THE CLAIBORNE PARISH SHERIFF’S OFFICE was joined by the Louisiana State Police North District Detectives, the Union Parish Sheriff’s Office, the David Wade Correctional Chase Team, and the State Fire Marshal’s Office in a massive manhunt for murder suspect Lovell Wilson last Wednesday, August 30. Wilson being sought in connection with the murder of 83-year-old Iva Parker of Lisbon. The manhunt lasted more than 24 hours before Wilson turned himself in Thursday afternoon.


Lisbon Women Murdered, Two Arrested

BY SUSAN T. HERRING, Editor, The Guardian-Journal

When the call came in to the Claiborne Parish Sheriff’s Office last Wednesday morning, August 30, Lt. David Crump and Deputy Danny Lee were on the scene in less than 10 minutes. The body of Mrs. Iva L. Parker had been discovered just minutes before  at her residence by an employee of Hinton Well Service. Mrs. Iva L. ParkerHe had been called across the street by Parker’s yard man, when he was unable to get her to come to the door. Finding the front door latched, the two walked around back and discovered the back door wide open. Inside they observed blood on the sink before finding Parker’s body on the bedroom floor,  still wearing clothes worn the previous day. The bed had apparently not been slept in.

CPSO Detectives Duffy Gandy, Randy Smith, and Charlie Burford were called to the scene. Once they determined a homicide had been committed, the Louisiana State Police North District Detectives Lovell Wilsonwere contacted to assist in the investigation. A team from the Louisiana State Police Crime Lab in Baton Rouge arrived on the scene about 2:30 PM and worked non-stop until late night gathering and preserving all forensic evidence. This evidence was taken back to Baton Rouge for further analysis.

Investigation of the scene led Claiborne Parish investigators and LSP detectives to two potential suspects. Several eyewitnesses placed the two in front of Parker’s home the previous evening. .

Around noon, Sheriff deputies went to a residence on La. 2 believed to be occupied by Lovell Wilson and Franequa Jones. Franequa JonesAt that time, Jones was taken into custody and transported to the Criminal Investigative Division in Homer for questioning. Wilson bolted from the back of the house and escaped into the woods. A manhunt ensued.

Joining deputies and detectives from the Claiborne Parish Sheriff’s Office in the massive search were the Louisiana State Police, the David Wade Correctional Chase Team, deputies from the Union Parish Sheriff’s Office, and the State Fire Marshal’s office. Two helicopters, one from the State Police and one from the U.S. Coast Guard offered surveillance from the air. Road blocks were set up throughout the night. All vehicles in the area were thoroughly searched.

The following afternoon, at approximately 2:15 PM, Wilson made a call to one of the narcotics agents  and offered to turn himself in.

Jones was found to have an outstanding LOUISIANA STATE POLICE DETECTIVE Michael Allen discusses the manhunt for murder suspect Lovell Wilson with members of the Chase Team from David Wade Correctional Center.warrant from the Ruston Police Department for theft. A hold was placed on her from Ouachita Parish for violation of probation. She was booked into the Claiborne Parish Jail, Women’s facility and charged with first degree murder.

Wilson was transported to the Claiborne Detention Center and booked. He was charged with first degree murder and aggravated arson. In addition, he was charged with theft of a firearm and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. Several other outstanding warrants from Claiborne Parish were also served.Wilson’s bond was set at $1 million for the murder charge, $100,000 for the arson charge, $25,000 for possession of firearm by felon, and $10,000 for theft of firearm.

Sheriff Ken Bailey personally offered his thanks to Louisiana State Police Lt. Dusty Gates and his officers, Union Parish Sheriff Bob Buckley and his deputies, Ric Abbott with the State Fire Marshal’s office, and Col. Danny Mills and the Wade Correctional Chase Team for their assistance. Numerous tips were also received from concerned citizens who relayed vital information which led to Wilson’s capture. Bailey said, “It is through the combined effort of everyone that this situation was resolved so quickly.”

Coroner Dr. Scott Haynes ordered an autopsy of Parker’s body which was then transported to Little Rock, Arkansas. Results of the autopsy performed by forensic pathologist Dr. Frank Peretti are pending.


Homer Man Arrested For Armed Robbery, Battery

BY SUSAN T. HERRING, Editor, The Guardian-Journal

Homer Police Officer Roger Smith arrested Johnny L. Willis, 21, of Homer, on Saturday, September 2. Willis had been on the run since August 15, 2005 after assaulting a family member with an ax handle and stealing her purse which contained $300 cash, a credit card, a food stamp card, and driver’s license.

Willis apparently had been arguing with the victim’s mother when the daughter arrived at the home on Hudd Drive. After hitting the 34-year-old woman with the ax handle on her leg and arm and knocking her to the ground, he then kicked her in the chest. At this point, he grabbed her purse and ran.

Arrest warrants were obtained on Willis two days later, on August 17, 2005. The purse was found and returned the following day, without the money.

Willis was booked into the Claiborne Parish Detention Center and charged with armed robbery and aggravated battery. His bond was set at $85,000.


Domestic Calls Lead To Drug Arrests

The Claiborne Parish Sheriff’s Office responded to two calls last week in the Summerfield area regarding domestic disputes. According to Claiborne Parish Sheriff Ken Bailey, both calls ended with arrests being made for drug possession.

Telvin T. Malone, 29, of Junction City, Arkansas turned himself in to the Claiborne Parish Sheriff’s Office on Thursday, August 31 following a domestic call received from 153 Helen Johnson Road in Summerfield on Saturday, August 26.

After arriving at the residence, Deputy Brian Pepper searched the suspect and discovered he was in possession of crack cocaine. While attempting to place him under arrest, Malone fled on foot. Attempts to locate Malone at the time were unsuccessful.

Deputy Pepper obtained five (5) warrants for Malone’s arrest. He was charged with simple battery (domestic), simple escape, theft of less than $300, possession of Schedule II cocaine, and cruelty to a juvenile. Following his surrender, he was booked in the Claiborne Parish Detention Center with bond set at $5,000 for battery charge, $10,000 for simple escape, $1,000 for theft, $10,000 for possession, and $10,000 for charge on cruelty to a juvenile.

On Sunday, September 3, Deputy Pepper responded to another domestic dispute, this one at a residence located at 1719 Hwy. 9 in Summerfield. After arriving on the scene, Pepper discovered Willie James Sumlin, 47, of Summerfield was in possession of cocaine and a crack pipe. After Sumlin was advised of his rights, he was transported to the Claiborne Parish Detention Center where he was booked. He was charged with possession of Schedule II cocaine, possession of drug paraphernalia, domestic abuse battery, and simple battery.


Haynesville Man Killed By Bull

A 47-year-old Haynesville man was found dead on his farm south of Haynesville last week. According to Claiborne Parish Sheriff Ken Bailey, his office had been contacted by Mrs. Dennis Randle on Sunday, August 27 after she was unable to contact her husband by phone and wanted someone to check on him.

After arriving at the farm, deputies discovered the body of Dennis Randle. It was determined that a bull owned by Mr. Randle had caused the injuries which led to his death.

An autopsy has been ordered by the Assistant Coroner.


Labor of Love Bike Run

FORTY BIKERS PARTICIPATED IN THE “LABOR OF LOVE” Motorcycle Run held in Haynesville last Saturday. The Run raised about $1,100 for the Michael Waits family.


“Labor Of Love” Raises $26,500

BY SUSAN T. HERRING, Editor, The Guardian-Journal

The “Labor of Love” Fundraiser held last Saturday, September 2 in Haynesville was a big success according to organizer and chairman Carla Smith. The total amount raised for the Michael Waits family was $26,500.

Of that amount, the auction raised around $7,100, the Motorcycle Run with 40 riders raised $1,100, and the Fireman’s Boot Drive added about $1,700. The remaining money raised came from the Walk-A-Thon, the Moon Walk, the Book Fair and Hamburger Lunch, sales of chances on 100 gallons of gas, and private donations. Julie Allen of Haynesville was the lucky winner of the gasoline give-away.

Smith offered her thanks to all the many volunteers who gave of their time for such a worthwhile event. She also expressed her appreciation for everyone who attended and who in some way contributed to make the fundraiser such an overwhelming success for Michael Waits and his family.


Haynesville To Celebrate Butterflies

BY SUSAN T. HERRING, Editor, The Guardian-Journal

The Town of Haynesville will hold their Annual “Celebration of Butterflies” on Saturday, September 16 at the Claiborne Parish Fairgrounds in Haynesville. The outstanding slate of speakers this year will be joined by two gardeners from Mississippi, Felder Rushing and “Dr. Dirt”. They will present a rousing program from 1:45-3:00 PM entitled Unkillable Flowers—With or Without The Butterflies, followed by a hilarious, yet fact-filled question and answer session.

Rushing is a tenth-generation Southern gardener whose quirky, overstuffed cottage garden in Jackson, Mississippi has been featured in many magazines . Among them are Southern Living, Garden Design, Horticulture, Landscape Architecture, House and Garden, Better Homes and Gardens, and the New York Times. He has authored 15 gardening books, has appeared on HGTV and the Discovery Channel, and has written a syndicated newspaper column for over 25 years.. He has been one of only six members of Southern Living’s garden advisory board and is now a contributing editor for Horticulture Magazine in Boston.

“Dr. Dirt” is a retired Canadian chef who moved back to Edwards, Mississippi to care for his aging mother. They live in a house built in 1895 by their ancestors. His famous garden has been featured in Southern Living, on HGTV, and in numerous publications. He has also co-hosted a NPR radio program with Rushing for three years. Together they have visited gardens and lectured in more than twenty states. Their program is available on-line at Click on “The Gestalt Gardener”.

Among the festival highlights will be a “Bugacious Exhibit” by Dr. Randall Adams, professor of entomology at SAU, and students.  There will also be a Community Art & Photography exhibit, craft and food vendors, Nature Photography contest, Flower Exhibit & Contest, Water Conservation Display, and sale of Butterfly plants, books, posters, and T-shirts. Also available will be construction of take-home Butterfly Towers complete with caterpillars and food.

The schedule of events for Saturday, September 16 is as follows:

Saturday Morning

9:30 - Parade with Grand Marshal, J. T. Taylor, President of the Claiborne Chamber of Commerce

10:15 - Parade Winners

10:30-11:15 - Edible & Useful Plants with Dr. Charles Allen, retired biology professor, ULM and botanist for Ft. Polk

10:30-12:00 - Creative Fun For Children with Nora Garrett, Winifred Cole and Betty Jordan

11:30-12:15 - Fruits in the Home Garden with Rafash Brew, Area Horticulture Agent with LSU AgCenter, and Gary Simolke, Master Gardener and Orchardist

Saturday Afternoon

12:00 Noon - Dump Hatter will entertain with a medley of Broadway Show songs

12:45-1:15 - Butterfly Gardening for Children with Master Gardener Liz Wilson and puppets

12:45-1:30 - Outdoors with Plants and Butterflies with Dr. Charles Allen

1:45-3:00 - Unkillable Flowers - With or Without the Butterflies with Felder Rushing and “Dr. Dirt”

3:15-4:00 - Native Trees with Robin Bridges, County Agent with LSU AgCenter

4:15-4:45 - A Garden for Butterflies: Plant It and They Will Come with Loice Kendrick-Lacy, Master Gardener, certified in both Louisiana and Arkansas

5:00 - Drawing for Butterfly Quilt

5:00-6:30 - Supper Break

6:30-Until - Country, Bluegrass & Gospel Music

Sponsors for this year’s event are the Claiborne Chamber of Commerce, the Haynesville Garden Club, and the LSU AgCenter. For information, call Loice Kendrick-Lacy at 624-1929 or 1-870-234-4910, or email her at .


FRIENDS, FAMILY, AND CO-WORKERS surprised John S. Hightower by honoring his 50th anniversary with the U.S. Postal Service. John and his wife Linda are shown here with coworkers, past and present.


John S. Hightower: “Surprise!”

BY JIMMY DEAN, Feature Writer, The Guardian-Journal

Friday, September 1 was like most other workdays for rural mail carrier John S. Hightower until Homer Postmaster Gregory Young brought him to the Claiborne Parish Police Jury building in Homer. When Hightower stepped through the door of the meeting room, he was greeted with a chorus of “SURPRISE!” by family, friends, coworkers, and local dignitaries.

Hightower’s daughter Cydni opened the program by welcoming the standing room only crowd. Jayne Dominie, a coworker, then shared a poem and song she wrote especially for the occasion. Next Mayor Huey Dean presented Hightower with an official proclamation designating the day as “John S. Hightower Day.”

Retired postmaster Buddy Pixley offered commendation during which he praised Hightower’s diligence in providing 50 years of dutiful service to the citizens of Claiborne Parish as a rural mail carrier.

Janifer Beaudoin, District Postal Service Representative, presented Hightower with an “Award of Excellence” recognizing his many years of public service. Judge Jennifer Clason, Sheriff Ken Bailey, and Clyde Hightower also provided brief remarks honoring Hightower’s service to the community.

Springhill Postmaster Frederick Young gave closing remarks, then invited all to enjoy refreshments prepared by local postal employees along with a special cake by Frances Minchew, Hightower’s sister.


911 Remembrance Service September 14 At First Baptist

The “Men’s Brotherhood” of the First Baptist Church in Homer will host its annual 9/11 Service and Fish Fry to honor all Claiborne Parish law enforcement, firefighters, and emergency response personnel on Thursday, September 14 at 6:30 PM. The guest speaker for the evening will be Evangelist Jack Daniels of Heflin. Award winning Country Gospel Singer Brad Mount will provide special music for the event. .  


Absentee Or Early Voting September 18-23, 2006

Claiborne Parish Registrar of Voters Patricia Sanders would like to remind voters that early or absentee voting will be held Monday-Friday, September 18-23, 2006. Election day will be Saturday, September 30. Voters are reminded to bring a driver's license, a Louisiana Special ID, or some other generally recognized picture ID. If you have any questions, stop by the Registrar’s office in the Police Jury Complex or call Sanders at 927-3332.


NEW SIGNS ARE GOING UP ON RONNY G. BEARD MEMORIAL STADIUM at  Homer High, thanks to a number of local supporters who agreed to purchase signs and to Homer Junior High Principal Keith Beard, who was seen installing the new signs last week. Sponsors are still needed for other signs. Anyone interested can call Beard at 927-2826.


Willie Curry Announces For Town Council

I, Willie “Hog Head” Curry, would like to take this opportunity to announce my Willie Currycandidacy for Homer Town Council, District 1. Curry said, “I am the one for District 1, and I mean business.”

He said, “I am not running against anyone, but I am running for everyone. Since everyone cannot vote for me, I am running for those in particular in District 1.”

“Now, the question is why do I want to be a councilman? This is a fair question, and I’ll give a fair answer. I want to be a councilman because I care—I care about Homer and the citizens of Homer. I care deeply and sincerely.”

Curry said, “I want to be a councilman because I’m progressive, proactive, and passionate.”

I want to be a councilman because...I’m not a politician. I’m a citizen who will fight for what is right. When I take a position on issues, I stand fast. What District 1 needs is not a politician, but someone citizens can depend on. Here I am, send me!

I want to be a councilman because....I don’t have a limited vision of Homer or a limited vision of the potential the Town of Homer has.

I want to be a councilman because....I am the best one for District 1. I am energetic and committed. I believe that the citizens of District 1 deserve more than “refried beans.”

I want to be a councilman because I feel the citizens of District 1 have been shortchanged, duped, scorned, blindsided, hoodwinked, bamboozled, waylaid, bushwhacked, ambushed, taken for granted, lied to and lied on. The citizens of District 1 are not ignorant nor crazy, nor am I.

I want to be a councilman because....I believe that the citizens need someone who will interact with the youth and the community. With the exception of teachers, I probably talk to more young people than most of those who are appointed, selected, elected, or chosen!

I want to be a councilman because....I believe that a change will do Homer good. Here am I, send me.

If the citizens of District 1 want someone who will work to recruit industry and quality jobs, here am I, send me.

If the citizens of District 1 want someone who will work with our legislators in Baton Rouge and Washington, D.C., here am I, send me.

If the citizens of District 1 want someone who will work to end gang violence and someone who will work to establish vocational training centers, here am I, send me.

On the other hand, if the citizens of District 1 want someone who will micro-manage the police department...lay, play and party...., or if they want a magician, a voodoo man or a clown, I am not the one for them!

If the citizens of District 1 vote for those they voted for in the past, they will get what they got in the past—nothing!

Vote #68 Willie “Hog Head” Curry—A Voice, Not An Echo.


Wilson Announces Candidacy For School Board District 8

I, Maxine F. Wilson, Maxine F. Wilsonam announcing candidacy for School Board District 8.

For the past 28 years, I’ve been married to Cleveland Wilson, Jr. with two sons, Shavatney and Courtney. I am a retired graduate of Homer High School, Draughon Business College and Bossier Parish Community College Floral Design Program. I attend Mt. Calvary Baptist Church where I serve in many capacities.

As a life long resident of Claiborne Parish, I’ve seen many changes in our community and children. Yet, these changes demand education remain the highest priority. If we can provide quality education is a UNIFIED Community, we can produce productive adults.

My contribution to a better community began with volunteer services to the Homer High School FBLA and the Claiborne Boys and Girls Club. On September 30th, I ask your support for a more UNIFIED Productive School System.

Vote #60 Maxine Wilson, Claiborne Parish School Board District 8.


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BBQ Plates To Be Sold Saturday  For David Morgan

A fundraiser will be held Saturday, September 9 at noon for Claiborne Parish Deputy David Morgan, who was injured in an accident July 26 while on duty. BBQ plates, ribs or chicken, will be sold for $5 each at Marvin Lewis’ barber shop on Hwy. 79 in Homer.


Homer Town Council To Meet Monday September 11

 The regular meeting of the Homer Town Council will be Monday, September 11 in the Mayor’s Chambers at 6 PM.


Claiborne Parish Watershed Commission To Meet Sept. 7 

The Claiborne Parish Watershed District Commission will hold its regular fall meeting on Thursday, September 7 at 5:30 p.m. in the Police Jury Building.  On the agenda are the September 30 1/8 cent sales tax proposition, proposed projects, and general business.


Vendors Sought For 8th Annual Butterfly Festival

Food and craft vendors are being sought for the 8th Annual Haynesville Celebration of Butterflies to be held at the Claiborne Parish Fairgrounds in Haynesville on September 16. Charge is $25 for a 10’x10’ booth in the air-conditioned building and $15 for a 12’x12’ space under a covered pavilion. Tables can be rented for $5 each. For vendor application, contact LeBois Sincox at 318-624-0661 or Pat Bourn at 318-624-1216.


Ed Frankie To Be Speak To Homer Lions Club Sept. 14

Ed Frankie will share information on his year-long missionary trip to Korea at the next meeting of the Homer Lions Club on Thursday, September 14 at noon at Nicky’s Mexican Restaurant. John Bray,  forestry consultant, has been rescheduled to speak to the Lions on September 28.


Middlefork Water System To Meet September 11, 6 PM

The Middlefork Water System will hold their regular monthly meeting on Monday, September 11 at 6 PM at the Lisbon Civic Center.


Homer Hospital Employees To Be Treated To Pizza Lunch

Homer Memorial Hospital employees to be treated to pizza lunch noon Friday, September 8.


Eight Women To Be Honored For Community Service

Willie Burns Jr. will sponsor an “Honorarium for Years of Community Service” and banquet at the Homer City Hall on Saturday, September 16 at 6 PM for the following individuals: Euradell Aubrey, Bettie J. Cheatham, Lila Mae Jackson, Jessie M. Jones, Ruthie Rhodes, Rosie Walker, Gussie Wilson, and Erlene Walker.


Claiborne Parish School Board To Meet Thursday, Sept. 7

The Claiborne Parish School Board will hold their regular meeting on Thursday, September 7 at 7 PM, immediately following their work session at 6 PM.


“Plots & Pans” Book Club For Women To Meet September 19

The  next meeting of the “Plots and Pans” book club for women will be held Tuesday, September 19 at the Claiborne Parish Library in Homer. This is a book discussion group. The book to be discussed this month is “The Tea-Olive Bird Watching Society” by Augusta Trobaugh. Ladies interested in attending are encouraged to read the book before they come.


Contributions Sought For 2006 St. Jude Car And Bike Show

Contributions are being sought for the Fifth Annual 2006 St. Jude Car and Bike Show to be held this fall at Lake Claiborne State Park. Organizer Rickey Bearden is seeking contributions for St. Jude. Over the past four years, the Show has raised over $48,000. They only need $22,000 to have enough to a room at St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis  dedicated to Bearden’s grandchildren, Christian and Joseph Manzanares, who died in a tragic fire in August 2001. Mail your tax-deductible contribution to Rickey Bearden, 223 Beardsley Ave., Homer, LA 71040. For information, call 927-9740.


Homer High Yearbooks Have Arrived, $30 Till Sold Out

The full color Homer High School 2005-2006 yearbooks are here! Prepaid books may be picked up at the school. Extra copies may be purchased for $30.00 until sold out.


Do You Need A Ride?

Do you know Claiborne Public Transit provides the only public transportation in Claiborne Parish? Call 927-3557 or 1-800-870-4166 to schedule a ride. We are available Monday-Friday to transport citizens to the doctor’s office, grocery store, to pay bills, etc. Call today.


Account Set Up At Regions Bank To Offset Expenses For Matt Lee

An account has been set up for Matt Lee at Regions Bank to offset medical and other expenses following brain surgery Friday, July 7 at the LSU Medical Center in Shreveport. Donations would be greatly appreciated. Matt is the son of Joy Ware Lee and Richard Lee, and the grandson of Glen and Catherine Ware.


Trip To Hot Springs Set For Saturday, September 9 Canceled

Willie Burns Jr. announced this week the trip to Hot Springs planned for Saturday, September 9 has been canceled temporarily due to the lack of participation. The trip may be rescheduled at some time in the future if more people show an interest in attending.


Hunter Education Course Set September 20, 21, & 23 Homer Fire Station

The Claiborne Parish Sheriff's Office and David Wade Correctional Center will co-sponsor a Hunter Education Course on September 20, 21, and 23 at the Homer Fire Station. Classes will be held Wednesday and Thursday from 6-9 PM, and on Saturday from 8 AM-12 PM. Anyone born on or after Sept. 1, 1969 is required by law to complete the Louisiana Hunter Education Program Course before purchasing a hunting license.The minimum age for certification is 10 years of age. Regardless of your age, you must attend all three days to be certified. Pre-registration is required either by calling the Sheriff's Office at 927-2011 or Major Brad Rogers at DWCC at 927-0400.


Buy A Book - Build A Child

Click for FlyerCompletion of the Homer Elementary School Library is expected late August 2004. Librarian Maggie Harris is requesting businesses and individuals to donate $25 per book, to help build a child's future through reading. A recognition label will be placed on the inside front cover of each book purchased through your donations. Donating a book in their name is a great way to honor a friend or family member. Donations may be mailed to Homer Elementary School Library, 624 Bonner St, Homer, LA 71040. For more information, contact Librarian Maggie Harris at 318-927-2393. Please print the program flyer and post at your place of business.

Claiborne One Site Now Features Area Image Archive

Archives Now Online include:

Money Available for New or Expanding Businesses in Homer

The Claiborne Chamber of Commerce now has monies to lend through the Revolving Loan Program. Anyone who is interested in starting a business or enlarging an existing business within an eight mile radius of Homer may be eligible. These funds were received from the USDA Rural Business Enterprise Grant Program to assist small businesses and provide for jobs in Claiborne Parish. Loan preferences will be made on the basis of job creation. Further information may be obtained by contacting John Watson, Executive Director of the Claiborne Chamber of Commerce at (318) 927-3271. The Claiborne Chamber of Commerce is an equal opportunity provider.

Smoke Detectors For The Elderly Offered through TRIAD

TRIAD of Claiborne wants all seniors age 65 and above, to have a smoke detector. You may also qualify if you're disabled. Having a smoke detector can mean the difference of life or death. Smoke detectors are available without charge. If you don't have a smoke detector, call 927-2011.

The Claiborne One Website Is Seeking Area Support

The Claiborne One website at, with hundreds of pages online, including the Claiborne Parish Police Jury, The Towns of Haynesville & Homer and are seeking sponsors to support continued growth. Sponsors are provided custom banners linking to the sponsor's website. Guardian-Journal Headlines and New Briefs, updated weekly, are available at Claiborne One, archived since November, 1999. A community effort is needed in collecting information for Claiborne One. For contribution ideas, see the open letter from Claiborne One's local web site designer. To contribute news and photos to Claiborne One contact Key-Comp Web Design, Joel Ponder at 927-9229 or use the online contact form. For more information on becoming a sponsor Visit the Claiborne One Sponsorship Page or contact the Allen Group, Al Lynn at 927-9674.


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