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Lyndonville opens expanded Pre-Kindergarten program

Posted 18 February 2020 at 12:50 pm

Provided photo: Lyndonville opened its expanded PreK program last week at the former elementary school on Main Street.

Press Release, Lyndonville Central School

LYNDONVILLE – Lyndonville Central School’s newly expanded Pre-Kindergarten program officially opened at its Main Street campus on Feb. 10.

Through a grant received from the NYS Department of Education, the district was able to expand the hours of its current program for 4-year-olds and initiate a new program for 3-year-olds.

Students engage in singing, art projects, dramatic and constructive play and early literacy and math learning. They are developing important skills including sharing and following routines, interacting with peers, controlling emotions and engaging in meaningful relationships with peers and adults. Breakfast and lunch are served within the classrooms, and students have rest-time each day.

To accommodate this expansion, the Pre-K program was moved to the former elementary school. The district partnered with the YMCA to staff and run the program for 3-year-olds. As part of this partnership, the YMCA leases the space from the district, which helps off-set the general operating expenses.

The district currently has two classrooms for 4-year-olds and one for 3-year-olds. Each class is set-up for a day of educational fun. An age-appropriate gymnasium with play equipment was created, and a large library was set up on the second floor.

“The students are enjoying their time at school,” said Dr. Elissa Smith, Elementary Principal. “We transitioned slowly, allowing all current Pre-K students to meet and interact with new staff in the new space prior to adjusting to a full-day. This allowed students to become comfortable in the new space, prior to making other changes. The transition was very smooth, thanks to all of the pre- planning and help from our staff.”

Smith explained that the benefits of an expanded Pre-K program for the community are both immediate and long term. Children have access to social-emotional skill building and early literacy and math skills in an interactive play-based learning environment that supports early learning standards. It helps families through providing safe and appropriate full-day programming for their children.

“All of us involved in the expanded Pre-K program look forward to following these children as they grow to see the future social and academic implications for primary and elementary grades and beyond,” said Dr. Smith.

The district currently has two spaces available for 4-year-olds this school year and is accepting applications the 2020-21 school year for children who will be 3 or 4 by Dec. 1, 2020. Pre- registration forms are due by April 1. A lottery will be held if requests received by April 1 exceed capacity.

Additional information, including registration, can be found on the district’s website or by contacting the Elementary Office at 585-765-3122.

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American Legion in Lyndonville backs 3 for Boys’ State

Staff Reports Posted 17 February 2020 at 3:30 pm

Provided photo

LYNDONVILLE – Members of the Houseman-Tanner American Legion Post 1603 announced the delegate and alternates for the 2020 Boys’ State program at Morrisville State College from June 28 to July 3.

Pictured from left include Steve Goodrich, Commander Post 1603; Hayden Arlington, 2020 delegate; Isaac Becker, alternate; Jacob Corser, alternate; and Joseph Hausler, Adjutant for Post 1603.

An alternate can go if the delegate is unable to, or if a delegate from another community has to back out of the week.

American Legion Boys’ State is a week-long program that immerses high school youth in citizenship and leadership training. They learn the practical aspects of government as it exists in New York State, and come to recognize that the individual is integral to the character and success of government. They also participate in physical fitness, teamwork and other activities, under the guidance of American Legion counselors and U.S. Marines.

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Nearly 300 perform at All-County Music Fest

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 8 February 2020 at 9:41 pm

Photos by Tom Rivers

LYNDONVILLE – The Senior High Chorus sings “Three Madrigals” this afternoon during the Orleans County All-County Music Festival at Stroyan Auditorium in Lyndonville.

There were 82 students in the chorus from the five school districts in Orleans County – Albion, Holley, Kendall, Lyndonville and Medina.

The chorus was led by Dr. Daniel David Black, the assistant professor of vocal music & conducting and director of choral activities at Houghton College. He served as guest conductor for the All-County Music Festival, which is organized by the Orleans County Music Educators Association.

There were 270 students from the five districts selected for the music festival, with 112 in the elementary chorus, 76 in the junior high band and 82 in the high school chorus.

The festival was hindered by a snow on Friday for all five districts. That meant that couldn’t rehearse the day before the concert.

Many of the students received the music a month earlier and worked with their district music teachers on the learning the notes and rhythms. They then rehearsed for the first time together as a group this morning.

The high school chorus was accompanied by Jeremy Rath, a Kendall music teacher.

The high school chorus sang Three Madrigals, How Can I Keep From Singing, Sing Me to Heaven, and Praise His Holy Name.

The junior high band performed Letchworth Fanfare, On a Hymnsong of Philip Bass, and Eagle Mountain Overture.

Dr. Timothy McGarvey, professor of conducting, director of instrumental activities and the wind ensemble director at Houghton College, was guest conductor of the junior high band.

Photos courtesy of Jen Trupo: Evee Heinsler danced during the elementary chorus’s performance of Dance of the Willows. This was taken during rehearsal.

The elementary chorus was led by guest conductor James DesJardins, a music teacher at Frontier Central School. The group sang The Sailor, The Vine and Fig Tree, Dance of the Willow, and Seed to Sow.

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Wes Bradley named Lyndonville’s Firefighter of the Year

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 2 February 2020 at 5:10 pm

LFD honors other members for dedicated service

Photos by Tom Rivers: Wes Bradley, center, receives citations from State Assemblyman Steve Hawley, left, and State Sen. Robert Ortt on Saturday when Bradley was recognized as Lyndonville’s firefighter of the year.

LYNDONVILLE – The Lyndonville Fire Department on Saturday honored Wes Bradley as its firefighter of the year for 2019.

Bradley, a retired middle school science teacher at Lyndonville, remains an active firefighter, responding to about 50 calls a year. Bradley also serves as the department’s chaplain.

“He does everything very professional,” Fire Chief Ben Bane said. “As chaplain, he is always there to comfort members when we have bad calls.”

Last year the department responded to 200 calls, including a fatal fire.

Bradley, 71, joined the department in August 1979 when he moved to Lyndonville to work as a teacher. He was about 30 at the time.

He was inspired by his father’s example. Ray Bradley volunteered for more than 30 years as a firefighter in Canton, NY.

“I saw my father volunteering and it was something I always wanted to do,” Bradley said on Saturday at the Carlton Recreation Hall, where Lyndonville had its annual awards and installation banquet.

Lyndonville Fire Chief Ben Bane, right, presents the Firefighter of the Year award to Wes Bradley, who remains an active firefighter at age 71.

Bradley, after years as an interior firefighter, continues as an exterior firefighter and with the fire police on traffic control. He also goes on EMS calls. He isn’t an EMT but he said it is comforting for many residents to see their neighbors in the fire service respond to the calls.

“I enjoy serving the community,” Bradley said. “The community has been good to me. I can give a little bit back.”

Bradley also is a member of the Lyndonville Lions Club and is a girls soccer referee for Section VI.

The Fire Department presented other awards on Saturday for 2019, including:

Fire President’s Award – Gary White (right), president of the Lyndonville Fire Department, presented the President’s Award to Pete Kage, who responded to 84 calls last year. He also has been an active member for five years.

“This is a person who does a lot for the department but doesn’t get much credit,” White said.

Chief’s Award – Fire Chief Ben Bane announced the Chief’s Award is going to John Flanagan, a long-time member currently battling cancer. Flanagan also was recognized for reaching 15 years of service with the department. Flanagan was unable to attend the banquet.

“Before his illness he would do anything to help out,” Bane said.

Auxiliary President’s Award – Nicole Kistner, Auxiliary President, presented the award to Anna Schuner, who has been a member of the Auxiliary for 15 years, and is the current treasurer. She is also an active firefighter and is an officer as the EMS lieutenant.

Top Five responders – These five firefighters responded to the most calls in 2019: 137, Mike Heideman; 108, Ken Starr; 106 Harold Scribner; 84 Pete Kage; and 76, TJ Heideman.

Service Awards – Some members were also recognized for reaching milestones in years of service. Jim Scharlau, right, is congratulated on 40 years of service by State Assemblyman Steve Hawley.

Other firefighters who were recognized with service awards include: 5 years, Pete Kage; 10 years, Pam Durow; and 15 years, John Flanagan.

Auxiliary members with service awards include: 5 years, Pam Durow, Cheryl Mapes and Taylor Piskorowski; 15 years, Anna Schuner; and 20 years, Vicky Bane.

The fire department swore in new officers and leaders for 2020. They are shown taking the oath of office, which was administered by Dale Banker, director of the Orleans County Emergency Management Office.

Fire Officers include: Chief, Ben Bane; First Assistant Chief, Mike Heideman; Second Assistant Chief, Steve Bane Jr.; Fire Captain, TJ Heideman; Fire Lieutenant, Danny Woodward; EMS Captain, Wally Snyder; EMS Lieutenant, Anna Schuner; Fire Police Captain, Bruce Fumia; and Chaplain, Wes Bradley.

The Fire Executive Officers members include: President, Gary White; Secretary, Peter Kage; and Treasurer, Jim Wells. Board of directors include Kenny Starr, 3-year term; Keith Weaver, 2-year term; and Mike Tabor, 1-year term.

Fire Company Auxiliary Officers include: President, Nicole Kistner; Vice President, Cheryl Mapes; Secretary, Cindy Grabowski; and Treasurer, Anna Schuner.

The group is gathered at the Carlton Rec Hall for dinner and the annual awards and installation.

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Lyndonville seeks nominations for Educator of the Year

Posted 21 January 2020 at 12:23 pm

Press Release, Lyndonville Central School

LYNDONVILLE – The Lyndonville Central School District is currently accepting applications for the 4th Annual Educator of the Year Award, to be named in June 2020.

Parents, students, and community members are eligible to nominate a Lyndonville educator for this special honor. Applications need to be submitted by Feb. 7.

The Educator of the Year will also receive a $1,000 grant to be used for special programming in his or her department or grade level.

John Bailey, an elementary music teacher, was the first recipient of the award in 2017,  second grade teacher Shannon Arlington was the second recipient, and Math teacher Jeff Qamoos was honored last year.

Nominees for the award must have completed at least four years of teaching at Lyndonville.

Nominees should also:

• Be an exceptionally dedicated, knowledgeable, and skilled teacher;

• Inspire students of all backgrounds and abilities to learn;

• Have a strong sense of values, integrity and professional ethics;

• Actively collaborate with colleagues, administration, parents and families;

• Demonstrate innovative 21st century skills and continuing professional growth;

• Have the respect and admiration of students, parents, and colleagues;

• Play an active role in the school community

Applications can be found by clicking here.

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Local thrift stores are busy, with proceeds going to the community

By Ginny Kropf, correspondent Posted 19 January 2020 at 10:25 am

Photos by Ginny Kropf: Ruth Hedges arranges merchandise in the newly expanded room of Hope Resales, the thrift shop she helped start at the Lyndonville United Methodist Church last March. The shop has become so successful they had to expand into another room in the basement of the church. Hedges said recent national surveys have shown more people are shopping in thrift stores.

Shoppers are setting a new trend in America, with more people buying at thrift stores.

A report by ThredUp said the resale market continues to grow at a rate expected to reach $51 billion by 2023. In fact the trend is becoming so popular, traditional department stores like Macy’s and JCPenney have started to team up with ThredUp to sell thrift finds in select stores.

Not only are they finding fine quality merchandise at drastically reduced prices, but the money spent at thrift stores usually goes to helping worthy causes in their communities.

Such is the case with the MAAC Thrift Depot in Medina, Community Action’s Main Street Store in Albion and Hope Resales in Lyndonville.

Annually, MAAC donates about $35,000 to local organizations such as Community Action, Vacation Bible School, Long Point Camp, Boy Scouts in Medina, Medina Police Department, Aglow, Orleans County Christian School, Hands 4 Hope, scholarships for Medina High School seniors, Oak Orchard Bike Rodeo, missions of local churches, fire victims, Tricounty Clergy Fellowship Workshop, Praising Kids Preschool, Senior Citizens of Western Orleans, Hospice, war orphans, GCASA roller skating, Christian Bowhunters, postage for Christmas Shoebox project, Medina National Honor Society veterans’ dinner, Orleans Recovery Hope, Parade of Lights, Veterans’ Christmas project, PACT, Empire State Special Olympics, MOPS, Orleans County Sheriff’s Department, Orleans County Summer Recreation Program, Camp Rainbow and National Night Out.

Photo by Tom Rivers: Community Action of Orleans & Genesee opened of the Main Street Thrift Store in October 2014 at the former American Legion at 131 South Main St.

The Main Street Store in Albion has targeted their profits for a job training program. Michelle George oversees the store at the former American Legion building. The store is a public resource for quality, gently pre-owned merchandise and apparel, and is a designated job skill training site for the community.

The profits from the store allow them to offer enrollment for “on the job” retail training, as well as partner with several local agencies for referrals. Store merchandise is donated and all proceeds from sales support employment services, including resumes, internet job searching, interview techniques, business and retail training and business communications. On completion of training, the store assists participants with job searches, work apparel (Dress for Success project) and references.

Hope Resales in Lyndonville has only been open about 10 months, yet sales have exceeded all expectations, said Ruth Hedges, one of the active volunteers who run the site.

Donations also have been so abundant the Lyndonville United Methodist Church has had to expand into another room in the basement.

During the past year, Hope Resales has given monetary donations not only to the church, but to Lyndonville Fire Department, Genesee-Orleans Ministry of Concern, Camp Rainbow, Lyndonville Food Pantry, Care Net of Orleans, Lockport Cares Homeless Shelter, Hospice of Orleans and to a young missionary who traveled to India. They also are sponsoring on a monthly basis a United Methodist minister and her family in Cuba.

Photo by Ginny Kropf: he MAAC Clothing Depot moved from a spot in the former Medina High School to the former Mic-Jac store at the corner of Starr and Orient streets in July 2018. The new home has more space to display and sell merchandise.

In addition, Hope Resales has been able to provide free clothing to several families in need, who have been referred to the store, Hedges said.

Hedges quoted a study by The Wall Street Journal, in which they reported more than half of respondents said they would consider gifting second-hand presents, while 56 percent said they would welcome thrifted gifts.

Whether it’s called a thrift shop, second-hand store or consignment shop, Hedges shared several reasons for shopping at a thrift store.

They include supporting a charitable cause, saving money, reducing waste and helping to save the environment, obtaining gently or never used items at a bargain, acquiring hard-to-find items one might only use occasionally, discovering a hidden treasure and buying something you forgot on vacation without paying full price.

Hope Resales is open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday and Friday and from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday. A new feature is offering one-half off select merchandise in the store on the last Wednesday of every month. Other sales can be found on their Facebook page during the month.

The MAAC Thrift Depot moved into new quarters in the summer of 2018. They are located at the corner of Orient and Starr streets. Hours of operation are 9 a.m. to noon Monday and Thursday, 9 a.m. to noon and 5 to 7 p.m. Tuesday and 10 a.m. to noon Saturday. The first Tuesday of each month is “one-half price day.”

Drop-off chutes for donations are located outside the building on Orient Street. MAAC accepts good, clean clothing; shoes and jewelry; clean household items in good condition, including small appliances and small furniture; books, toys and linens; DVDs and CDs; kitchen items and holiday decorations.

The Main Street Store is open from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Wednesday, 10:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday and from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

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Yates pushing to finalize $2.5 million in projects at town park

Posted 28 December 2019 at 2:52 pm

Press Release, Yates Town Supervisor James Simon

File photo: About 200 people attended a concert at the Yates Town Park by Lake Ontario in July 2014. The park is at the end of Morrison Road. The town was awarded a $2.5 million state grant for the park.

YATES – The Town of Yates is exploring how best to take advantage of the $2.531 million grant awarded for the Yates Town Park by the NY State Resiliency and Economic Development Initiative (REDI) Commission.

The REDI grant authorizes the Town of Yates to develop shoreline resiliency upgrades such as jetties, a kayak launch, and a safe harbor for watercraft, and to add park amenities such as a handicap-accessible playground, additional parking for cars and horse-drawn carriages, safety and security measures, a nature walkway, restrooms and a pavilion.

The Town of Yates was in the process of expending a $414,500 state grant for shoreline remediation caused by the 2017 flooding when the REDI Commission called for proposals in June for enhancing resiliency and economic development initiatives along the Lake Ontario shoreline due to additional flooding in 2019.

“This grant provides a much-needed shoreline resiliency upgrade and comes at a time when the Town of Yates is poised to take advantage of the fruits of multiple community-wide planning efforts to enhance the park experience for future generations,” said Jim Simon, Town Supervisor.

“The Town’s REDI grant application was based on ideas generated from the recently revised and adopted Yates-Lyndonville-Ridgeway-Medina-Shelby Western Orleans Comprehensive Plan, the ongoing Yates-Carlton-Kendall-Lyndonville Local Waterfront Revitalization Program revision efforts, and the work of the Yates Town Park Task Force,” Supervisor Simon said.

The Yates Town Park Task Force has met several times since June 2019 to help develop and refine the park proposal.  Members include Russ Martino, Georgette Stockman, Paul Lauricella, Anne Marie Holland, Linda Fisk, Highway Superintendent Roger Wolfe, Town Engineer Jon Hinman (MRB Group), Councilman John Riggi, and Supervisor Jim Simon.

The goal of the task force is to make recommendations to the Town Board for final design and related suggestions. The final meeting of the Task Force is January 6 from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Yates Town Hall at 8 South Main St. The meeting is open to the public but only Task Force members will participate, with an option for the public to ask questions once the meeting adjourns.

The Town of Yates is tentatively planning on a public forum followed by a public hearing on Feb. 10 at 7 p.m., at the Town Hall.  Yates residents can get the latest updates about the park proposal on the town website ( and may submit ideas about the town park via email to

The Yates Town Board will vote on the final design of the project no later than its March 12 board meeting in order to meet the REDI Commission grant acceptance deadline of March 16.

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Lyndonville will expand PreK with $540K state grant

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 21 December 2019 at 8:33 am

LYNDONVILLE – The school district was awarded $540,392 state grant this week to expand prekindergarten.

Lyndonville a decade ago started a half-day PreK program. The state funding will allow the district to expand the hours for 4-year-olds and also will allow Lyndonville to start a new program for 3-year-olds.

“It is such exciting news for us, and a phenomenal opportunity to support our community!” said Dr. Elissa Smith, the elementary school principal.

Lyndonville will be partnering with the Orleans County YMCA for the new program for 3-year-olds.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the funding for Lyndonville on Wednesday, as part of $15 million to 26 school districts.

“New York is making an unprecedented commitment to universal pre-kindergarten for children living in high-need and underserved school districts,” Cuomo said. “This funding will help ensure more children than ever before are able to attend pre-k and enjoy the proven benefits of early childhood education into adulthood.”

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Nearly 700 wreaths set at veterans’ graves in Lyndonville, Medina

By Ginny Kropf, correspondent Posted 20 December 2019 at 5:35 pm

Provided photos

LYNDONVILLE/MEDINA – Volunteers last Saturday set nearly 700 wreaths at veterans’ graves in Lyndonville and Medina, including this one pictured at top at the grave of James Whipple, a Korean War veteran who died on April 25 at age 91.

There were 402 wreaths placed at veterans’ graves at six cemeteries in Lyndonville. Seven memorial wreaths were laid in honor of the Army,  Marine Corps,  Navy, Merchant Marines, Coast Guard, Air Force and POWs. Veterans buried in Lyndonville are from every conflict the United States starting with the Revolutionary War.

This is the first time Lyndonville participated in the Wreaths Across America. The event was made possible by an endowment fund established by Miss Anna Stelianou in memory of her parents and her five brothers. Those brothers all served in the U.S. military during World War II and the Korean War.

Approximately 50 volunteers helped to lay the wreaths in Lyndonville, including at Lynhaven Cemetery.

Boxwood Cemetery in Medina also is participating in Wreaths Across America, one of 2,100 cemeteries involved in the effort this year.

Boxwood first took part in Wreaths Across America in 2013. Only nine wreaths were placed that first year, said Kathy Blackburn, who has organized the event each year.

“This year, we had 261 wreaths, the largest number yet,” she said. “It grows every year, and this year was so successful because of a $1,900 donation from the veterans’ program called Peer to Peer. The VFW, American Legion, Junior Wilson’s Club and Sacred Heart Club are all generous donors to this program, along with individual supporters.”

Veteran Jim Freas of Medina salutes as wreaths are placed on veterans’ graves at Boxwood Cemetery on Dec. 14 as part of the national celebration of Wreaths Across America.

Even with the terrible weather, with rain and cold, the turnout was bigger than ever, and even included Medina Girl Scouts, Blackburn said.

“We saw many more families who brought their children to help place wreaths,” she added. “It was very moving to see these kids learning what it takes to have our freedom, and I can’t thank the parents enough for bringing their children to learn and honor.”

Members of the Boxwood Commission placed ceremonial wreaths for each branch of the service. In addition, Assemblyman Stephen Hawley from Batavia placed the POW wreath.

A veterans’ honor guard was led by Jim Freas of Medina.

The national Wreaths Across America organization is sponsoring a program from now until Jan. 15. If anyone goes online and orders a wreath for the December 2020 ceremony, the organization will match each donation.

A young girl prepares to place a wreath on a veteran’s grave at Boxwood Cemetery, during Wreaths Across America on Dec. 14. Organizer Kathy Blackburn said more people participated this year, especially young people.

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State approves $500K for Lyndonville downtown project

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 19 December 2019 at 10:24 pm

Funds also approved for lake dredging, canal bikeshare program

File photo: Lyndonville native Robert Smith wants to turn this block on Main Street, including the Webber Building at left, into a café, hotel and retail shops.

LYNDONVILLE – Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced $761 million in economic and community development funding today in the ninth round of the Regional Economic Development Council initiative.

The funding in Orleans County included $500,000 towards the redevelopment of Main Street building in Lyndonville, $40,000 for a bikeshare program along the canal, and $62,500 for a dredging plan for harbors in Orleans, Niagara, Monroe, Cayuga and Wayne counties.

• The $500,000 for the Lyndonville Gateway Anchor Revitalization will assist in the renovation of 29 South Main Street, a mixed-use anchor project in the village’s downtown.

Robert Smith, a Lyndonville native who works as a financial advisor in California, has plans to turn vacant Main Street structures into a café, a six-room hotel and retail shops at the former Pennysaver building.

Smith will replace windows so they aren’t mismatched, and make other façade improvements, including new steps and doors.

Smith lives in Palm Springs, Calif. He returns to Lyndonville to see family. He is tackling the project to help his hometown. He also thinks the project will be a financial success.

• The state funding also includes $40,000 to the Orleans County YMCA to establish biking, snowshoeing and kayaking classes, and “meet-ups” on the Erie Canal and at the Oak Orchard River.

It will place racks of “bikeshare” bikes in the community to be borrowed by YMCA members outside of club activities at no cost or by other community members for a nominal fee. Bike racks will be located in the villages of Medina and Albion around the canal, according to the announcement from the state.

• The state is also providing $62,500 for a Lake Ontario Shared Regional Harbor Dredging Program.

Niagara, Orleans, Cayuga, Wayne, and Monroe counties have joined together to form the Lake Ontario Regional Dredging Management Council to collaboratively and cost effectively manage the dredging of 19 harbors located along the Lake Ontario shoreline.

Funding will advance preliminary planning, legal, engineering, permitting, and community outreach costs associated with developing a framework for implementation of the 2014 Regional Dredging Management Plan.

To see the full list of projects funded by the state through the Regional Economic Development Council process, click here.

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