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Wings Over Muskegon

Wings Over Muskegon
August 9th-11th

Monday, October 31, 2016

Muskegon Nominees for the Celebrated Service Award from Celebration Cinema - Voting Begins Nov 2nd

Customer service!  Everyone says it's the most important part of any business....but....seemingly, it's getting harder and harder to find truly great customer service.

People are in a hurry... there's a lot pf pressure on employees to perform...money is tight and the cost of things keeps going up.  Kind of a tough time for customer service.  But.. there are those out there that excel and they get noticed by Celebration Cinema.

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Every year, in the communities that are lucky enough to have a Celebration Cinema location in them, the search goes out for the he other business in the area who are making sure that their customers are being served to the best standards possible.  There's a lot that goes into an nomination...there's also a lot of pride attached to the nomination as well as the win!

I have had the pleasure of having a relationship with Celebration Cinema since 1989.  It's been a LONG lasting association and I have seen first hand how this company works and why they make going to the movies such a premium experience.  It's attention to detail....it's meticulous care of people, employees and customers, and it's making sure that if you choose to go to the movies...you get the best experience you can get.  They deliver without fail.

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This year in Muskegon, it's going to be a tough choice!  There are SO many great places nominated; Fatty Lumpkins Sandwich Shack, Hannah Banana's, Getty Street Grill, Goobers Bakery and Pastry Shop, Lakeside Emporium, Mr. B's Pancake House, O'Reilly Auto Parts on Apple, The Rec Room, Rootdown - Yoga Juice Greens, and Exhaust Special-T's".

 It's a big deal to even be nominated and Maddison Fensel of Cinema Carousel gave me a few minutes to explain how a nomination happens and what's up for grabs for the winning company.  Take a listen below!

There you have it!  Voting gets underway November 2nd!  Make sure you show your support for your favorite local business!  It's a quick and easy process and a way that won't cost you a dime to say thank you to the local business that go above and beyond every day to make Muskegon such an awesome place.  Here's the link to the official Celebrated Service Website from Celebration Cinema.  Head there and learn more about the local places in the hunt!!

Celebrated Service Award Voting

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Saturday, October 29, 2016

Meet Kevin Cummings - Muskegon Heights Tiger Heritage Association President Eddie Sanders Jr Reports

There's one thing that's for sure... and that is the pride that comes with having graduated from Muskegon Heights High School.

Anyone you talk to that graduated from The Heights will tell you that they had "Tiger Blood" running through their veins long before Charlie Sheen freaked out and claimed he had "Tiger Blood"

Kevin Cummings does all he can to keep it pumping!

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Kevin is known as "Mr. Heights Tiger" among his friends for his never ending passion for his school.  Along with his job at the MDOC he is also the president of the Tiger Heritage Association and the organizer of one of the most incredible events that happens around here, but...it's kind of a well kept secret.  Eddie Sanders is the head of the Tiger Heritage Association who also helped in launching the tailgate party!

Homecoming is a big deal in any school.  Homecoming is also a big deal in a lot of cities that don't have a school of their own...they usually plan a small festival of sorts in the event the city doesn't have it's own school.  In Muskegon Heights it's a combination of both....minus the idea of "small".  Every year. the Unstoppable Heights Tiger Reunion/ Tailgate party draws former Tigers in from near and far and equally exciting, friends and neighbors gather outside to grill, catch up and hoot and holler!  It's an amazing block party.  It's filled with pomp and circumstance, the grilling is amazing and the community spirit shines!  Photo's alone are enough to make you sto and think "What am I missing?"  It's a lesson in community togetherness any city should take notes on.

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Kevin is a 1977 graduate of the Heights.  He was also voted "The Most Distinguished Gentlemen" at the annual 103.7 The Beat Awards last year for his style, class and dignity.  Eddie Sanders Jr. had a chance to catch up with Kevin.  Take a listen to the chat below.

Tiger pride...it's a big deal.  It's also great to know that there are those who won't let it go.  It's a feeling that should spread from generation to generation and the work Kevin puts in to keep it going....certainly earns him the title of "Most Distinguished Gentlemen".  We love community pride on Positively Muskegon.  Our thanks to Kevin for coming by to talk about his!!  Take a little back with you to your neighborhood!!  Watch it spread!

Friday, October 28, 2016

Wine and Whiskers Helping The Noah Project in Muskegon November 11th

We love our pets!  No mistaking that around Muskegon.  As pets are such a big part of our lives..so is making sure that they are well taken care of and that the places who step up to make sure they are...well, they are just as important.

As the Winter months approach, it's important to keep in mind the work of The Noah Project on Airline Road.  The Noah Project is a no kill animal shelter here in Muskegon with a simple goal.  No more homeless pets.

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The Noah Project is noted for treating every animal they take in with compassion and dignity and that they remain committed to that animal until it's adopted, and if no adoptive family comes along, The Noah Project takes care of the pet until it's natural life comes to an end.  The make sure that animals are placed with the right loving homes and they have countless volunteers who work hours on end to assure their pets have the best life until they find their forever home.

It's a place filled with passion, commitment and kindness....but it's also a place that needs a hand to keep operations up and running...bellies full and an outreach going to let people know that their new forever friend is waiting for them right on the outside of town on Airline road.  How can people know their dog or cat are waiting for them without some notice given?

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Muskegon knows, the best way to raise a few bucks...is a party!  This particular one will be held in the amazing Silversides Museum down next to the Muskegon Channel on November 11th from 6p-9p.  You'll not only find the rich history of the Silversides you'll enjoy local beer and wine, plenty of great food and a silent auction.

I was invited to stop in and learn more about the Wine and Whiskers party by Diane Keenan, Heather Rake and Jane McGregor.  We met up at Jane's office and they gave me the low down on the event, the purpose and the lovable furry faces that The Noah Project cares for day in and day out.  Take a listen to our chat below for more information.

A great time to be had in a very historic setting that you will find NOWHERE else but Muskegon.  Think of the evening and the fun, but think more of the lives you'll be helping by helping assure The Noah Project can continue their work for years to come.  If you are in the market for a new forever friend, make sure you check out The Noah Project on Airline Road.  Chances are....that new family member is already there waiting for you.  For tickets to the party... click on the photo below!!

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Thursday, October 27, 2016

Third Coast Vinyl Open on Third Street in Muskegon

It's hard to believe....but vinyl records are making a comeback.

So much so....I have heard they are outselling CD's now a days!!


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The digital download still reigns supreme, but there is a sincerely big movement back to records.  It seems to be coming from people who like the sound of vinyl better.  Remember the sound of a "cue burn"?  The little piece of static just as the song starts?  How about the crackling of the record while it's between songs or has played all the way to the end?  Remember the artwork?  The smell of a brand new record fresh out of the sleeve?  I sure do...needless to say....I built most of my life around records!

It's not just us dinosaurs that are enjoying the rebound of records.  Younger people seem to enjoy the nostalgia...as well as the ability to hold something tangible in their hands from their favorite artists....old and new.  New releases are coming out weekly...as are some of the bigger releases from the 90's when the Ipod took over.

It's created a niche market...and Muskegon has it's very own record store again.  Located on the rebounding 3rd Street Corridor "Third Coast Vinyl" is operated by Paul Pretzer, a local music geek like me and he spent a good few years playing in local bands.

Today.. a level of hip has be rediscovered and if you stop into Pauls' shop, not only will you find the groovy vinyl....you'll find awesome retro tee's, stereos....turn tables....a hand full of cassettes and a music maven running the whole show!   Take a listen to our chat below!

Revitalize...renew and relive all at the same time!!  How long has it been since we had a really awesome local record store anyway?  The music and everything is great...but a place like Third Coast Vinyl is also a community center for local musicians....music fans and collectors.  A record store is a place to meet people... exchange ideas and be a community!  Take a few minutes out of your day and head down to 3rd Street and dig the vibe man!  What a perfect place for a much needed community asset!!  You can find Third Coast Vinyl's Facebook page by clicking on their photo below!

Third Coast Vinyl on Facebook

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Wednesday, October 26, 2016

The Citizen Corps Council. Get Involved in Muskegon

There is an initiative in Muskegon that everyone should find a way to participate in.  So often we stroll through our daily lives and luckily...we don't have to give a second thought to a disaster.  But they are real....they happen all over the world without a seconds notice and quite often, we see the people effected on the news shaking their heads and wondering why more were not prepared.

Not only the first responders, but friends and neighbors that don't know where to begin in the face of an emergency.
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Action is being taken right now in Muskegon County to make sure that God forbid a worse case scenario happens here.... there will be a team of people in place to help handle the needs, large and small that an emergency brings with it.

The Muskegon County Citizen Corps Program is part of a national program under Homeland Security that helps communities coordinate volunteers to prepare for and respond to local emergencies. It trains and engages volunteers to make communities safer, stronger, and better prepared to respond to emergencies and disasters of all kinds, including threats of terrorism, natural disasters, crime, public health issues, etc. The support of Citizen Corps activities are especially important during major disasters when first responders may be initially overwhelmed. Citizen Corps activities are adapted to every community's needs and managed locally by a Citizen Corps Council. Citizen Corps encourage communities to engage every citizen in homeland security efforts.

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Basically..are you personally ready for an emergency?  Do you have the needed supplies in the house for your own good?   Do you have skills like medical training?  Would you be willing to be a part of a "CERT" team  (Community Emergency Response Team)?  At very least....would you be willing to be part of a Neighborhood Watch program?

It's been said, it takes a village.  I believe that on many levels and the basic ability to jump in at a moments notice for your family or your neighborhood is what this is all about.  From a full on disaster to the occasional call to 911 to report something going on in your neighborhood...it all adds up to a safer community and a better place to live.  Rhona Colbert is the Voulenterer Executive Director for the Muskegon County Citizens Corps.  She invited me to the Emergency Management Center to talk a little more about this program and how you can get involved.  Take a listen to our chat below!!

We're all rowing the boat.  Everyone in Muskegon County has something to offer and as this program grows...so will your opportunity to be involved.  Coming together in the face of an emergency is really a basic human trait.  But....coming together as a community before something happens is not only smart....it builds relationships.  It gives you the chance to see first hand what can be done and it will make all of us better in the long run.  We'll stick with this story as it unfolds and keep you up to date!  My thanks to Rhona for the chance to help tell the story.

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Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Vines and Steins! Happening October 27th to Benefit Mission For Area People in Muskegon

There's a Fall chill in the air.  Yes...the changing of the seasons means that we cool off a bit...we prepare for what some have said could be a long Winter with a lot of snow...and we have to recognize that those in need around Muskegon will be searching for some assistance...and we'll probably see some people looking for a hand that never imagined they would be in the situation of needing a hand.

It happens folks.  It really does.

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We've got a ton of tireless and dedicated outreaches around Muskegon.  We are overly blessed by people who are willing to make personal sacrifices to make them run.  We've got amazing people who all give of their time, talent and treasure to make sure things are there.  Food...personal care items, clothing, maybe some money in certain situations.  Our hearts are big and no one should ever have to go without.

For 49 years one of the key players in making sure no one in Muskegon has to go without is Mission for Area People.  They are located right across the street from Muskegon Heights High School and their programs are amazing.  The put dinner on nightly for area residents.  They have a healthy food pantry...they provide Christmas for close to 1000 kids and they never quit trying to find new was to reach out and new ways to fund the work they do.

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Vines and Steins is a new event this year for Mission for Area People.  It will be at the Folkert Community Hub on October 27th from 5:30-8p.  You'll find a happy hour like no other.  Awesome food, great beers and wines, a HUGE silent auction and more.

MAP Online

Diane Stubbs is the Executive Director of Mission for Area People and I was able to catch up with her to talk about the party...the fun and the most needed things as Mission for Area People prepares for their "busy season".  Take a listen to our chat below.

It would be great to say that Mission for Area People had to close down because Muskegon no longer needed anything.  Doubtful we'll hear that anytime soon....but....with Diane and her staff and the countless hours put in my volunteers we find a way to take care of each other.  Thanks to everyone involved...we can say that we do indeed come together as a community and make sure our people are taken care of.   Join them for the party Thursday and do your part while enjoying a nice evening!   Click on the image below for more details!

Vines and Steins 

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Monday, October 24, 2016

Our Thanks to Joe Bush Candidate for Probate Judge - Title Sponsor of Positively Muskegon

During the primary election this year.. Positively Muskegon had an open invite to candidates running in Muskegon County to come on and share their points of view on why they were the right choice to earn your vote.  I was remarkably pleased with how all of the candidates stayed away from mud slinging and sat down and actually told you who they were and why they were running.  In my mind...they all represented Muskegon with dignity and grace.

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Once the primary was over...one candidate stepped up immediately and in return for our making sure that everyone had a voice...they saw the value in Positively Muskegon and the reach the blog has attained and the first call after the primary came in asking to be the title sponsor of the blog until the election.  That call came from Joe Bush and like any other sponsor on the blog....we'll find time to say thank you and recognize them for helping continue the work we do.

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It's taken a while, but I was able to grab a few minutes with Joe to talk about the campaign so far.  His commitment to Muskegon and how he's gotten in to the position to run for this very important seat.  He's put in a lot of hours on foot....campaigning the old fashioned way.

He's remained active in his work and he's been  working night and day to attain the goal he began when he was 15.  Take a listen to our conversation below for more.

Many thanks to Joe Bush and our best wishes to him as the election approaches.  It's been a long and hard road for all of our candidates and the message remains the same from Positively Muskegon.  Get out and vote..and especially for your local candidates who are dedicated to making Muskegon a better place for all of us...and all of our futures.  Thanks again to Joe Bush and best of luck to him in the election!

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Sunday, October 23, 2016

Project Homeless Connect - Muskegon Takes Care of Each Other

Homelessness.  A word that would be better never used again, but it's a reality and people who find themselves in that situation face a lot of challenges most don't even consider in the day to day of life.  Where will you sleep?  How can you stay in touch?  How do you find the resources to help pull yourself out of a situation and make a better way for yourself?

Scary huh?

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Luckily.... on October 26th Muskegon has an event coming up at the LC Walker Arena directed at helping those who need to change their situation.  It's called Project Connect and the aim is to find those who are homeless and put them in touch with agencies and resources that can help them.  It's moved to the LC Walker Arena this year as the need for services has grown and thankfully, so have the options for people to rely on for a hand.

What an event this will be too!  There will be over 40 agencies on hand to people in need.  If you are homeless, a veteran, or just in need or resources and services, this is the opportunity for you.  You'll find a hot home cooked meal provided free of charge, you'll find some cool giveaways. there will be an onsite food truck so you don't have to go away hungry and Walgreens will be on hand providing free flu shots.  There will also be a Stand Down Area for Veterans.  It's a pretty far reaching community endeavor to say the least and it's a way for all of us to say that no one in Muskegon is alone.  We'll do like we always do....find a way and make it happen.

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I was invited by Corey Davis to come down and talk about this great event.  If you'd like to know some details about how you can benefit....or better yet, how you can help, click on the video below to hear more.

Positively Muskegon is about lifting this community up, and the people who do the lifting.  We all know someone who's having a hard time making ends meet.  We are also probably all in the same boat from time to time.  It's tough sometimes for everyone....but there's just no stopping Muskegon.  Please...if you need a hand, come ask.  If you can give a hand.....come help.  My thanks to Corey and Michael for the invite to talk about this awesome endeavor!  You can find more information if you click on the photo below!

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Saturday, October 22, 2016

Behind the Mask - A Masquerade at the Frauenthal Center to Benefit The Hope Project November 5th

A masquerade ball?  Fun huh?  Just enough mystery to feel like a costume party...but enough familiarity so you don't get creeped out by that one guy in the old man costume.  (You know he's at every party)

Now...what if the masquerade ball was held in order to benefit The Hope Project?  Sounds like a great time huh?

 Keep on reading then my friend!

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The Hope Project is the beneficiary and the Women's Life Chapter 907: The Freedom Warriors are behind this great event designed for those 18 and older.  There will be information provided about human trafficking.  There is a LOT to learn about this very real and very local problem.  It's not one of those issues reserved for "the big city" and those who purvey human trafficking don't really care where their people come from.  It's modern day slavery....and it's here.

You'll find a brief discussion of the issue... you'll also find a silent auction going on, a DJ keeping the party going and plenty of door prizes.  It's a nominal fee to get in and it will include Hors d'oeuvres, soft drinks and dessert provided and a cash bar if you choose.  It's a formal event....so get the shoes shined up...knock the dust off the tux if you have one and come out to the Frauenthal November 5th.

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I was invited by Sarah De La Rosa of Mediation and Restorative Services in Muskegon and Sarah Klassen who is the Chapeter President of Women's Life Chapter 907 to talk about this amazing event and find out a few more details.  You can take a listen to our conversation below.

It's so hard to believe that of all things that go on here in town....human trafficking has to be in the mix.  It's not only important to discuss matters like this, it's important to help those on the front lines in the battle out.  If it takes a party...so be it.  It's up to us to acknowledge problems here and do what we can to fight them.  If you'd like to get tickets to the masquerade ball... click on the image below!

Get Tickets to the Ball!

Friday, October 21, 2016

Positively Muskegon Welcomes Eddie Sanders Jr

Just over a year old!  Quite a milestone to me... to some it may not be much, but to know that we've started to change the way we're seen by ourselves and by others is a pretty satisfying feeling.  We ventured into neighborhoods...business....schools...attractions and more.  We've told a story or two and we've been able to shine a light on some pretty awesome people who make Muskegon what it is.  But...it's all been from one perspective...mine.  I mean, it's an acceptable perspective and all....but there's more!

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Thing is....how do you go about getting more perspective?  Where you you find people who truly wish to have a better future for our area?  How do you find someone that's awesome with people?  How can you begin to show different view points....meet guests who might not otherwise want to come on?  Muskegon isn't exactly flooded with out of work news reporters and journalists you know.  Dave Alexander contributes from Downtown Muskegon, it's a nice way to keep his writing chops while he helps remold the city.  So, where do new people come from?  I'll tell you... they come from right here.  It doesn't take a rocket scientist to do this you know, it just takes a good heart... I mean look at me...  they don't come much more simplistic than some guy from Sparta.

Me and Eddie

I first met Eddie Sanders Jr. as he was at a Muskegon Lumberjacks game to sing the National Anthem.  His towering presence and impeccable dressing at first was a little intimidating.  Right away though, he told me he was heading to audition for one of those tv shows where they try to find the next big thing when it comes to singers, AGT.

He went out and belted out the Anthem with an amazing and towering voice to match his frame and I stood in awe.

As time went on... I learned more and more about Eddie and I have grown to not only highly respect him...I have grown to see so much of me in him it's almost uncanny.  Eddie wants better for everyone.  Eddie is a committed man to helping kids....strengthening communities and living life to the fullest.  Eddie organized the 2000 Man March in Muskegon Heights this past Summer, it was an event that blew everyone away.  It became clear to me... Eddie belongs on Positively Muskegon.

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Eddie is here today to do his first story.  Meet Elizabeth Slter-Adkins who is Eddie's vocal coach and also a teacher at Muskegon Community College.   She's got quite a story to tell and it' leads up to a huge thing for her... her Masters recital taking place Nov 4th at Montague United Methodist Church at 7:30p.  Take a listen to Eddie and Beth's conversation to learn a little more.

Well, there you have it!  Elizabetheth's got quite a story and as she works her way toward the  recital we're happy to cheer her on.  Happy to have Eddie help tell her story too!  What an amazing thing to have Eddie here.  He's awesome and I will be happy to have his point of view on things when he can.  Remember I asked earlier, "where do you find someone"?  Simple truth is look for a guy who believes in something as much as you do...and be willing to help him succeed.  It's called lifting people up... and it's awesome.

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Thursday, October 20, 2016

Santa's Helpers in Muskegon - Trying to Make the Holiday's a Little Brighter

9 times out of 10 you hear... "Boy, I wish someone would do something about that".  It's that one time when someone says "I'm going to do something about that" that would should pay the closest attention to.  It's that one person or group that changes the world.   It doesn't matter how big or small the changes are....what's big to some maybe considered peanuts to others....but if a need it met.....the world changes.

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Last year about this time we met up with a mom from Wolf Lake.  Andrea Rosema was in the process of making Christmas a little brighter for the kids of the area.  She put on a party at the VFW on Apple to help kids decorate cookies...meet Santa....send a card to a soldier and enjoy some time away from the every days hustle and bustle to just slow down and be kids.  It's an important thing to do.  We sure hope to hear back from Andrea but that doesn't mean that there's not room for more when it comes to doing god by our kids in Muskegon.

Karen Gagnon got a hold of me a couple weeks ago and wanted to talk about Santa's Helpers.  It's hard to believe....but kids needs continue to grow.  Not only do they need the basics like food, shelter and water...some thought has to be given to younger people that there is hope in this world....that good things happen for good kids and that they are not forgotten when it comes to being part of our community.  Struggle knows no color....creed or address.  Karen also remembers her earlier years when that help came from others in her own life.  Now, it's time to pay it back...or forward depending on how you look at it.

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Santa's Helpers last year served 30 local kids who would have otherwise gone without.  The need is real..and the need is growing.  Be it from a sponsor, a donation or maybe something you can give freely...a little time..you can be a part of it all this year.

They have begun the search to find partners to help serve these kids and Karen came by along with Cathy Strait and Brittney Shotwell to tell me a little more about the endeavor.  Take a listen to our conversation below.

Grass roots effort?  Yup!  Is this the kind of thing that makes Muskegon what it is?  You better believe it.  This community is built by hard working people who take care of friends and neighbors.  It might not make the national news for any of these efforts....but they go on, day after day with the resilience only Muskegon can put up!  We're thankful for Karen and people like her who realize that a community is a direct reflection of the people in it...and that the people here are truly good hearted  and will take the reigns on things to make sure that we get needs met.  If you'd like to get involved, follow the link below.  A donation...some time....maybe some presents?  It will make you feel good....and moreover....you'll be adding to the greater good, and that's something we all benefit from.

Santa's Helpers Muskegon and Surrounding Areas on Facebook

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