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Vienna police officers will forgo shaving to raise money for prostate cancer research (via Town of Vienna Police/Facebook)

Male police officers in the Town of Vienna will forgo shaving razors this November for a second consecutive year.

Starting yesterday through Nov. 30, Chief Jim Morris has suspended the Vienna Police Department’s usual prohibition against facial hair to support its “Grow & Give” fundraising campaign, which aims to increase awareness and money for prostate cancer research.

The nationwide initiative benefits ZERO, an Alexandria-based nonprofit that assists prostate cancer patients and their families and supports research, treatment and educational programs.

“Last year, our small department raised the second-highest amount of any public safety organization in the country for the cancer charity — more than $8,000 — and that’s thanks to the generosity of our community,” Morris said in a news release.

The total funds contributed in 2021 easily surpassed the department’s $3,000 goal. It hopes to raise at least $5,000 this year.

Morris said the fundraiser is “especially meaningful” to VPD Public Information Officer Juan Vasquez, whose father died from prostate cancer.

“Participating officers hope that as they start to look a little scruffy in their efforts to support life-saving research,” the VPD said. “Others will be inspired to learn more about the illness and donate to the campaign to help find a cure for prostate cancer.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the most common cancers among men in the U.S. are skin and prostate cancer. The latter affects about 13 out of every 100 men, with the risk of getting the disease increasing with age. Black men and people with a family history of prostate cancer are also disproportionately affected.

According to ZERO, which launched in 1996 as the National Prostate Cancer Coalition, 98% of men with prostate cancer survive the first five years after a diagnosis, but that rate drops to 31% if the disease has reached an advanced stage.

ZERO is among several cancer-related nonprofits with a fundraising campaign that encourages people to forgo shaving during November.

The trend started in 2003 with the Australia-based Movember Foundation, which focuses specifically on men’s health. The California-based Matthew Hill Foundation introduced No-Shave November in 2009 as a nod to the hair loss that many cancer patients experience when undergoing chemotherapy, according to its website.

Photo via Town of Vienna Police/Facebook

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A Ukraine love sign in Vienna (file photo)

A church in McLean and an orchestra based in Tysons have teamed up to do their part to assist humanitarian relief efforts in Ukraine.

The Virginia Chamber Orchestra will put on a free Benefit Concert for Ukraine in the McLean Baptist Church sanctuary (1367 Chain Bridge Road) at 4 p.m. this Sunday (Oct. 16).

The concert will feature soprano singer Mandy Brown, violinist Emil Chudnovsky, and pianist Tatiana Loisha as well as the VCO String Quartet.

They will primarily perform classical music, including works by Johann Sebastian Bach, Joseph Haydn, and Antonín Dvořák, but Rogers and Hammerstein also appear. The program closes with “Shche ne vmerta Ukraina,” the national anthem of Ukraine.

While the concert is free to attend, the church will accept donations that will be used to provide medical supplies in Ukraine, according to VCO.

“The Virginia Chamber Orchestra is very pleased to partner with the McLean Baptist Church in presenting a Benefit Concert to provide medical supplies for the people of Ukraine,” VCO Board of Trustees President Douglas Lovejoy said in an emailed statement. “We welcome everyone to the concert and will appreciate your donations.”

Since Russian military forces invaded Ukraine in February, more than 15,000 civilian casualties have been recorded by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, as of Monday (Oct. 10), though the organization believes the actual numbers of deaths and injuries are much higher.

Like in other communities across the U.S., acts of solidarity and support for Ukraine have become common in Fairfax County, from a regional winter coat drive and a fundraiser by local breweries to symbolic displays of the eastern European country’s blue-and-yellow flag.

The full program for Sunday’s benefit concert in McLean is below:

  • “Sheep May Safely Graze” by Johann Sebastian Bach — VCO String Quartet
  • “Uzun Hava” by Osman Kivrak — for violin and viola
  • Selections from “44 Duets” by Béla Bartók, including Ruthenian songs from Ukraine
  • “Allegro from Quartet in F Major, Op. 96 ‘American'” by Antonín Dvořák — VCO String Quartet
  • “Polonaise Brilliante in D Major” by Henryk Wieniawski — Emil Chudnovsky, violin
  • “Chanson d’amour” by Jan Tarasiewicz — Tatiana Loisha, piano
  • “L’invitation au voyage” by Henri Duparc — Mandy Brown, soprano
  • “The Winds are Blowing,” a Ukrainian folksong by Mykola Lysenko — Mandy Brown, soprano
  • “Introduction” and “Rondo Capriccioso” by Camille Saint-Saëns — Emil Chudnovsky violin
  • “Nocturne in C Sharp Minor” by Frédéric Chopin — Emil Chudnovsky, violin
  • “You’ll Never Walk Alone” from “Carousel” by Rodgers & Hammerstein — Mandy Brown, soprano
  • “Shche ne vmerta Ukraina” by Chubynsky/Verbytsky
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The South Lakes High School PTSA Food Pantry’s annual “Do It Your Way 0.5K” fundraiser returns this month (photo by Alexis Doty)

The South Lakes High School PTSA’s annual “Do It Your Way 0.5K” fundraiser for its food pantry is back for a fifth year — and yes, there will be doughnuts this time.

Advertised as “the most rewarding 650 steps you’ll take this year,” the yearly walk has become one of Reston’s most popular fall events, drawing over 300 participants in 2021, according to the PTSA.

SLHS PTSA Food Pantry co-founder Roberta Gosling says the group hopes to get over 500 attendees this year.

After going virtual in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the fundraiser returned in-person last year. The 2022 iteration allows walkers to participate either in person at Lake Anne Plaza from 2-4 p.m. on Oct. 16 or “online” by completing the 650 steps at any point during the weekend of Oct. 15-16.

Registration is now open, costing $10 for students, $25 for adults, $60 for families, and $25 per person for teams. A limited number of VIP entries are available for $100, which covers the cost of registration and offers “front row seats to all the action and additional goodies,” according to the webpage.

Race packets will be available at Lake Anne Brew House (11424 Washington Plaza West) from 10 a.m. to noon on Oct. 15 and on the day of the race, starting at noon. For the first 500 people who register, the packet will include a bib, finisher medal and other swag from the fundraiser’s sponsors.

The first 500 registrants will get a race packet filled with cool SWAG including a race bib, finisher medal, and other special goodies provided by event sponsors.

Other highlights include the race’s “famous” mid-point doughnut station, which will be back for the first time in three years. There will also be a live raffle for an $800 custom necklace with the food pantry’s logo donated by sponsor Aspen Jewelry Designs, the PTSA said in a press release.

All proceeds will go toward buying food, toiletries and other critical items for the South Lakes High School food pantry, which distributes those goods to more than 275 families in the South Lakes pyramid each week, according to the PTSA.

Launched in 2017 to address food insecurity among students, the food pantry initially focused on the high school before expanding to the full pyramid after a year. The PTSA says approximately 4,200 students in the pyramid qualify for free or reduced-price lunches, including about 830 high schoolers.

The pantry opens to South Lakes students every Thursday at the end of the school day. More than 140 students came to “shop” during the week of Sept. 23, Gosling said.

The PTSA also conducts curbside distributions to around 125 families in the pyramid, providing food, feminine hygiene products, and a “bonus item,” such as paper towels or laundry detergent. The pantry also mails grocery gift cards to families and delivers grocery bags to Langston Hughes Middle School.

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The festival takes place in Reston Town Square park tomorrow (courtesy Canine Companions)

A DogFest is coming to Reston Town Square Park tomorrow (Saturday).

The event, slated to take place from 11 a.m to 3 p.m. at 11900 Market Street, will benefit Canine Companions, a nonprofit organization that encourages clients and their dogs to live with greater independence. Activities include service dog demonstrations, music, games, speeches and activities for kids.

The event is free, but online registration is encouraged.

“Help us raise money to provide exceptional dogs for the over 400 people currently waiting for their new canine partners,” Canine Companions spokesperson John Bentzinger wrote in a release.

The organization was established in 1975 and is active in six regions across the country.

Dogs that take part in the event must adhere to several conditions, including being social, being up to date with vaccinations, and remaining on a leash no longer than six feet at all times.

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The inaugural JeanFest22 in Vienna will celebrate the life of Jean Buttecali, a resident, business owner and volunteer who died in 2020 (photo by Pete Buttecali)

This weekend, Vienna will celebrate a longtime resident the way she would’ve wanted: with a party for a good cause.

The Rotary Club of Vienna will stage its inaugural JeanFest22 Charity Benefit Concert at the Town Green and Jammin’ Java on Saturday (Sept. 10) in honor of Jean Buttecali, a local business owner and frequent volunteer who died suddenly from an unknown heart issue in summer 2020.

Conceived by Buttecali’s husband of over 30 years, Pete, the concert will supplement the ViVa Vienna festival that the rotary club organizes every Memorial Day weekend as a fundraiser. All proceeds will be added to those funds for donation to community groups and charitable causes.

“She had a huge heart, big smile, and also really did a lot of stuff behind the scenes philanthropically with different organizations,” JeanFest22 Chair A.J. Oskuie said “…When we lost her, we wanted to celebrate her in some way, and this was the best way to sort of commemorate her memory and also have a good time. She would want to do the same thing.”

In a video about JeanFest, Pete Buttecali calls his wife’s death a “devastating” tragedy in a year already made challenging by the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to their marriage and two children, the couple shared ownership of Woodpile Studios, a design firm noted for creating the logo for the 2005 Grammy Awards.

Yet, Jean “was an optimist” who wouldn’t “tolerate a collapse into grief,” he says. They had promised each other that “if one of us passed away, don’t put on a funeral, throw a party.”

In that spirit, JeanFest will kick off at 11:30 a.m. on the Vienna Town Green with food, retail vendors, and family-friendly entertainment:

Admission to the outdoor concert is free, but there will be buckets and QR codes that attendees can use to make donations.

The festivities will move to Jammin’ Java (227 Maple Avenue East) from 7-10 p.m. for live music from the Arlington-based FBI Band, whose frontman was one of Jean’s best friends, according to Oskuie.

Tickets to the indoor, more adult-oriented “JeanFest Night Jam” start at $22 and can be purchased through Jammin’ Java. Ticket, merchandise, food and drink proceeds will go to charity.

Oskuie says the 2022 ViVa Vienna alone brought in about $240,000. Over the next year, the rotary club will support over 70 different organizations nominated by its members this fall, with distributions starting in November.

Among the beneficiaries will be So Others Might Eat, a D.C. nonprofit that helps people experiencing poverty and homelessness. Jean Buttecali was a supporter, and her family set up a GoFundMe page after her death that raised over $16,000 for the group.

Oskuie estimates JeanFest could draw a total of 4,000 to 5,000 people, making it smaller than ViVa Vienna, but the organizers hope it can have as outsized an impact on others’ lives as its namesake had on theirs.

“It’s a lot of folks who were in awe of Jean and knew her quite well that are running behind the scenes and doing different things,” Oskuie said. “So, it’s a celebration of her life and the proceeds…will benefit local charities that we’ve been giving to through Viva Vienna for years.”

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A fundraiser prepares to rappel down the Hyatt Regency Tysons Corner Center in 2021 (courtesy Sweetheart Photography by Tammy)

For those who find the prospect of being 14 stories in the air exciting instead of terrifying, the Hyatt Regency at Tysons Corner Center has some available views without the rooms.

Dozens of rappellers will descend down the side of the hotel later this month for a charity fundraiser to support the nonprofit Helping Haitian Angels (HHA), which runs a school and orphanage in Delke, Haiti.

Now in its second year, the event is a partnership between the nonprofit and Over the Edge, an adventure company that was also behind a rappeling fundraiser at the Hilton in Arlington. That raised over $200,000 for the local nonprofit New Hope Housing in May.

“Hyatt Hotels has a long-standing history of supporting local nonprofit and global organizations,” said Jon Davenhall, the hotel’s general manager. “…Hyatt Regency Tysons Corner Center is excited to be the Presenting Sponsor and help make a lasting impact in the lives of children who are left vulnerable without the care of loving parents.”

The fundraiser has been split into two days, starting at 4 p.m. on Aug. 26 with a kick-off reception, media day, and local celebrity and sponsor participants. All of the fundraisers will then rappel down the hotel between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. on Aug. 27, according to a news release.

Funds raised by the event will go toward the construction of a secondary school and trade school at HHA’s Kay Anj Village campus in Haiti, HHA board member and Over the Edge event lead Carol Wallace says.

Founded in 2008 by a Christian missionary couple, HHA opened the Lekol Harvey Christian School for the children in its orphanage in October 2014 and now provides education and summer camps for up to 150 elementary school students and their parents, according to its website.

The new secondary and trade schools will serve older children as a complement to the existing school, which Wallace says “is thriving.”

“Children in the neighboring community of Dekle will also be invited to attend the secondary school once constructed,” Wallace said.

After landing 85 participants in 2021, HHA has upped the ante for this year’s Over the Edge event with a goal of 110 individuals. There are currently 44 people signed up, according to the event page.

Registration costs $50, which counts toward the minimum of $1,250 that aspiring rappellers must raise in order to participate.

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Morning Notes

A tiger swallowtail butterfly rests on a bergamot plant (photo by Marjorie Copson)

Funds Sought to Assist With Police Camera Footage — “Faced with a tsunami of digital evidence from body-worn and in-car video cameras, high-tech forensic tools and other devices, Fairfax County officials are seeking a $1 million grant to pay for staff to manage the data flow and ensure timely accessibility.” [Sun Gazette]

Reston Meal Delivery Service to Expand — “A Northern Virginia meal-delivery startup has raised $1.8 million in fresh capital and is using the funds to expand service into D.C. and beyond. Reston’s Frolick Inc…partners with local commercial kitchens to prepare full meals for under $15, with no fees or minimum orders.” [Washington Business Journal]

Inova Named Top Hospital in D.C. Area — “For patients in the D.C. region, the best medical center is once again Inova Fairfax Hospital in Falls Church, Virginia, according to the 2022 ‘Best Hospitals’ rankings from U.S. News & World Report. It’s the fourth year in a row that the center has topped the regional ranking.” [WTOP]

New App Shows Original Apple Store in Tysons — After previously being revived via augmented reality, the grand opening of Tysons Corner Center’s Apple store, the tech company’s first retail site, can now be revisited through a new “Apple Store Time Machine.” The app shows four key stores “exactly how they were on their opening days with stunning historical accuracy.” [9to5Mac]

Vienna Police Officer Takes up Boxing for Fundraiser — “Slebonick on Oct. 13 will step into the ring at The Anthem in Washington, D.C., and box four two-minute rounds in Beltway Brawl III. The event’s sponsor, Haymakers for Hope, so far has raised more than $20 million for cancer research, awareness, care and survival.” [Sun Gazette]

Hunter Mill Bridge Work Continues — “[See] the progress of the Hunter Mill Rd over Colvin Run bridge project in Vienna! The new two-lane bridge with a median/splitter island, improved trail crossing south of the bridge and other work is scheduled for completion this fall.” [VDOT/Twitter]

Springfield Restaurant Gets Honorary Award — “The Honorary Milestone RAMMY Awards are given in addition to the judge-voted and public-voted awards. Mike’s American in Springfield was recognized for its 35th anniversary. Located at 6210 Backlick Road in Springfield, Mike’s American offers American fare and regional seafood.” [Patch]

It’s Wednesday — Rain in the morning. High of 84 and low of 73. Sunrise at 6:07 am and sunset at 8:26 pm. [Weather.gov]

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Morning Notes

Birds perched on a ledge in the Fair Lakes area (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

County NAACP Calls for Action on Heat — “It is Too HOT for people to be outside all day and all night. Fairfax County needs to create and publicize more cooling options for homeless and low-income residents NOW. See the full Fairfax NAACP resolution” [Fairfax County NAACP/Twitter]

Stolen Laptops Were Wiped Clean, FCPS Says — “The Fairfax County Police Department has made a number of arrests in connection to the theft of approximately 35,000 laptops from a warehouse. We want to let you know that the laptops had been stripped of all data and their hard drives in preparation for their auction and that, as a result, no student data was compromised in this theft.” [FCPS]

FCPS Students See Progress With Free Online Tutoring — “In Fairfax County, Virginia, the academic backlog became more evident than ever with the complete return of children to the classroom last fall. Students are lagging behind in math, language arts, English, and social skills. The solution? Since April, an online tutoring service has been made available to more than 180,000 students, 25% of whom are Latino.” [DCist]

New Metro GM Takes Charge — “New Metro General Manager Randy Clarke began his role at the transit agency Monday, marking the end of a leadership vacuum that was created during a tumultuous spring…Clarke on Monday said his priorities will be improving service frequency and ensuring customer safety ahead of addressing longer-term goals, such as finances and the agency’s business model.” [The Washington Post]

Fundraiser Up for Family of Woman Killed in Springfield — “An online fundraising campaign was launched to help the family of Evelin Cali, a Springfield woman who was killed in her home on [July 17]. The family plans to use the funds to cover the cost of Cali’s funeral. Fairfax County Police have charged Cali’s husband, Jose Hernandez Mejia, in her stabbing death.” [Patch]

Police Investigate Reston Stabbing — “Around 2:23 a.m., on July 15, two men confronted the victim in the 1800 block of Sycamore Valley Drive in Reston, according to police. One of the men then stabbed the victim in the upper body. The victim was later treated for non-life-threatening injuries.” [Patch]

Swap Plant Seeds at Library in Rose Hill — “Do you have extra seedlings, #Fairfax? On the hunt for different varieties of plants to add to your collection? Bring your cuttings, seeds, seedlings, transplants & garden supplies to our John Marshall branch Saturday for a community plant swap.” [Fairfax County Public Library/Twitter]

It’s Tuesday — Rain starting in the afternoon. High of 81 and low of 73. Sunrise at 6:06 am and sunset at 8:27 pm. [Weather.gov]

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Morning Notes

A plane at Dulles International Airport, visible from Chantilly (staff photo by Angela Woolsey)

Man Arrested for Fairfax Church Thefts — “On June 28, our officers responded to the Saint Mary’s of Sorrows Catholic Church in Fairfax for a man who stole a purse from a car in the parking lot. The man used stolen credit cards from the purse at several stores nearby. On July 4, the same suspect returned to the church and stole from two donation boxes. At least one stolen check was cashed from donation box.” [FCPD]

Covid Cases Close Reston Pools — “RA is currently experiencing a lifeguard shortage due an uptick in Aquatics staff testing positive for Covid-19. As a result, the Ridge Heights and Upland pools will be closed for the next five days (Friday through Tuesday).” [Reston Association/Twitter]

Silver Line Delays Not Justified, McKay Says — Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Jeff McKay says any further delays of Metro’s Silver Line Phase 2 project “will be met with a lot of discontent.” He’s hopeful the rail extension will open this fall but wants to be certain that a $250 million budget increase approved earlier this week will be the last needed payment. [WTOP]

Vienna Lodge Seeks Funds for Repairs — “Vienna Moose Lodge, a fraternal organization that does community service work, launched a Save the Lodge fundraising campaign this week to help remain open and continue its mission…One of the major repairs needed is a new HVAC system in the banquet hall that will cost $35,000.” [Patch]

Ribbon Cut on Reston Affordable Senior Housing — “It was warm this morning but still a great turnout for the ribbon cutting for Hunters Woods Fellowship House! Much needed $26 million renovations provide modern & safer home for many older residents.” [Walter Alcorn/Twitter]

Herndon Company Expands HQ — The defense and intelligence contractor Expedition Technology has signed a lease amendment for its corporate headquarters offices “that will support its current and anticipated growth.” Lasting through June 2033, the new agreement doubles its office space from approximately 32,000 to more than 64,000 square feet and can accommodate up to 170 workers. [CityBiz]

GMU Joins Gun Violence Research Effort — “Fifteen members of a consortium of local schools will pool their resources, researchers and faculty experts in areas including maternal and child health, public policy, mental health, criminology and technology, officials said. The goal is to provide lawmakers and the public with steps they can take to drive down gun violence.” [The Washington Post]

Good Pups Visit McLean Nursing Home — “Fairfax County senior residents are getting some furry visitors at their nursing homes thanks to a group of volunteers at Pets on Wheels…The non-profit is run by volunteers that say pets can be therapeutic for senior citizens.” [ABC7]

Cool Off With Dolley Madison Library — “#Fairfax teens can beat the heat Saturday at our Dolley Madison branch. We will meet at the library before heading to McLean Central Park for a sponge war! Sponges provided. Wear clothes that can get wet (minimum shorts & shirts required).” [Fairfax County Public Library/Twitter]

Cirque du Soleil Makes Tysons Return Next Week — “Cirque du Soleil has become the gold standard of 21st century circus productions…The global brand brings ‘KURIOS: Cabinet of Curiosities’ to the Under the Big Top tent at Lerner Town Square in Tysons, Virginia from July 29 to Aug. 27.” [WTOP]

It’s Friday — Clear throughout the day. High of 90 and low of 75. Sunrise at 6:03 am and sunset at 8:30 pm. [Weather.gov]

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Morning Notes

The front entrance to Capital One’s headquarters in Tysons (staff photo by Angela Woolsey)

What to Know About Covid Vaccines for Young Kids — If recommended by the CDC and Virginia Department of Health, COVID-19 vaccines will be available from the Fairfax County Health Department with no appointments needed. Parents should contact their medical provider to see if they will carry the vaccines, which may be harder to find at pharmacies due to a state law that prohibits pharmacists from giving vaccinations to kids younger than 3. [FCHD]

Friends Stunned by Fair Lakes Shooting Deaths — “Now those who knew them are left to reconcile the image of three bodies with memories of an outwardly cheerful trio…who seemed to be always up for a boisterous evening out, for the karaoke nights they enjoyed at Fairfax bars, at Fat Tuesday’s and the Auld Shebeen.” [The Washington Post]

Mosaic District Restaurant Helps Worker After Crash — The Greek restaurant Our Mom Eugenia is helping share a fundraiser for an employee after her daughter was critically injured in last week’s fatal crash in Oakton. The business operator says Katya is “doing well” after being hit by a car while walking home from Oakton High School with her cousin and friend. [NBC4]

Annandale House Fire Started by Lights — Fairfax County fire investigators have determined that a house fire in the 3900 block of Terrace Drive on Saturday (June 11) was started accidentally “by an electrical event involving outdoor string lights” on the backyard deck. The fire displaced seven people and caused approximately $125,000 in damages. [FCFRD]

Victim Says County Prosecutors “Pressured” Her Into Plea Deal — “Julie, not her real name, said she’s been traumatized. First, by a manipulating online predator. Then, by the Fairfax County Commonwealth Attorney’s Office.” [ABC7]

Prepare for Change at Springfield Town Center — “PREIT CEO Joe Coradino said his eye is on reshaping the property into something that more closely resembles its title as a town center, with a greater mix of uses. The introduction of additional components, including the planned Lego Discovery Center and seven-story hotel will help further that aim, he said.” [Washington Business Journal]

Historic Reston Distillery Gets Spotlight — “Thank you Virginia Department of Heritage Resources for promoting #Reston landmark A. Smith Bowman Distillery on #NationalBourbonDay! Read about the only legal whiskey distillery in Virginia in its day, which operated until the 1950s” [Supervisor Walter Alcorn/Twitter]

Restaurant Crawl Coming to Fairfax City on Saturday — The Old Town Fairfax City Summer Crawl is a timed, self-guided tour through participating restaurants, which will offer exclusive small plates and drinks from their menus. The free event will unfold from 12:30 to 5:30 p.m., letting patrons “support local restaurants…while enjoying a variety of bites and beverages.” [Fairfax City EDA]

It’s Wednesday — Partly cloudy throughout the day. High of 85 and low of 69. Sunrise at 5:44 am and sunset at 8:37 pm. [Weather.gov]

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