison Shores (15th, 1:18.53)
The girls’ 100-yard breast stroke race saw Erika Maalis place 10th with a time of 1:23.67, followed by Emma Johnson (13th, 1:27.32) and Palm-Fulep (16th, 1:28.48).
Milaca placed third in the 400 freestyle relay as Tara Airhart, Hendrickson, Mehrwerth, and Rachel Airhart finished in 4:01.93.

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