Atria of Stratford presents "What Every Grandparent and Parent Should Know About Special Education Law"

Atria of Stratford presents, "What Every Grandparent and Parent Should Know About Special Education Law".

Date : 2/8/2018

Time : 6:30-7-30pm

Where : Atria of Stratford / 6911 Main Street / Stratford, CT / 06614

RSVP : (203-380-0006)


Jeffrey Forte, Esq conducting a free workshop with an Overview about:

  • What is the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)
  • How to Participate at an Individualized Education Program (IEP) Meeting
  • Requesting Education Records Through FERPA
  • Requesting an Independent Educational Evaluation (IEE)
  • Ten quick tips to prepare for a PPT
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Thursday, February 8, 2018 - 6:30pm


Pleased to report that we won our case before the Tennessee Supreme Court! They agreed with my clients in a case involving probate assets, bank laws and contracts.

This was a case of “first impression” which means we made new law for the State of Tennessee.

December 6, 2017

The Tennessee Supreme Court has unanimously ruled that, when one spouse unilaterally withdraws money from a married couple’s joint bank account and places the funds in a certificate of deposit, the funds are no longer joint property and belong to the spouse to whom the certificate of deposit was issued.

In April 2012, Calvert Hugh Fletcher and his wife, Nelda Karene Fletcher, deposited funds in a joint checking account designated with a right of survivorship. The joint account card required only one signature to withdraw funds. Later, Mr. Fletcher withdrew $100,000 from the account and deposited the money in a certificate of deposit held only in his name. After he died, a dispute arose between Mrs. Fletcher and Mr. Fletcher’s children from a previous marriage regarding ownership of the certificate of deposit. The Putnam County Probate Court ruled that the funds belonged to the husband’s estate because the funds ceased to be joint property when withdrawn from the joint account. Mrs. Fletcher appealed, and the Court of Appeals ruled the funds belonged to her because the money could be directly traced to the joint account.

After reviewing cases from Tennessee and other states, the Supreme Court held that, once a husband or wife withdraws funds from a joint bank account held as tenants by the entirety, the funds cease to be held by the entirety. The Supreme Court found this approach provides the clarity and finality needed in the current banking environment, noting it would be difficult for a third party receiving funds to know the source of the money and if someone else has an ownership interest in the funds.

In an opinion authored by Justice Sharon G. Lee, the Court held that the certificate of deposit issued to Mr. Fletcher from money withdrawn from the couple’s joint bank account was owned by Mr. Fletcher at his death and, therefore, was not owned by Mrs. Fletcher, but became a part of Mr. Fletcher’s estate and passed under the terms of his will.

To read the unanimous opinion in In Re Estate of Calvert Hugh Fletcher, authored by Justice Sharon G. Lee, visit the Opinions section of

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Long Term Care Basics

Senior Help Desk Blog by Jay H. Jaser, Esq. Connecticut Elder Law Attorney

People often need long-term care when they have a serious, ongoing health condition or disability. The need for long-term care can arise suddenly, such as after a heart attack or stroke. Most often, however, it develops gradually, as people get older and frailer or as an illness or disability gets worse. Long-term care is a range of services and supports you may need to meet your personal care needs. Most long-term care is not medical care, but rather assistance with the basic personal tasks of everyday life, sometimes called Activities of Daily Living (ADLs), examples such as:

  • Bathing
  • Dressing
  • Using the toilet
  • Transferring (to or from bed or chair)
  • Caring for incontinence
  • Eating
  • Medication and healthcare management

Other common long-term care services and supports are assistance with everyday tasks, sometimes called Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADLs) including:

  • Housework
  • Managing money
  • Taking medication
  • Preparing and cleaning up after meals
  • Shopping for groceries or clothes
  • Using the telephone or other communication devices
  • Caring for pets
  • Responding to emergency alerts such as fire alarms

It is difficult to predict how much or what type of long-term care a person might need. Several things increase the risk of needing long-term care.

  • Age.The risk generally increases as people get older.
  • Gender. Women are at higher risk than men, primarily because they often live longer.
  • Marital status. Single people are more likely than married people to need care from a paid provider.
  • Lifestyle. Poor diet and exercise habits can increase a person's risk.
  • Health and family history. These factors also affect risk.

Where Can You Receive Care?

Most long-term care can be provided at home. Other kinds of long-term care services and supports are provided by community service organizations and in long-term care facilities.

Examples of home care services include:

  • A caregiver who may be a family member or friend
  • A nurse, home health or home care aide, and/or therapist who comes to the home

Community support services include:

  • Adult day care service centers
  • Transportation services
  • Home care agencies that provide services on a daily basis or as needed

Often these services supplement the care you receive at home or provide time off for your family caregivers.

Outside the home, a variety of facility-based programs offer more options:

  • Nursing homes provide the most comprehensive range of services, including nursing care and 24-hour supervision
  • Other facility-based choices include assisted living, board and care homes, and continuing care retirement communities. With these providers, the level of choice over who delivers your care varies by the type of facility.  You may not get to choose who will deliver services, and you may have limited say in when they arrive.

For More Information About Long-Term Care

National Clearinghouse for Long Term Care Information

About Jay H. Jaser, Esq. Connecticut Elder Law Attorney  

Office location: 500 Boston Post Road Milford, CT 06460

Contact #(203) 799-8888

I understand that the issues of aging and illness are matters that affect individuals in significant and deeply personal ways and realize that each client and family situation is unique. My legal support and guidance is given with compassion and is based on experience you can trust. Areas of Practice: Elder Law, Long-Term Care/Medicaid Planning, Durable Powers of Attorney, Health Care Surrogacy/Living Wills, Last Will and Testaments, Trust Agreements, Guardianship Services, Special Needs Planning, Elder Advocacy, Nursing Home Resident Rights. Please call (203)799-8888 for a consultation.

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New Haven

Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween

October 2017

By: Carl A. Glad, Esq., Partner Law Offices of Kurt M. Ahlberg LLC

Ghouls, Vampires, Ghosts and Goblins need estate planning too. If October 31st is the one day of the year you are available please stop by our office for some Treats and no Tricks. Here is an example of a Will we did for our friend Goody Basset just before her “trial.”

The Last Will and Testament
The Goodwife Bassett a/k/a Goody Bassett

 I, THE GOODWIFE BASSETT a/k/a GOODY BASSETT, of the Town of Stratford, County of Fairfield, and State of Connecticut, being of lawful age, of sound mind and memory, and under no improper influence or restraint, do hereby make, publish and declare this to be my Last Will and Testament, hereby revoking all other Wills by me at any time heretofore made.

FIRST: I direct that my Executor hereinafter named, notwithstanding gender, pay from the residue of my estate all my just debts and funeral expenses, and all succession, legacy, transfer and inheritance taxes, except those secured by mortgage upon any real estate which I may own at the time of my death, if any.

SECOND: I hereby give, devise and bequeath my cauldron to my friend, WICKED WITCH OF THE WEST, of OZ to be hers absolutely and forever.

THIRD: I hereby give, devise and bequeath my eye of newt, toe of frog, wool of bat, tongue of dog, adder's fork, blind-worm's sting, lizard's leg and howlet's wing to my friend, ENDORA, of Westport Connecticut, to be hers absolutely and forever.

FOURTH: I hereby give, devise and bequeath any pumpkins I may own to THE HEADLESS HORSEMEN, of Sleepy Hollow, New York to be his absolutely and forever.

FIFTH:I hereby give devise and bequeath my broom to my friend VLAD the IMPALER a/k/a DRACULA, of Transylvania, provided he has attained the age of nine hundred twenty-five (925) years.

In the event my said friend has not attained the age of nine hundred twenty-five (25) years, then and in that event, said friend’s share of my estate shall be placed, IN TRUST, with my Trustee hereinafter named, as a Trust Fund for the benefit of said friend, to hold, manage, and to allow the use of said broom, as my Trustee shall deem necessary, in her sole discretion, for the mistreatment, torture, punishment and misery of my said friend. Said Trust shall continue for said friend until said friend attains the age of nine hundred twenty-five (25) years, at which time I direct that the Trust Fund created for said friend shall terminate, and the broom shall become my friend’s absolutely and forever or until he is staked through the heart.

SIXTH: I hereby nominate, constitute and appoint my friend, MORTICIA ADDAMS, of the Westfield, New Jersey, as Executrix of this my Last Will and Testament, to serve without bond.

SEVENTH: I nominate, constitute and appoint my Doctor, Victor Frankenstein, of Lake Geneva, Switzerland as Trustee of the Trust created in Paragraph FIFTH of this my Last Will and Testament.

EIGHTH: I hereby confer upon my fiduciaries named herein, the powers enumerated in in Sections 45a-234 and 45a-235 et seq., of the Connecticut General Statutes, and in all spell and books of magic as the same may be amended from time to time.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and seal this 15th day of May, 1651.

For more information visit our blog at

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The Basics

The Basics

September 2017

By Carl A. Glad, Esq., Partner Law Offices of Kurt M. Ahlberg LLC

September is the end of Summer and the beginning of Fall. Kids are back in school and parents are struggling to get back on schedule. Football is just kicking off and baseball is closing in on the playoffs. This season of change is a good opportunity to go over some of the basic definitions associated with estate planning.

Administrator: An individual named by a Probate Court to represent a decedent’s estate when there is no Will.

Agent: Someone appointed to act for another through a Power-of-Attorney.

Decedent: The individual that has died.

Executor: An individual appointed by a Will to represent a decedent’s estate.

Fiduciary: An individual that owes a legal and or ethical responsibility to another because of the nature of their relationship. For example, an Executor owes a duty to protect an estate for the heirs, or an Agent appointed by a Power-of-Attorney owes a duty to protect the finances of the principal.

Healthcare Representative: A legal document that appoints an individual to make medical decisions for the principal if they are unable to do so on their own.

Living Will: A legal document that details end of life medical care including whether to retain or terminate certain life maintaining care such a respiratory, cardiopulmonary, and hydration.

Power-of-Attorney: A legal document authorizing an individual to act on behalf of the Principal in most matters other than health care decisions. A Durable Power-of-Attorney will continue in force if the Principal becomes incapable of making their own decisions.

Principal: The individual granting certain powers to another either through a Power-of-Attorney or Healthcare Representative.

Probate: The process administered by the Probate Court that leads to the final disposition of an estate. Each town in Connecticut is assigned to a specific Probate District.

Trust: A legal agreement where one individual, known as the Trustee, holds and manages assets for the benefit of another, that individual is known as the beneficiary.

Will: The Last Will and Testament is a legal document that outlines the distribution of an individual’s assets after they pass. In Connecticut, the document must be witnessed by two individuals and acknowledged by a notary or attorney.

For more information visit our Blog at


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Legal and Financial Planning for People with Alzheimer's

Senior Help Desk helthcare blog credited to The National Institute on Aging, part of NIH

On this page:

  • Legal, Financial, and Health Care Planning Documents
  • Advance Directives for Health Care
  • Advance Directives for Financial and Estate Management
  • Who Can Help?
  • Other Advance Planning Advice
  • Resources for Low-Income Families
  • Overview of Medical, Legal, and Financial Planning Documents

Many people are unprepared to deal with the legal and financial consequences of a serious illness such as Alzheimer's disease. Legal and medical experts encourage people recently diagnosed with a serious illness—particularly one that is expected to cause declining mental and physical health—to examine and update their financial and healthcare arrangements as soon as possible. Basic legal and financial documents, such as a will, a living trust, and advance directives, are available to ensure that the person's late-stage or end-of-life health care and financial decisions are carried out.Older couple filling out legal and financial paperwork for people with Alzheimer's disease

A complication of diseases such as Alzheimer’s is that the person may lack or gradually lose the ability to think clearly. This change affects his or her ability to make decisions and participate in legal and financial planning.

People with early-stage Alzheimer’s disease can often understand many aspects and consequences of legal decision making. However, legal and medical experts say that many forms of planning can help the person and his or her family even if the person is diagnosed with later-stage Alzheimer’s.

There are good reasons to retain a lawyer when preparing advance planning documents. For example, a lawyer can help interpret different State laws and suggest ways to ensure that the person's and family's wishes are carried out. It's important to understand that laws vary by State, and changes in a person’s situation—for instance, a divorce, relocation, or death in the family—can influence how documents are prepared and maintained.

Legal, Financial, and Health Care Planning Documents

Families beginning the legal planning process should discuss a number of strategies and legal documents. Depending on the family situation and the applicable State laws, a lawyer may introduce some or all of the following terms and documents to assist in this process:

  • Documents that communicate the healthcare wishes of someone who can no longer make healthcare decisions
  • Documents that communicate the financial management and estate plan wishes of someone who can no longer make financial decisions

 Learn how to get your affairs in order.

Advance Directives for Health Care

Advance directives for health care are documents that communicate the healthcare wishes of a person with Alzheimer’s disease. These decisions are then carried out after the person no longer can make decisions. In most cases, these documents must be prepared while the person is legally able to execute them.

living will records a person's wishes for medical treatment near the end of life.

durable power of attorney for health care designates a person, sometimes called an agent or proxy, to make healthcare decisions when the person with Alzheimer’s disease no longer can do so.

In addition to these, there may be other documents discussing do not resuscitate orders, organ and tissue donation, dialysis, and blood transfusions.

Access to private medical information is closely regulated. The person with Alzheimer's disease must state in writing who can see or use personal medical records. For more information about advance directives for health care, see Advance Care Planning: Healthcare Directives. Link:

Advance Directives for Financial and Estate Management

Advance directives for financial and estate management must be created while the person with Alzheimer’s still can make these decisions (sometimes referred to as "having legal capacity" to make decisions). These directives may include the following:

A will indicates how a person's assets and estate will be distributed upon death. It also can specify:

  • Arrangements for care of minors
  • Gifts
  • Trusts to manage the estate
  • Funeral and/or burial arrangements

Medical and legal experts say that the newly diagnosed person with Alzheimer’s and his or her family should move quickly to make or update a will and secure the estate.

durable power of attorney for finances names someone to make financial decisions when the person with Alzheimer’s disease no longer can. It can help people with the disease and their families avoid court actions that may take away control of financial affairs.

living trust provides instructions about the person's estate and appoints someone, called the trustee, to hold title to property and funds for the beneficiaries. The trustee follows these instructions after the person with Alzheimer’s no longer can manage his or her affairs.

The person with Alzheimer’s disease also can name the trustee as the healthcare proxy through the durable power of attorney for health care.

A living trust can:

  • Include a wide range of property
  • Provide a detailed plan for property disposition
  • Avoid the expense and delay of probate (in which the courts establish the validity of a will)
  • State how property should be distributed when the last beneficiary dies and whether the trust should continue to benefit others

Who Can Help?

Healthcare providers cannot act as legal or financial advisers, but they can encourage planning discussions between patients and their families. Qualified clinicians can also guide patients, families, the care team, attorneys, and judges regarding the patient's ability to make decisions.

An elder law attorney helps older people and families interpret State laws, plan how their wishes will be carried out, understand their financial options, and learn how to preserve financial assets while caring for a loved one.

The National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys and the American Bar Association can help families find qualified attorneys. See the resources at the end of this article for more information.

Geriatric care managers are trained social workers or nurses who can help people with Alzheimer’s disease and their families. Read more about geriatric care managers.

Other Advance Planning Advice

Start discussions early. The rate of decline differs for each person with Alzheimer’s disease, and his or her ability to be involved in planning will decline over time. People in the early stages of the disease may be able to understand the issues, but they may also be defensive or emotionally unable to deal with difficult questions. Remember that not all people are diagnosed at an early stage. Decision making already may be difficult when Alzheimer’s disease is diagnosed.

Review plans over time. Changes in personal situations—such as a divorce, relocation, or death in the family—and in State laws can affect how legal documents are prepared and maintained. Review plans regularly, and update documents as needed.

Reduce anxiety about funeral and burial arrangements. Advance planning for the funeral and burial can provide a sense of peace and reduce anxiety for both the person with Alzheimer’s and the family.

Resources for Low-Income Families

Families who cannot afford a lawyer still can do advance planning. Samples of basic health planning documents can be downloaded from State government websites. Area Agency on Aging officials may provide legal advice or help. Other possible sources of legal assistance and referral include State legal aid offices, the State bar association, local nonprofit agencies, foundations, and social service agencies.


Facing Alzheimer’s disease can be emotionally wrenching for all concerned. Legal and medical experts can help the person and family address tough questions about future treatment, caregiving, and legal arrangements.


For More Information About Advance Care Planning for a Person with Alzheimer's

NIA Alzheimer’s and related Dementias Education and Referral (ADEAR) Center
1-800-438-4380 (toll-free)
The National Institute on Aging’s ADEAR Center offers information and free print publications about Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias for families, caregivers, and health professionals. ADEAR Center staff answer telephone, email, and written requests and make referrals to local and national resources.

1-888-687-2277 (toll-free)
1-877-434-7598 (TTY/toll-free)
1-877-342-2277 (español/línea gratis)
1-866-238-9488 (TTY/español/línea gratis)

Aging with Dignity

Alzheimer's Association
1-800-272-3900 (toll-free, 24/7) 
1-866-403-3073 (TTY/toll-free)

National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization

Eldercare Locator
1-800-677-1116 (toll-free)

National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys
Health Resources and Services Administration
1-888-275-4772 (toll-free)  
1-877-489-4772 (TTY/toll-free)

The National Institute on Aging, part of NIH leads the federal government effort conducting and supporting research on aging and the health and well-being of older people. The Institute seeks to understand the nature of aging and the aging process, and diseases and conditions associated with growing older, in order to extend the healthy, active years of life. For more information on research, aging, and health, go to


About Senior Help Desk:  "The mission of Senior Help Desk is to enhance the lives of our seniors through the collaboration, organization and accessibility of resources. We strive to offer the most comprehensive, interactive, and shareable senior resource center for finding professionals, services and resources. We offer an interactive community timeline, resources directory, blogs, videos, articles, and a community events calendar."




July 2017

By Carl A. Glad, Partner, Law Offices of Kurt M. Ahlberg LLC

A conservatorship is a legal concept that allows an individual to manage the affairs of someone that is incapable to doing the same for themselves.

The conservator is the Court appointed individual that manages those affairs. In Connecticut, a Probate Court is the only Court that can appoint a conservator. This occurs after a hearing. At the hearing, the Court will hear evidence, including an examination of a physician’s medical evaluation, that demonstrates the potential conserved individual is incapable of managing their affairs. The Court will also look to see that there are no other less restrictive means such as a Power-of-Attorney or Health Care Representative that would accomplish the same goal. Once the determination is made that a conservator should be appointed, the Court will determine the person that should act as conservator. Often a conservator is a family member that has volunteered to undertake this responsibility. However, the Court may also appoint an independent party such as an attorney to act in this role. The Court will look to see that the proposed conservator is familiar with finances and the responsibilities of a conservator.

Additionally, an individual can voluntarily apply for a conservatorship. When this occurs, the Court will appoint a conservator. However, the Court must ensure that the individual is aware of what it means to be conserved. A voluntarily conserved person can also terminate the conservatorship at any time.

A conservator can be responsible for either an individual’s finances or their person and medical needs. A conservator may also be responsible for both aspects of the individual’s life. There may also be two separate individuals to handle each of these aspects. The Court requires financial accountings and reports about the personal needs of a conserved person. This oversight helps to ensure that a conserved person is not exploited.

Applying for a conservatorship should be a last resort. It is an extraordinary measure that significantly alters the conserved individual’s relationship to the community. An attorney experienced in the Probate Court can assist with this difficult and important process.

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Advance Directives

Advance Directives

July 2017

By Carl A. Glad, Esq., Partner, Law Offices of Kurt M. Ahlberg LLC

An unforeseen event, such as a stroke, can make it impossible for you to make medical decisions or communicate your desires regarding your treatment.  Your family, loved-ones, or even complete strangers or Court appointed representatives will have to make decisions about your medical treatment and whether to sustain your life.  Without guidance, such a decision can be unbearably difficult for them to make.  You can take that burden away by making that decision in advance.

Of all your Estate Planning tools, the Advance Directive is the most helpful for your loved-ones.  Certainty a Power-of-Attorney is necessary to ensure your financial needs can be meet in the event of incapacity.  Everyone should have a Last Will and Testament.  But, the potential for a catastrophic medical event requires that your put into place your Advance Directives.

Commonly known as a Living Will, your Advance Directives outline instructions for certain medical treatments.  Most frequently these legal documents will direct whether you want artificial life sustaining measures.  These measures include but are not limited to nutrition and hydration, respiration, and cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

These documents will ensure that your desires for treatment or met, but more importantly this will be a great relief of your loved-ones.  You will be making the end of life decision on your own.  You will not burden your family with that decision and the lasting guilt that they may have to suffer.  Making this decision will also prevent a potential conflict over your actual desires.

Protecting your family is easily accomplished by meeting with an attorney to discuss your Advance Directives.

Visit our blog for more information

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A Fair Hearing

A Fair Hearing

May 2017

By Carl A. Glad, Esq, Partner Law Offices of Kurt M. Ahlberg LLC

To say the Medicaid application process can be frustrating would be a great understatement.  Receiving a letter with the statement “NOTICE OF DENIAL” can be defeating.

This letter informs applicants that they are not eligible in whole or in part for long-term care.  There are many reasons for a denial, but most relate to the amount of assets of either the applicant or their spouse.  The immediate concern is certainly: “I know I should qualify, what do I do and how can I fix this.”

Under the law, you are entitled to a hearing to contest the denial.  The Connecticut Department of Social Services (DSS) will hold this hearing upon the applicants request to review the decision.  This hearing is called a “Fair Hearing.”  Once you request a hearing, DSS will send a letter with the date of your hearing and will also send a document outlining the reason for the DSS denial along with supporting evidence.

At the actual hearing, the applicant should present their position and the reason they should have been approved along with supporting evidence.  The DSS caseworker that issued the decision will also present the reason for the DSS denial.  A hearing officer presides over the hearing and will issue a decision.  Most often the hearing is held through video-conference with the hearing officer sitting at another location.  The decision will not be made at the hearing.  A final written decision will be mailed to the applicant.

It is important to be prepared for these hearings.  You must come with all the relevant evidence to support your argument.  The hearing officer will examine your evidence and your statements to determine if an error or oversight was made that resulted in the denial.  Legal representation is not required, however, attorneys that work in this field, have experience in these proceedings and understand the Uniform Policy Manual and relevant State and Federal laws.

There is also an opportunity to resolve your matter before the hearing.  You can provide the DSS caseworker with new evidence prior to your hearing.  The caseworker will evaluate this evidence.  If the caseworker or their supervisor agrees with your position, they will retract the denial and recalculate your benefits.

Of course the best way to avoid all of this is to hire an experienced attorney at the beginning of the application process.

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Successfully Planning for Aging Transitions by CLO Aging Life Care & Winston Law Group on Thursday May 4, 2017 from 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM. Located at Century Bank 400 Mystic Avenue Medford, MA 02155



This CEU presentation is designed for medical professionals, clinicians, and professionals who serve older adults and persons with disabilities. Elder law attorneys from Winston Law Group and Aging Life Care Specialists from Community Living Options will discuss various life transitions and challenges experienced by older adults throughout the lifespan, including: declines in health, unexpected hospitalizations, transitioning from a family member to a caregiver, the legal documents used to protect older adults, the process of becoming a health care proxy/guardian/conservator, and eligibility for public benefits. Learn best practices and resources to help older adults and their families transition through life successfully. 

Attendees will:

  • Learn strategies to help clients discuss care options and overcome resistance to care 
  • Understand the differences among supportive housing options for older adults
  • Understand how advanced planning documents can be used to protect an older adult's assets and health care wishes
  • Learn about eligibility requirements for public benefits and government assistance when it comes to in-home care, veterans benefits, Masshealth, and more

Lunch will be provided. 

Sponsored by Century Bank

Registration Link:

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start time: 
Thursday, May 4, 2017 - 10:00am