January 3, 2007
Vol. 3 No. 9
Editor: Tom Willard
Deafweekly is an independent news
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DAVILA BEGINS NEW JOB AS GALLAUDET PRESIDENT
Robert Davila began his new job as interim president of Gallaudet University this week. In an open message, he said it was an honor and a privilege to serve the Gallaudet community and he thanked the Board of Trustees for appointing him and showing confidence in his ability to lead the university. Davila acknowledged that 2006 was a difficult year and said, “Together we can heal the hurt and seek greater understanding from one another.” Stressing Gallaudet’s diversity, Davila said, “I am committed to providing capable leadership to find ways to ensure that everyone has a voice and that their ideas are valued.”
NEW YEAR’S DAY CRASH KILLS GALLAUDET STUDENT
Gallaudet University student Joshua R. Best was killed in an automobile accident early Monday morning in Dublin, Ohio. According to The Columbus Dispatch, Best was a passenger in a pickup truck that hit a utility pole along I-270 about 4:10 a.m. The driver, Justin McKibben, 18, survived the crash. Best, 22, played for the Gallaudet soccer team and was one of the students arrested on “Black Friday,” October 13, during the campus protests.
DIRECTOR OF OREGON SCHOOL ABRUPTLY DISMISSED
Jane Mulholland, director of the Oregon School for the Deaf since 1999, was abruptly dismissed last week by state education officials. “We believe we could hire a stronger director,” Ed Dennis, deputy state superintendent of education, told the Statesman Journal. He said an interim director would be appointed as early as this week and a search process for a new director would begin soon. Mulholland, 55, who earned about $89,000 a year at the 120-student school, said she was not given a specific reason for her dismissal. “I was taken by complete surprise,” she said.
FIRED MISSISSIPPI PRINCIPAL FILES COMPLAINT
Pamela Hervey, who was fired last month as high school principal of the Mississippi School for the Deaf, has filed a complaint with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Hervey, who was fired along with Superintendent Delores Mack days after a student protest, alleges she was fired because she is black. She wants her job back and is “seeking redress for wrongful termination of employment based on race,” said her attorney, Reeves Jones. Hank Bounds, state superintendent of education, acknowledged receiving the complaint but told the Jackson Clarion Ledger, “Unfortunately, it’s a personnel matter that I can’t speak to publicly.”
FIRE LEAVES LOS ANGELES COUPLE IN CRITICAL CONDITION
A deaf Los Angeles couple and two young girls were hospitalized in critical condition last Tuesday after firefighters pulled them out of their burning home. Nine other family members escaped the 4:40 a.m. blaze, which a fire department official said may have been sparked by a space heater. According to the Associated Press, the unidentified victims included a 65-year-old woman who uses a wheelchair and her disabled husband, also about 65, who both sustained burns and smoke inhalation. Smoke alarms in the two-bedroom home had been removed for remodeling and the doors were dead-bolted with locks that needed keys from inside.
STUDENT CHARGED WITH ASSAULT, FLEES TO MEXICO
A Texas School for the Deaf student who is accused of sexually assaulting a fellow student has fled to Mexico, Austin police told KVUE. Alehandro Bustos, 19, was interviewed by police in late November and disappeared the next day, said the report. Detectives say he assaulted the female student in an isolated stairwell after meeting her in the library. Bustos is charged with sexual assault, a 2nd degree felony, and bond was set at $20,000. “His parents were contacted in Houston and they told us, because of the case, he had fled out of the country,” said an Austin police detective.
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APPEALS COURT UPHOLDS JUDGE’S MIRANDA DECISION
The Michigan Court of Appeals has sided with a Macomb County judge who said a deaf woman’s murder confession cannot be used because her Miranda rights were not adequately explained. Mary Ann McBride is accused of the April 2005 stabbing death of boyfriend Robert Adelsburg at their home in Roseville, Mich. Police say McBride confessed after several hours of medical treatment for a suicide attempt, but the defense says she did not understandably waive her Miranda rights to have an attorney present during questioning. Prosecutors said last week they will appeal this latest ruling to the Michigan Supreme Court, reported The Macomb Daily.
SCHOOL TO DEAF YOUTH: LEAVE THE DOG HOME
The family of a deaf Westbury, N.Y. ninth-grader is considering legal action after being told that the boy can’t bring his hearing dog to school. John Cave, 14, picked up Simba at a Massachusetts training center last week and looked forward to bringing the yellow Labrador retriever to school, reported Newsday. But the family has been told that because John has cochlear implants and an interpreter, he doesn’t need the dog in school “It’s a civil rights issue,” said John’s mother, Nancy Cave. The family is mostly concerned with bonding, she added. “They need to be together 24 hours and seven days a week.”
MISSING NEW JERSEY MAN FOUND IN DELAWARE
A 92-year-old deaf New Jersey man who was reported missing on December 20 was found the next evening in Delaware, reported the Bridgewater Courier News. Bernard Cossi of Middlesex was last seen driving to a friend’s house in Plainfield, police said. Relatives, friends and personnel at the Plainfield Senior Center searched the area before learning from Delaware State Police that Cossi had been found outside a state police barracks in Lewes. Cossi’s brother-in-law, Joseph Zuccarelli, said the family was primarily concerned about “what caused him to leave Plainfield and end up in the state of Delaware.”
KATRINA EVACUEES CONTINUE TO FACE PROBLEMS
A deaf couple who became homeless due to Hurricane Katrina are still battling with FEMA 15 months later, reported KHOU in Houston, Texas. Adrian Monguia said she and Vernon August waited two days to be rescued by helicopters and “thought we were going to die.” They finally made their way to the Houston Astrodome but continue to encounter problems with communication. Every step has complications, said deaf advocate Detra Stewart, including the paperwork. For culturally deaf people who are not proficient in written English, “You’re looking at maybe second or third grade level,” said Stewart.
FLORIDA MAN’S TOILET BACKED UP FOR TWO WEEKS
WTSP in Tampa, Fla. reported recently on the continuing saga of Rusty Ackerman, a deaf and legally blind man who lives at the Bayou Courtyard Apartments. The building’s owner, the Deaf & Hearing Connection of Tampa Bay, “has been trying to evict him because he stands up for his rights,” said the report. Ackerman won a court battle last year that allowed him to stay, but for two weeks in December he had to deal with a backed-up toilet. Pinellas Code enforcement officials stepped in and gave the owners 24 hours to fix the problem. Now, Department of Children and Families officials are investigating to see if Ackerman’s treatment violates a law against abusing the disabled.
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UN ADOPTS CONVENTION TO PROTECT DISABLED
The United Nations took a strong stand in support of disabled people December 13 when its General Assembly adopted a Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities. Once it is ratified by 20 countries, it will become an official international treaty. The Convention would require UN member countries to guarantee freedom from exploitation and abuse for individuals with disabilities, said a news release from the National Association of the Deaf. “This is truly a remarkable achievement,” said NAD President Bobbie Beth Scoggins.
EVELYN GLENNIE MADE A DAME BY THE QUEEN
Deaf musician Evelyn Glennie was made a Dame by Queen Elizabeth II last week, reported The Daily Record in Glasgow, Scotland. Dame Evelyn, who was born in Aberdeen and became deaf at 12, was honored for her “stunning career” as a percussionist, said the report. Glennie, 41, composes her own work and performs all over the world, playing by feeling the vibrations of the instruments. She regularly plays more than 60 instruments in a single show and has won over 70 awards worldwide, including a Grammy. “I hope the seeds I have sown will be taken up by those who will follow me,” she said.
NEW ZEALAND TEEN IS VICTIM OF HIT-AND-RUN DRIVER
A deaf New Zealand teenager was left in critical condition with serious head injuries after being struck by a hit-and-run driver on New Year’s Eve. Pikimene Muru, 16, of Ngaruawahia, was hit by a van and left lying in the road, said Radio New Zealand. Police later arrested a 17-year-old Auckland man and charged him with drunk driving. The man, who was not identified in the report, faces further charges and will appear in court later this month. A police spokesman was unsure if the victim’s hearing loss contributed to the accident but noted that her hearing aid was not operating at the time.
PHILIPPINES MAN STABBED TO DEATH OUTSIDE STORE
The Visayan Daily Star in the Philippines reported last Wednesday on the stabbing death of a “deaf-mute” outside a store in Bacolod City. Gigi Alcala Sabanal, 25, a trisikad driver, suffered multiple stab wounds and was rushed to a nearby hospital, where he was declared dead. The suspect remains at large and police are still investigating.
NEIGHBOR’S WARNING LEADS TWO TO SAFETY
A neighbor’s quick thinking allowed an elderly hard-of-hearing man Canadian man to survive a house fire last Friday. William Pycsczula and his granddaughter, Tammy Smith, were inside their Winnipeg, Manitoba home when neighbor Frank Kamp banged at the door to alert them to the fire, which started from a porch light and caused $75,000 ($63,720 US) in damage. Smith told the Winnipeg Sun she was grateful for Kamp’s quick response and noted that her grandfather wouldn’t have heard the banging on the door. “I don’t know what would have happened if I wasn’t here to get him out,” she said.
YEMEN EDUCATION DECISION CALLED A FAILURE
A decision three years ago by officials in Taiz, Yemen, to educate deaf students in public schools has been called a failure by parents and education workers, reported the Yemen Times. The students face a number of problems, including a lack of qualified teachers, classrooms and funding. “Students’ learning and performance is weak, which adds to the burden of teachers,” said educator Amerah Al-Badani. Mohammed Salem Al-Shameri, father of five deaf children, said his kids used to attend a special institute and their educational level was perfect. Three years later, “these students with special needs have become lost,” he said.
VIET NAM YOUTH WINS PRIZE IN ART CONTEST
A deaf child who communicates through painting was profiled by Viet Nam News last week. Dinh Cong Tien, whose age was not given, recently took second place in a painting contest sponsored by the Association for the Support of Viet Nam Handicapped and Orphans. Tien’s mother, Pham Thi Thuy, scrimps to buy her son paper and chalk to draw. Three other children are also deaf and one son died from a brain tumor. Thuy blames the family’s health problems on her husband’s exposure to Agent Orange during the war in the 1960s. Of her children, Thuy says through tears, “I have gripping pains in my stomach whenever I look at them.”
INDIAN YOUTH ENJOY 15-DAY SKIING COURSE
The Department of Tourism in Kashmir, India recently offered a 15-day course in snow skiing for “deaf and dumb players,” reported Greater Kashmir. Fifteen boys and girls underwent basic skiing training and comfortably passed the final test, said the report. “These special children worked hard during the course and were [more] disciplined than the normal children,” said a Tourism official. “Our instructors loved to teach them as they were strictly following their instructions.”
IRISH TWINS UNDERGO ‘MIRACLE OPERATION’
BBC News reported recently on Curtis and Reece Flanagan, 3-year-old deaf twins in Northern Ireland who “underwent a miracle operation” and had cochlear implants fitted. Prior to the operations, the boys “were trapped in a world they could not hear – or understand,” said the report. Three months ago, “the twins really got their best present ever when their implants were switched on.” Their mother, Orla, said the boys were often difficult to control. “Anything they wanted, they couldn’t tell me,” she said. “The whole house was in chaos.” Now, she said, “they are able to say Santa for the first time.”
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LIFE & LEISURE
MISSOURI STUDENTS PLAY SANTA TO CHARITIES
The sophomore class at the Missouri School for the Deaf spent two weeks in December collecting toys, books and clothing for charity. According to The Fulton Sun, six large boxes of supplies were sent to poor children at a deaf school in Ecuador, an orphanage in Thailand and SERVE, Inc. in Fulton, Mo. “They need to see they’re not alone,” said student Valen Williams, “that there are people out there that are willing to help them.”
CHURCH IS SITE OF ‘SIGNED’ MARRIAGE PROPOSAL
An unusual marriage proposal took place at St. John’s Episcopal Deaf Church in Birmingham, Ala. on December 17, reported The Birmingham News. The church’s pastor, the Rev. Marianne Stephens, was signing announcements when her friend, Vernon Kroll, stood up. He said he didn’t know sign language but had a sign – and held up a sign saying, Will you marry me? “After I scraped myself off the floor,” said Stephens, “I said yes.” Stephens and Kroll are both 55 and have known each other for six months. Stephens’ father, the Rev. Camille Desmaris, a deaf priest who was in Birmingham to celebrate the 40th anniversary of his ordination, was among about 60 people in the church who witnessed the proposal.
‘TRUE CHRISTMAS MIRACLE’ FOR NEW YORK COUPLE
A deaf couple in Rochester, N.Y. celebrated a “true Christmas miracle” when they brought home their newly adopted deaf son from Russia, reported WHAM-TV News. Rob and Theresa Michalek had tried for years to adopt a child and met 5-year-old Alex in a Moscow orphanage more than a year ago. Dealing with the Russian government and Alex’s biological family was not easy, said the report, and the Michaleks had to endure a series of physical and mental tests. But finally Alex is home and preparing to attend the Rochester School for the Deaf. “Now that we have him here,” said Theresa, “I can’t even remember all of the waiting we’ve had to do.”
TENNESSEE LIBRARIES RECEIVE DONATED TTYS
A Chattanooga, Tenn. company announced last month that it has donated TTYs to several local libraries. Clarity, described as “the nation’s leading supplier of amplified telephones and other communications devices for the hearing impaired,” gave two TTYs to the main branch of the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Bicentennial Library and one TTY each to four additional branches. “This is the first time our hearing impaired branch patrons have had access to this important service,” said library spokeswoman Andria Davis.
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HOUSTON MOM VICTIMIZED BY NIGERIAN SCAM
KTRK-TV News in Houston, Texas reported last week on “a new scam [that] is going around using religion to empty the bank accounts of the hearing impaired.” Lindsay Moehle, a deaf mother of three, thought she had a job with a group called Christian Outreach for the Deaf and received a check in the mail for $2,555. She was told to deposit the check and send $2,400 to someone in Nigeria who “needed the funds to cater for some deaf people like you and I.” A few days later, her debit card was declined and she learned that the check was bogus and she had to pay back the money to the bank. It’s a new twist on an old fraud, said a Better Business Bureau spokesman, and “may be the new wave for the new year.”
HARVARD LAW GRAD TO WORK WITH NAD
One of six Harvard Law School students and graduates to win a 2007 Skadden Fellowship plans to work with the National Association of the Deaf. Michael Stein, a 2006 graduate, will work with the Silver Spring, Md. association to increase the accessibility of medical services to deaf and hard-of-hearing people, said a Harvard news release. The Skadden Fellowship program provides funding every year to 30 law students and new lawyers from law schools around the country to support work in public service.
SORENSON OPENS EIGHT MORE VRS CENTERS
Sorenson Communications announced December 22 that it has opened eight new Sorenson Video Relay Service (VRS) interpreting centers throughout the United States. The new centers are located in Boise, Idaho; Columbia, Mo.; Fresno, Calif.; Kansas City, Kan.; Knoxville, Tenn.; Little Rock, Ark.; Memphis, Tenn.; and Omaha, Neb. The development “is an indication of our company’s commitment to the deaf community,” said Sorenson’s Chris Wakeland. Flexible work schedules, said Wakeland, would enable interpreters to continue to work in the local deaf community.
NORTH CAROLINA SCHOOL OPENS AUDIOLOGY SUITE
A school in Winston-Salem, N.C. is celebrating the opening of a new audiology suite, reported the Winston-Salem Journal. The Kennedy Learning Center used a $10,000 grant to convert a former shop classroom into the audiology suite, which features a soundproof room that blocks out sounds that can interfere with hearing tests. Two additional grants of about $40,000 each were used to purchase assistive devices and auditory trainers for children with hearing problems. The new suite will allow school workers who were spread out all over the county to work in one office, said school official Sam Dempsey.
The 16th Winter Deaflympics
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Adult and children's combo ticket prices are now posted on website. You can reserve rooms and order tickets online at www.2007Deaflympics.com. See you there!
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ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
2006 SAID TO MARK ‘RETURN OF THE SUBTITLE’
One of the little-noticed trends of 2006 was the return of the subtitle, said the Hollywood Reporter. Hollywood used to shun subtitles, fearing audiences wouldn’t sit still for captioned fare, but films like “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” helped change people’s attitudes. TV’s “Lost” and “Heroes” also helped, with non-English-speaking characters who converse in their native tongue. In addition, “Jericho” runs captions when deaf actress Shoshannah Stern’s character argues with her brother in sign language. “Suddenly, subtitles don’t look so foreign,” the report concludes, and “audiences don’t seem to fear them anymore.”
HOLIDAY SHOW BENEFITS INTERPRETER TRAINING
Ocean County College’s annual ASL Rock ‘n’ Roll Holiday Show last month wasn’t one of those sign language-set-to-music concerts for hearing people, said the Asbury Park Press. Instead, it was an original show designed for deaf people and presented by ASL students from the Toms River, N.J. college’s interpreter training program. About 90 percent of the audience was deaf, said program instructor Kathy Basilotto, and the rest were family and friends. The show was a fundraiser for the interpreter training program, and another fundraiser is already in the works – a cruise to Bermuda next summer.
FLORIDA STUDENTS APPEAR IN DISNEY’S CHRISTMAS PARADE
Students from the Florida School for the Deaf and Blind in St. Augustine teamed up with singer Michael Bolton for a musical and sign language rendition of “Joy to the World” for the Walt Disney World Christmas Day Parade. The taping took place December 1, “a really hot day, like 85 degrees, and they’re all dressed like it’s freezing cold outside,” said Sherri Spigner, whose daughter Julie landed a spot directly behind Bolton. “They wanted it to be absolutely perfect, and it was.” The show was broadcast on Christmas morning on ABC, said the Lakeland Ledger, and students were given free admission to Disney World and two passes each for a return visit.
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LEARNING CENTER EXTENDS STREAK TO 28 GAMES
The girls basketball team at the Learning Center for Deaf Children has won its first 10 games this season, said the Boston Globe on Sunday, extending its winning streak to 28 games. The Framingham, Mass. school is chasing two league titles: the Girls Independent League and the Eastern Schools for the Deaf Athletic Association. The school has only 35 students at the high school level, and many of the players have known one another for years. “We have been getting better every year,” said head coach Brad Crowell.
FILM TO EXPLORE ORIGIN OF UMPIRE SIGNS
Two filmmakers in Rochester, N.Y. are working on a documentary that explores the origins of the arm signals used by baseball umpires. According to the Democrat and Chronicle, “Signs of the Time” will focus on deaf player William Ellsworth “Dummy” Hoy and umpire Bill Klem, both of whom have been credited with inventing the signals. “There have been many debates about where these signs originated,” said director Don Casper, who is working on the film with screenwriter Jim Hughes. “I think they evolved rather than were invented.” Casper, 38, and Hughes, 44, plan to have the documentary ready in Spring 2008 and hope to pitch the film to The History Channel, PBS or ESPN. To learn more, visit www.signsofthetimemovie.com.
LOWELL JACK MYERS, 76, RETIRED ACCOUNTANT, LAWYER
Lowell Jack Myers, a retired Chicago tax attorney and certified public accountant, died November 7 of a brain aneurysm in a Rockville, Md. nursing home. He was 76. Mr. Myers lost his hearing as a child and became a legal advocate for the deaf, authoring the book, “The Law and the Deaf.” He worked as an accountant for 30 years with Sears, Roebuck & Co. while attending night school at The John Marshall Law School, where he graduated in 1956. Mr. Myers was best known for representing deaf teenager Donald Lang, who was accused of killing a prostitute. The story was made into a TV movie in 1979, starring LeVar Burton and featuring Paul Sorvino as Mr. Myers.
WALTER WHITLOCK, 89, KNOWN FOR HIS ARTWORK
Deaf artist Walter Whitlock died in Indianapolis, Ind. on November 13, two days after his 89th birthday. Mr. Whitlock attended the Indiana School for the Deaf from 1923 to 1937, where he developed his talent for drawing. According to The Indianapolis Star, his first job was clearing tables at a hotel for 13 years. He then worked at a restaurant for 27 years, clearing tables and delivering orders. He continued to develop his artwork, winning awards and exhibiting his creations. Several works are displayed at the Sanders Temple Church of God in Christ, where he was a member. Mr. Whitlock lost his sight in one eye in 1977 and became blind in 1997. He lived his last nine years with Dorothy Beamon and her family, where in his own way he remained independent and continued to follow his favorite Indianapolis sports teams.
You can advertise your job openings here for just $20 a week (up to 100 words, 10 cents each add'l word) and reach more than 6,150 Deafweekly subscribers. Our website gets an additional 5,000+ page views each week. Start spreading the news! To place your ad, send the announcement to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Non-Profit mental health agency in Edgewater, MD has positions available in Deaf Program. Applicants must be fluent in American Sign Language. Minimum qualifications are a high school diploma or equivalent, AA or BA/BS degree with coursework and/or experience in psychology or human services preferred. Must have valid drivers license.
Rehabilitation Specialist -- Part Time and Full Time; Responsibilities include providing daily living skills support, medication monitoring, transporting clients to appointments, and applying crisis intervention when needed in a day program or residential setting.
Send resume and cover letter to: Arundel Lodge, 2600 Solomons Island Road, Edgewater, MD 21037, fax (410) 841-6045, email: Lmurphy@arundellodge.org.
JOB OPPORTUNITIES AT GLAD
GLAD is an Affirmative Action Employer with equal opportunity for men, women and people with disabilities. For more information on the following positions, please go to: www.gladinc.org. The status of all positions is: Regular, Full-time, Non-Exempt, Full Fringe Benefits unless otherwise noted. All positions are open until filled.
– Building Manager
– Los Angeles, CA
– Regional Director – Riverside, CA
– Community Interpreter – Los Angeles and Riverside, CA
– Job Developer/Interpreter – Norwalk and West Covina, CA
– Community Health Educator – Los Angeles, CA
– Grant Writer – Los Angeles, CA
– Accounts Receivable Specialist – Los Angeles, CA
– Program Assistant/Interpreter – Los Angeles, CA
If interested for any of these positions then please submit resume and application to:
Human Resources Specialist
Greater Los Angeles Agency on Deafness, Inc.
2222 Laverna Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90041
V/TDD: (323) 550-4207
Fax #: (323)550-4204
Director of Client Support
Services Position Announcement
Deaf Counseling, Advocacy and Referral Agency - San Leandro, CA
This position directs and supervises all aspects of outreach and specialized services in San Leandro, San Jose, Fremont, Eureka, and Santa Cruz. Represents agency in educational, advocacy, and social service contexts; coordinates program development and evaluation; monitors department budget; and performs direct services to clients and workshops. DCARA offers extremely competitive benefits such as 4-day work week schedule (40 hours), 13 days of holiday leave plus one week paid winter holiday, and full medical, dental, vision and life insurances. Available employment at www.dcara.org.
OUTREACH COORDINATOR (ARIZONA)
Hamilton Relay, Inc. currently has a full-time position open for “Outreach Coordinator” for the state of Arizona.
We are an equal opportunity employer.
We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, sex, age, national
origin or disability.
Position summary: Position is responsible for Outreach, marketing, and gathering information which will help improve the quality of the relay service and the number of customers served by Hamilton. Individual will be required to travel.
Applicants with the ability to communicate through the use of American Sign Language are preferred. An Associate or Bachelor's Degree or comparable work experience along with a minimum of three years public relations experience is preferred. Strong written, analytical and interpersonal skills as well as a driver's license and ability to travel alone are required. Direct work experience with a Telecommunications Relay Service is also preferred. Deaf and hard of hearing individuals are encouraged to apply.
Interested individuals may send all inquiries and/or resumes to www.hamilton.net/employment.html to the attention of Cindy Blase in Human Resource Department by January 19, 2007.
We are an equal opportunity employer. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, sex, age, national origin or disability.
Hamilton Relay, Inc. is a division of Hamilton Telecommunications based in Aurora, NE. Hamilton offers a competitive wage. Contact our HR Dept. at: 800.821.1831 or at: www.hamilton.net/employment.html
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