Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Southwest Side Neighborhood Calendar


Tuesday, August 26th 23rd Ward Back 2 School Giveaway
Runs from 3 to 6 p.m. at the Connolly-Victory VFW Post 3940, 3743 W. 63rd St. Backpacks, school supplies, haircuts, treats for 23rd Ward residents. Click flyer below for details!


Tuesday, August 26th CAPS Beat 813/833 Meeting
Starts at 7:00 p.m. at West Lawn Park, 4233 West 65th Street. Monthly meeting. Open to the public. Want to work directly with Chicago Police to prevent crime in your neighborhood? If you live in Beat 813 or 833 (see map), attend this meeting! Hear updates on crime in your neighborhood and learn how you can work with neighbors and police to make the community safer and better for all.



Wednesday, August 27th Midway Garden Society
Starts at 6:00 p.m. at the Clearing Branch Library, 6423 West 63rd Place. Runs until
8:00 p.m. Monthly meeting. The Society hosts guest speakers and also conducts plant exchanges, publishes a newsletter, stages an annual Urban Garden Walk every summer, and works to make the Midway area a more beautiful and peaceful place by encouraging gardening among people of all ages. Check them out!

Wednesday, August 27th 23rd Ward TIF Illumination--You've Got 6 TIFs!
Starts at 6 p.m. in the auditorium at Kennedy High School, 56th and Narragansett. You've been reading about TIFs. Now come learn what they are and how they work. Presenters will lay out the basics and show how important TIFs are across the city. Then we'll break down the details of TIF activity in the 23rd Ward. You'll learn how much money has been extracted from the ward and you'll learn who had been paid with TIF funds, according to organizers.The presenter is Tom Tresser, lead organizer for the TIF Illumination Project, which has been explaining the impacts of TIFs on the ward level across the city for the past 18 months. Sponsored by: Student 4 Better Democracy, with the support of the Friends of Martin Arteaga.

Wednesday, September 3rd Vittum Park Civic League
Starts at 7:00 p.m. at Vittum Park, 5010 West 50th Street. Monthly meeting. Open to the public. If you live in or own a business in Vittum Park, stop by and get active!


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Wednesday, September 3rd CAPS Beat 815/821 Meeting
Starts at 7:00 p.m. at St. Bruno School (south entrance), 4839 South Harding. Monthly meeting. Open to the public. Want to work directly with Chicago Police to prevent crime in your neighborhood? If you live in Beat 815 or 821 (see map), attend this meeting! Hear updates on crime in your neighborhood and learn how you can work with neighbors and police to make the community safer and better for all.


Thursday, September 4th CAPS Beat 834 Meeting
Starts at 7:00 p.m. at Bogan High School, 3939 West 79th Street. Monthly meeting. Open to the public. Want to work directly with Chicago Police to prevent crime in your neighborhood? If you live in Beat 834 (see map), attend this meeting! Hear updates on crime in your neighborhood and learn how you can work with neighbors and police to make the community safer and better for all.

Wednesday, September 10th CAPS Beat 812 Meeting
Starts at 7:00 p.m. at the St. Symphorosa Church, 6135 South Austin. Monthly meeting. Open to the public. Want to work directly with Chicago Police to prevent crime in your neighborhood? If you live in Beat 812 (see map), attend this meeting! Hear updates on crime in your neighborhood and learn how you can work with neighbors and police to make the community safer and better for all.

Wednesday, September 10th Archer Heights Civic Association
Starts at 7:30 p.m. at the UNO Veterans Memorial Campus, 47th and Kildare. One of Chicago's oldest and most effective neighborhood organizations--more than 75 years of fighting for a better neighborhood! If you live in and/or own a business in Archer Heights, this is the group to join and get active with. Hear updates on a wide range of community concerns and learn how you can help build a better Archer Heights for everyone.

Wednesday, September 10th Honor Flight Chicago
Held in the evening at the first-floor baggage claim area of Midway Airport, 57th and
Cicero. Want to join hundreds of other people to applaud, cheer, whistle and shout your thanks to World War II veterans returning from a day in Washington, D.C.? Well, please do! Patriotic, pep rally-like atmosphere. The vets usually arrive at about 9-9:30 p.m., but to get a good spot in the cheering throng, you should arrive at about 7-7:30 p.m., Entire event hosted by the Honor Flight Chicago organization, which gives Chicago-area military veterans (primarily World War II) free round-trip air transportation (as well as VIP treatment) to Washington, D.C. to tour the National World War II Memorial. Chick here to read a story about an Honor Flight Chicago participant. Can't make this event? After this just one more Honor Flight coming this year: October 29.


Thursday, September 11th CAPS Beat 814 Meeting
Starts at 7:00 p.m. at Vittum Park, 5010 West 50th Street. Monthly meeting. Open to the public. Want to work directly with Chicago Police to prevent crime in your neighborhood? If you live in Beat 814 (see map), attend this meeting! Hear updates on crime in your neighborhood and learn how you can work with neighbors and police to make the community safer and better for all.

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Monday, September 15th Garfield Ridge Neighborhood Watch
Starts at 7:00 p.m. outdoors at St. Daniel the Prophet Parish, 53rd and Natoma.
Monthly meeting. Open to the public. One of Chicago's most active and effective citizen-led crime fighting groups. If you live or own a business in central or western Garfield Ridge (anything west of Central Avenue), this is the group to join! Invited guest speakers this month are 14th Ward Alderman Edward M. Burke, 13th Ward Alderman Marty Quinn and 23rd Ward Alderman Michael R. Zalewski.


Tuesday, September 16th CAPS Beat 811 Meeting

Starts at 7:00 p.m. at Good Shepherd Presbyterian Church, 5550 South Merrimac. Monthly meeting. Open to the public. Want to work directly with Chicago Police to prevent crime in your neighborhood? If you live in Beat 811 (see map), attend this meeting! Hear updates on crime in your neighborhood and learn how you can work with neighbors and police to make the community safer and better for all.


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Monday, August 25, 2014

Crime News Update


Editor's note: The crime news reported by the Southwest Chicago Post---taken directly from Chicago Police Department incident reports---is not by any means an exhaustive catalogue of all crime reported in the Chicago Lawn (8th) District. For example, it typically does not include news of crimes committed in the eastern and southern sectors of the district---because the Southwest Chicago Post's coverage area is primarily the neighborhoods that border Midway Airport and secondarily because including the relatively large volume of crime news from elsewhere in the district would be a logistical challenge. We make this note to offer a little helpful perspective and remind everyone that while crime is definitely a concern in all parts of the district (as it always has been), crime remains relatively low overall in Sector 1. May all of us work together diligently to keep it that way. May all of us also remember that a person charged with a crime is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.


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A 27-year-old Gage Park man is credited by police with chasing, disarming and
Wojciech Muzia
apprehending a 23-year-old West Elsdon man who allegedly robbed a woman at gunpoint at about 2 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 23.

Wojciech Muzia of 59th and Lawndale is charged with aggravated robbery and is set to appear in Cook County Circuit Court Branch 48, 155 W. 51st St., on Friday, Aug. 29.

The victim, a 37-year-old West Lawn woman, told police that she was accosted by Muzia on the sidewalk in front of 3709 W. 59th St. He allegedly asked, “What’s you name, b~tch?” and said “Give me your f~cking money” while brandishing a handgun that turned out to be a Daisy brand pellet gun, according to police.

The victim said she told Muzia that she had no money, but that he could have her purse, which he allegedly took.

The 27-year-old Gage Park man, who told police he witnessed the crime, was armed with a pistol and holds a concealed carry permit. He said he confronted Muzia and ordered him to drop his weapon. Muzia then allegedly threw his weapon under a car parked nearby and fled on foot. The witness said he chased Muzia, tackled him and held him until police arrived.


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Want to work directly with Chicago Police to prevent crime in your neighborhood? If you live in Beat 813 or 833 (see map), come to West Lawn Park at 7:00 p.m. Tuesday, August 26. Hear updates on crime in your neighborhood and learn how you can work with neighbors and police to make the community safer and better for all.


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Two men said by police to be gangbangers were arrested and charged with assault after they allegedly threatened a 23-year-old Clearing man as he walked down a sidewalk in front of 6255 S. Neenah at 4:22 p.m. Monday, Aug. 18.

Blake I. Castro, 22, of 60th and Mulligan, and Jonathan Castro, 19, of Marquette Park, were apprehended by police after the allegedly shouted gang slogans at the victim and threatened him with crowbars.

The victim said he ran away, grabbing a brick along the way to defend himself. Castro also was charged with possession of narcotics, police said, after they allegedly found a plastic bag containing pills in his vehicle. The victim is also a gang member, according to the police report.



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A 63-year-old Clearing man told police that he stumbled upon an intruder in his apartment near 62nd and Oak Park at 12:07 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 23. He told police that the man, an 18-20-year-old friend of his daughter, had broken a lock on his bedroom door and stole a Nintendo Wii video game console before fleeing on foot. The victim shared the man’s name with police, who were investigating.

While a 46-year-old West Lawn man worked outside his house near 62nd and Kedvale at 5:40 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 20, burglars pried open the back door and stole $900 cash from a spot in the kitchen, he reported to police.

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Burglars entered the unlocked service door of a garage near 64th and Meade and stole a bag of tools, two bicycles and a Movado watch. The crime was discovered by the victim, a 39-year-old woman, at 7 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 23.

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Burglars entered the rear window of a home near 56th and Tripp and stole a laptop computer and an air conditioning unit. The crime was discovered by the victim, a 60-year-old woman, at 3:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 21.

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Burglars kicked in the service door of a garage near 51st and Lorel and stole a bicycle and a hand jack, as well as damaged a 2011 Subaru parked inside. The crime was discovered by the victim, a 23-year-old woman, when she came home from work at 4 p.m. Monday, Aug. 18.


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Sunday, August 24, 2014

Chicago Glass Blocks: Proven Protection From Floods for Homes and Businesses


Sudden summer storms seem to cause serious flooding in the Chicago area every few years or so.

With sewers overloaded by torrential rain, storm water has no place to go but in yards and basements.

“When I moved to Burbank 25 years ago, I thought we’d never flood, because the real estate agent told us the neighborhood was on a ridge and that the Deep Tunnel project just about guaranteed no flooding,” said homeowner Tom O’Shea.

“What we learned—the hard way—is that a lot of this area is lowland that was marshes and swamps a hundred years ago,” he added.

O’Shea added that his basement flooded in a summer storm in 1996, which he thought was a fluke. Nonetheless, he spent a good deal of money on a flood control system to ensure that his basement would never again fill with sewer backup.

“But then a few years later, it happened again,” he added. “I didn’t get any sewer water, but the rain water outside was so high that it was coming in my old (single-pane glass) basement windows. I thought, ‘That’s it. Time for glass block windows.’ So I had them installed two weeks later, and no problems since.”

Endorsed by both the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, glass block windows offer a smart and simple strategy to fight flooding and protect property—both for homeowners and businesses.

In addition to protection from the elements, glass block windows offer many other benefits.

“The right glass blocks can add a whole new dimension of beauty on the outside and soft natural light on the inside,” says Carol Basic, a Southwest Side resident and owner of Chicago Glass Blocks, headquartered near Midway Airport. “Plus they add value to your home, and they are generally maintenance free.”

Chicago Glass Blocks creates and installs custom-made windows using top-quality Pittsburgh Corning glass block, the only glass block manufactured in the U.S. The company is the only Pittsburgh Corning distributor in the Chicago area.

The company also is known for using superior mortar mixed to manufacturer's specs, a high-quality blend of Type I Portland cement and lime. This, Basic says, is unlike the big-box, discount home improvement stores, where the glass blocks are stuck together with merely a fraction of an inch of caulk.

Celebrating its 27th anniversary this year, Chicago Glass Blocks is locally owned and managed by a family with decades of experience in masonry and masonry restoration for homes and businesses. Well known and highly respected in the Chicago-area construction industry, the Basic Family has a deep understanding of local construction methods and materials, enabling them to quickly and accurately assess your home or business needs. Their highly trained technicians--mostly family members and all area residents--who will come to your home are fully insured and leave your home in better shape than they found it.

To learn more about Chicago Glass Blocks, call (773) 581-5081 for a free energy consultation from a friendly, experienced expert.




Chicago Glass Blocks owner Carol Basic (left) and her daughter, Michelle Basic, assist customers at the family business that is celebrating its 27th anniversary. For more information, call (773) 581-5081.

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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Crime News Update

Editor's note: The crime news reported by the Southwest Chicago Post---taken directly from Chicago Police Department incident reports---is not by any means an exhaustive catalogue of all crime reported in the Chicago Lawn (8th) District. For example, it typically does not include news of crimes committed in the eastern and southern sectors of the district---because the Southwest Chicago Post's coverage area is primarily the neighborhoods that border Midway Airport and secondarily because including the relatively large volume of crime news from elsewhere in the district would be a logistical challenge. We make this note to offer a little helpful perspective and remind everyone that while crime is definitely a concern in all parts of the district (as it always has been), crime remains relatively low overall in Sector 1. May all of us work together diligently to keep it that way. May all of us also remember that a person charged with a crime is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. 

* * *

A 22-year-old West Elsdon woman was arrested and charged with aggravated battery after she allegedly slammed a door on police officers, kicked an officer in the chest twice, and made verbal threats while in the Eighth District police station.

Reyna Perez of 55th and Kostner is set to answer charges in Cook County Circuit Court Branch 60, 555 W. Harrison, on Thursday, Aug. 28, according to the Cook County Department of Corrections.

Police responding to a call of a domestic disturbance near 55th and Kostner at 2:10 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 14, said that Perez was combative and resisted arrest. While in the station, she allegedly said to a police officer, "You white f~cking b~tch, wait 'til I get out. I'm going to shoot you in the head, right between the eyes," according to the CPD incident report.

Perez's four-year-old daughter was turned over to the child's grandmother, a Cicero woman, according to police.

* * *

A 68-year-old Clearing woman thwarted a pair of burglars when she confronted them in the basement of her apartment near 63rd Place and Major. She told police that the duo, a man and woman, broke her basement window at about 6 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 16. She saw them stacking tools to be stolen, and when they saw her, they ran away. The victim told police she knows them from the neighborhood and gave police their names. They are both 20-22 years old and white, according to the victim.


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A 42-year-old man from the Central Illinois town of Chatsworth was arrested and charged
Webster Fisher Jr.
with aggravated assault after he allegedly threatened a 24-year-old West Elsdon man with a knife blade.


The victim said he saw Webster Fisher Jr. attempting to pry open the front storm door of a vacant, bank-owned house near 55th Place and Lawndale at 10:29 a.m. Friday, Aug. 15. When he hollered across the street to confront him, Fisher allegedly walked toward the victim in a menacing manner, before putting the blade in his car, police said.

Bond was set at $15,000, and Fisher is scheduled to appear in Cook County Circuit Court Branch 34, 155 W. 51st St., on Wednesday, Aug. 27.

* * *

Want to work directly with Chicago Police to prevent crime in your neighborhood? If you live in Beat 813 or 833 (see map), come to West Lawn Park at 7:00 p.m. Tuesday, August 26. Hear updates on crime in your neighborhood and learn how you can work with neighbors and police to make the community safer and better for all.



Four thugs robbed La MontaƱa convenience store, 4201 W. 59th St., at 10:15 a.m. Friday, Aug. 15. The quartet walked into the store, accosted a 17-year-old clerk and demanded that he give them $150 cash. One flashed a handgun.

The clerk complied, and the robbers fled on foot west on 59th Street. They are described only as young Hispanic men.


* * *

David Cevallos
A 22-year-old Gage Park man is being held without bond and charged with aggravated assault of an off-duty police officer. David Cevallos of 52nd and Whipple allegedly threatened the victim with a gun during an argument on the street near 63rd and Springfield at 6:17 p.m. Friday, Aug. 15.

Cevallos then reportedly fled on a bicycle. Police combing the area said they found his bike in the alley behind 3802 W. 59th Place. A short time later Cevallos was found hiding in a minivan parked in a nearby garage, according to police. The Cook County Department of Corrections page on Cevallos does not indicate a court date.


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A 62-year-old Vittum Park man visiting a friend fought off two robbers—a man and a woman--who tried to steal his bicycle as it stood in a front yard near 49th and Leclaire at 1:50 p.m. Friday, Aug. 15.

Just before the pair fled on foot, the male attacker hit the victim in the face with a pair of pliers. The victim had several cuts to his face, but refused medical treatment, police said. 

The criminals are described as a white woman age 18, 5’6 and 130 pounds, blond hair and fair complexion. The other is a Hispanic man age 18, 5’8 and 160 pounds, with short black hair and a fair complexion.


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A 54-year-old Archer Heights woman told police that a thug snatched a gold chain off her neck as she sat on the front porch of her home near 48th and Komensky at 2:15 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 14. After snatching the chain, the robber ran north on Komensky. The victim had cuts on a finger and her knees, but refused medical treatment, according to police.

The crook is described as a Hispanic man age 18, 5’5 and 130 pounds, brown eyes, short black hair, medium complexion, with a scar under his left eye.

* * *

A 60-year-old Archer Heights man told police that he was robbed of $1,300 in rent money on the sidewalk in front of 4780 S. Archer at 2 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 12. He said he had just withdrawn $500 from a nearby ATM and had another $800 cash in his pocket.

He said he was riding his bike home when two thugs on bikes came up behind him, cut him off and blocked his path. He was told to relax and stay still while they went through his pockets and then rode away.

The criminals are described only as Hispanic men age 25-27.


* * *

A 23-year-old Burbank man, said by police to be a gangbanger, was charged with unlawful possession of a handgun during an incident in the Scottsdale neighborhood. Police said that Izais Gomez of 78th and Rutherford was carrying a handgun as he rode in a car near 83rd and Keeler at 11:55 a.m. Friday, Aug. 15. The other two alleged gangbangers were Antonio Higareda, 23, of 72nd and Springfield, and Josue Gurrola, 23, of 72nd and Millard, police added. They were charged with disorderly conduct.


* * *

Burglars forced open the service door of a garage near 64th Place and Major and stole a set of motorcycle keys, a TV, and a car radio. The crime was discovered by the victim, a 28-year-old woman, at 8 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 14.


Burglars entered a garage near 49th and Kolin and stole a car stereo from a 2002 Honda Civic parked inside. The crime was discovered by the victim, a 34-year-old man, at 9 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 13. The victim added that the burglar “destroyed” the car’s dashboard.

* * *

Burglars forced open a side window of John Hancock College Preparatory High School, 4034 W. 56th St., and stole a two-drawer file cabinet and a portable computer hard drive backup from the discipline office. The crime was discovered by a 28-year-old school social worker at 7 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 13.

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A 21-year-old Clearing man was charged with battery after he allegedly pushed a police officer attempting to pat him down. Ernest Zepeda Jr. allegedly committed the crime at his home near 63rd Place and Linder at 9:31 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 13. Police were responding to a “man with a gun” call to Zepeda’s address. He is set to appear in court on Oct. 3, police said.


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An 85-year-old Clearing man was bilked and/or bullied out of $3,400 by two men posing as home repair contractors. The victim’s daughter told police that the offenders were going door to door near 64th Place and Austin on Tuesday, Aug. 5 and told the victim that they could repair cracks in his sidewalk for $200. Later, after they patched the cracks in a slapdash manner, they demanded payment of $4,000. The victim balked, and the price was lowered to $3,400. The offenders then accompanied the man to a nearby Fifth Third Bank branch to withdraw the funds. Against the advice of a teller, the victim withdrew 34 $100 bills and handed them over to the repair scammers. They are described only as white men age 35-45.

* * *

Burglars broke the lock on the front door of OEM Air Compressor headquarters, 4600 S. Kolin, entered and stole two air compressors and a blow torch. The crime was discovered by an employee at 7 a.m. Friday, Aug. 8.

* * *

Burglars broke the window of a garage near 51st and Lawndale and stole a kicker box and an amplifier. The crime was discovered by the victim, a 26 year-year-old man, when he came home from work at 5:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 8.


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A group of teenagers burglarized two truck trailers parked at 6248 S. Gullikson (just east of Harlem) at 8:45 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 12. Police responding to a call said they saw 8-10 white teens age 15-18 at the site, with four pallets of plastic bottles already stacked on the ground.

They fled when spotted. All escaped, and two police officers received minor injuries while in foot pursuit.


Burglars forced open the overhead door of a garage near 51st and Leclaire and stole a mountain bike. The crime was discovered by the victim, a 41-year-old woman, when she returned from vacation at 11 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 10.


* * *

Burglars entered a garage near 64th and Central and stole a GPS unit from a car parked inside. The victim, a 41-year-old woman, said she heard noises coming from the garage at about 3 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 13, but did not investigate until four hours later.


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Burglars pried open the front door of an apartment near 47th and Springfield and stole assorted jewelry and $200 cash. The crime was discovered by the victim, a 55-year-old woman, when she returned from shopping at 3 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 7.


* * *


Burglars entered a garage near 55th Place and Lawndale and stole an air compressor. The crime was discovered by the victim, a 38-year-old man, at 11 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 5.

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Burglars entered a garage near 54th and Harding and stole a welding mask, three bicycles, a power washer, a stereo system, a lawn mower, a car jack, a power saw, a screw gun, four extension cords and a snow blower. The crime was discovered by the victim, a 44-year-old woman, at 12:30 p.m. Monday, Aug. 4.


Burglars entered a garage near 54th and Springfield and stole assorted power tools, a cooler, a ladder, a vacuum, four bicycles, an air compressor, a grass edger and a power washer. The crime was discovered by the victim, a 44-year-old man, at 4 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 5.

* * *

Burglars entered a garage near 51st and Lawndale and stole a lawn mower, a snow thrower, a propane grill, two bicycles, a power washer, an air compressor and a drill. The crime was discovered by the victim, a 56-year-old woman, at 5 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 5.

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Burglars entered the unlocked service door of a garage near 54th and Springfield and stole two bicycles, a lawn mower and a weed whacker. The crime was discovered by the victim, a 69-year-old man, at 2 p.m. Monday, Aug. 4.


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