From the Wisconsin Technology Council: “Building tech-based jobs is theme of Aug. 5 Lake Superior conference” – ASHLAND – Laying the foundation for creation and attraction of technology-based jobs is the focus of the 2011 Lake Superior Business and Technology Conference, which will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 5 at Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College, 2100 Beaser Avenue, Ashland.

Major speakers include Ray Cross, chancellor of the UW Colleges and Extension System, and leaders of business and technology parks from Wisconsin Rapids, Menomonie and Weston. Civic leaders in northwest Wisconsin are proposing to build a Lake Superior Technology Park in the Ashland area, and discussion will revolve around best practices.

Conference registration is $30, which includes lunch. Students with attend free. Visit and register through the “What’s Happening” section.

In addition to Cross, who helped stimulate economic growth in New York during his tenure with the State University of New York, conference attendees will hear from Mayor Mary Jo Carson of Wisconsin Rapids; Village Administrator Dean Zuleger of Weston; Brad Gingras, chief operating officer of NWCEP Inc.; and Christopher Smith of the Stout Technology and Business Park in Menomonie.

Read more from Wisconsin Technology Council

From WSAU TV: “Sales boost at manufacturing plants” – Managers at Jarp Industries, Inc. Wausau and G3 Industries in Mosinee said in the past years their sales have increased and because of boosting sales they are able to hire more employees.

Many companies said they are skeptical of the economy because of debt complications in Washington.

However, with a rocky economy some manufacturing plants in Northcentral Wisconsin are still hiring.

Managers at Jarp Industries, Inc. Wausau and G3 Industries in Mosinee said in the past years their sales have increased and because of boosting sales they are able to hire more employees.

At G3 Industries, about five people a day come in to fill out an application. While Jarp Industries, Inc. sees 10-15 walk-in’s a week.

Even though G3 Industries has hired many employees in the past, they said they still have open positions.

“Since November of 2010 we have increased our workforce of more than 30 percent. In addition to that we are looking for technology based jobs to add to our shop floor and engineering department,” said Randy Stroik, the Plant Manager at G3 Industries.

Both companies have training courses, but having prior knowledge on the skilled techniques is beneficial. Some of those skills include, robotic machine operators and welders.

The Chief Operating Officer at Jarp Industries, Inc. said they hire many employees and interns from Northcentral Technical College. That’s because the school specifically trains their students for the skilled techniques they are looking for.

View video at WSAU

From the Fond du Lac Reporter: “Sweet Roles:  Bakers Bob and Bonnie Badura expand business” – Bonnie Badura talks about the Great Recession with a smile on her face.

It’s not the type of reaction one would expect from a small business owner in Fond du Lac, but Badura is used to adversity. She and her husband opened their baking enterprise in a rough economy three decades ago, and they’ve weathered plenty more, including the most recent downturn.

The Baduras said changes — like the ones they made this month — are the main reason they’ve stayed in business for 33 years.

Bob and Bonnie’s Donuts, 54A Halbach Court, hired pastry chef and cake decorator Sue Horvath as part of its plan to offer tortes, dessert tables and fondant cakes. Customers can still buy their favorite doughnuts and cakes, but now they’ll have more options for parties and special occasions, Bonnie said.

Menu changes stem from customer demand. Bonnie said brides in Fond du Lac are following national wedding trends, such as choosing a variety of small desserts instead of a large wedding cake. Cupcakes are also in big demand.


From the Wausau Daily Herald: “Food manufacturing science certificate helps train workers for food processing jobs” – GRAND RAPIDS — For Rodney Cassel-Gebhardt, Monday marked an end and a new beginning.

The Wisconsin Rapids resident lost his job at Schreiber Foods in 2008, when the company closed its plant in the Wisconsin Rapids West Side Industrial Park. While his manufacturing experience allowed him to get a temporary job in Plover, a lack of training prevented him from finding a full-time position — until recently.

“I’m fortunate that I got a job,” the 31-year-old said Monday after a recognition ceremony at Mid-State Technical College’s Wisconsin Rapids campus.

Cassel-Gebhardt was one of 18 students who recently earned Mid-State’s food manufacturing science certificate — the first tangible result of the community-led Workforce Central initiative, the project’s director said.

“It’s a joint philanthropic and public investment strategy, and this is the first training that’s come out of that,” said Jennifer Riggenbach, who leads the grass-roots workforce development project at the Community Foundation of Greater South Wood County.


From “Small-town mayor uses big-time diplomacy in war zone” – Forward Operating Base Pasab, Afghanistan - Little did Manawa Mayor Dave Sarna know when he deployed to Afghanistan last fall that his skills as a small-town politician would come in handy.

Though he’s assigned to a combat engineer unit, Sarna spent a few months as “mayor” of a forward operating base, running the U.S. military installation like any other community, albeit one smack dab in a war zone.

And he’s spent part of his deployment working with an Afghan Army engineer unit helping train them to take over road clearance duties and search for IEDs. Working with Afghan officers and interpreters required the diplomatic skills of a politician who served eight years on the Manawa city council before he was elected mayor.

“If you want to sum up the role of a mayor, you’re basically a problem-solver,” Sarna said in his office at this U.S. military base in Kandahar province. “But there’s a lot of pressure on you to make the right decision. Back home if you make a mistake, the worst that can happen is it’ll cost taxpayer dollars. Here a mistake can mean loss of life.”

About 15 months after he was elected mayor, a part-time job, he received his orders to deploy with the Wausau-based Army Reserve 428th Engineer Co. He previously served in Desert Storm and Iraq in 2006-’07 and didn’t have to go back to war.

But Sarna felt it was something he needed to do.

Read more from

From the Green Bay Press Gazette: “Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. told how to create jobs” – ASHWUABENON — The new Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. can promote job growth in the state by helping develop a qualified manufacturing work force, board members were told Monday.

The 13-member board of directors of the new public-private corporation, which on July 1 replaced the disbanded Department of Commerce, met at the Department of Motor Vehicles complex in Ashwaubenon.

All board members, including Gov. Scott Walker, who is chairman, attended the quarterly meeting. Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch, who met with women business owners later at Advance Business Center in Green Bay, also attended.

Six Northeastern Wisconsin business owners who participated in a roundtable discussion were posed three questions by Paul Jadin, CEO of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp.: Why are their businesses in Wisconsin, what are their growth opportunities and what are their challenges?

High tax rates and insurance costs were mentioned early as barriers to growth, and most agreed, but work force availability generated the most discussion.


From the Journal Times: “Gateway dealing with new concealed carry, voter ID laws” – RACINE – The state’s concealed carry law has passed and been signed. So has the voter ID law.

Now the next step happens. They soon go into effect and officials at Gateway Technical College, for one, must figure out how to deal with the implications of the laws.

“We have to go through and revise our existing policies,” said Dennis Sherwood, Gateway’s director of safety and security.

The concealed carry law, making it legal to carry concealed in public places, goes into effect Nov. 1. Sherwood does not yet have any official policy that he will be putting in place, but likely, he will be putting up signs at all doors prohibiting concealed weapons in buildings.

“It’s an educational institution so obviously we are concerned about the learning environment. We want to make sure everyone is comfortable in the learning environment,” Sherwood said. That means no weapons in the classrooms and college buildings, he said.

But outside the classroom, in the parking lot and lawn areas, they don’t have the ability to prohibit weapons, he said.

Read more from the Journal Times

From the Northwestern: “Q&A: Jobseekers helps people chart new path, gain employment” – “How’s sending out letters and resumes working for you?” Chris Czarnik asked a Job Seekers student in late April.

“I’m here,” the student replied.

“You cannot get hired in the traditional way. If you could, you’d be working right now,” Czarnik said, turning his attention back to the group of nearly a dozen people in a Fox Valley Technical College classroom. “But there’s another way.”

Every Thursday afternoon, a regularly-changing group of people stop at FVTC’s Riverside campus to hear a short, engaging lecture from Czarnik on his “new way” to find a job and to update the group on the status of their efforts.

The process he teaches and, to an extent preaches, requires a person to begin with a self-evaluation aimed at assessing their skills and determining what industries interest them. From there, students craft a core message about the skills they have and the benefits that can provide before setting out to extensively network with anyone and everyone related to the markets and companies your search focuses on.


From the Leader Telegram: “Business Briefs: OEM exec leads college board” – S. Mark Tyler, founder and president of Woodville-based OEM Fabricators, recently began a one-year term as president of the Wisconsin Technical College System board.

Tyler has been a WTCS Board member since 2007. He holds a degree in design technology from St. Paul Technical Vocational Institute and is a graduate of the University of Minnesota Carlson School of Management. Tyler also earned a master’s degree from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul.

“It is an exciting time to be involved in WTCS as we enter our second century of preparing Wisconsin’s workforce to drive our state’s economy forward,” Tyler said in a news release.

“In the coming decades careers will demand a high level of technical competence. Wisconsin’s technical colleges have the relationships with employers to make sure that our students are prepared to be successful.”

The board establishes statewide policies and standards for educational programs and services provided by the 16 technical colleges. It also administers state and federal aids to the colleges.

Tyler will represent the WTCS Board on the UW System Board of Regents.

From Concrete Construction: “Case donates engine and components display to Northeast Wisconsin Technical College”– Students at Northeast Wisconsin Technical College’s diesel and heavy equipment technician program will have hands-on access to some new instructional aids, following the recent donation by Case Construction Equipment of a diesel engine, transmission and hydraulic pump display from a Case loader/backhoe.

Case had been using the equipment at its Tomahawk Customer Center in Tomahawk, Wis., but donated it to the Sturgeon Bay college after NWTC students visited Tomahawk with their instructor Jon Sowl, senior instructor of the school’s diesel technician program.

“Because of our longstanding relationship with Case dealer Miller-Bradford, we’ve been working with Case and their staff at Tomahawk and at their corporate training center in Racine for the past 20 years,” Sowl said.

“Each year we take our students to visit the Case Customer Center in Tomahawk to learn about the Case product line. Students have the opportunity to operate equipment and receive training covering Case equipment history, machine features and technology,” Sowl continued. “Russ Wadzinski, the general manager at Tomahawk, asked us if we had a need in our program for the 580SM components display that they’ve been using in their dealer and customer training programs. We are very excited and grateful to Case for this generous donation.”

Sowl noted that the diesel and heavy equipment technician program is one of seven such programs in the Wisconsin tech school system, and the only one in the state to be accredited by the Associated Equipment Dealers. NWTC’s diesel program includes instruction covering agriculture, on-highway and construction machinery and diesel engine maintenance. Upon completion of the two-year program, students receive either an associate’s degree or a technical diploma.

Read more from Concrete Construction

From the Door County Advocate:  “Smile – That nice Door County sheriff’s deputy is wearing a camera” – A gun, a badge and a camera. That soon could be standard equipment for deputies at the Door County Sheriff’s Department, who learned how to wear and use new mini cameras Thursday

The eye-level cameras fit in a headset and resemble a hands-free Bluetooth cellphone capturing both video and audio.

The idea came from seeing the Axon POV head camera in use by police training classes at Northeast Wisconsin Technical College in Green Bay. The product is sold by Taser International Inc. of Scottsdale, Ariz.

If Door County puts them into regular service, they would be the first in the state, according to John Szakach, vice president of Taser, who came to the Door County Justice Center in Sturgeon Bay to train deputies on how to use the new devices.

“We’re just trying to stay ahead of technology,” Door County Sheriff Terry Vogel said. “I think it’s good documentation for our officers.”


From the Ashland Current: “Technology Jobs Conference to be held in August” – Do you have an interest in learning how communities are growing technology-based jobs for the twenty-first century and how our area can do it, too?

If so, plan to attend the upcoming Lake Superior Business & Technology Conference: Building Foundations for Technology Jobs on Fri., Aug. 5 in Ashland at the Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College. Registration begins at 8:30 a.m., the program starts 9 a.m. and the conference concludes at 3:30 p.m.

Kicking off the program will be keynote speaker Ray Cross, Chancellor of the University of Wisconsin Colleges/Extension, who will discuss how the University of Wisconsin is an important partner for growing technology-based jobs.

Presentations from representatives of three business technology parks in Wisconsin Rapids, Menomonie and Weston, Wis. and some of the parks’ business tenants, will discuss how they developed their parks and what features attracted the companies to locate there.

Efforts and progress to date to establish a business technology park in our area will also be discussed by members of the local Wisconsin Innovation Network (WIN) Chapter. In addition, Brad Gingras, the new chief operating officer for the Northwest Wisconsin Concentrated Employment Program, Inc., will give a talk on preparing our region’s workforce for jobs of the future.


From “Instructor’s Star Wars artwork featured at Comic-Con” – What do superheroes, space aliens, zombies and Madison Area Technical College instructor Ed Binkley have in common?

They’re all being featured at this week’s sold out Comic-Con annual convention in San Diego. The event is the largest comic book and popular arts convention in the world.

Binkley, the Animation and Concept Development program director/lead instructor at Madison College, was one of 100 artists selected by George Lucas to submit illustrations for the new Star Wars book “Visions.” Binkley’s artwork, featuring Tusken Raiders or Sand People, was selected as the book’s debut poster. It created a big buzz when it was shown at last year’s Comic-Con, and it will be featured again at this year’s convention.

“It was the key poster at Comic-Con,” says Binkley. “It was nice to be a part of the Star Wars book, but the poster was a big thing when it came out.”

Lucas was apparently very impressed with Binkley’s work. The film director commissioned Binkley to create another Star Wars-related illustration for his personal collection.

“They seemed to really respect what I was trying to bring to it,” says Binkley. “It was a nice project. This was one of the most pleasant experiences I have had.” 

From the Herald Times Reporter: “Deryl Davis Fulmer joins Lakeshore Technical College” – Deryl Davis Fulmer has joined Lakeshore Technical College as vice president of instruction and chief academic officer.

Davis Fulmer was associate vice president for learner success at Madison Area Technical College prior to accepting her position at LTC. Before her time in Madison, she served as dean of liberal arts and sciences at Milwaukee Area Technical College and also served in various capacities there from 2000 to 2008. She formerly was assistant dean for advising and academic services at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and has taught as an adjunct professor there since 1995.

Davis Fulmer brings to LTC an extensive background in academic affairs in the technical college system, including leadership development and students’ first-year experience. She has presented papers and workshops, both locally and nationally, on issues affecting college students, including diversity, literacy and the first-year experience. Her primary focus has been on ensuring successful learning environments for students. In 2008, she was instrumental in developing a doctoral program in higher education leadership, with an emphasis on community/technical college leadership, at Cardinal Stritch University.


From Wisconsin Health News: “WDA Foundation awards $14,000 in dental and hygiene scholarships”  –

The Wisconsin Dental Association Foundation recently awarded $14,000 in scholarships to 11 dental and hygiene students in the state.

WDA Foundation tuition and Alliance scholarships were awarded May 17 at the Wisconsin Club in Milwaukee. From left, recipients Dr. Dawn Paffel of Neenah, Chad Seubert of Marathon and Tracy Engelmann of Wausaukee with WDA Foundation President Dr. Anthony Sciascia of Mondovi. Not in attendance were recipients Cathleen Raz of Hales Corners and Christopher Streff of Monroe.

Four Wisconsin students in their third year at Marquette University School of Dentistry each received $2,500 after demonstrating academic achievement, motivation, character and financial need.

Six Wisconsin technical college dental hygiene students have each been awarded $500 each. Hygiene scholarship recipients must be state residents and demonstrate academic achievement and financial need. The schools, their scholarship recipients and students’ cities of residence include:

  • Chippewa Valley Technical College – Wendy Dahleen of New Auburn
  • Fox Valley Technical College – Amanda Rose of Freedom
  • Northcentral Technical College – (to be determined)
  • Northeast Wisconsin Technical College – Katie M. Lyles of Shawano
  • Waukesha County Technical College – Ashley Brunnbauer of Sheboygan
  • Western Technical College – Samantha Melby of Ettrick

The WDA Foundation was created as the charitable arm of the Wisconsin Dental Association in 1957 and is a proud member of Community Health Charities of Wisconsin.

From “Local dental clinic serves low income families” – Eau Claire (WQOW)-  Most of us make it to the dentist once or twice a year. But for families struggling to make ends meet, or on limited insurance, dental care becomes less of a priority, and more of a luxury. That’s why we’re highlighting an area dental clinic that caters only to low income families or those on Badger Care.

“A lot of dentists don’t accept badger care here.” That was something Jennifer Stevens and her family quickly found out after moving to Eau Claire from Minnesota. “We actually didn’t have a family dentist,” continued Jennifer. “We had come from Winona, and Winona was the last time any of our children had been to the dentist.”

The Stevens now get their smiles checked out at the Chippewa Valley Technical College Dental clinic. The clinic is unique, it serves low income families or those with Badger Care who are having a hard time finding a provider that will accept their insurance.

“This has been a really good opportunity for us to pick up the slack in patients that haven’t been getting care from private offices, and it isn’t because they don’t really want to see them, it’s because they can’t afford to see them in large quantities,” said Pam Entorf an instructor at the dental clinic.

See video from WQOW


From the Wisconsin State Journal: “What I Do: Maria Brenny-Fitzpatrick helps the elderly when they are admitted to the hospital” – I’m the co-founder and team leader of the UW Acute Care for Elders (ACE) Interdisciplinary Consult Team. The team consists of geriatricians, pharmacists, physical therapists, social workers and me as the advanced practice nurse.

We see patients age 65 and over who are admitted to the hospital. The majority of the patients are in their mid-80s, but we have seen patients as old as 102.

Hospitalization can have a detrimental effect on the older patient and puts them at greater risk for possible complications of weakness, adverse drug effects, infections and confusion or delirium.

My role with the ACE teammates is to assist the UW care providers with the care and management of these patients to prevent complications. The reasons my team is consulted include mental status changes (delirium, dementia, depression), medication issues including drug interactions, mobility (falls, balance issues), nutrition/feeding issues, pain, incontinence/constipation and caregiver concerns.

Read more from

From the Wausau Daily Herald: “Northcentral Technical College facility to see growth as it is rebuilt after tornado”– MERRILL — Northcentral Technical College will spend $2 million rebuilding and expanding its firefighter-training facility that was damaged in a tornado three months ago.

The project will repair damage to the school’s Public Safety Center of Excellence caused when a tornado slammed into parts of Lincoln County on April 10. The storm wiped out a portion of the fire safety facility — a fire training structure and a building that housed a classroom and offices. The center’s burn tower, where firefighters train in live fires, also sustained damages.

Lori Weyers, president of the college, said the new facility — whose plans were finalized last week — will be one-third bigger and will include additional classrooms and storage space to fill a growing demand.

“It was really getting to be a scheduling fiasco,” Weyers said. “And now we are going to be able to have multiple classrooms at the same time.”


From the New Richmond News: “Star Prairie appoints municipal judge”– Ashley Hinrichs was appointed as the Village of Star Prairie municipal judge after Todd Naylor, the newly elected judge, resigned.

Hinrichs, 24, grew up in Star Prairie and is very excited about becoming involved in the community, she said.

“I love working with the community. My dad (Greg Gibson) is village president and I’ve always been interested in the area of law,” she said.

Hinrichs holds a degree from Chippewa Valley Technical College and worked in Eau Claire as a paralegal for three years before returning to Star Prairie with her husband, Nathan. She’s currently working as a supervisor at Dairy Queen and searching for a paralegal job in the area.

From Appleton Post Crescent: “FVTC hosts clean energy session” – GRAND CHUTE — Fox Valley Technical College is holding a free expo on clean energy and sustainability panel discussion from 4 to 6 p.m. Wednesday at the D.J. Bordini Center at 5 Systems Drive.

The expo will feature the release of a report by the Union of Concerned Scientists regarding the status of clean energy in the Midwest. The report involves benchmark standards implemented by the Midwestern Governors Association.

Panelists will include Jeff Deyette, senior energy analyst, Union of Concerned Scientists; Outagamie County Executive Tom Nelson; and Linda Bartelt, executive director, Northeast Wisconsin Educational Resource Alliance.

To register, visit or call 920-831-4325.

From the Green Bay Press Gazette: “Fox Valley Technical College, Wisconsin State Patrol research helps analyze crashes”– GRAND CHUTE — Fifty-five seconds before a semitrailer hit the first of 12 vehicles involved in a crash that closed U.S. 41 for six hours on May 11, an engine-mounted computer aboard the truck began gathering data critical to the police investigation.

The computer, known as an electronic control module, is the same device responsible for lighting up “check engine” lights in cars. It contained a range of information from the truck, including its speed and whether the driver applied the brakes.

The information gleaned from the truck’s equivalent of an airplane’s “black box” could provide data to determine whether criminal charges were warranted in the crash, thanks to research conducted by Fox Valley Technical College in collaboration with the Wisconsin State Patrol.

“The control module did record the crash event and the data in that case is very important to the investigation,” said state trooper Tim Austin, a reconstruction specialist with the State Patrol, who recently co-authored a study with FVTC diesel technologies instructor Mike Farrell that centered on using control modules on Caterpillar engines.


From the Daily Union: “Turbines save Fort schools power, money” – The two small wind energy systems on Fort Atkinson’s north side are generating a lot of interest, as well as electricity.

A wind turbine at Madison Area Technical College-Fort Atkinson has been in operation since November 2009, while the tower at Fort Atkinson High School began generation this past April.

The School District of Fort Atkinson held an informational presentation Monday night at the base of its Endurance energy system. The meeting drew several-dozen community members who expressed great interest in the savings and logistics of setting up a small wind energy system like these.

The differences

The two energy systems are models from different manufacturers, with MATC installing a 150-foot Northern Power 100-kilowatt wind turbine. The school district’s Endurance E-3120 tower is 20 feet higher, although MATC’s is rated to generate more energy. The maximum output for the MATC system is 100 kilowatts per hour, twice that of the high school’s system. The blades are 35 feet in length.

The high school’s wind tower sports a sort of nose cone on the front of the turbine, and it has a 61-foot rotar diameter. It is accessed via a ladder on the outside of the tower for maintenance. The turbine at MATC has an indoor stairway so maintenance workers can scale the tower from the inside.


From “Lego Camp teaches kids engineering skills” – Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics: They topics most students wouldn’t take time out of their summer to learn. But a camp in Rhinelander intertwines the concepts of engineering with an element of fun-Legos.

“We are introducing concepts such as friction, tension, propulsion, wheels and axles. They’re building cars. They’re building wrenches and pliers, simple machines,” said teacher Jami Leighton.

These first through sixth graders are attending an almost week long camp at Nicolet College in Rhinelander.

“We race cars and had races and a lot of fun things,” said Trenton Neveaux.

“I liked how we made the cars with roll up rubber bands and how we raced them. That was pretty cool,” said Daniel Goldsworthy.

Using Legos, they get a grasp on some very complex yet creative concepts.

Leighton said, “Our world is a technological world and the areas of science and mathematics are our future. So, the younger we start them the more technology and science we’ll have out there, and the skills will be building.”

Read more and see video from

Gateway marks centennial

July 15, 2011

From the Caledonia Patch: “Gateway Technical College marks 100 years of local education”  – Gateway Technical College marked its Centennial Celebration and the honor of being the country’s first technical college with a day-long program on Tues., July 12.

Speakers at the celebration Tuesday afternoon praised the thinking that made public technical education possible. Some of them urged protection for technical education spending.

Launched in 1911, the Racine Continuation School was the first publicly funded school focusing on practical and technical skills such as drafting, cooking and machining. Today, Gateway’s Racine campus is part of a statewide, 16-school system that serves about 400,000 students. The school has about 26,000 students at campuses in Racine, Kenosha and Walworth counties.

The speeches and presentation of a commemorative plaque was part of an all-day celebration at the campus, 1001 S. Main St., that included a picnic, student-led campus tours, displays in the parking lots and a free concert.


From the  Journal Times: “Speakers tout importance of technical education at Gateway Centennial” – RACINE – Technical colleges paved the way to economic prosperity 100 years ago and they are poised to do so again right now.

That was the message from several leaders who spoke Tuesday at the centennial commemoration of Gateway Technical College, which began in 1911 as the first publicly-funded technical college in the nation.

“One hundred years ago Wisconsin was facing some economic challenges,” said speaker Dan Clancy, Wisconsin Technical College System president, explaining manufacturing and the industrial revolution were sweeping the state and workers were needed.

Technical colleges like Gateway, then called the Racine Continuation School, stepped up to train workers. Now the technological revolution and increased global competition are sweeping Wisconsin and technical colleges can and must again rise to the occasion, Clancy said.

Read more from The Journal Times


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