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Osage City is ‘vacation destination’ for summertime parade, fireworks and fun

Osage City Boy Scout Troop 106 present the colors as leaders of the 2024 Osage County Fair Parade.

By Jeanette Swartz
Osage City Chamber of Commerce

Mother Nature provided an extra warm but enjoyable evening for the 2024 Osage County Fair Parade and entertainment which were enjoyed by many spectators, Friday, July 12.

Celebrating “Vacation Destination”, the fair parade had a variety of entries including the Boy Scout Troop leading with the color guard and then the usual fire equipment, law enforcement, EMS, Mr. and Mrs. Osage City, Larry and Jeannine Colstrom, parade marshals, Michelle Martin and Jessica Lickteig, retired city manager Rod Willis and Anne, the Twin Lakes Cruisers, Osage City High School band, flag corps, spirit groups, floats, golf carts and ATVs, Shriners, tractors, politicians, Walmart semi truck, and horses.

Grace Lutheran Church – Fishers of Men, 1st place float

Float winners in the fair parade were Fishers of Men, of Grace Lutheran Church, first place, $125; Girl Scouts, second place, $100; and Countryside Baptist Church, third, $75.

Steve and Michelle Giesy and their first place golf cart.

ATV and golf cart winners were Steve and Michelle Giesy, taking first place and $30 with their “beach bound” ride; and April Peet winning $20 with her second-place entry. Horse winners were Dee Crist and Lucky Charm with the most creative horse and cart, $50; and John Thornbrugh and Jack Sparrow, $50 for most creative horse and rider.

Starting before the fair parade was the kids decorated bicycle parade, coordinated by Becky and Craig Siljenberg.

Following the parade was a variety of entertainment at Jones Park and fairgrounds. Some people played bingo inside the community building. Others enjoyed food served by the Lions Club and ice cream served by the Osage County Fair Association, and listening to Delta Haze live band.

The finale for the evening was the spectacular fireworks celebration provide by sponsors and the Osage City Chamber of Commerce. The fireworks celebration would not be possible without the generous donations given by the businesses and individuals within the community. Scott Farmer and his crew do a wonderful job putting together an enjoyable show. Assisting Scott on Saturday morning was a group of Chamber of Commerce members and Osage City citizens, who volunteered to pick up all of the debris left from the fireworks display. The display was another enjoyable evening with a variety of fireworks.

New horticulture agent to serve Frontier Extension District’s three counties

By Carol Engle, Frontier Extension District

OTTAWA, Kan. – The Frontier Extension District has introduced a new horticulture agent, Lauren Gammill. Having completed her bachelor’s degree in spring 2024, Gammill joined the staff in late June and will serve individuals and communities in the Frontier District’s three counties: Anderson, Franklin, and Osage.

Lauren Gammill

Gammill earned her degree in biology from Kansas State University.

“I love every aspect of biology, but I am most intrigued by how natural resources impact horticulture,” Gammill said. “Everything in the world is part of a ‘cause and effect,’ and I believe by understanding that, we can solve a lot more problems, not just in the biological world but in our personal lives as well.”

“I am extremely blessed that this job combines my love of science, the outdoors and people,” Gammill said, “so I am excited to show up every day and get to do things that I love.”

During her first weeks on the job, Gammill said she hopes to meet people and learn what they are most passionate about. “I’m also excited to learn about the land and what the community needs most,” she said.

Chamber Chatter: Osage County Fair to be ‘vacation destination’ for 2024

David and Jenny Shelton’s yard, 703 S. Sixth St., Osage City, has been selected as the Chamber’s Yard of the Month for June. See story below. Chamber photo.

The Osage County Fair Association and the Osage City Chamber of Commerce are partnering this year to present an Osage County Fair that will include two weeks of community and fair events separated by an intermission during the month of July.

The fair’s community events will be underway July 10-13, 2024, while the exhibition portion of the fair will be July 24-27.

For full the events and entertainment schedule, visit the fair association’s website at

Osage County Fair and Community Events

July 10-13 – Community events
July 24-27 – Osage County Fair 4-H and other exhibitions

Osage County Fair Parade

The theme for the fair and the parade is “Vacation Destination”. The parade will be at 6:30 p.m. Friday, July 12. Adam Burnett is the parade chairman.

Prize money for float entries will be first, $125; second, $100; third, $75; fourth, $50. Prize money for golf cart and ATVs will be first, $30; second, $20; third, $10. For most creative horse and cart, $50 prize will be awarded; and for most creative horse and rider, $50. Plans are to have two categories for the horses this year with a monetary prize for each category. It is reminded that persons must be 17 years old to drive either golf carts or ATVs. No water balloons will be allowed in the parade.

Line-up starts at the west end of Market Street (around Bullseye Liquor and BP station). Judging for floats, golf carts and ATV’s will begin at 5:15 p.m. and will end at 5:45 p.m. and will take place in the line-up area.

The judging for the horse entries will begin at 5:30 p.m. and end at 5:45 p.m. and will take place in the street prior to the drive to Flint Hills Beverage. Horses are asked to remain in this area until parade route starts.

A parade entry form is available here or on the Osage City Chamber of Commerce website: (Happenings link). Forms should be submitted to Burnett at or contact him at 785-760-0621.

The Chamber thanks all in advance for participation in the “Vacation Destination” parade. “It is you, the community that make it a success by entering something fun, themed and memorable!”

Kids’ Parade

There will also be a Kids’ Parade for children up to age 12. Kids can decorate their bikes and meet at the east side of Lincoln Park to ride ahead of the main parade. Parade line up is at 6 p.m. Each child who participates will get a goodie bag. For more information about the Kids’ Parade, contact Becky Siljenberg at or at 785-217-7342 if you have any questions regarding the event.

Coloring contest

In conjunction with the fair parade, the Chamber and Osage County Fire District No. 2 are offering the opportunity for children, grades kindergarten through fifth to color a themed picture with the anticipation of getting selected to ride on a fire truck in the parade on Friday, July 12.

Community fireworks celebration

The community fireworks show, hosted by the Chamber, will be 10 p.m. Friday, July 12.

USDA announces June 2024 lending rates for agricultural producers

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Department of Agriculture has announced loan interest rates for June 2024, which are effective June 3, 2024. USDA Farm Service Agency loans provide access to capital to help agricultural producers start or expand their farming operation, purchase equipment and storage structures or meet cash flow needs.

“I encourage our lenders and borrowers alike to work with our local offices and our cooperators to capitalize fully on the existing flexibilities in these important programs,” said FSA Administrator Zach Ducheneaux.

Operating, Ownership and Emergency Loans     

FSA offers farm ownership, operating and emergency loans with favorable interest rates and terms to help eligible agricultural producers, whether multi-generational, long-time, or new to the industry, obtain financing needed to start, expand or maintain a family agricultural operation. For many loan options, FSA sets aside funding for underserved producers, including, beginning, women, American Indian or Alaskan Native, Asian, Black or African American, Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander, and Hispanic farmers and ranchers.

Interest rates for Operating and Ownership loans for June 2024 are as follows: 

Land management experts offer prescribed burn classes

The Kansas Grazing Lands Coalition and the Natural Resources Conservation Service are hosting prescribed burn plan trainings across Kansas this month, with a training May 30, 2024, at Burlington as the closest to Osage County.

The burn trainings are offered to landowners, ranchers, producers, burn contractors and others involved in the use of prescribed burns as a land management tool.

Attendees will learn how to optimize land management practices with prescribed burns and properly create burn plans. Access to financial assistance will also be discussed. The sessions, led by KGLC and NRCS experts, will provide opportunity to network with industry professionals and fellow practitioners.

Registration for the trainings is requested at

All of the sessions will run 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Training dates and locations are May 28 at Russell; May 29 at Marquette; May 30 at Burlington; and May 31 at Manhattan.

Marketing service announces soybean producer’s opportunity for a referendum

Opportunity to request a referendum: Soybean Promotion, Research, and Information Program

Dates to Request Referendum: May 6, 2024, and ending May 31, 2024.


The Agricultural Marketing Service announced that soybean producers may request a referendum to determine whether producers want the Secretary to conduct a referendum on the Soybean Promotion and Research Order (Order), as authorized under the Soybean Promotion, Research, and Consumer Information Act (Act). Participation in the request for referendum is voluntary. Producers should participate only if they wish to request a referendum on the program.

If at least 10 percent, not to exceed 1/5 of producers from any one state, of the 515,008 eligible producers determined by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) participate in the request for referendum, a referendum will be held within one year from that determination. If results of the request for referendum indicate that a referendum is not supported, a referendum will not be conducted. The results of the request for referendum will be published in a notice in the Federal Register.

To Request Referendum:

Soybean producers may request a referendum during the 4-week period beginning May 6, 2024, and ending May 31, 2024. To be eligible to participate in the request for referendum, producers must certify that they or the producer entity they are authorized to represent paid an assessment at any time between January 1, 2022, and December 31, 2023.

Form LS-51-1, Soybean Promotion and Research Order Request for Referendum, can be obtained from May 6, 2024, to May 31, 2024, by mail, FAX, or in person from Farm Service Agency (FSA) county offices, or can be downloaded from Completed forms and supporting documentation must be returned to the appropriate FSA County Office: By FAX or in person no later than COB on May 31, 2024.

By mail postmarked by midnight on May 31, 2024, and must be received in the FSA County Office by COB on June 7, 2024.


Notice of the Request for Referendum was published in the Feb. 2, 2024, Federal Register. For more information, contact Jeana Harbison, Research and Promotion Division; Livestock and Poultry Program, AMS, USDA; STOP 0249 – Room 2092-S; 1400 Independence Avenue, SW.; Washington, D.C. 20250-0249; tel. (202) 720-5705; or via the Internet at

Submitted by Osage County FSA Executive Director Rachel Parker. For more information, contact Osage County FSA at 785-828-4631.

Registration opens for youth tractor safety courses

Young tractor driver in a past Lyndon Fourth of July parade. File photo.

Registration is now open until May 20, 2024, for an upcoming Hazardous Occupation Training class. The class, hosted by the Marias des Cygnes and Frontier Extension districts, is required for 14 and 15-year-old youth who want to operate farm tractors on farms other than for their parents.

Only 14 to 15-year-olds who work for their parents on the family farm are exempt from the HOT training requirement. The training is still required, however, if the family farm is a partnership, incorporated, or the youth is working on a grandparent’s farm. This training is also required for youth planning to use a lawn mower or tractor larger than 20 horsepower.

This year’s training will be different than in the past, as participants are required to complete an online course from Penn State University called the National Safe Tractor and Machinery Operation Program. The online course costs $10, and covers the book portion of the tractor and machinery safety material, and accounts for about 16 hours of training.

Participants are also asked to watch five safety videos and write three to four sentences about what they learned from the videos. Once the book portion has been completed with a passing grade, Penn State provides a printable certificate, which is submitted with the video descriptions to the Extension office by June 12.

Saturday, June 15, will be an eight-hour day of in-person safety training that will end with a tractor driving test. Participants that pass the driving test will earn a certificate of training. The in-person training will be at the Pomona Community Building, 219 Jefferson St., Pomona, Kan., before traveling to a farm for the driving test.

To register for the hazardous occupation class, contact the local Extension office or sign up at Once registered, a confirmation email will be sent with the Tractor Safety Manual, a website address to create an account and sign up for the National Safe Tractor and Machinery Operation Program, a list of videos to choose to watch, and a consent form for use on June 15.

Participants will be transported by instructors to a local farm and back to the Pomona Community Center for the driving portion of the day on June 15. Lunch and snacks for the day will be provided.

For more information, contact Extension agents Rod Schaub, 785-828-4438, Ryan Schaub, 785-448-6826, or Katelyn Barthol, 913-294-4306.

Osage City hosts citywide garage sales this weekend, April 19-20

Osage City citywide garage sales are this weekend, April 19-20, 2024. The garage sales are hosted by the Osage City Chamber of Commerce, which distributes a map of the sales. Garage and yard sales offer a great opportunity to get rid of some of that stuff you never use and free up some space.

The area map provides a chart for the type of items at the garage sales and is available here to download as a pdf, or pickup a paper copy at Hair Designs by Diane, Bank of Osage City, Landmark Bank, First National Bank, Casey’s, White’s Foodliner, Peterson’s or BP. For more information, stop by to see Tricia Gundy at Peterson’s Assisted Living, 629 Holliday St., Osage City, or call 785-219-9727.

Chamber Chatter: Scholarship deadline next week

The deadline date is drawing near for the Osage City Chamber of Commerce 2024 scholarship applications.

The Osage City Chamber of Commerce offers a scholarship to one senior girl and one senior boy graduating from Osage City High School. High school graduation will soon be here and the Chamber would like to encourage any senior girl and boy that are furthering their education to get with Shana Smith, the high school counselor and ask for application information.

Specifically for the Osage City Chamber of Commerce application, data needed is a transcript, two letters of reference, and an essay from the student on importance of owning and operating a business in a small town.

Applications should be submitted to the address listed on the application. Applications must be postmarked by April 17, 2024.

Chamber to gather after hours at TwoCousins weeSale

TwoCousins weeSale LLC will be hosting a Chamber After Hours Mixer 5-7 p.m. Thursday, April 18, 2024, at 413 Market St., Osage City. The event will be a Chamber After Hours Mixer, a ribbon cutting and open house. Chamber members and the public are invited to come and meet owners Stephanie and Jaryl Seth, and enjoy refreshments and visit with fellow community members. The store furnishes a wide variety of items to complete a home with a new baby, through ages newborn to teen years.

Plans for fair events include carnival, parade, fireworks, demo derby, Lions Club food

This year Osage City will be hosting two fair events. A community event July 10-13, 2024, will include a carnival, a variety of entertainment every night, live band, parade, fireworks, and Touch-A-Truck, among other entertainment. The fair parade is scheduled for 7 p.m. Friday, July 12. The parade theme has not been decided yet.

Adam Burnett, parade chairman, is creating some new and innovative concepts for the parade for this year. He will provide information regarding the parade, and a parade form will be available soon to submit an entry for the parade. The Chamber of Commerce offers cash prizes for float entries and golf cart and ATV entries. For more information about the parade, contact Burnett at 785-760-0621.

Community fireworks celebration

The date for the annual community fireworks show hosted by the Osage City Chamber of Commerce will be Friday, July 12, starting at 10 p.m.

Osage County 4-H Fair, July 24-27, 2024

July 24-27, 2024 will mark the dates for the Osage County Fair, at Osage City. The fair will feature exhibits including poultry, livestock, fruit, vegetables, produce, and other representations of the best of Osage County.

TwoCousins weeSale named as new business of the year

New Business of the Year Award was presented to TwoCousins weeSale LLC and owners, Stephanie and Jaryl Seth. Chamber photo.

A new award for the Osage City Chamber of Commerce this year, the New Business of the Year Award, was presented to TwoCousins weeSale LLC, and owners, Stephanie and Jaryl Seth, at the recent Chamber awards banquet.

During 2023, Osage City was fortunate to be chosen as the home for TwoCousins weeSale LLC. The Seths have settled in the building that was formerly Henry’s Coffee House, and are filling their store with a variety of clothing from new born to maternity wear. They also house a nice variety of toys, bedding, and furniture to outfit a home for a new addition to the family.

They have become involved with the various events that the Chamber has to offer throughout the year and look forward to becoming more involved as the time passes. They regularly partner and donate merchandise to the local non-profit organizations in the county, support the schools with shoes and clothing for families in need and emergency support of families upon a disaster.

Information thanks to Osage City Chamber Executive Director Jeanette Swarts.

Lira recognized as Osage City employee of the year for helpful, friendly attitude

Louise Lira, of White’s Foodliner, is Osage City’s employee of the year. Chamber photo.

Louise Lira, of White’s Foodliner, formerly Jerry’s Thriftway, was announced as the recipient of the Osage City Chamber’s Employee of the Year award during the organization’s recent awards banquet.

Louise has been an employee since 2012, with 12 years with Jerry’s Thriftway and now with White’s Foodliner.

Lira was recognized for how she always greets customers with a smile, and is always helpful answering customers’ questions. Louise has worked through the grocery store’s recent owner change and made the transition with ease. Throughout her years of gaining experience, she has taken on a leadership role with the other checkers, and always takes care of their problems that they may encounter.

Osage City Public Library earns Chamber’s non-profit of the year award

The Osage City Public Library was named as the recipient for the Osage City Chamber of Commerce’s Non-Profit of the Year Award, at the Osage City Chamber of Commerce’s annual award banquet held March 22, 2024. The library’s mission statement is “More than just books”. The library is committed to supporting a lifelong enjoyment of reading and learning.

The library is dedicated and provides more than books to all ages of citizens of Osage City and Osage County. They have partnered with AARP to provide tax assistance to the elderly. Catholic Charities brings a resource bus to the library, providing food, hygiene and baby items. The Osage County Sheriff’s Office uses the library as a toy drop off station during the Christmas season.

Jeanette Stromgren and her staff and volunteers are always known for being friendly, professional and willing to help visitors find books and movies of interest. The staff consists of two fulltime and five part-time employees.

The library provides snacks to students after school, meals for children during the summer, story time twice a week for those five and younger.

The staff visits local daycares, assisted living, nursing homes, and homebound individuals.

Osage City Chamber names Payne Financial as business of the year

Osage City Business of the Year: Kevin, Angie, and Joshua Payne, Payne Financial Strategies. Chamber photo.

During the Osage City Chamber of Commerce’s annual award banquet, held March 22, 2024, the Business of the Year Award was presented to Payne Financial Strategies, and owners Kevin, Angie, and Joshua Payne.

In the last year, Payne Financial Strategies has been involved and engaged with the community by establishing a business of financial professionals that are dedicated to professionally serving the Osage and surrounding area communities. They have gained remarkable growth, community involvement and passion in educating and serving the community. Josh Payne, a member of this team, is a recipient of the Kansas NextGen Under 30 award for young professionals, a very prestigious honor.

Payne Financial Strategies has experienced growth in staff or other development as they have achieved milestones and set new standards of success by serving others. Their commitment to the local community is to provide quality, customer satisfaction and proper financial planning that will assist their clients in achieving short-term and long term financial goals.

Information thanks to Osage City Chamber Executive Director Jeanette Swarts.

Chamber awards banquet recognizes local businesses, employees, non-profits

Winners at the 2024 Osage City Chamber of Commerce awards banquet, from left, Stephanie and Jaryl Seth, TwoCousins weeSale, new business of the year; Angie, Kevin, and Joshua Payne, Payne Financial Strategies, business of the year; Louise Lira, of White’s Foodliner, employee of the year, and Jeanette Stromgren, Osage City Library, non-profit of the year. Osage City Chamber photo.

Friday, March 22, 2024, marked the second annual Osage City Chamber of Commerce awards banquet, which was held at St. Brigid Hall. There were approximately 100 in attendance at the evening event, which was filled with a variety of entertainment, good food and visiting with friends from the community. C.J. Adkins, of Flinthills Catering, catered a delicious meal topped off with a triple chocolate torte dessert that melted in your mouth.

Gavin Robert, a talented junior at Osage City High School, provided a nice medley of soft dinner music on his keyboard and guitar. Following the meal, the first segment of the evening program included two OCHS forensics students presenting their award winning presentations. Dustin Stucky, forensics instructor, introduced Gavin Ericson and Emily Whalen. Both students gave very entertaining presentations and kept the attention of everyone.

Following the students was guest speaker, Casey Woods, executive director of Emporia Main Street. He shared with the group some of the keys to a strong community. Emporia Main Street is an economic and community development agency that operates within the city of Emporia and Lyon County. Their mission is to sustain and grow Emporia’s local economy by applying a four-point approach to create jobs, encourage tourism, and support entrepreneurs and business owners.

Highlighting the remainder of the program was the presentation of awards for four categories. Nominations for the four categories were submitted to the Chamber of Commerce throughout the months of February and March. See related stories.

Information thanks to Osage City Chamber Executive Director Jeanette Swarts.

Chamber Chatter: Christmas on Market proceeds provide gifts to local charities

Chamber donates to ECAT, ECKAN, Warmth Fund

Presentation of Christmas on Market proceeds: From left, Heather Ihde, Eckan, Jeannine Colstrom, ECAT, and Jeanette Swarts, Chamber director.

Funds raised during the 2023 Osage City Christmas on Market event were divided between three local organizations, East Central Kansas Economic Opportunity Corporation (ECKAN), Ecumenical Christian Action Team (ECAT), and Osage City Warmth Fund. Chamber Director Jeanette Swarts presented disbursements of $764.26 each to Heather Ihde, with ECKAN, and Jeannine Colstrom, with ECAT, at the Feb. 20, 2024, Chamber members meeting. An equal amount will be presented to the Warmth Fund.

ECKAN updates Chamber members on availability of local childhood services

Holly Weece gave an informative presentation on ECKAN Head Start at the February Chamber members meeting.

ECKAN Head Start programs help prepare children for lifelong success, right from the start. ECKAN offers free Head Start programs for low-income families with young children, from birth to age five. Their research-backed programs promote self-sufficiency, healthy growth and development, and success for future experiences.

Head Start services include health screenings, parent education and involvement, nutrition, help with child’s disability, transitions, education. The Osage County Home Based (Early Head Start) is open 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Friday, and is at 528 Market St., Osage City, Kan. For more information, call 620-803-2040 or 620-803-2041, or see

Osage City spring citywide garage sales scheduled for April 19-20, 2024

The holidays have been over for a couple months, the groundhog did not see his shadow; therefore, spring time is just around the corner and it is time to get ready to do some spring cleaning. It will soon be that time of the year to sign up for the spring Osage City citywide garage sales. This is a great opportunity to get rid of some of that stuff you never use and free up some space. The citywide garage sale is set for April 19-20, 2024.

To sign up, contact Tricia Gundy at 785-219-9727.

The Chamber produces an area map that is user friendly, and provides a chart for the type of items at the garage sales. To sign up for the map, information needed will be a name as to be listed on the map, address, phone number in case of questions about the sale, if the sale is Friday and Saturday or Saturday only, what area on the map, type of items to be sold, for example: children clothing, adult clothing, furniture, collectibles, kitchen items, household items, craft items, miscellaneous. A $5 donation is requested to list a sale on the map.

Plans are to make the map available on the Chamber of Commerce Facebook and website. Proceeds from the garage sale map go towards a scholarship awarded every year to two Osage City High School graduates furthering their education. The deadline for listing a sale on the garage sale map is April 17.

Frontier Extension District school to promote safe and effective prescribed grassland burns

Speakers to share guidelines for planning and conducting burns, and having necessary tools

By Carol Engle
Frontier Extension District Communications and Marketing Manager

OTTAWA, Kan. – K-State Research and Extension Frontier District will host a school to teach attendees how to plan and conduct a safe and effective prescribed burn of grasslands. Tools needed for burns will also be discussed. The school will be held 9:30 a.m.-3 p.m. Monday, Feb. 26, 2024, at the Neosho County Community College, Ottawa Campus, 900 E. Logan St., Ottawa, Kan. A chili lunch will be available with a donation appreciated to cover costs. Registration is requested by Friday, Feb. 23, to Rod Schaub, Frontier Extension agricultural agent, at 785-828-4438 or

Presenters for the school will include Ethan Walker, NRCS range specialist, David Kraft, Kansas Grazing Land Coalition, Justin Harbit, Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks, and Nathan Griesemer, National Weather Service. Topics will include reasons to burn, weather conditions for burning, equipment needed and planning for and conducting a burn, fire behavior, hazards and precautions, liability and CRP rules.

Local ‘Women in Agriculture’ conference to offer knowledge, networking

OTTAWA, Kan. – Local women involved in any facet of agriculture are encouraged to attend a one-day “Women in Agriculture” conference Wednesday, March 20, 2024, at Ottawa Memorial Auditorium, 301 S. Hickory St., Ottawa, Kan.

The event will open at 9 a.m. and feature a keynote address on advocating for agriculture by Brandi Buzzard Frobose. Sessions throughout the day will include those focused on land lease basics and rental rates, mental health and agricultural stress, and crop insurance and livestock risk protection insurance. Lunch will be provided; there is no cost for lunch or registration.

“We hope this local conference will provide good information with reduced costs and travel for our clientele,” said Ryan Schaub, Frontier Extension crop production and farm management agent.

“Small groups tend to converse more,” said Rod Schaub, Frontier Extenstion livestock agent. “We want participants to share thoughts and ask questions so that everyone gets the most out of this program.”

While the meeting is named Women in Ag, it was created to help everyone, the agents said. The sponsors want attendees to take information home and put it to use in their day-to-day activities on the farm.

To register, contact the Frontier Extension District Garnett office at 785-448-6826.

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