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America’s Nutrition Coach: The Life of Your Dreams in a Pill

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Rovenia Brock a/k/a Dr. Ro

By Dr. Ro
NNPA Columnist

 

I get asked lots of questions about what, when, and how much food to eat in order to achieve a healthy lifestyle. As your nutrition coach, I know that even with a balanced diet and your meals planned for the week, you sometimes need a little extra support. Enter nutrient supplementation. This is where dietary “rubber” meets the nutritional road. At this point nutritional supplements take on the role of bit players to your healthy diet.

With a lifestyle of constant motion and the on-the-go demands on your busy schedule you may feel the need to grab food wherever you can get it, including the fast food lane. I get that this is a real-life experience for many of you, even your best intentions may result in missed meals or worse yet, incomplete or inadequate nutritional support. For this reason I generally recommend taking a multivitamin with antioxidants, calcium and iron (for women of child bearing-age) as an insurance policy to protect against poor food choices.

So why is this important to you? African Americans suffer from Type 2 diabetes, hypertension, obesity, and conditions such as lactose intolerance, at disproportionate rates, and therefor may benefit from supplements along with the inclusion of specific foods to prevent or treat these illnesses.

The first line of defense for nutrition should always be food, but because many people fall short, supplementing your balanced diet may be in order.

 

DISCLAIMER:

If you choose to take nutritional supplements, check with your doctor to confirm that they will not interfere with any medications you may be taking and do not exceed the recommended daily allowance of the nutrient.

Here is my short primer of nutrient supplements and the reasons they should matter to you:

 

Magnesium – needed for more than 300 biochemical reactions in the body, including a healthy immune system. This macro-mineral helps to maintain normal nerve and muscle function helps to keep your bones strong, protects the heart, helping it to beat steadily, regulates blood sugar levels, and steadies blood pressure. These functions are especially important to African Americans who routinely have higher than average rates of Type- 2 diabetes, heart disease, and high-blood pressure. In fact, there is continued ongoing research underway on the role of magnesium in preventing and managing high blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes disorders.

Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs) for Magnesium:

Adult females: 310 – 320 milligrams/D

– Pregnancy: 350 – 400 milligrams/D

-Breastfeeding: 310 – 360 milligrams/D

Adult males: 400 – 420 milligrams

Your Food Rx for Magnesium:

Include more magnesium in your diet with dark, leafy green vegetables, and fruits: bananas, dried apricots, and avocado; include nuts: raw almonds, pine nuts, and cashews; peas, beans, seeds like pumpkin seeds, and legumes such as peanuts, and whole grains such as millet, and fish (think mackerel).

 

Calcium- needed not only healthy bones and teeth, but calcium may also be helpful in the prevention of heart disease and there is good evidence that calcium is also useful in the prevention an control hypertension, obesity and it helps protect against breast and colon cancer, all diseases and conditions with which African Americans struggle at greater, often 2 or 3 times the rate of white Americans.

Adequate Intakes (AI) for Calcium from food:

Adults 18 years: 1,300 mg/D

Adult Women: 19-50+ years: 1,000 mg/D

Adult Men: 50+: 1,200 mg/D


Tolerable Upper Limits (UL) for Calcium from Supplements
:

Adults and Children over 1yr. old: 2,500 mg/D

* Take calcium supplements with food and break into 500 mg doses for best absorption.

Your Food Rx for Calcium:

Include more low-fat milk, cheese, yogurt, broccoli, kale, bok choy, calcium-fortified juices

 

Vitamin D- needed for bone health, a healthy immune system, even fighting depression. Its primary source is the sun, but there are a few foods that provide good amounts of vitamin D as well. Most people in the U.S. are known to have sufficient vitamin D, but studies show that African Americans have lower blood levels of vitamin D compared to other groups. The latest NHANES –III data found that 54 percent-76 percent of Blacks in the southern region of the U.S. had low blood levels of Vitamin D compared to 8 percent-33 percent of Whites. One reason that may explain the disparity in part is the fact that melanin, responsible for our skin pigmentation reduces vitamin D production in the skin. But another reason has everything to do with diet. From puberty well into adulthood, Black people are well below the recommended vitamin D intake at every age group. This is probably related to the problem or in some cases, the perception and self-diagnosis of lactose intolerance, an issue easily rectified with lactose-free milk, or lactaid capsules (taken with meals and before consuming dairy products).

Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDAs) for Vitamin D:

Adults up to 70: 600 IU/D

Adults 70+ years old: 800 IU/D

Your Food Rx for Vitamin D:

Include more low-fat milk and cheese in your diet. If you are lactose intolerant or have dairy allergies, try and vitamin D-fortified nut milks such as almond and cashew, or coconut milk. Other options are canned salmon with bones, packed in oil, canned tuna in water, mackerel, cod liver oil (generally 1 tsp/D) , beef, egg yolks, and calves liver.

 

Rovenia Brock, Ph.D. is a medical advisory board member and contributor to the “Dr. Oz Show,” where she helped more than a half-million Americans lose more than 5 million pounds. She is the author of “Dr. Ro’s Ten Secrets To Livin’ Healthy (Bantam). For more health, nutrition, and fitness tips, join Dr. Ro and her social media community and get a FREE Download of her new eBook of super-easy tips, “You Healthy and Happy” at www.everythingro.com.

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Community

The future of health begins with you

MILWAUKEE TIMES WEEKLY — The All of Us Research Program is a large research program that may last for at least 10 years. It is collecting information for the largest ever data bank of information. The goal is to help researchers understand more about why people get sick or stay healthy. People who join will share with us information about their health, habits, and what it’s like where they live. By looking for patterns, researchers may learn more about what affects people’s health. We hope you will get involved.

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By The Milwaukee Times Weekly

The All of Us Research Program is a large research program that may last for at least 10 years. It is collecting information for the largest ever data bank of information. The goal is to help researchers understand more about why people get sick or stay healthy. People who join will share with us information about their health, habits, and what it’s like where they live. By looking for patterns, researchers may learn more about what affects people’s health. We hope you will get involved.

The All of Us Wisconsin consortium is asking you to get involved as the information you share will be contributing to research that may improve health for everyone and for generations to come. All of Us will ask you to share basic information like your name and where you live; questions about your health, family history, home, and work. If you have an electronic health record (EHR), All of Us may ask for access. You may also be asked to give samples, like blood or urine.

The National Institute of Health (NIH) has created a national educational tour with a bus load of information. The All of Us Journey Bus will tour in Milwaukee. We invite families from across the Milwaukee community to visit the All of Us Journey Bus while it’s here in Milwaukee at one of the following locations:

Wednesday, August 7, 2019
94th Annual Session – Community Resource Fair General Baptist State Convention of Wisconsin Way of the Cross Missionary Baptist Church
1401 West Hadley (corner of Center Street and Teutonia Avenue)
10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Thursday, August 8, 2019
United Community Center (UCC)
1028 South 9th Street
11 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Friday, August 9, 2019
Milwaukee Health Services
2555 North Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive
1 p.m. – 7 p.m.

Saturday, August 10, 2019
UMOS
2701 South Chase Avenue
9 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Sunday, August 11, 2019
St. Ann’s Intergenerational Care- Bucyrus Campus
2450 West North Avenue
1 p.m. – 4 p.m.

If you are interested in learning more about the All of Us Research program, we invite you to a community lunch and learn on Wednesday, August 7, 2019 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. For details and reservations, please call (414) 264-6869 no later than Wednesday, July 31, 2019.

To learn more and to enroll:

Visit us at: JoinAllofUs.org
Email us at: allofus@mcw.edu
Call: 414-955-2689

This article originally appeared in the Milwaukee Times Weekly
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Family

Why do fewer blacks survive childhood cancers?

MILWAUKEE TIMES WEEKLY — The relationship between race and the outcome for a number of cancers among whites, Hispanics and blacks in the United States have certainly started to become more evident and clearer. A new study finds, poverty is a major reason why black and Hispanic children with some types of cancer have lower survival rates than white patients.

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By The Milwaukee Times Weekly

The relationship between race and the outcome for a number of cancers among whites, Hispanics and blacks in the United States have certainly started to become more evident and clearer. A new study finds, poverty is a major reason why black and Hispanic children with some types of cancer have lower survival rates than white patients.

Researchers examined U.S. government data on nearly 32,000 black, Hispanic and white children who were diagnosed with cancer between 2000 and 2011. For several cancers, whites were much more likely to survive than blacks and Hispanics.

Rebecca Kehm and her University of Minnesota colleagues wondered whether those differences were due to socioeconomic status – that is, one’s position based on income, education and occupation.

Their conclusion: It had a significant effect on the link between race/ethnicity and survival for acute myeloid leukemia as well as acute lymphoblastic leukemia, neuroblastoma and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

For blacks compared to whites, socioeconomic status reduced the link between race/ethnicity and survival by 44 percent and 28 percent for the two leukemias; by 49 percent for neuroblastoma; and by 34 percent for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

For Hispanics compared to whites, the reductions were 31 percent and 73 percent for the two leukemias; 48 percent for neuroblastoma; and 28 percent for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

Socioeconomic status was not a major factor in survival disparities for other types of childhood cancer, including central nervous system tumors, soft tissue sarcomas, Hodgkin’s lymphoma, Wilms tumor and germ cell tumors, the researchers said.

“These findings provide insight for future intervention efforts aimed at closing the survival gap,” Kehm said in a journal news release.

“For cancers in which socioeconomic status is a key factor in explaining racial and ethnic survival disparities, behavioral and supportive interventions that address social and economic barriers to effective care are warranted,” she said.

“However, for cancers in which survival is less influenced by socioeconomic status, more research is needed on underlying differences in tumor biology and drug processing,” Kehm added.

For more information on acute myeloid leukemia, visit the Health Conditions page on BlackDoctor.org.

SOURCE: Cancer, news release, Aug. 20, 2018

This article originally appeared in the Milwaukee Times Weekly
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#NNPA BlackPress

Dr. Patrice Harris Sworn-In as the American Medical Association’s First Black Female President

NNPA NEWSWIRE — “And I hope to be tangible evidence for young girls and young boys and girls from communities of color that you can aspire to be a physician. Not only that, you can aspire to be a leader in organized medicine,” said Dr. Patrice A. Harris, a psychiatrist from Atlanta, was sworn-in as the 174th president of the American Medical Association (AMA).

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“We are no longer at a place where we can tolerate the disparities that plague communities of color, women, and the LGBTQ community. But we are not yet at a place where health equity is achieved in those communities,” she said. (Photo by Reginald Duncan)
“We are no longer at a place where we can tolerate the disparities that plague communities of color, women, and the LGBTQ community. But we are not yet at a place where health equity is achieved in those communities,” she said. (Photo by Reginald Duncan)

By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Correspondent
@StacyBrownMedia

In June, Dr. Patrice A. Harris, a psychiatrist from Atlanta, was sworn-in as the 174th president of the American Medical Association (AMA). She is the first African-American woman to hold the position.

During her inauguration ceremony in Chicago, Dr. Harris said she plans to implement effective strategies to improve healthcare education and training, combat the crisis surrounding chronic diseases, and eliminate barriers to quality patient care.

She also promised to lead conversations on mental health and diversity in the medical field.

“We face big challenges in health care today, and the decisions we make now will move us forward in a future we help create,” Dr. Harris said in a statement.

“We are no longer at a place where we can tolerate the disparities that plague communities of color, women, and the LGBTQ community. But we are not yet at a place where health equity is achieved in those communities,” she said.

According to her biography on the AMA’s website, Dr. Harris has long been a mentor, role model and an advocate.

She served on the AMA Board of Trustees since 2011, and as chair from 2016 to 2017.

Prior to that, Dr. Harris served in various leadership roles which included task forces on topics like health information technology, payment and delivery reform, and private contracting.

Dr. Harris also held leadership positions with the American Psychiatric Association, the Georgia Psychiatric Physicians Association, the Medical Association of Georgia, and The Big Cities Health Coalition, where she chaired this forum composed of leaders from America’s largest metropolitan health departments.

Growing up in Bluefield, West Virginia, Dr. Harris dreamt of entering medicine at a time when few women of color were encouraged to become physicians, according to her bio.

She spent her formative years at West Virginia University, earning a BA in psychology, an MA in counseling psychology and ultimately, a medical degree in 1992.

It was during this time that her passion for helping children emerged, and she completed her psychiatry residency and fellowships in child and adolescent psychiatry and forensic psychiatry at the Emory University School of Medicine, according to her bio.

“The saying ‘if you can see it, you can believe it’ is true,” Dr. Harris said during her swearing-in ceremony.

“And I hope to be tangible evidence for young girls and young boys and girls from communities of color that you can aspire to be a physician. Not only that, you can aspire to be a leader in organized medicine,” she said.

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Community

Best Buddies offers hope, friendship to those with special needs

WAVE NEWSPAPERS — Michelle found Best Buddies International in June 2018 as an intern with high hopes of building skills that would help her transition from the low-paying, temporary positions that gave her lots of anxiety, into a stable, well-paying job. After a few weeks in the program, she secured a position with Silicon Valley Bank and her friendly personality and hard work ethic quickly endured her to her co-workers and managers.

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Best Buddies International (Photo by: bestbuddies.org)

By Angela N. Parker

MAKING A DIFFERENCE:

Michelle found Best Buddies International in June 2018 as an intern with high hopes of building skills that would help her transition from the low-paying, temporary positions that gave her lots of anxiety, into a stable, well-paying job.

After a few weeks in the program, she secured a position with Silicon Valley Bank and her friendly personality and hard work ethic quickly endured her to her co-workers and managers.

For Michelle, who lives with intellectual and developmental disabilities, securing the job has been a turning point in her life, helping her come out of her shell and become the independent woman she always wanted to be. Since starting her job, she has gotten married, and her increase in income has allowed her to move out of her parents’ home into an apartment with her husband.

“Because of my job at Silicon Valley Bank, I was able to move into my own apartment with my husband,” Michelle said. “Having my own home made me feel more independent. Best Buddies is important to me because they helped me get my dream job at SVB.

Founded in 1989 by Anthony K. Shriver, Best Buddies is a vibrant organization that has grown from one original chapter to nearly 2,900 chapters worldwide, positively impacting the lives of more than 1.25 million children and adults with and without intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Best Buddies programs engage participants in each of the 50 states and in 54 countries around the world.  The organization is dedicated to establishing a global volunteer movement through its four pillars that focus on creating opportunities for one-to-one friendships, integrated employment, leadership development and inclusive living for individuals.

“We are an organization that live out our mission every day,” said Erica Mangham, California state director. “I’m proud about everything we do at Best Buddies. Most recently, we hired a person who has autism as our office assistant in the Los Angeles Office. We are living out our second pillar.”

Mangham has worked in nonprofit spaces for more than 20 years as either an employee, a volunteer, or a member of a board, but working at Best Buddies is a personal and a conscious decision for the mom whose youngest daughter has special needs.

“[Best Buddies works to give participants] a sense of independence, freedom and a feeling of belonging,” Mangham said. “[We want them to] have a friend, a true friend, it’s just that simple. Everyone needs a friend or someone who believes in them and with the help of Best Buddies we make that hope or wish a reality.”

Mangham credits the success of the program to its dedicated and mission-focused staff, volunteers, donors and founder. However, like most nonprofits, the organization is in need of continuous funding to continue the programs that are critical to its mission.

Each year, Best Buddies host a Friendship Walk in May and they also put on an annual gala called Champion of the Year.

“We hope that people reading this will think about supporting us by coming to these events and helping us raise much-needed funds,” Mangham said. “In addition to the funding, we need more employer partnerships and expansion of schools.

Mangham hopes that the support of the community will allow Best Buddies to continue to transform the lives of men and women who want to live full, independent lives. Right now, 84% of people with intellectual or developmental disabilities are unemployed, and the organization has made its mission for the future to lower that statistic.

“My wish for Best Buddies is that we continue to be laser focused on the mission to ensure that our participants are living out an inclusive life, in the workforce and in school, in ways that are the norm, not the exception,” Mangham said.

INFORMATION BOX

Name: Erica Mangham

Title: California State Director

Organization: Best Buddies International 

Social Media:  https://www.bestbuddies.org/

This article originally appeared in the Wave Newspapers

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Afro

Bodden Foundation to Address Mental Health

THE AFRO — Former NFL defensive back and Prince George’s County native Leigh Bodden knows all too well about dealing with pain and putting on a brave face.  Most of Bodden’s contemporaries hid behind the mask on the field and in the locker room, as it was recognized as a sign of weakness if there were moments of vulnerability that exposed mental health issues.

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The Leigh Bodden Foundation in partnership with Lauryn’s Law, is collaborating to raise awareness about the causes of suicide and mental illness in Maryland. (Courtesy Photo)

By Mark F. Gray

Former NFL defensive back and Prince George’s County native Leigh Bodden knows all too well about dealing with pain and putting on a brave face.  Most of Bodden’s contemporaries hid behind the mask on the field and in the locker room, as it was recognized as a sign of weakness if there were moments of vulnerability that exposed mental health issues.

Bodden has also seen how the effects of not dealing with mental health issues can have fatal consequences.  So as he did during his eight-year pro football career, he’s attacking the unspoken killer of so many people in his community head on.

The Leigh Bodden Foundation in partnership with Lauryn’s Law, is collaborating to raise awareness about the causes of suicide and mental illness in Maryland.  It will kickoff during a charity kickball game August 4 at Bowie Baysox Stadium. A group of local celebrities and former professional athletes will compete following the Baltimore Orioles Minor League affiliate’s game.  Their goal is to address these very personal issues that plague so many Americans and raise money to help those who have been affected.

“There are stresses in life that affect people in different ways,” Bodden told the AFRO.  “People need to understand when they need to talk to someone about their problems they shouldn’t be ashamed.  Suicide is not like cancer or HIV, its a silent killer.”

Bodden personally understands the devastation of mental health issues leading to suicide.  When he played for the New England Patriots, two of his former teammates would ultimately take their lives prematurely.  He recalls how Hall of Fame linebacker Junior Seau was one of the most gregarious and fun loving players in the locker room.  However, after he retired his life spiraled downward to the point where he committed suicide by shooting himself in the chest in 2012.

Former Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez also led a destructive life, which ended his career as he appeared to be on the cusp of greatness.  After signing a massive free agent contract he was convicted of killing Odin Lloyd and sentenced to life in prison in a well publicized case. He also ended his life by committing suicide while in jail.

Those deaths were attributed to chronic traumatic encephalopathy

known as CTE. CTE is a degenerative brain disease that has been linked to repeated hits to the head and is common in former NFL players who have taken their lives.  The onset of CTE developed because of brain damage that began while Seau and Hernandez were playing football.

However, the game changer for Bodden was the death of his best friend Barry who committed suicide after struggling with personal issues that he never talked about.  Barry never opened up about the feelings that were beneath the surface after he had been bullied. Bodden still recounts how he could have been an ear to listen for his fallen friend.

To honor that relationship, “Barry’s Game” is what the charity kickball game will be known as, and it also served as the impetus for his foundation to partner with Lauryn’s Law.  Lauryn’s Law requires that school counselors receive proper training to spot warning signs of mental illness, trauma, violence or substance abuse.

The law was passed in 2013 after Lauryn Santiago took her own life at 15 years-old. In the months leading up to Lauryn’s death, her mother Linda Diaz, was aware that her child was facing difficulty at school. Lauryn’s mother reached out to the school and asked for the counselor to set up a meeting with Lauryn about being bullied but it was too late.

This article originally appeared in The Afro

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Government

Julia Means Appointed to the City of Milwaukee’s Board of Health

MILWAUKEE COURIER — Mayor Tom Barrett appointed Julia Means, Registered Nurse, to the City of Milwaukee’s newly created Board of Health last month on June 27. The nine-member commission will advise the Health Department on policy and advocate for public health practices that improve health outcomes for all Milwaukeeans. The citizen oversight board was created by legislation adopted by the Milwaukee Common Council and signed by the Mayor in February of 2019.

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Julia Means (Photo by: Ascension)

By The Milwaukee Courier

Mayor Tom Barrett appointed Julia Means, Registered Nurse, to the City of Milwaukee’s newly created Board of Health last month on June 27. The nine-member commission will advise the Health Department on policy and advocate for public health practices that improve health outcomes for all Milwaukeeans. The citizen oversight board was created by legislation adopted by the Milwaukee Common Council and signed by the Mayor in February of 2019.

Means, a Community Health Ministry Nurse with Ascension Columbia St. Mary’s Hospital, part of Ascension Wisconsin, touches countless lives everyday through her faith-based work promoting education around chronic disease management, food security, infant mortality in our community and health navigation. Through Mean’s tireless work and dedication, she has made an incredible impact on many in the community.

“I don’t know Julia Means personally, but when I hear her name, the first word that comes to my mind is mentor,” said Kymm Robinson, Sherman Park neighborhood.

The importance of maternal and infant health cannot be overemphasized because it determines the health of the next generation and can help predict future public health challenges for families and our community.

“My cousin was a participant in the Blanket of Love Program and my auntie isn’t around to help her, so the program was important,” said neighbor Justin Patterson. “Julia Means is a teacher, a protector, a rescuer and a second mother. She’s a guardian angel. Without her, I don’t know where my baby cousin would be right now.”

Means is an instrumental mentor to young women and men because she had powerful mentors in her own life.

“I would never be where I am today without someone pushing me,” Means said. “I can help others because I had help.

By combining her nursing skills and her faith, Means has made an impact on Ascension Columbia St. Mary’s and across Ascension Wisconsin. She created an innovative collaboration with church congregations, city officials, homeless shelters, neighborhood centers, community partners and programs to create the “Blanket of Love” program in 2004. The program connects participants to resources that can help lower stress, support wellness and eliminate the two most preventable causes of infant death in Milwaukee: premature births and unsafe sleeping environments.

In 1996, Means became the first Parish Nurse at Ebenezer Church of God Christ. As a Parish Nurse, Means connected the church with the community.

“I’m blessed to work for an organization that fosters and encourages people to have faith in God. Ascension Wisconsin not only allows but encourages me to do my work and not hide my faith,” said Means. “If you take care of God’s business, He’ll take care of your business.” Means truly believes this is due to the countless examples of how God continues to work in her life and the lives of her participants.

“I see myself as the bridge between the community and the hospital. I’m an advocate for people in the community that feel they have no voice,” she added.

While Means is out and about, people always approach her and tell her how she’s impacted their lives. Children even run to her and call her grandma. “I have a new grandchild every day,” Means said.

Means is honored and thankful to wake up every day and do this work. Although people give Means recognition for the work she does daily, Means credits God.

“It’s not my work, It’s God’s work. I am grateful He chose me,” said Means.

Ascension St. Joseph Hospital is holding their 22nd Annual Concerts in the Park Series, Celebrating 140 years of service to the community. All concerts run from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Ballpark food will be on sale at all concerts, with proceeds benefiting a different neighborhood school each concert. There will also be free blood pressure and diabetes screening, fresh farmer’s market, courtesy of Mount Cavalry, and fun activities for children.

July 24 Eddie Butts Band August 7 Christopher’s Project
August 21 Joe Richter Band

This article originally appeared in the Milwaukee Courier

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