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Thread: A Fallen Hero - Video Inside

  1. #501
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    Jan 2005
    9/11 "Wall Of Heroes" To Include Sick Cops
    NY Post: City Will Honor 8 Officers Who Succumbed To Illnesses Related To Ground Zero Dust

    NEW YORK, April 28, 2008

    (CBS) New York City's 9/11 "Wall Of Heroes" will now include names of police officers who died well after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

    The city will honor eight officers who succumbed to illnesses related to working amid the toxic debris at ground zero, the New York Post reports.

    Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly and Mayor Michael Bloomberg will preside over a May 9 ceremony paying tribute to eight fallen officers who died from a litany of diseases linked to their work at the site of the World Trade Center, the Post reports.

    One of those officers will be Det. James Zadroga, who died of a respiratory disease in 2006 after spending more than 400 hours sifting through the smoldering ruins at ground zero.

    "It’s a bittersweet victory," Joseph Zadroga, James's father, told CBS

    "It's joyful but I'd rather have him here," he said. "I know it's something that Jimmy would want."

    James Zadroga was the first NYPD officer to have his death directly linked to his work at ground zero. Subsequently, he emerged as a symbol for the plight of thousands whose health rapidly deteriorated after their long days toiling in the rubble at ground zero.

    Last May, a woman who died of lung disease five months after Sept. 11, 2001 was added to the medical examiner's list of attack victims. It marked the first time the city officially linked a death to the toxic dust caused by the World Trade Center's collapse. However, the city has long resisted adding names of sick 9/11 responders who died to the official victim's list - despite mounting medical evidence that suggests a strong link.

    Of the 70,000 people taking part in Mount Sinai Medical Center's World Trade Center health study, 85 percent are suffering some kind of respiratory problem. Medical experts now say the toxic cloud sparked at ground zero has not only caused severe breathing problems in the short term but also will likely spawn diseases like cancer in the years to come. The mounting medical evidence has put pressure on lawmakers to fund monitoring and treatment for sick responders.

    In addition to Zadroga, the Post reports that those receiving plaques on the wall include police officers James Godbe, Thomas Brophy, Ronald Weintraub and Angelo Peluso and Detectives John Young, Kevin Hawkins, and Robert Williamson.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG

  2. #502
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    Jan 2005
    NYPD Officers Killed by 9/11 Illnesses Honored on 'Wall of Heroes'$41157

    Courtesy of The New York Post
    Posted: Monday, April 28, 2008

    NEW YORK -- Eight city cops who succumbed to 9/11 dust-related illnesses will be memorialized on the NYPD's "Wall of Heroes" for officers killed in the line of duty - a poignant nod to their kin, who spent years battling City Hall over how the deaths should be classified.

    The decision by Police Commissioner Ray Kelly to include the names of the fallen officers on the memorial at One Police Plaza will culminate May 7 in an emotional ceremony at which he and Mayor Bloomberg will preside.

    "We are happy about it, but it's been a long battle," said Joseph Zadroga, whose son, Detective James Zadroga, died in January 2006 from lung disease after spending about 450 hours at Ground Zero.

    For years, sickened officers and their families sparred with Bloomberg over whether their illnesses were caused by their logging hundreds of hours at the smoking pile of the World Trade Center and at the Fresh Kills landfill.

    There are still about 3,000 related claims by police officers or their families that have yet to be resolved, according to lawyers.

    "Little by little, the layers of denial are peeling away," said lawyer David Worby, who represents 8,000 first responders and recovery workers sickened after days toiling at the trade center site. "The city is no longer denying that a high percentage of people who spent a significant period of time there are sick."

    Mayor Bloomberg vehemently fought paying out death benefits to relatives of Ground Zero responders, claiming it will cost the city too much money. Kelly, like many officials, had remained largely on the sidelines, awaiting more medical evidence.

    The ceremony shows how far the city has come, supporters say.

    Kelly, referring to the ceremony to honor the eight on the wall of "Names of Those of Who Died in Performance of Duty," said in a statement:

    "Each of these eight individuals . . . assisted in rescue and recovery efforts. It is only fitting that they be recognized in this fashion."

    Policemen's Benevolent Association head Patrick Lynch praised Kelly for adding the names.

    "Had there been no attack, these officers would be alive today," Lynch said.

    At the formal ceremony, police officers James Godbe, Thomas Brophy, Ronald Weintraub and Angelo Peluso and Detectives Zadroga, John Young, Kevin Hawkins and Robert Williamson will have their plaques unveiled.

    Zadroga was the first to have his deadly illness "officially" linked to toxins inhaled at Ground Zero. His case prompted New York lawmakers to pass a bill awarding accidental-death benefits to relatives of afflicted Ground Zero responders. He and the others to be honored all died between 2004 and 2007 and had their deaths formally declared as having occurred in the line of duty.

    "This is obviously very important to me and my children and Bob's family," said Maureen Williamson, who lost her detective husband, Robert, in May after a bout with pancreatic cancer.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG

  3. #503
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    Jenna Orkin On Flashpoints

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    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG

  4. #504
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    Jan 2005
    8 officers who died of post-9/11 illness on NYPD memorial

    By TOM HAYS – 23 hours ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — More than two years after he took his last breath, a detective who developed lung disease after toiling in the World Trade Center's ruins has been added to the New York Police Department's wall of heroes.

    James Zadroga was one of eight officers who died of post-Sept. 11 illness added to the NYPD's memorial wall, their names engraved onto bronze plaques in the lobby of police headquarters. They became the first NYPD members to be memorialized for dying of illnesses they blame on the dust they breathed at ground zero.

    "It gives a just honor to Jimmy and to the other officers who worked that day and the days that followed," said Joseph Zadroga, James Zadroga's father, at Wednesday's ceremony.

    Zadroga, 34, worked hundreds of hours at ground zero beginning Sept. 11, 2001. He soon developed respiratory ailments and died in January 2006 of lung disease.

    He became a symbol of ailing ground zero workers after a New Jersey autopsy concluded his death was caused by exposure to Sept. 11 dust. The family sought to add him to the Sept. 11 victims' list, but the city medical examiner said no, concluding the improper use of prescription drugs contributed to Zadroga's lung disease.

    "I just hope that maybe they won't forget now," said Joseph Zadroga, who still wants his son's name listed on the Sept. 11 memorial.

    Other officers recognized for their deaths of Sept. 11-related illnesses include James Godbee, an officer who died in 2004 of lung disease; Robert Williamson, a detective who died of pancreatic cancer a year ago; Det. Kevin G. Hawkins; Det. John T. Young; Officer Angelo Peluso; Officer Ronald E. Weintraub; and Officer Thomas G. Brophy.

    Three other officers killed in the line of duty last year were also added to the wall.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG

  5. #505
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    Jan 2005
    New York Health Officials Reveal 360 Post 9/11 Workers Now Dead, 80 From Cancer

    Vittorio Hernandez - AHN News Writer
    May 8, 2008 2:26 p.m. EST

    New York, NY (AHN) - At least 360 workers who volunteered to perform search and rescue operations at the World Trade Center directly following the September 11, 2001 attacks have since died; 80 of which suffered cancer-related deaths.

    The volunteers and rescuers worked at Ground Zero, nearby blocks and at the Fresh Kills landfill on Staten Island. New York state health officials have identified the cause of death for 154 dead volunteers.

    David Worby, who represents ill Ground Zero workers, said the 360 estimate is just the "tip of the iceberg." Their group is made up of at least 10,000 sick volunteers, 600 of whom are now cancer stricken, allegedly caused by their exposure to toxic elements on the site.

    According to the World Trade Center Responder Fatality Investigation Program, most of the victims had tumors on their lungs and digestive system. Others had blood cancers and heart and respiratory ailments. Five committed suicide. Most of them were males between the ages 20 to 50, who worked as policemen, firefighters or laborers.

    Kitty Gelberg, who tracks the deaths, told the New York Daily News, "We are not saying all of these deaths are World Trade Center-related... Without the statistics, we are not making judgment."

    Dr. Robin Herbert, head of the Mount Sinai Medical Center's monitoring and treatment program, had forecast a third wave of 9/11-related deaths due to cancer caused by their exposure to carcinogens such as benzene, dioxin and asbestos.

    Eight police officers who died from ailments were honored Thursday at the New York Police headquarters in an emotional ceremony led by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Placed on NYPD's Wall of Heroes were Jimmy Zadroga, Kevin Hawkins, Robert Williamson, John Young, Angelo Peluso, James Godbee, Ronald Weintraub and Thomas Brophy.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG

  6. #506
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    Jan 2005
    360 post-9/11 workers have died, including 80 of cancer, says state

    Thursday, May 8th 2008, 4:00 AM

    More than 360 workers who dealt with the aftermath of the World Trade Center disaster have died, state health officials said Wednesday.

    Officials have determined the cause of death of 154 of the responders and volunteers who toiled at Ground Zero, the blocks nearby and at the Fresh Kills landfill, where debris from the site was taken.

    Of those, 80 died of cancer.

    "It's the tip of the iceberg," said David Worby, who is representing 10,000 workers - 600 with cancer - who say they got sick after working on rescue and recovery efforts.

    "These statistics bear out how toxic that site was," Worby said.

    Most of the deadly tumors were in the lungs and digestive system, according to the tally from the state's World Trade Center Responder Fatality Investigation Program.

    Other deaths were traced to blood cancers and heart and circulatory diseases. Five ex-workers committed suicide, said Kitty Gelberg, who is tracking the deaths for the program.

    Gelberg said she had not yet determined whether the number of cancer deaths was more or less than those typically occurring in men in their 20s to 50s who work as cops, firefighters or laborers - the majority of 9/11 workers.

    "We are not saying all of these deaths are World Trade Center-related," Gelberg said. "Without the statistics, we are not making judgment."

    She added that relatives of people who died of cancer may be likely to link their loved one's death to their 9/11 work and add them to the database, despite other possible factors.

    But Gelberg said she is compiling the deaths from public sources, individuals and agencies and believes there is an overall undercount of workers who have died. The statistics cover Sept. 12, 2001, through yesterday.

    The city Health Department said it was "actively examining whether deaths have been elevated as a result of 9/11."

    Last year, the head of Mount Sinai Medical Center's monitoring and treatment program, Dr. Robin Herbert, predicted a "third wave" of 9/11-related deaths from cancer.

    "We know people were exposed to carcinogens. There was benzene, dioxin, asbestos," said her colleague Dr. Philip Landrigan. "There's reason to be concerned, so we're engaged in watchful waiting. So far, there's no excess."

    Cathy Murray, whose husband, Fire Lt. John Murray, died of colon cancer April 30, "absolutely" connects his disease to his work at Ground Zero. He was diagnosed in June and was 52 when he died, she said. An FDNY spokesman couldn't immediately say where or when Murray performed 9/11-related duty, but a department letter confirms that he spent at least 40 hours at World Trade Center-designated work sites.

    "He was perfectly healthy," said Cathy Murray, 53, of Staten Island. "He never smoked a day in his life, and neither did I. It happened so quick and so aggressive.

    "He was responding at first, but then he wasn't," she added. "And now he's gone."
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG

  7. #507
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    Jan 2005
    Feds block 9/11 health care money

    By Julie Shapiro

    The federal government is backing out of a requirement to treat Downtown residents, office workers and students for 9/11-related illnesses, saying it needs more time to study the problem.

    Before providing any funding to people other than first responders, the Department of Health and Human Services wants more data on those people’s exposure levels to World Trade Center toxins and their subsequent health problems.

    Any money the department spends on residents, office workers and students this year will go toward gathering and analyzing data — and only after that will the agency decide how much money, if any, to allocate for screening and treating non-responders. This directly contradicts a law passed by Congress last year that was supposed to pay for treatment for non-responders for the first time.

    Downtown elected officials and health advocates responded angrily to the Department of Health’s decision.

    “More than six years after 9/11, it’s time for the Bush Administration to stop dragging its feet [and] provide the help that Congress intended,” Rep. Jerrold Nadler said in a statement to Downtown Express.

    Late last year, President George W. Bush signed a law that included a provision that for the first time would have used federal money to pay for health treatment for groups other than first responders. He agreed to Congress’s 2008 allocation of $108 million for both responders and non-responders. Health advocates hailed the law, saying it would provide much-needed funds to programs already treating thousands of people.

    But in February, the Bush administration announced that it would only commit $25 million to 9/11 health in fiscal year 2009, which begins this October, and the feds also cut out language referring to residents, office workers and students. Congress demanded an explanation of the federal government’s future plans for 9/11 health, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services replied with a report that questions the need for non-responders to receive services.

    “It’s a very complex issue,” said Holly Babin, a spokesperson for H.H.S. “We have to ensure the proper management of federal resources.”

    Since this is the first time Health and Human Services has been asked to fund programs for non-responders, the department has to gather data on “exposure levels in relation to geographical scope and the resulting health effects,” according to the report. H.H.S. is meeting with the W.T.C. Environmental Health Center, which currently provides treatment to non-responders at Bellevue Hospital and other locations in New York City. H.H.S. will gather information from the Environmental Health Center and then decide how much funding to provide, if any. For the first year, though, the federal money will likely go toward determining the need, not treating patients.

    “Congress was clear in its call for H.H.S. to develop a comprehensive, long-term plan to treat and monitor area residents, workers, students and others who were exposed to Ground Zero toxins,” Nadler said. “Clearly, H.H.S. has failed to deliver. The administration must end its delays and get this money — already appropriated — to help the living victims of 9/11.”

    New York City is already funding three centers of excellence: the W.T.C. Environmental Health Center based at Bellevue, which provides screening and treatment to non-responders, and the Mount Sinai Consortium and F.D.N.Y. program, which serve volunteers and first responders. The city expected that the money Congress allocated for non-responders would either go to the Environmental Health Center or go toward creating a new program.

    City health officials declined to comment on the impact of losing the federal funding for non-responders. In a tight budget year, many city programs and departments are facing cuts.

    Nadler, Rep. Carolyn Maloney and nine other New York members of Congress, including Republican Vito Fossella, wrote a letter to Michael Leavitt, secretary of H.H.S., on May 9, saying the department’s report is a “stall tactic” that ignores Congress’s directives and also ignores the needs of those who are sick because of the W.T.C. attacks.

    Prior to taking over H.H.S., Leavitt replaced Christie Whitman at the Environmental Protection Agency, whose response to 9/11 has been widely criticized by scientists as well as Downtown politicians and advocates.

    Kimberly Flynn, head of 9/11 Environmental Action, met the federal government’s explanation for delaying funding for residents with deep skepticism.

    “Studying the problem is the Bush administration’s cover for refusing to commit the resources that Downtown residents, students and office workers are entitled to,” Flynn said. “They’ve heard the evidence. They’ve heard the numbers. They know there’s a problem. They don’t want to take responsibility for the problem.”

    Flynn cited testimony from Lorna Thorpe, deputy commissioner of the city Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, to describe the extent of the evidence that non-responders are getting sick. Parents of children enrolled in the W.T.C. Health Registry reported twice the levels of asthma among children under 5, compared to the average in the northeastern United States, Thorpe said at a Congressional hearing March 12.

    “That’s a pretty sizable health impact and H.H.S. knows it,” Flynn said. “But the Bush administration sticks with its talking points: The air was safe, the long-delayed lousy cleanup was carried out just to allay the unwarranted anxieties of residents — all that exposure to all that dust and smoke had no impact.”

    The federal government’s assertions were so upsetting to Celia Correa, an office worker who links her lung disease to post-9/11 exposure, that she said she did not even know where to begin.

    “I can’t believe the federal government is still trying to avoid taking care of people that need medical attention because of being exposed to the 9/11 fallout,” Correa said. “They really don’t give a damn.”

    Correa had to quit her job when her respiratory symptoms worsened, leaving her without health insurance. She now receives her healthcare through the Environmental Health Center, but she is concerned that funding for the center will dry up before the need for care ends.

    Catherine McVay Hughes, chairperson of Community Board 1’s W.T.C. Redevelopment Committee, questioned the federal government’s decision to continue studying the problem.

    “It’s been almost seven years,” she said. “How much more studying do they need to do?”

    Hughes is worried that the government will spend all its time and money studying the problem — leaving few resources to actually solve it. Hughes also does not trust the federal government to be objective.

    “They have a financial incentive not to find a correlation [between exposure to W.T.C. toxins and illness],” she said.

    It is not clear from the H.H.S. report how much money the department will devote to non-responders this year. The federal government has $185 million in the bank for 9/11-related treatment from previous Congressional allocations, including the $108 million from last December. With the $25 million Bush added in this year, the government has $210 million to spend. That will cover the costs of the first responder program through the end of the next fiscal year, and some of it will go gather data about non-responders, but Babin, the H.H.S. spokesperson, did not know how much.

    As it stands now, the federal funding of 9/11 health is a yearly tug-of-war budget negotiation, with no guarantees for the future. To end this cycle, Nadler, Maloney and Fossella wrote the 9/11 Health and Compensation Act. The bill would guarantee care for all those sickened by exposure to 9/11 toxins, including non-responders, and would reopen the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund.

    The bill attracted its 100th sponsor last week, and New York’s delegation is working on getting more sponsors to move the bill forward. Maloney said in a statement that she hopes to pass the bill by the seventh anniversary of 9/11 this fall.

    If the federal government is going to provide funding for non-responders within the next fiscal year, they have to get going, said James Melius, an administrator for the New York State Laborers’ Health and Safety Trust Fund who sits on advisory groups for several 9/11 treatment programs. Contracts for services need to go out three to six months before the services are required, he said.

    “It seems late to be studying the problem and not providing the money designated for medical monitoring and treatment,” Melius said. “We surely are in need of it.”

    The city’s programs for non-responders at Bellevue Hospital, Gouverneur Health Services and Elmhurst Hospital in Queens are seeing steady increases in patients, showing the increasing need for services, Melius said.

    “The federal money is critical,” he added. “My concern is that the need and demand for treatment is going to quickly outstrip the capability of [the city] to provide the kind of quality care needed.”
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG

  8. #508
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    Jan 2005
    Ex-Bush health chief's firm wins Sept. 11 work
    AP NewsBreak: Sept. 11 health contract awarded to company led by ex-Bush health chief

    Jun 04, 2008 13:54 EST

    As President Bush's health chief, Tommy Thompson proudly trumpeted millions of taxpayer dollars to help workers sickened by the Sept. 11 attacks at the World Trade Center, even amid complaints that his agency wasn't doing enough.

    Now, Thompson's private company has won an $11 million contract to treat some of those same workers — the latest twist in a fitful government effort to determine how many people were made ill by the toxic debris — and to care for them.

    The contract awarded by the Centers for Disease Control is aimed at tracking the health of between 4,000 and 6,000 workers who live outside the New York City area, where a separate health monitoring program is in place. The CDC is part of the Health and Human Services Department, which Thompson headed in Bush's first term.

    Internal e-mails obtained by The Associated Press show that the one-year contract went to Logistics Health, Inc., a La Crosse, Wis.-based company where Thompson is president.

    While secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, Thompson was pressed by New York lawmakers to take a more active and aggressive role in tracking and treating Sept. 11-related health problems.

    "It is ironic that former HHS Secretary Tommy Thompson's firm won the contract to provide the services, given the history of delay from the Bush administration when he was secretary and now," said Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y. "But I am glad these heroes are finally getting the help they deserve."

    A spokeswoman for Logistics Health did not immediately return calls seeking comment.

    The government has struggled to effectively track the health issues of Ground Zero workers who live outside New York. Advocates and some lawmakers have unsuccessfully sought to establish a permanent, government-funded treatment program.

    In the years since the 2001 attacks, studies show workers who toiled at the site have had higher than normal rates of lung problems and post-traumatic stress. Others have complained of an increase in gastrointestinal disorders.

    The CDC contract was awarded after the government received proposals from four different companies, including Thompson's, officials said. The contract went to Logistics Health based on "an evaluation of everything from cost to technical abilities to past performance," CDC spokeswoman Bernadette Burden said.

    Thompson's company already provides some medical services for the Army.

    Logistics Health will provide annual examinations to World Trade Center responders around the country, diagnose and treat Sept. 11-related conditions and provide a pharmacy benefit to those responders.

    Late last year, the government halted an effort to organize health monitoring for Ground Zero workers spread around the U.S., saying the program could cost far more money than Congress has provided.

    Estimates on how much treatment these workers need — and how much it will cost — vary widely. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y. and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg have put the figure at around $400 million a year, but that amount includes treating the much larger group of patients who live in and around New York City.

    According to New York City officials, some 400,000 people were exposed to Ground Zero dust, and 71,000 have enrolled in a long-term health monitoring program for people with and without health problems. Health advocates believe the number of people who have become sickened years after their exposure is in the thousands.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG

  9. #509
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    Jan 2005
    After Failing To Protect 9/11 First Responders From Toxic Threats, Thompson Awarded Contract To Treat Them

    Tommy Thompson served as President Bush’s Secretary of Health and Human Services from January 2001 to 2005. It was during his tenure, after the 9/11 attacks, that the Bush administration largely ignored the health risks facing first responders at the World Trade Center site. Doctors concluded that the dust there was basically a “toxic soup,” leading to serious health problems for workers. Then-EPA administrator Christine Todd Whitman was also accused of lying about the air quality. Approximately 40,000 people were exposed to the dust, and “71,000 have enrolled in a long-term health monitoring program for people with and without health problems.”

    Many of these first responders have since been unable to attain health coverage from either their insurers or the U.S. government. As the AP notes, Thompson was “criticized for not doing enough” to help these workers.

    Yet apparently, the Bush administration believes Thompson did a hecukva job dealing with the aftermath of 9/11. The Centers for Disease Control has awarded Thompson an $11 million contract to treat some of those very same workers who became sick on Thompson’s watch:
    The contract awarded by the Centers for Disease Control is aimed at tracking the health of between 4,000 and 6,000 workers who live outside the New York City area, where a separate health monitoring program is in place. The CDC is part of the Health and Human Services Department, which Thompson headed in Bush’s first term.

    Internal e-mails obtained by The Associated Press show that the one-year contract went to Logistics Health, Inc., a La Crosse, Wis.-based company where Thompson is president.
    Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) responded, “It is ironic that former HHS Secretary Tommy Thompson’s firm won the contract to provide the services, given the history of delay from the Bush administration when he was secretary and now.”
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG

  10. #510
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    Jan 2005
    Former Bush Official Criticized For His 9/11 Response Will Track WTC Workers' Health

    June 04, 2008

    A former Bush White House official criticized for his response to 9/11 was awarded a multi-million dollar contract to track the health of first responders Wednesday.

    The Centers for Disease Control selected Tommy Thompson's Logistics Health to monitor thousands of September 11th workers who live outside the New York area.

    Thompson, the former head of the federal Health and Human Services Department during Bush's first term, has been slammed by local lawmakers for not doing enough to help workers exposed to toxic debris.

    City officials estimate that 400,000 people were exposed to dangerous dust at the World Trade Center, but up to 6,000 of them are non tri-state area residents and the government has struggled to keep count.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG

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