The latest local news

Thunderstorm chances return to start of the weekend

WQAD News -

Breezy conditions we’ve been experiencing throughout but we’ve kept it dry for the area as temperatures will hover in the 70s for the rest of the afternoon.   The broken cloudiness out there could sneak a light shower or two by rush hour, but won’t be until after dark when the coverage becomes more scattered with showers and a few non-severe thunderstorms.

Shower and thunderstorm chances will be scattered during the day on Saturday and Saturday night.  During the evening hours we do run the risk of a thunderstorm or two becoming strong to severe  with wind and hail the primary threats.

Sunday looks dry with just an slight chance of an isolated shower or thunderstorm. Otherwise, the weekend temperatures for highs will remain in the upper 70s.

Early next week remains dry before will slowly increase the chance for showers and thunderstorms starting as early as Wednesday evening.

Chief meteorologist James Zahara

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NAILED IT OR FAILED IT: How to Enjoy the FRUITS of Your Labor

WQAD News -

What's better than benefiting from all the hard work (and determination) you put into your garden?

On Friday, June 14th, we took NAILED IT OR FAILED IT on the road to Wallace's Garden Center in Bettendorf. Store Manager and "Garden Girl" Kate Terrell showed us how to grow strawberries and gave us her expert advice when it comes to making this sweet fruit even sweeter. Click the video above to see if we NAILED IT or FAILED IT!

Since we're growing strawberries, we thought we'd incorporate them into our Cocktail of the Week. This week, we're making Strawberry Pretzel Whiptinis. You'll need non-alcohol strawberry daiquiri mix, vodka, pudding mix, milk, strawberry ice cream sauce, pretzels, whipped cream, and of course - strawberries! Click the video below to see how we put all those ingredients together:

This isn't the first time we've taken Nailed It Or Failed It on the road to Wallace's. Click here to see how to make your own terrarium and click here to see how to make your own cocktail herb garden!

One woman, eight men charged as accomplices in the shooting of David Ortiz

WQAD News -

Prosecutors charged eight men and one woman as accomplices to the attempted murder of former Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz in a brazen attack at a nightclub in the Dominican Republic.

The nine suspects were charged in the shooting of Ortiz and television host Jhoel Lopez in Santo Domingo, the local prosecutor’s office said.

They all appeared in court Thursday in the city. A 10th suspect remains on the run. The relationship between the suspects is unclear.

One of the suspects, Rolfi Ferreira Cruz, 25, is wanted by New Jersey authorities for two armed robberies in 2017, prosecutors in the Dominican Republic said in a statement.

Ortiz, 43, was at a Santo Domingo nightclub Sunday night when a bullet struck him in the back and went through his stomach.

While the motive of the shooting is unclear, the Dominican National Police have said the suspects were offered 400,000 Dominican pesos — about $7,800 — to carry out the hit.

Ortiz is in ‘guarded condition’

Shortly after the shooting, Ortiz was rushed to a local hospital and treated for bleeding in his liver; portions of his intestines and gallbladder were removed, said Leo Lopez, his spokesman.

The next day, the Red Sox sent a plane to have him flown to Boston, where he had a second surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital.

He was in “guarded condition” Thursday in the hospital’s surgical intensive care unit, his wife said.

“He continues to heal and make progress,” Tiffany Ortiz said. “David will continue to recover in the ICU and future updates on his condition will be provided when necessary.”

In addition to the doctors who treated her husband, she thanked Eliezel Salvador, the man who drove Ortiz to the hospital and held his hand in the car as he bled and struggled to breathe.

“Your heroism and selflessness were the first steps to ensuring David could get the urgent care he required,” she said. “For that, we are eternally grateful.”

Jhoel Lopez, who was also shot, is recovering, his wife has said.

Arrests made over several days

The arrests have been trickling in over several days.

The first came Sunday night shortly after the shooting. Eddy Vladimir Féliz Garcia, who is accused of driving the alleged gunman to the club on the back of a motorcycle, was held down by witnesses and viciously beaten shortly after the shooting. He was then handed over to police with a bloodied and bruised face.

Féliz Garcia and Cruz, the alleged gunman, tried to leave on the motorcycle after the shooting, but it fell to the pavement. Cruz fled and was arrested days later and charged Thursday.

The arrests came after investigators spoke with Féliz Garcia at a hospital, police said. Investigators found the firearm allegedly used in the shooting buried in the home of one of the suspects near the city of Mao, police said.

Féliz Garcia’s attorneys have said he is a motorcycle taxi driver and may have unwittingly driven the shooter, but he did not shoot Ortiz.

A witness told police he saw Féliz García and the gunman get into a car parked near the scene of the shooting before gunfire erupted, the charging documents say.

Suspect is wanted in New Jersey

Hundreds of miles away in New Jersey, Cruz faces charges of armed robbery, possession of a firearm and receiving stolen property, among others. The alleged incidents occurred in Passaic County.

A grand jury indicted him on the charges in 2018, said Prosecutor Camelia M. Valdes of the Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office. A bench warrant without geographic limitations was issued by a Superior Court at the request of the prosecutor’s office.

Husband and wife brew team leading the way in Knox County

WQAD News -

GALESBURG, Illinois-- There's an all new Brewed episode airing Saturday night, June 15 on WQAD News 8, and Friday, June 14 you got a sneak peak at what the show's going to offer by hearing from two of the brewers.

Husband and wife team Matthew and Sarah Hansen, owners of the Knox County Brewing Company, joined us during WQAD News 8 at 11 to talk about their business and how they got started.

You can catch the new episode Saturday at 10:35 p.m. Also learn more about the show by clicking here. 

Freight House businesses excited for re-opening of River Drive

WQAD News -

DAVENPORT, Iowa -- Davenport Public Works crews worked to take down HESCO barriers along River Drive.

The city said it was waiting for the Mississippi River to fall below 17.5 feet and show signs of a downward trend. As of June 13th, the Mississippi is sitting just below that -- at 17.47 ft.

The business owners in the Freight House downtown are some of many owners banking on River Drive to re-open. They said the road is essential when it comes to business.

Giovanni Sgro is the co-owner of Antonella's Pizzeria II in the Freight House. He said it's a good thing to see public works crews working rather quickly to open up River Drive.

"We're hoping River Drive at least opens up here within this month," Sgro said. "'Cause that really is our main point. Without the traffic going by we don't get the publicity from up front -- the signs we have up front -- for everybody down here."

Steve Ahrens, with the Riverfront Improvement Commission,  said these businesses have had a rough few months.

"You know there have been a couple of episodes where the water has nearly surrounded the entire building," Ahrens said. "While the businesses have remained open for the most part here at the Freight House, access has been a major issue and that has hurt their businesses."

"It was hard on us because we wanted to open but we couldn't do anything," Sgro said. "Like we want to work, we're here to work. We're here to make money, we're here to serve the community, we're here for all that."

Finally, the Freight House is ready for a wave of business just in time for the Farmer's Market to return to their parking lot this weekend. All thanks to what businesses are calling a much needed clean up crew.

"Without (Public Works) none of this would even be possible. We'd probably be closed down for a little longer," Sgro said.

The Farmers Market will return the the Freight House on Saturday, June 15th opening at 8:00 a.m.

Rock Island resurfacing project to close part of 38th Street today

WQAD News -

ROCK ISLAND, Illinois -- A resurfacing project will cause part of 38th Street in Rock Island to close on Friday, June 14.

Crews are expected to start work around noon, blocking 38th Street to northbound traffic between 18th and 21st Avenues.  Southbound traffic will continue to flow.

According to the city, the work should last between three and four hours.

Davenport EMT being honored by Genesis and River Bandits

WQAD News -

DAVENPORT, Iowa  --  Tonight's Quad Cities River Bandits game is a special one. The team is partnering up with Genesis Hospitals to recognize community members with inspiring stories.

At Friday, June 14th, fans will be introduced to Austin Bird, a Davenport EMT, who is being honored for his incredible medical journey. Two years ago, Bird said he felt tingling in his feet, but 4 days later he was completely paralyzed.

He had Guillain-Barré syndrome, a condition in which the immune system attacks the nerves. Bird said it is extremely rare and that only about 1 and 100,000 people get it. Bird was diagnosed at Genesis Emergency Rooms.

"Thankfully that was one of the first things that they thought of," Bird said. "A quick diagnosis at Genesis probably saved my life."

Then, he was taken to University of Iowa Hospitals and was placed on a ventilator. He was given his last rites, but Bird recovered.

He credits his recovery to Genesis Hospitals.

"Genesis gave me my life back and for that I am eternally grateful," Bird said. " I am grateful for all the doctors, nurses, CNA's, and everyone that worked with me."

Bird did his physical therapy at Genesis West Rehab center and says they are the reason he is back to working full time as an EMT.

"At Genesis West Rehab, they did a lot of work with me," Bird said. "Not only physically, but mentally and spiritually. They helped me realize I was going to get better."

Bird now visits the rehab center in his free time to help work with other patients in recovery. He says he should be honoring Genesis at the game, but will happily accept the honor.

Tonight's game is at Modern Woodman Park at 6:30 p.m.

GM to announce $150 million investment in Michigan plant, reports say

WQAD News -

FLINT, Mich. (AP) — General Motors says it will spend $150 million so it can make more heavy-duty pickup trucks at its Flint, Michigan, assembly plant.

The money will improve the factory's conveyor system and for other equipment to boost output.

The factory builds heavy-duty Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickups which are all-new for the 2019 model year.

No new jobs are tied to the Wednesday announcement, but GM announced earlier this year that it would add 1,000 workers at the plant. The factory now runs three shifts per day and employs about 5,000.

Sales of the Sierra were down 2.2 percent through March and the Silverado fellpoho nearly 16 percent as factories switch to the new models. GM expects increased sales and plans to increase factory capacity by 60,000 trucks per year.

The ocean on Jupiter’s moon Europa has table salt, just like Earth’s seas

WQAD News -

(CNN) -- Although Jupiter's moon Europa looks alien to us, it contains an ingredient familiar to us: sodium chloride, otherwise known as good ol' table salt.

It's also a main component of sea salt. Europa is one of the intriguing water worlds in our solar system and potentially a place where life could exist in a subsurface ocean. The discovery of sodium chloride means Europa's ocean could look more like those on Earth and even possibly include salt. Now, astronomers may have to think differently about the composition of Europa's ocean.

Planetary scientists did a visible-light spectral analysis of the yellow spots on Europa to find the salt. A study published Wednesday in Science Advances sheds light on the discovery.

Previously, NASA's Voyager and Galileo spacecraft performed flybys of Europa, which led scientists to discover that the moon has a salty liquid water ocean beneath an icy shell. An infrared spectrometer aboard Galileo studied the shell and detected water ice and magnesium sulfate salts, which are similar to Epsom salts. It was believed that the shell was similar in composition to the same ingredients that made up the ocean.

"People have traditionally assumed that all of the interesting spectroscopy is in the infrared on planetary surfaces, because that's where most of the molecules that scientists are looking for have their fundamental features," said Mike Brown, study co-author and the Richard and Barbara Rosenberg Professor of Planetary Astronomy at the California Institute of Technology, in a statement.

You can see Jupiter and its largest moons with just your binoculars this month

But the W.M. Keck Observatory in Hawaii provided new data with higher spectral resolution to show that the salts weren't magnesium sulfates.

"We thought that we might be seeing sodium chlorides, but they are essentially featureless in an infrared spectrum," Brown said.

Kevin Hand, a scientist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, took ocean salt samples from Earth and hit them with radiation to simulate what it might be like on Europa. The sea salt changed color and could be identified in the visible light spectrum as yellow.

This was similar to an area on Europa called Tara Regio, which has a distinct yellow color.

"Sodium chloride is a bit like invisible ink on Europa's surface. Before irradiation, you can't tell it's there, but after irradiation, the color jumps right out at you," Hand said.

Follow-up observations with the Hubble Space Telescope confirmed that the yellow color of Tara Regio was due to irradiated table salt on Europa's surface.

"Magnesium sulfate would simply have leached into the ocean from rocks on the ocean floor, but sodium chloride may indicate the ocean floor is hydrothermally active," said Samantha Trumbo, lead study author and California Institute of Technology graduate student, in a statement. "That would mean Europa is a more geologically interesting planetary body than previously believed."

Burger King will sell upside-down Whoppers to celebrate ‘Stranger Things’

WQAD News -

(CNN) -- Burger King has figured out how to serve Whoppers upside-down in 1980s-era packaging and turn that into a marketing opportunity.

In a partnership with Netflix's "Stranger Things," the hamburger chain announced it will soon sell an "Upside-Down Whopper" sandwich, which is just a regular Whopper served with the bottom of the bun on the top of the burger and the top of the bun on the bottom. It's just like a normal Whopper, but upside-down.

The Upside-Down is an alternative universe in "Stranger Things," a show set in the 1980s that centers around the lives of four adolescent boys and their friends. The new season premieres on the streaming service on July 4.

If the upside-down part of the promotion isn't grabbing people, the nostalgia factor might: The upside-down Whoppers will be served with Burger King's classic packaging from the mid-1980s.

The special burger will be sold starting June 21 at certain restaurants in several US cities: Miami, Houston, Boston, Atlanta, Dallas, Philadelphia, Chicago, San Francisco, New York and Los Angeles. Restaurants in those cities will also have limited-edition ketchup packets and t-shirts inspired by "Stranger Things."

The promotion comes as competition tightens in the fast food business.

Quick-serve restaurants like Burger King are hyper-competitive, fighting for the same audience. Customers are not typically loyal to any particular brand, so fast-food companies resort to oddball, sometimes outlandish marketing tactics or crazy food creations to draw in customers.

In 2017, Wendy's famously challenged a teen to get 18 million retweets to score free nuggets for a year (he got the nuggets and set a record for the most retweeted tweet). And Domino's is chasing new clients by rewarding them for eating pizza — even if they buy it from a competitor.

Promotions like the upside-down Whopper get people to flock to restaurants to ensure they get a peek at the strange new offering before the deal ends.

For Netflix, the partnership is a way to advertise in new spaces. Netflix is an internet company, so associating its brand and shows with physical products helps customers think about its shows even when they're offline, Barry Smyth, head of global partner marketing at Netflix, previously told CNN Business.

The streaming platform is also partnering with a number of other companies, including Lego, H&M, Schwinn and Baskin-Robbins, to promote the upcoming season.

Netflix also teamed up with Coca-Cola to celebrate the show's upcoming third season. The beverage company rebooted New Coke because the new season takes place during the summer of 1985 — when Coca-Cola debuted the new recipe that flopped.

Coca-Cola pulled New Coke it from shelves after a few months and it was rebranded as Coke II. The drink was sold in some places after 1985. But this is the first time Coca-Cola brought back New Coke with that branding.

Burger King will also include DoorDash delivery as part of the promotion. Beginning Wednesday for a week, it will sell a Whopper meal, which includes a small drink and small fries, for $5 on the app with $0 delivery fees if the whole order costs more than $10. Customers need to enter the code "STRANGER" to access the deal on the DoorDash app or website, where they will be able to watch previews of new season of "Stranger Things."

US releases video it claims shows Iran removing unexploded mine from Gulf tanker

WQAD News -

(CNN) -- The United States has blamed Iran for an attack on two tankers in the Gulf of Oman, releasing video footage that it claims shows an Iranian patrol boat removing an exploded mine from one of the vessels' hulls.

The Kokura Courageous and Front Altair tankers were attacked in international waters Thursday, prompting the evacuation of both vessels and raising fears of further confrontation in one of the world's most strategic shipping lanes at a time of high tensions between the US and Iran.

The explosions, which sparked a fire on at least one of the two ships, are still under investigation. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo blamed Iran for the incident, citing intelligence assessments, the weapons used, the level of expertise required and the similarity to other recent attacks.

On Thursday night, US Central Command released a video which it said shows Iranian sailors removing a mine from the Kokura Courageous' hull.

In the video, a smaller boat is shown coming up to the side of the Japanese-owned tanker. An individual stands up on the bow of the boat and can be seen removing an object from the tanker's hull. The US says that object is likely an unexploded mine.

"Iran did do it, and you know they did it because you saw the boat," President Donald Trump said during a phone interview on Fox and Friends Friday morning, referring to the video.

A senior diplomatic source of a US ally told CNN Friday, "It is a virtual certainty Iran was behind this latest attack. The video now nails it."

The source added that the goal of the response from the US government thus far is all about publicly exposing Iranian actions and intensifying maximum pressure.

Iran has denied any involvement in the incident, with its foreign minister suggesting that the US was quick to make allegations "without a shred of evidence."

On Friday, the president of the Japanese shipping company that owns the Kokuka Courageous held a press conference in Tokyo, in which he denied that a mine had been used in the tanker attack.

The President of Kokuka Sangyo Marine, Yutaka Katada, said he believed there was "no possibility of mine attack" owing to the attack being "well above the naval line."

Katada said he had not seen the images released by the US military, but referenced the account of a crew member who witnessed the second blast and saw a "flying object."

The International Association of Independent Tanker Owners (Intertanko) said the vessels were hit "at or below the waterline, in close proximity to the engine room," and added that the attacks "appeared to be well-planned and coordinated."

Another of US official told CNN that multiple Iranian small boats have entered the area where the USS Bainbridge continues to be on the scene, prompting US Central Command to issue a statement saying, "No interference with USS Bainbridge, or its mission, will be tolerated."

The attack could provide more fodder for Iran hawks within the US administration, whose recent Iran saber-rattling has frustrated President Donald Trump. One of them, national security adviser John Bolton, announced last month that the Pentagon was deploying the USS Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group and a bomber task force to the Middle East in response to a "number of troubling and escalatory indications and warnings" from Iran.

The two tankers -- one carrying oil and the other transporting chemicals -- were attacked near the strategically important Strait of Hormuz, a vital shipping route that has been the focal point of regional tensions for decades. Roughly 30% of the world's sea-borne crude oil passes through the strategic choke point, making it a flashpoint for political and economic friction.

Jonathan Cohen, acting US ambassador to the United Nations, said Thursday that he echoed Pompeo's comments in a private meeting of the UN Security Council, describing the attack as "another example of Iran's destabilizing activities in the region."

The Iranian mission to the UN rejected the US' claim.

Alireza Miryousefi, a spokesman for the Iranian mission, tweeted a statement saying Iran "categorically rejects the US unfounded claim" that Iran is behind the attacks and "condemns it in the strongest possible terms."

He added that Iran "expresses concern" over the "suspicious incidents." And he called it "ironic" that the US, which withdrew from the nuclear deal with Iran, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, is now calling Iran to come back for negotiations and diplomacy.

Following the attack, Iran's foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, said "suspicious doesn't begin to describe" this latest incident, noting that one of the tankers is Japanese owned and the attack took place as Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was visiting Iran in an effort to calm tensions between Washington and Tehran.

"Reported attacks on Japan-related tankers occurred while PM was meeting with Ayatollah [Ali Khamenei] for extensive and friendly talks. Suspicious doesn't begin to describe what likely transpired this morning," Zarif tweeted Thursday.

After Khamenei met with with Abe, who was in Tehran on a visit widely viewed as an attempt to moderate US-Iran tensions, Iran's Supreme Leader tweeted that he does not "consider Trump as a person deserving to exchange messages with; I have no response for him & will not answer him."

Trump appeared to weigh in on Twitter, saying: "While I very much appreciate P.M. Abe going to Iran to meet with Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, I personally feel that it is too soon to even think about making a deal. They are not ready, and neither are we!"

Thursday's incident follows attacks on four oil tankers in the United Arab Emirates' port of Fujairah in May. The US and Saudi Arabia suspect Iran was behind those attacks -- though no evidence of its involvement has been presented. Tehran denied any involvement, and precisely who carried it out is still under investigation.

Initial findings from an international investigation of the attack last month concluded that a "state actor" was the most likely culprit.

The UAE, Saudi Arabia and Norway told the UN Security Council last week that there are "strong indications that last month's attacks were part of a sophisticated and coordinated operation carried out with significant operational capacity."

On Friday, a UK intelligence source told CNN that Britain had "no doubts" over the validity of the video released by the US Central Command. When asked about the remarks from Pompeo blaming Iran for the attack, Maja Kocijančič, a spokeswoman for the European Union, said Friday that the EU was still "gathering more information."

"We have said repeatedly that the region doesn't need further de-escalation it does need destabilization does need further tension and therefore we call for maximum restraint and to avoid provocations," Kocijančič said.

Baby cut from womb of murdered Chicago mother passes away after weeks on life support

WQAD News -

CHICAGO - The baby of slain Chicago teen Marlen Ochoa-Lopez has passed away after weeks of being on life support.

Baby Yovanny Jadiel Lopez passed away Friday morning, according to a statement from family spokeswoman Julie Contreras. He was in intensive care with severe brain damage since arriving to the hospital.

"It is with great sadness that we inform you of the passing of baby Yovanny Jadiel Lopez," the statement reads. "He passed away this Friday June 14, 2019 from his severe brain injury."

Ochoa-Lopez disappeared in April, and was later found murdered, the baby cut from her womb.

Clarissa Figueroa and her daughter Desiree Figueroa were formally charged Wednesday with first-degree murder for killing the 19-year-old pregnant mother, according to WGN.

Figueroa’s boyfriend Piotr Bobak is charged with covering up the death. Bobak hired private attorney Hal Garfinkel, who claims Bobak is innocent of all charges.

Frank Avila, the attorney for Ochoa-Lopez’s husband Yovani Lopez, called for the Cook County State’s Attorney to bring more charges against the three for causing severe brain damage to Baby Yovanny, who doctors said was deprived of oxygen when his mother was strangled.

The baby's funeral will be a private event for family only.

In a photo released last month by the family, the baby is seen being held by his father, Yovany Lopez. The picture, taken by a student pastor, shows the baby attached to various tubes and apparently asleep in his father's arms.

Around the time the photo was taken, the baby opened his eyes.

"We were just praying and praying and he opened his eyes, and his dad said, 'Oh my God, he opened his eyes!'" Cecilia Garcia, a student pastor who was assisting the family, told CNN at the time.

Read More: Three charged after pregnant woman strangled, baby cut from her womb: Chicago police

14,000 cases of a flour brand have been recalled nationwide because of E. coli fears

WQAD News -

(CNN) -- A brand of flour sold at retailers nationwide has been recalled over E. coli fears.

Five-pound bags of unbleached, all-purpose flour made by King Arthur Flour Inc. may be contaminated with E. coli., the Food and Drug Administration said. King Arthur Flour, a Vermont-based food manufacturer, is voluntarily recalling 14,218 cases of the flour.

The lot codes and "best used by dates" for the recalled products are:

  • Best used by December 7, 2019; Lot number L18A07C
  • Best used by December 8, 2019; Lot numbers L18A08A and L18A08B
  • Best used by December 14, 2019, Lot numbers LOTS: L18A14A, L18A14B, L18A14C.

"Consumer safety is our top priority, and therefore, we are voluntarily recalling these specific lots of Unbleached All-Purpose Flour to prevent potential illnesses," the King Arthur Flour said in a statement. We are committed to educating and reminding consumers that flour is not ready-to-eat, and anything made with flour must be baked before eating.

King Arthur Flour said it was informed by one of its suppliers that some wheat used to make the flour had "been linked to an ongoing outbreak of E. coli infections." So far there are no reports of illnesses related to the flour.

Symptoms of E. coli infection include severe stomach cramps, diarrhea and vomiting. They begin, on average, three to four days after ingesting the bacteria. Most people recover in five to seven days.

People who have bought any of the flour shouldn't it eat and should either throw the flour away or return it to where it was purchased for a refund, King Arthur Flour said.

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Fifth suspect in Davenport robbery death pleads not guilty

WQAD News -

The Quad-City Times reported Thursday that 35-year-old Christopher Dixon entered the written plea to first-degree murder, robbery and conspiracy to commit a forcible felony in the Sept. 22, 2017, shooting that killed 20-year-old Brady Tumlinson and injured Tumlinson’s girlfriend.

Two other men, 22-year-old Tristin Alderman and 21-year-old D’marithe Culbreath, were sentenced to life in prison earlier this year in the case. In December, 22-year-old Nakita Wiseman, was sentenced to 35 years for his role.

In early June, 19-year-old Darrell Williams Jr., of East Moline, Illinois, pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder and other counts.

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