A crime mapping tool used by law enforcement agencies across Northwest Indiana to track and solve everything from car break-ins to homicides can now be accessed online by the public. Michigan City's crime data is now part of the Regional Crime Report available online at nwi.com. Click here to access the Crime Report online for Michigan City.
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Beginning immediately, Michigan City residents can once again donate coats to those in need.
For the third year in a row, the City of Michigan City has partnered with Michigan Township Trustee Rodney Washington and his Office to move the distribution of coats from City Hall to the Michigan Township Trustees Office located at 2601 East Michigan Boulevard. Hours of operation are: 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m., Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday. You can also reach the trustees office at: 874-5201.
“There is a large need for this yearly campaign in our community; I would like to thank Michigan Township Trustee Rodney Washington and his office for their willingness to get involved and their help in addressing the needs of our residents” said Mayor Meer.
“I would also like to personally thank Concord Cleaners for their generous offer to clean, at no cost, any coats and snowsuits that you wish to donate to the coat drive” said Mayor Meer. “Simply drop off your coats at Concord Cleaners (3231 Franklins St.) and say they are for the coat campaign, and Concord Cleaners will clean them and deliver them to the Michigan Township Trustees Office weekly.”
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The Michigan City Street Department will begin fall leaf pickup on Monday, October 20, 2014. If residents would like weekly pickups of their leaves, they may use compost containers or compost/yard waste bags (no plastic bags) available from area merchants (NO TOTERS PLEASE). Leaves in paper yard bags or 32 gallon trash cans should be placed in the front of the property, and will be picked up by the Refuse Department on regular compost day until the week ending November 21, 2014. Leaves will be picked up by request only prior to Monday, October 20, 2014.
For aditional details, pick up schedule and route map, click here.
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Michigan City Mayor Ron Meer, Police Chief Mark Swistek and Fire Chief Ron Martin ask that each neighborhood work with the City for the safety of our children and hold Trick-or-Treating during these designated hours:
Friday, October 31, 2014
5:00 - 7:00 p.m.
Participating residents are asked to turn on their porch lights during this time. Extra police patrols will be utilized during this event throughout the City.
For additional Halloween safety information, click here.
Have A Safe & Scary Halloween!!
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The Indiana State Department of Health has opened a call center to answer questions from the public regarding the Ebola virus. Health representatives are available to answer questions regarding symptoms, screening and diagnosis of Ebola. The call center telephone number is (877) 826-0011. It is open Monday through Friday, 8:15 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. Call (888) 561-0044 for the hearing impaired.
The State Department of Health also has a website, http://www.in.gov/isdh/26447.htm, that has fact sheets, FAQs, and guidance documents for a variety of audiences, including the public, emergency medical services, and health care providers.
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Michigan City Mayor Ron Meer knows how important Lake Michigan is to his community. The Mayor believes Michigan City is poised to be a gateway city, and protecting her waterways has been a major priority of his administration. Mayor Meer said, “Through extensive partnerships, collaborations and strategic planning initiatives, my administration has demonstrated a willingness to disclose and correct environmental problems. My team champions a culture that promotes safety and compliance by exploring various ways to achieve environmental results and making them a routine part of their everyday work.”
On September 19, 2014 the Michigan City Sanitary District (District) completed the last remaining task of their Compliance Plan mandated by the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM). The next step for the District will be to demonstrate six (6) consecutive months of full compliance with their National Pollutant Elimination System (NPDES) Permit and any special provisions of the Agreed Order.
This compliance demonstration began on October 1, 2014, and will run through March 31, 2015. If the District can demonstrate full compliance, it is likely that IDEM will close out the Agreed Order.
The Compliance Plan was developed and sent to the state for approval on April 30, 2012. By that time, the District was already on its way to implementing several of the items contained in the plan. Initially the Compliance Plan contained 89 items, but in July 2013, General Manager, Michael Kuss added ten (10) new items to the Compliance Plan. “These items were necessary to meet the ultimate goal of environmental protection and quality service to the citizens of Michigan City,” Kuss said.
Kuss is still working on the total cost of the 99 item Compliance Plan Implementation, but it will be in the neighborhood $13,000,000.
Two of the most important aspects of the Compliance Plan were the acquisitions of new equipment and vehicles and improvements to the Information Technology (IT) infrastructure. In early 2012, Kuss and the Sanitary District were faced with the reality of nonfunctioning Sewer Cleaning Machines, nonfunctioning Sewer Video Taping Equipment, numerous other vehicles and equipment beyond the state of repair, and an IT infrastructure that was on the verge of catastrophic collapse. The District spent approximately $2,100,000 on vehicles and equipment and $311,000 upgrading its IT infrastructure.
Some of the most notable projects and improvements completed during this almost 3 year compliance plan mandate included:
Cleaning of the 54-inch Sewer Trunkline ($330,000)
Cleaning of the Anaerobic Digesters ($192,000)
Rehabilitation of the Sand Filtration System ($23,600)
Sand Filter Bypass Elimination Plan ($19,171)
* both projects were done in house and resulted in savings in excess of $100,000 to the District
Greenwood Avenue Sewer Project ($1,218,000)
Sheridan Beach Sewer Separation Project ($2,800,000)
New aeration weirs at the wastewater treatment facility ($149,000)
Refurbishing of the West Gallery and it associated piping ($147,000)
Another highlight of the Compliance Plan implementation was the inter-departmental and inter-governmental cooperation exhibited and achieved with other Departments and Governmental Entities. Cooperation is a hallmark of the Meer Administration and nowhere is this more evident than with the Sanitary District. The new sewers installed in Elston Grove ($1,100,000) was a cooperative effort with the Redevelopment Commission, the new sewer line along Trail Creek ($846,000) was a cooperative effort with the Water Department, the completion of the Lake Avenue Lift Station, Bath House, and California Parking Lot Improvement Project ($1,200,000) was a cooperative effort with the Parks Department, and the new Automatic Bar Screen at the State Prison was a $1,500,000 cooperative effort with the State of Indiana. This project, funded entirely by the State of Indiana, will keep enormous amounts of debris out of the District’s sewer system and will likely do more to ensure compliance than another other single project.
“We are striving to improve Michigan City as quickly as possible to provide our citizens and visitors with a high quality of life now - not later, but now. The only way to do that is to aggressively fix and correct problems and implement improvements as quickly as possible,” Mayor Meer stated. “The District under Kuss’ leadership exemplifies that it can be done!”
Additionally, Mayor Meer is quick to point out that Kuss did not stop with the Compliance Plan. He volunteered the District to become active member of the Northwest Indiana Partners for Clean Air and has helped to reduce air pollution by spearheading a plan to design and construct a Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) Refueling Station and use $300,000 of Federal grant money to help purchase a CNG Sewer Cleaning Machine – the first in the State of Indiana. He has implemented significant major corrective actions at Karwick Nature Park, he has secured grant money to evaluate stormwater controls for the Cheney Run Storm Sewer, he has implemented a Municipal Separate Stormwater Sewer System (MS4) Control Plan for Michigan City that is receiving high marks from State Regulators, and he organized the Conference on the Environment that was held at Blue Chip Casino and Spa on June 5, 2014.
This conference was attended by over 150 people and showcased many of the exciting improvements implemented and planned for Michigan City including the Lake Michigan Gateway Implementation Plan.
Furthermore, Kuss has implemented many other significant changes at the District that will improve efficiency and save money. For instance in 2012 he began personally coordinating the District’s bio-solids disposal instead of using a contractor. This one change alone has saved the District over a quarter of a million dollars to date. The fiscal responsibility does not stop there. He has been able to complete all of these improvements and increase the cash balances in the District’s Operating Fund and Improvement Fund, from dangerously low levels that frighten municipal rate consultants, to normal levels that will not only sustain compliance but provide for the opportunity to replace equipment as needed after it has reached its useful life.
Mayor Meer stated, “This is been a difficult process for the District in many ways, but it's also impressive how quickly the turnaround was achieved. Everyone at the Sanitary District deserves a pat on the back. Board President, Michael Gonder, City Engineer Charles Peller, current Board Members Frank Harris, Gary Mitchell and Holt Edinger, along with former Board Members Keith Harris and Phil Jankowski must be commended for their commitment to success. District Attorney, James B. Meyer certainly deserves special recognition for his involvement in the process as well.” “This was a total team effort.”
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Mayor Ron Meer announces that he is prepared to lift the moratorium on the Michigan City Fireworks display in 2015 as a part of the Michigan City Summer Fest schedule as long as the criteria listed below is met.
- The fireworks show must be held on Saturday, July 4, 2015.
- Funding in the amount of $50,000 must be raised through private donations and sponsorships. This money will pay for the pyrotechnics as well as help to offset the overtime cost the city will incur to our various departments.
- All applicable permits must be secured in a timely fashion from the Indiana State Fire Marshalls office and the United States Coast Guard.
Mayor Meer states that, “In order to provide our Michigan City Police and Fire Departments an adequate amount of time to plan, coordinate and deliver the necessary public health and safety services to our citizens and visitors during this event, I am mandating that proof of all funding and permits be submitted to my office no later than April 1, 2015.”
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Are you seeking more information on the Michigan City Lake Michigan Gateway Implementation Strategy? Click here to learn more from the Hitchcock Design Group, the team commissioned by the City to design the implementation strategy.
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Mayor Meer has made available the following documents related to the Cheney Run Floodplain:
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Michigan City, Indiana has received the long awaited news regarding federal tax credits for the Michigan City Artspace project. And it’s good news!
The Uptown Artspace Lofts at the Warren Building project was awarded an estimated $10 million dollars of federal tax credits that will move the project into the construction stage later this year.
The proposed project will be a full historic renovation of 44 affordable artist live-work spaces and commercial retail and gallery space.
A team made up of representatives of the national non-profit developer Artspace, working side by side with Michigan City officials, received the news Thursday morning at an Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority meeting.
“This award confirms what we have believed throughout this journey, that Michigan City, Indiana is the next great economic opportunity on Lake Michigan,” Mayor Ron Meer said upon hearing the news.
“I would like to thank Governor Pence, Lt. Governor Ellspermann, and the IHCDA for this award of tax credits and for recognizing the important revitalization opportunities in downtown Michigan City,” Meer said. Meer was also quick to point out help from State Senator Jim Arnold who continues to be a strong advocate for downtown Michigan City.
“This was a team effort. We are beaming with pride in Michigan City to be the first Artspace project in the State of Indiana,” Meer continued.
The project will infuse an estimated $12 million dollars in funds to redevelop the iconic Warren Building, a six story vacant structure on historic Michigan City’s main downtown thoroughfare, Franklin Street.
Councilman Tim Bietry made the initial call to invite Artspace to Michigan City in 2008, which led to a pre-development contract with Artspace, the largest non-profit developer of artist spaces in the country.
A City team that included Bietry, Mayor Ron Meer, former Mayor Chuck Oberlie, Redevelopment Commission President Ken Behrendt, Councilman Rich Murphy, and City Planning Director Craig Phillips worked with Artspace representatives for more than three years to achieve the tax credit award.
Bietry said on Thursday, “This is an example of what can be achieved when talented people who want the best for their community step forward and work together.”
Artspace President Kelley Lindquist acknowledged the very competitive process for obtaining the tax credits.
“With 44 tax credit applications filed and only 15 funded in this round, we’re thrilled to be able to move to the next step in this process and grateful to the IHCDA for recognizing the value of this project,” Lindquist said. “We’re proud to be part of Michigan City’s commitment to redevelop downtown and are confident that this project and the arts will contribute greatly to those efforts.”
For additional project details, click here (PDF).
Artspace is the nation’s leader in artist-led community transformation, with 35 projects in operation across the country and another dozen in development, representing a unique, $600 million investment in America’s arts infrastructure. With headquarters in Minneapolis and ofﬁces in Los Angeles, New Orleans, New York, Seattle and Washington D.C., Artspace is America’s leading developer of arts facilities and has served as a consultant to hundreds of communities and arts organizations nationwide. To date we have completed nearly 2,000 affordable live/work units for artists and their families as well as more than a million square feet of non-residential space for artists and arts organizations. Additional information is available at www.artspace.org.
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Cell phone use - especially texting - has become so ingrained in society that far too many people ignore the NO TEXTING AND DRIVING LAW.
The Michigan City Police are noticing more and more of this on a regular basis and now with the busy shopping season and fast approaching dangerous driving weather upon us and we are warning citizens of not only the dangers yet the fact that citations will be issued.
57 percent of Americans view their cellphones as key to their social life, and most view texting as a vital feature. Yet to mix this activity with driving is statistically extremely dangerous.
- Five seconds is the average time a driver’s eyes are off the road while texting. When traveling 55 mph that is enough time to cover the length of a football field.
- In 2011, at least 23 percent of auto collisions involved cell phones, equaling 1.3 million crashes.
- At any given daylight moment across America, about 660,000 drivers are using cell phones or manipulating electronic devices while driving. IC 9-21-8-0.5
Specifically, the Indiana distracted driving law (IC 9-21-8-59) prohibits drivers from typing a text message, transmitting the message or reading an electronic mail message. This also means all drivers regardless of age are prohibited from texting or surfing on the internet even when stopped for a traffic light.
Drivers under 18 – are prohibited from using cell phones (handheld or hands-free) while driving. PERIOD
All Indiana drivers NO MATTER WHAT AGE are prohibited from texting while driving
How is it Enforced?
Indiana’s cell phone and texting laws are considered “primary” laws. A primary law means that an officer can pull you over for the offense without having to witness some other violation. That is, the officer sees you texting and can pull you over immediately and issue a citation. The citation will cost you $150.00 and is tripled in a construction zone!
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The Michigan City Uptown Arts District Façade Improvement Program through the Redevelopment Commission is designed to promote the continued use and maintenance of commercial and residential buildings in the downtown/Uptown Arts District area. It is intended to help property owners and commercial tenants to rehabilitate and restore the visible exterior of existing structures. Improvements must meet criteria for appropriateness of design.
For complete program information and application, please click here (PDF).
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The Michigan City Public Art Committee has established a scholarship fund to assist Michigan City children in taking art instruction. Visual art classes or individual art instruction for qualified children between 5 and 18 years of age will be funded. The maximum grant request per individual is $200. Funds will be available for instruction in painting, drawing, printmaking, sculpture, ceramics, collage, crafts such as beading, mosaic work and weaving, art camps or any combination of these taught by a legitimate instructor. The committee will not fund music, writing, dance, or drama instruction.
Applicants must show financial need and take instruction from an art provider located in the Michigan City city limits. The deadline for applying is at least 30 days before the instruction is scheduled to start.
Click here for Scholarship Guidelines and Application.
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The Michigan City Animal Control Division would like to announce a new volunteer program that will encompass Kennel duties located at Michigan City’s Central Maintenance on the west side. Some of the duties will include, but not limited to feeding of cats and dogs and cleaning the kennel if required.
Volunteers must be at least 18 years old and have their own transportation. You can find the Application and Waiver forms at emichigancity.com under the Animal Control tab and the Michigan City Police Department’s Facebook page. Applications and Waivers will also be available at the front desk of the police department. Once the forms are completed, please turn them in at the Michigan City Police Department for review, you will be contacted shortly thereafter.
Click here for Dog/Cat Kennel - Michigan City, Indiana Volunteer Application (PDF)
Click here for Dog/Cat Kennel - Volunteer Waiver And Release (PDF)
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Mayor Ron Meer, is proud to announce that for the 12th consecutive year, Michigan City, Indiana has been named a Tree City USA community for its commitment to urban forestry.
This is a national honor, bestowed upon Michigan City by the Arbor Day Foundation, the nation’s largest nonprofit organization dedicated to planting trees.
“We all benefit when communities like Michigan City place a high priority on planting and caring for trees, one of our nation’s most beautiful resources,” said John Rosenow, chief executive and founder of the Arbor Day Foundation. “Trees shade our homes and add beauty to our neighborhoods, and they also provide many environmental, economic and social benefits. We applaud Michigan City’s elected officials, volunteers, and citizens for providing vital care for its urban forest.”
Michigan City has met the four standards to become a Tree City USA community. Tree City USA communities must have a tree board or department, a tree-care ordinance, a community forestry program with annual expenditures of at least $2 per capita, and an Arbor Day observance and proclamation.
Communities that earn Tree City USA recognition not only have taken the time to meet the four standards, they know that trees:
- Promote healthier communities by filtering the air we breathe by removing dust and other particles.
- Moderate climate, conserve water and provide vital habitat for wildlife.
- Reduce the heat island effect in urban areas caused by pavement and buildings.
- Reduce energy use and increase property values.
The Tree City USA program is sponsored by the Arbor Day Foundation in cooperation with the National Association of State Foresters and the USDA Forest Service.
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Mayor Ron Meer, in conjunction with NIPSCO, would like to inform the public of an online option available to them in reporting a streetlight outage.
www.nipsco.com/streetlightout is an interactive website designed to allow the public an easier, faster, and much more efficient means of reporting a streetlight outage. When a person accesses the website, they can report a streetlight outage with just three simple steps.
Mayor Meer asks the public to please utilize this method of reporting when possible. This website will eliminate steps in the reporting process and generate an immediate online report directly to NIPSCO. However, for those who do not have internet access, you are encouraged to please call Central Services at 873-1500. Central Services will then enter and submit the information on your behalf.
Mayor Meer would like to thank you for your help. A well lit Michigan City is a safer and more appealing place for both our citizens and visitors.
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The Indiana Comprehensive Local Environmental Action Network (CLEAN) Community Challenge is a voluntary recognition program for local Indiana government. CLEAN helps communities take steps to plan, develop, and implement a quality of life plan. This plan includes gathering input and support from the community and local businesses.
As a resident of Indiana, you and your family have access to a FREE Prescription Drug Card program. Simply download your Prescription Drug Card here to receive savings of up to 75% at more than 50,000 national and regional pharmacies. You may create as many cards as you need. Participating pharmacies include the following: Target, Kmart, CVS/pharmacy, Walgreens, Meijer, Kroger as well as thousands of independent pharmacies.
Discounts range in price from 10-70% but average about 30%. It is NOT insurance...it's a membership program, but like insurance you get a card that you show at the pharmacy and they can calculate your discount.
For people with insurance or Medicare, this can work with them as well. Because it is NOT insurance, members would be able to see if they get a better price with their existing insurance or with the card. Usually, the co-pay through insurance will be better, but not always. So having the card could be helpful even to people that already have insurance. (Not to mention many individuals and businesses are going to high deductible plans that don't cover prescriptions.)
This benefit is sponsored by United Networks of America a national healthcare company in conjunction with a consortium of the pharmaceutical companies. This exact program has launched successfully in 30 states over the last 2 years. UNA expects the program to discount over 20,000,000 prescriptions in 2009 for tens of millions of American families when they need help the most.
The membership program may not meet everyone’s need but offers an inexpensive alternative for many. Click here for frequently asked questions about the program.
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The Michigan City Fire Department is in the process of gathering information on adults and children in the community who have special medical needs. Fire Chief Dave Lamb urge families who use medical care aids such as cardiac monitors, ventilation devices, feeding tubes, wheel chairs, or any other such devices for sustaining the life and health of a family member, to complete this form. Please click here to view and print the form. It then needs to be forwarded to the Fire Department. This form should also be used for community members who are non-ambulatory and would require assistance in leaving their homes in an evacuation situation.
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Setting out your weekly trash pickup may seem like a fairly simple mundane task. However, have you considered if you are actually doing so in accordance with recently updated city trash regulations? Are you using city trash containers --- or just placing bags along the curb? If you are using trash containers, great! But are they in compliance with city trash regulations? Are you remodeling a home or building a new one? If you are, what are you doing with the construction rubbish?
- According to the City Code, it shall be the duty of every person owning or leasing a residence or place of business in the City wherein garbage accumulates to maintain in a clean and odor free condition a cart provided by the City.
- The only container that may be used must be a cart that the City will supply.
- All garbage, trash or rubbish which accumulates shall be deposited in either a cart or dumpster. The lid to every cart and dumpster shall be kept on and closed at all times, other than when placing items in them.
- Plastic garbage bags with tight-fitting tie closures may be used, but shall be placed inside either a cart or dumpster.
- All carts must be put out for collection by 7:00 a.m. on the day scheduled for their collection with the arrows located on the carts pointing out toward the street or alley from which collection is made. All carts must have open access for the trash collectors to retrieve them.
- For street-side pickup, carts shall be set out no more than 24 hours prior to the usual time of collection and shall be removed within 24 hours after collection.
- At no time shall the cart be moved from its assigned address.
- The Refuse Department must be contacted at 873-1530 for special pick-up at the normal collection location of all large items that cannot fit within the cart.
- The two-wheeled cart Toters are to be used for trash only and they are not to be used for construction materials or compost.
If you're unfamiliar with city regulations on trash containers and construction waste, are curious about what it looks like to be in compliance and not in compliance with the recently revised city trash regulations, or have any questions about city trash regulations, compliancy, or trash pick-ups, click here to learn more.
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The City of Michigan City and the Michigan City Fire Department have begun the implementation of recently enacted Michigan City Ordinance #4020, which regulates smoke detectors for rental properties.
The Fire Department Administration would like to remind all owners of rental property in Michigan City that a two-step process has been enacted to protect the health, safety and general welfare of the citizens of Michigan City. First of all, all residential rental units shall be equipped with smoke detectors. And secondly, a registration requirement has been enacted stating that owners of property which is used as residential rental dwelling units or contains a rental dwelling unit are required to register all such properties with the Michigan City Fire Department.
The passage of Ordinance #4020 included an initial 45-day registration period and owners who have not yet registered their properties should do so immediately. After this initial registration period following the passage of the Smoke Detectors for Rental Properties Ordinance earlier this year, owners shall be required to register all such properties on an annual basis, by January 31st of each year. Additionally, for new owners of rental property at any point throughout the year, registration is required within 30 days of becoming an owner of the real property to be used as residential rental property or rental dwelling units.
Rental property smoke detector registration forms can be obtained electronically over the internet at http://www.emichigancity.com/cityhall/departments/fire/, or they can be obtained in person from the Fire Department Administrative Office at 2510 East Michigan Boulevard.
Anyone with questions regarding smoke detectors for rental properties can contact Kyle A. Kazmierczak, Division Chief of Inspections, at (219) 873-1453 or Jeff Santana, Assistant Inspector, at (219) 873-1440.
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Michigan City has been identified by CityTownInfo.com as one of the state's top cities for affordable property taxes.
Compared to other communities which are similar in size and diversity to Michigan City, our community is in the top 12% of communities regarding affordable property taxes, top 17% of affordable rent. Compared to all communities in the state, Michigan City rates in the top 14% of short commute times.
The website page dedicated to Michigan City, http://www.citytowninfo.com/places/indiana/michigan-city, lists many other demographic statistics, including politics, wealth, ancestry, commute and sprawl, housing, crime and climate.
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