Byrd Stewart Memorial Scholarship
Sponsored by the Randolph County Association of Volunteer Fire Department
The Randolph County Association of Volunteer Fire Departments has created a scholarship in his honor. Below is information about this scholarship.
- $1,000 scholarship will be awarded for the 2020-2021 academic year to one Randolph County senior
- A minimum cumulative unweighted GPA of 3.0, or the equivalent average
- Will consider factors including scholastic achievement, participation in extracurricular and civic activities, involvement in the community, personal recommendations, and family history in the fire service
- Applicants must complete and sign the scholarship application and provide a sealed high school transcript, SAT and/or ACT scores (if available) and two letters of recommendation
-- One letter should be from a teacher or school official, and
-- One should be from an unrelated person in the community
- Scholarship awards may be used only for tuition, fees, room, board and/or books charged by the university, college, community college or trade school (including the Alabama Fire College) in which recipient is enrolled. The scholarship payment will be made directly to the school for the recipient’s account
See your school Guidance Counselor for an application package! Completed applications must be completed/submitted by Friday, May 1, 2020
Veterans Day by Charley Norton
I finished this story the day before Byrd Stewart passed away.I’m leaving the story just as it was written. I am so honored to have had the privilege to do this and get to know Byrds wonderful daughters. My heart goes out to this great family.
A Man of Character
I wonder how many people can say that they were born in World War I, lived through the Great Depression, fought in World War 2 and can speak of it today? Not many, if any, I’d say but we have such a person right here in Randolph County. His name is Mr. Byrd Stewart. At 103, he still lives at home, enjoys a good book, conversation and watching the birds outside his picture window.
Byrd Stewart enlisted in the Army in June of 1941, at the age of 25. He went in as a mechanic and as soon as his training was complete, he was loaded on the Queen Elizabeth, seeing the Statue of Liberty for the first time, and shipped off to Scotland to eventually join the 6th Cavalry Mechanized Division.
In his service, he witnessed the tragedy of war. The effects of bombs, bullets, fire and inhumanity were obvious everywhere. As his exit paperwork shows, he was there in the Battle of the Bulge in Normandy, Central Europe and Ardennes Rhineland. In all, he was in three different campaigns that were called the Bronze Service Star Campaigns.
For his service, Sgt Stewart earned the Bronze Star as well as the European-African- Middle Eastern service medal with one silver star.
To read more about Mr. Stewart, pick up your copy of Southern Holiday Life.
Tags: #Community #Local Flavor #CharleyNorton
On a sunny, fall-like Wednesday afternoon in October, the Lake Wedowee Property Owners Association and all of their volunteers stopped for a meal at Rice Pavilion at Lake Wedowee. The 37 volunteers had just wrapped up another solid day of cleaning trash and other debris around the lake, as part of the “Renew Our Rivers” campaign, that has just wrapped up their 27th year.
Following the wonderful lunch of ham and cheese sandwiches, Brunswick stew, and cookies provided by WM Grocery; Sheila Smith, Bob May, as well as Marlon and Betty Glover, sat down for a discussion on how far the campaign has come over the last two decades, and how much the local community has helped the cause.
Today’s journey has improved since beginning in 1992, says Bob May, one of the organizers of “Renew our Rivers.” May says that the effort began with less than 10 people on one boat, and would last upwards of six days, from 8 AM to dark.
“We would spend two days just on one cove, it was a lot of work,” says May of the first lake cleanup. “I’d lose ten pounds in the week that we were doing it.”
Not only has the number of volunteers increased, but the amount of trash collected has dropped since the project began.
Marlon Glover told us that the number of refrigerators, washing machines, tires, and even stranger items such as bowling balls were alarming.
More volunteers began to come out, and the event became more organized and was then given the title of “the Tallapoosa Trashout,” says Sheila Smith of the Alabama Power Shorelines, who has also been a part of the efforts since the inception. Alabama Power then began to consolidate all 37 cleanup efforts into one campaign and became what it is known today as “Renew our Rivers” 19 years ago.
The Lake Wedowee version of “Renew our Rivers” has been called the most organized lake cleanup efforts in the state, and it all goes back to the volunteers.
In 2018, “Renew our Rivers” on Lake Wedowee averaged 36 volunteers per day, ranging from members of the Lake Wedowee Property Owners Association to community members who took a few vacation days to help out. Even the Randolph County High School fishing club sent members out to help with cleanup efforts.
The volunteering does not stop at just cleanup. Local restaurants and grocery stores have donated food and water to volunteers, and others have donated boats to provide transportation around the lake.
“This community is wonderful at donating,” says Betty Glover. Mrs. Glover took the time to thank Lakeside Marina, WM Grocery’s deli, and Crystal Barnes with Hunter Bend Realty for feeding the volunteers, in addition to Small Town Bank and Perryland Foods, who donated water and snacks respectively.
“Renew our Rivers” has also seen an abundance of boats donated to aid in cleanup efforts. Randy Morris at Wedowee Marine donated three boats, as well as gas; Alabama Power and other local donations had the number up to nine donated boats.
From humble beginnings filled with bologna sandwiches and six-day efforts to a growth in community involvement, “Renew our Rivers” is stronger than ever. Marlon, Betty, Bill, and Sheila all say that the event is more than just collecting trash and providing a better lake for residents and wildlife, it has become a fun experience full of memories and meeting others who share a love for our lake.
For more information on “Renew Our Rivers”, as well as everything going on with the Lake Wedowee Property Owners Association, visit www.lakewedoweepoa.com
Are You Looking For Santa K?
For many, many years and trips back and forth from the North Pole visiting places where I could have stayed I kept coming back to Lake Wedowee. I always have the best time here with my crew from the far north region and decided to make this our annual stay over, during our off season. Fishing, sunshine, friendly people, hospitality on & on I could go but Lake Wedowee is the place to be.
A typical day for Santa K at Lake Wedowee...First I am awakened by my Elf Alarm. I jump up with glee for a new day on the lake. I normally will have my hot cocoa, (not too hot, shaken not stirred and strong with chocolate.) Today I have some of my elves helping me at the secret reindeer barn. We must replace some of the oatmeal and carrot feeders, which I need wood and nails for. I always stop at Wedowee Building Supply for everything to build with. Of course, I know everyone there from delivering toys when they were children. Most of them were on the nice list but, of course not all of them. HO HO HO Joe and all the boys are so helpful with advise and great prices. They even have a special parking place for my sleigh.
We are so anxious to get to work but, I haven’t had my special coffee and morning delights yet so, we are off to Miss Amber’s Main Street Coffee Shop for that. They are always open early and I know we can have goodies and lots of coffee and be on our way. I always love smiling faces and I know Miss Amber will give me that. Since this is a work day, we are packing our lunches so, we won’t have to stop. I’ve been there many times in the past and I love WM grocery. Santa’s favorite is always the homemade chicken pot pies...mmmm good! We load up with all we need, most importantly the cookies, (of course) and they have plenty to choose from!
When I was out on my boat the last time I almost ran out of gas so, I stopped at Wedowee Marina at 48 bridge to gas up. It was so easy to to get in and out. They have so many beautiful new boats to look at, I almost didn’t leave. Randy and his staff at all locations are easy to work with, they remain on my nice list, (at least for now.) HO HO HO
I want to especially thank Wedowee Life Magazine for all their help in telling me about this wonderful community and all the great people. They have been family for Santa K and the elves since all of them were kids and I delivered toys to them. I am so excited about living and playing at Lake Wedowee during my off season. Remember, if you see me on the water I will always have my Santa K hat on. Wave to me and if i can, I will stop and give you a special card, (just for you!) Well, it’s work time and it’s hot so, let us get hammering.
See you soon Santa K
Clay County Native Johnathan East Tells His Story
From Sunday afternoon jam sessions to producing music videos with one million-plus views, Clay County native Johnathan East tells his story, and shows his roots, through traditional country sound. The singer behind “A Little on the Redneck Side” and “American Farmer” among others, traces his motivation for making music back to when he was 13, listening to country legends on local radio. “There was a little radio station back then called 95 Country. They played a lot of old stuff, as well as the stuff that was popular at the time. I got into Hank (Williams) Jr.”
While East explained that he was not as confident in his songwriting as a teenager, that did not stop him from perfecting his craft through talent shows while making memories with close friends. “We had a little garage band in high school, and we were pretty bad,” says East. “But, it was a lot of fun at the time. We used to go to the Methodist church in Lineville on Sunday afternoons. We would go up there and practice all afternoon.”
Since then, East has broken out of his shell, and has written songs and uploaded music videos that have been viewed thousands of times on YouTube, with the most popular being “A Little on the Redneck Side”, which is on the verge of reaching four million views on the site. He and his band, the “Trailer Park Cowboys”, consisting of Seth Myers on bass, Mel Vance on lead guitar, and Jason Lovett on drums, tour across the south and sing songs that tell the story of everyday life in this part of the country, as well as a love for calling the Yellowhammer State home.
East used his signature style when writing his most recent single, “Too Much ‘Bama in Me”, a song that he says was inspired by an interview with WTDR-FM Radio, Thunder 92.7 in Oxford. “It started out like most interviews start out… “When are you going to move to Nashville?” says East. “I said that “I just love Alabama too much.” That started being my go-to answer.”
In the song, East answers the question by listing reasons for staying in Alabama including having the luxury of catching fish in Lake Guntersville and watching the sunset at Mt. Cheaha at his disposal. The title of the song comes from the ESPN “30 for 30” documentary “Roll Tide, War Eagle”, where Harvey Updyke, the man who poisoned the two oak trees at Toomer’s Corner on Auburn University’s campus in 2010, infamously said “I have too much ‘Bama in me” when answering the question of why he did it. “Too Much ‘Bama in Me” is a great song that describes the advantages to living in the “Heart of Dixie”, but East is not one to just “talk the talk.” While he performs his songs all over, there is one place that he loves playing, and it happens to be a favorite hangout amongst the locals.
“My favorite place to play, without a doubt, is Lynnie Bo’s. Just because it is two miles away from my house. It’s a really neat place to play and hang out. It’s not far from the lake.” East is currently recording new songs. While he is in the studio writing new material, he continues to play the songs that crowds love, plus some of his favorite covers, including “Midnight Rider” by the Allman Brothers. To catch Johnathan East live, visit his website “johnathaneast.com” and check tour dates, or just listen to your favorite song on YouTube, Spotify, iTunes, Amazon, or CDBaby.
News To Know by Taylor Jones
Discussions at a recent Alabama Community College System Board of Trustees work session has local residents rallying in support of Southern Union State Community College’s Wadley campus. On June 13, an item on the agenda of the monthly work session was presented by Susan Price, the Vice Chancellor for System Development and Strategic Advancement for the Alabama Community College System, on behalf of Southern Union Interim President Mark Ellard, who was not in attendance. The item was a request to move Southern Union’s main campus from Wadley to Opelika and would be voted on in mid-July, as first reported by Kara Coleman of the Opelika-Auburn News.
The proposal came as a surprise to many, including District 37 Representative, Bob Fincher. “I found out about it when people started messaging me, and I started getting phone calls from those who were present at the meeting (on June 13),” said Fincher in a phone call. “I did get a message that afternoon from the Chancellor’s office as to what had happened.” In the proposal, Price stated that the potential move would recognize Opelika as the main campus for purpose of correspondence, as well as financial aid by the U.S. Department of Education. Price also described the differences in population between Wadley and Opelika, as well as enrollment numbers
with Opelika’s campus serving more than 4,000 students, while Wadley has approximately 600 students. However, one quote from Price has caused confusion among the Southern Union service area. Once the proposal was voiced, an unknown member of the Board of Trustees asked Price if there was any pushback from the Wadley community in regards to this possible shift. Price said that Ellard had not expressed comments from the community, but felt that the numbers were enough to advance the item to the voting process. “I know that the Wadley staff, members of the community, are very supportive of this action item,” said Price. “They think that the data itself illustrates that it’s time for this change.” Carol Knight, a member of the Southern Union Foundation and adjunct professor at the college, says that the responses that she has received from the community, as well as members of the Southern Union staff, on this matter are contradictory of Price’s statement. “I have not spoken to a single person who has said, “I think that this is a good idea,” or “I helped get these numbers together.” Not one person is supportive of such a move. Southern Union is a family. Loyalty here to this campus and what it has meant to this community... No one here will say “we should just relocate the main campus” because it would be devastating to our little community and our service
area.” “Devastating” seems to be a fitting adjective for the potential move from Wadley to Opelika. Wadley Mayor Donna McKay used the term when discussing the idea with local postal workers, due to the College using Wadley’s post office and bank, as well as the possible departure of Bison athletics and the top-notch fine arts program. McKay also mentioned that the move would go against why the two-year system was initially created. Bob Fincher feels that the overwhelming support is a step in the right direction, and assures supporters that he, and so many others, are fighting hard to shut this item down, to preserve the tradition and economic impact that Southern Union has established in Randolph
County. “We need to remember that Southern Union was originated from the Wadley campus, that community has continuously fed and supported the college over the years, and has kept it afloat,” says Fincher. “We are going to fight this as hard as we can to try to prevent this. The fear is, that if the administration has moved, that other entities will follow and that it will be very detrimental to the Wadley campus.” Key dates to remember: the Alabama Community College System Board of Trustees will vote on this item during their next meeting, which is set for July 11. If the item is passed, Opelika will become the main campus of Southern Union State Community College on January 1, 2019.
For more on the story read... Southern Union Builds Students To SUCCEED
#WeLoveSouthernUnion #LakeWedoweeLife #LWLJuly2018
News To Know by Taylor Jones
Students who attend Southern Union’s Wadley campus are treated to a four-year college experience, in a two-year setting. With a dormitory that houses up to 230 students, a cafeteria, student center, and state of the art classrooms, with most facilities on campus built or renovated within the last ten years, it is easy to see why students from all over Alabama, and even a few surrounding states, choose to attend Southern Union, and why it holds such a special place in their memories when they leave. Southern Union is highly regarded for having a top-notch fine arts program. Each dance, music, and theatre production is held on the Wadley campus, and are performed by some of this area’s most talented students, either on stage or behind the scenes, and are instructed by
experienced industry professionals. Most students who come to Southern Union on Fine Arts scholarships go on to continue their careers on big stages, including Stephen “tWitch” Boss, who has competed on tv’s ‘So You Think You Can Dance”, has appeared in over 10 movies and television shows, and is currently a DJ on “Ellen.” Brad Cotter, another SUSCC Alum, won “Nashville Star” in 2004, a singing competition that launched the career of Miranda Lambert, Chris Young and Kasey Musgraves. 2007’s Miss Alabama Jamie Langley is also an SUSCC alum. The most recent notable success is Desmond Nunn, who is currently on tour with the Broadway smash production, “Hamilton.” Nunn says that he credits most of his success to his days spent in Wadley. “Southern Union is a great launching
pad for everyone,” says Nunn. “As someone who grew up not too far from the campus, I did not think that one day I would be traveling the country with a hit musical.” Wadley is also the home for all Bison athletics. Southern Union offers six sports, where all athletes have access to some of the best facilities in the Alabama Community College Conference. Southern Union Sports Arena is home to Bison Basketball and Volleyball, its’ bowl-shaped design provides comfortable environment for fans with chairback seats. The arena also offers student-athletes a weight room and rehabilitation room, as well as offices and conference room that are available for multiple purposes. Baseball and Softball have received recent upgrades. The baseball stadium, recently named in honor of Coach Joe “Jabo” Jordan, was completed in 2010, while softball has been competing in their stadium since 2015. In 2017, a field house was built to serve as a facility for both sports. The field house features indoor batting and pitching cages, as well as locker rooms for both teams. Being a Bison athlete has its’ benefits. Not only do they play in state-of-the-art
venues, but the chances of continuing their career as a student-athlete at a four-year institution are significantly high. Following the 2017 season, 13 Bison baseball players elected to continue their athletic career at four-year colleges, including Jackson Hesterlee and Cooper Criswell, who recently competed in the College World Series in Omaha,
Nebraska with North Carolina. Softball has 10 players who are on four-year college rosters, while both basketball teams have an estimated 13 players playing at the next level. Everyone who comes to Wadley has a story, whether it be girl from Trussville with a dream of playing college softball, a boy from Mobile who has aspirations to sing at Carnegie Hall, or someone from Roanoke who is making a transition close to home so that they can later attend their dream school. No matter the story, it is clear that everyone who attends Southern Union is built for success. From making memories with new friends, to receiving life-changing advice from a professor. It is apparent that you leave Southern Union as a better person, and have been groomed to succeed in any situation that life may throw your way.
More info on the local Southern Union story... Wadley Area Concerned with SUSCC's Future
#WeLoveSouthernUnion #NewsToKnowWedowee #LakeWedoweeLife #LWLJuly2018
Kids Fishing Derby on Lake Wedowee
Tue May 22nd 3:00pm - 6:00pm
Rice Family Pavilion, 2554 Co Rd 32, Wedowee, AL 36278, USA
Kids are coming to fish on Lake Wedowee. Open to all children between 2 and 15 years of age. Children must be accompanied by an adult and have a rod and reel. Bait will be provided. There will be games, face painting, door prizes, snacks and grilled hot dogs by the Randolph County Sheriff's Office. Sponsored by Lake Wedowee Property Owners Association and local businesses.
Annual Bingo For Boobies Fundraiser
Randolph County’s third annual Bingo for Boobies event benefitting Tanner Medical Foundation’s Mammogram Assistance Fund will return to the Randolph County High School Auditorium in Wedowee, Ala., on Saturday, March 3.
Over the last two years, the event has raised more than $22,000 to provide life-saving mammograms for local women who could not otherwise afford one. Annual mammograms are considered the first line of defense in the detection and treatment of breast cancer, yet many women go without an annual mammogram because they fear they can't afford it.
This year, breast cancer survivor and Randolph County resident Sharon Campbell Easter will be honored at the event.
There will be door prizes, raffle prizes and bingo prizes — including the Bingo Finale Grand Prize: a two-night stay at the Holiday Inn Hotel by the Opryland Resort in Nashville.
The Woodland Area Civic Club will provide delicious concessions, and there will be a silent and live auction, with items being added daily. The live auction begins at 1 p.m. CT.
Auction highlights last year included a children’s peddle tractor donated by Sam Duke and a kid’s party donated by Tickled Pink Petting Zoo. Auction donations are still being accepted and are appreciated.
“Mammography on the Move,” Tanner Health System’s mobile mammography unit, will also be on-site in the parking lot to provide mammograms on a walk-up or appointment basis.
“This event is so worthwhile and we make sure everyone has a good time,” said “master” bingo caller Jerry Hall. “It’s just a good day for a good cause.”
Hall and his team will call the first bingo card at 10 a.m. CT at this family-friendly event. Admission is free and a $5 to $20 donation is suggested to play.
Organizers Pat Laney, Carol Ann Traylor and Donna Maner started planning for the event in September and have worked for months to prepare.
“There are many community supporters who make this possible,” said Laney. “Lake Wedoweee Life magazine and all of our local bank, merchant and business sponsors are the real champions of this event.”
“We are also grateful to Randolph County High School principal, Darren Anglin, for hosting us again this year,” said Traylor.
“Without our generous sponsors and auction donors, Bingo for Boobies wouldn’t be possible,” said Maner. “It’s wonderful to be part of a community who really cares.”
Sponsorships are still available and additional information can be found on the Bingo for Boobies Facebook page.
Tanner Medical Foundation is a non-profit organization that supports the services of Tanner Health System through the philanthropic efforts of the community. Tanner Health System serves the healthcare needs of west Georgia and east Alabama. To learn more about Tanner Health System or Tanner Medical Foundation, visit www.tanner.org.
#LakeWedoweeLife #BingoForBoobies #ThinkPinkWedowee
#ILoveLakeWedowee #TannerEastAL #WedoweeCommunityCalendar
Vintage Country Music has found its home in Clay County at least for two dates this winter when Grammy Award Winning Recording Artist David Ball takes the stage at Ashland Theatre in February followed in March by Country Music Legend T. Graham Brown.
“It is so exciting to bring these two men to Clay County,” Promoter and owner of Cheaha Music Kevin Moon said “The Ashland Theatre is such a fantastic venue, too. “There is such an intimacy with a room of its size,” Moon said. “It is a very stripped down feel when you play there.” David Ball will bring hit tunes such as his 1994 platinum certified “Thinkin’ Problem” as well as his chart
topper “Riding with Private Malone.”
“Playing the Ashland Theatre is kind of like sitting in your living room for a night of picking and grinning,” Moon said. “But with (David) Ball and T. Graham Brown, those guys just have a few more hits that the average joe on a Saturday night.” Tickets for the concerts are on sale at Cheaha Music on the square in Ashland or you may call 256.252.1023. Tickets for the February 24 show featuring David Ball with local favorite Johnathan East are $25 and the March 24 with T.Graham Brown are $35.
“We really do our best in keeping our showings affordable for the whole family to enjoy,” Moon said. “Trying to find a good fit for the area is tough sometimes. You want to bring someone with enough name recognition to fill the seats, but at the same time you want to have an artist that a whole family can enjoy.”
This is not Moon’s first event at the Ashland Theatre. In the past, Daryle Singletary, Jeff Bates and Michael Twitty played the Ashland Theatre with a sell-out crowd and Moon would love to bring more shows to the area. “We want this to grow so we can continue to support our theatre and town,” Moon said. “Entertainment is something that is always going to be crucial for an area to thrive. And, really entertainment is a revenue source just like a tire store and restaurant. We are trying to give people something to be excited about. “We get a ton of people from out of town that support these shows, and that’s great because they also get to see what is so special about Ashland.”
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updates on local events.
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Charlie's Treasure's digs into Lake Wedowee Life Magazine's tenth anniversary
Yep, 10 years ago Lake Wedowee Life started.
We advertised in the first one because the Caldwells asked us to do it. They had a vision and we saw the need. It was a couple of issues later that Kelly had the idea for Charley’s Treasures. I doubt most people know why my articles are called Charley’s
Treasures. Its’ definitely not because my stories are treasures.
It started when Kelly asked me (or maybe I asked her) to write about houses on the lake that have unique qualities. Stuff like outdoor fireplaces and pits and the repurposing of old materials to make a different look. The “Treasures” were the houses I described. But about every time I sent her an article on a house, I would send her one of my goofy stories just for fun. You should see some of the ones she didn’t print (wise decision). But one day she called me and said she was going with the alternate story. I’m not sure which one it was, maybe Possum Mud, but it is suffice to say that everything changed at that point and I couldn’t be happier about it. I don’t mind that all the other articles are informative and full of useful tips and wisdom, where mine are, well, not. I’m just happy that there’s enough people that like my ramblings enough to give Kelly the incentive and insanity to let me write again.
That is my pay as well as most of the contributors in the magazine and that, to me, is good. We love the magazine and the opportunity to express ourselves. I have always wanted to do something like this but this has been the opportunity I’ve never been afforded and for that, I am eternally grateful to the Caldwell family who have been friends of ours for as long as I can remember. But then again, I can’t remember what or if I ate breakfast this morning.
Over the last ten years, we have all had our challenges, both emotionally, physically and financially. But we have persevered. We, as a business, have become very close to our fellow businesses. We cried on each other’s shoulders and gave each other the strength to keep going, even when the odds were against us and were advised to quit by those that know better. Even our competitors have become friends. These things would not have happened if it weren’t for us all suffering together with the economy and the devastation it caused. I’ve lost good friends and neighbors to it, either by death or financial ruin.
Our business was reeled back about ten years. But we all supported each other and did what had to be done and are here today, stronger than before, because of it. I imagine the survivors of the great depression would have a similar remembrance.
Lake Wedowee Life has been a beacon for a lot of us. It has been a source of normalcy. Everything we saw was doom and gloom. On TV, the radio, the papers and the talk amongst the people. Lake Wedowee Life didn’t participate in that. When you opened the pages, you never saw how bad things were, even when the magazine itself, I’m sure, was struggling. What you saw were recipes and great places to visit or fish on the lake. It was the lighter side when we all needed to see some light.
I am appreciative of them for that as we all should be. I hope that I’ll always be a contributor to the magazine and I hope that all of you will see it as I do and keep all the issues you collect on the coffee table with it open to the Norton's Flooring ad. What? Surely you didn’t think I wouldn’t have at least one plug in here!
Charley Norton is the co-owner of Norton’s Flooring with his
brother Tom. His mom and dad started the company in 1976.
#CharlieNorton #LakeWedoweeLife #LWL2018
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The Lake Life blog is where we post and share information about the Lake Wedowee area. Past issues of Lake Wedowee Life magazine can be found in digital format on page... OUR PUBLICATIONS/LAKEWEDOWEELIFE
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