Help clean up the shores along the Red Deer River on Sunday, June 4, as part of the Red Deer River Cleanup.

“The annual Red Deer River Cleanup is a piece of the Green Deer puzzle that encourages people to clean near the river, which is such an important part of our city,” said Suzanne Jubb, Community and Program Facilitator. “Since Green Deer began in April, we’ve seen positive results throughout the city. As the litter disappears, we really appreciate how beautiful our community is.”

The 2017 Red Deer River Cleanup will be held from 12:30 until 3:30 p.m. on Sunday, June 4 at the Kerry Wood Nature Centre. Participants are invited to a free barbecue and prizes after the event.

“The more people who help out, the more area we can cover,” said Tanya Wells, Red Deer River Coordinator. “The river cleanup is a great way for families, clubs and other organizations to get involved in keeping Red Deer clean and beautiful.”

Pre-registration is not required, but residents are asked to arrive promptly at 12:30 p.m. to receive their cleaning supplies and to be assigned a specific area of the riverbank to clean. Participants should wear appropriate footwear and bring gloves. Children under the age of 12 must be accompanied by an adult.

Partners of the Red Deer River Cleanup include The City of Red Deer, Kerry Wood Nature Centre, NOVA Chemicals and Trout Unlimited Canada. For more information, call 403-346-2010 or visit www.reddeer.ca/greendeer.

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RED DEER- Ross Street Patio Parties are back and Red Deerians are invited to celebrate at the official kick-off event at 5 p.m. Friday, June 9, featuring St. James Gate.

“The City of Red Deer is proud to continue supporting free, live music performances on the Ross Street Patio this summer,” said Caryn Ouwehand, Special Events Programmer. “The downtown really comes to life when performers take the stage, and the atmosphere on the Patio is not to be missed.”

Ross Street Patio entertainment is a partnership between The City of Red Deer and the Downtown Business Association.

The City hosts three more Patio Parties from 5 – 8 p.m. on July 14, August 11 and August 25, while the DBA supports programming on Tuesday and Thursday lunch hours and Wednesday evenings.

Events are free and open to the public.

For more information on Ross Street Patio entertainment, visit www.reddeer.ca/PatioParties.

(Gary McKinnon - City of Red Deer)

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A Red Deer boxer is getting ready for the biggest fight of his career.

Cam O’Connell will enter the ring on June 17 in Cornwall, Ontario to fight Tony “Lightning” Luis for the vacant NABA lightweight crown.

"100 per cent it's my biggest bout yet,” O’Connell admits. “The media outlets are saying it's Canada's biggest fight because two Canadians never fight each other. We go elsewhere for paycheques or get brought in to be opponents on bigger cards elsewhere in the world. It's never that the two top Canadians ever fight [each other].”

O’Connell, 28, comes into the title bout having never been beaten (15-0-1 10KOs) while Luis, 29, carries just three losses on his record (23-3 8KOs).

“I called him out in December and they called us back in April and started talking to us,” O’Connell says about how the fight came together. “We were supposed to fight Steve Wilcox for a title above my weight class and things happened and they chose another opponent, then this one popped up.”

The two fighters are quite familiar with each other, having fought as amateurs nearly a decade ago.

O’Connell says, "We both have so much tape out there, it's easy to find tape on both of us, so we both know what we're getting into. There are really no secrets in this fight.”

O’Connell has been training with his coaching staff of Doug Bolianatz, Roman Rzepkowski, Robert Carswell. He’s been heading to Lodgepole twice a week and sparring in Calgary and Edmonton.

Especially given his opponent’s nickname is “Lightning,” O’Connell expects their June 17 title fight to be fast-paced.

“I've seen what he does -- he gets in there and goes really fast. He's a pressure fighter, and I'm kind of a pressure fighter too, but I don't fight with much speed and I hit with power. It's kind of two things colliding with each other, two different fighting styles. Hopefully he's not fast enough to get away from my power. That's what I'll have for him."

In his last bout in Edmonton in March, O’Connell stopped his opponent, Oscar Barajas with a body shot in the fifth round.

Taking on Luis in his hometown, O’Connell realizes, will be no easy task.

“I know I'm going to have no fans comparably in the audience. I don't really need the fan base at the fight, but knowing that the whole Red Deer community is standing behind me, and all of Alberta, it means a lot.”

O'Connell's supporters will be gathering for a viewing party for the title fight at JJ's Restaurant and Lounge. 

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Three games, three nights, three wins.

The Red Deer Riggers remain unstoppable to start the 2017 Sunburst Baseball League season.

Tuesday night at Great Chief Park, the drill crew clobbered their way to a 12-3 win over the St. Albert Tigers.

They kicked off their week at home on Sunday by coming from behind to beat St. Albert 16-9.

Monday in Edmonton, the Riggers downed the Confederation Cubs 9-1.

This weekend, all four Sunburst Baseball League teams will in tournament action at Great Chief Park.

(Tournament Schedule)

Sat, Jun. 10
1:00 PM - St. Albert Tigers vs. Red Deer Riggers 
4:00 PM - Confederation Park Cubs vs. St. Albert Tigers 
7:00 PM - Red Deer Riggers vs. Sherwood Park Athletics               

Sun, Jun. 11
11:00 AM - Sherwood Park Athletics vs. Confederation Park Cubs            
2:00 PM - St. Albert Tigers vs. Sherwood Park Athletics  
5:00 PM - Confederation Park Cubs vs. Red Deer Riggers 

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This past weekend members of the Central Alberta Basketball Club (CABC) competed in the Red Deer Minor Basketball U17 tournament.

The CABC continued its winning ways as the club put together a select group of athletes from multiple teams to represent in the tournament that had teams from across the province competing in it. With multiple extra-curricular activities for athletes across the club, such as band and track and field commitments, the club entered a team that had multiple age groups mixed into one in order to compete in the tournament.

In a close championship game against a fast paced and intense Rangers Club (Medicine Hate) the CABC team won with team oriented play, poise, and sound fundamental man-to-man defense. Brooklyn Smith was the MVP of the final, but the success of the team was not all about one player. Strong play from Lacombe native Danielle Wilson (Lacombe Comp) and Red Deer’s Anna Judd (Lindsay Thurber), on both ends of the floor, allowed for great performances by teammates throughout the weekend.

Erin Tanagras (Notre Dame) was a solid, calming presence at the point and hit a clutch three in the game prior to going down with a sprained ankle. In addition, Faith Kreiser (Lindsay Thurber) was a rebounding machine in the clutch. Special shout out to Melena Fisher (Hunting Hills) from the U16 team who played key solid minutes with effective scoring, despite not having a chance to practice with the team prior to the weekend.

The CABC was also proud to have Club Alumni Kelsey Lalor (University of Saskatchewan) and Madi Nimmo (Red Deer College) coaching in the championship game. Having strong, confident, and accomplished young women lead other young players to success is an exciting part of the club’s vision of creating leaders in the community.

Moving forward the CABC will have all Red Deer and Mountainview teams in the club playing in Calgary next weekend (June.9th/10th) at the Shooting Stars Tournament. Updates can be found by following CABCqueenskings on Instagram or @CABCQueensKings on Twitter.

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The 11th annual Special Olympics Red Deer Celebrity Breakfast is right around the corner.

Taking place Tuesday, June 13th in the Harvest Centre at Westerner Park, the event will feature guest speaker Tammy Cunnington.

Red Deer-born Cunnington was struck by an airplane at a Ponoka Air Show in April 1982, the accident leaving her a paraplegic. She’s since swam in the ParaPan-Am games and 2016 Paralympics in Rio.

Executive Director Jerry Tennant says the breakfast will raise funds for more than 300 individuals with intellectual disabilities who are taking part in 12 sports offered by Special Olympics Red Deer.

"We raise funds to help with the costs of facilities, costs of coaching and training, uniforms and equipment, travel and accomodations for events we go out of town for," he says. "This year, we're sending 70 athletes and 20 coaches to the Special Olympics Alberta Summer Games in Medicine Hat."

That contingent is the largest ever sent from Red Deer, according to Tennant.

Last year’s event brought in around $15,000. The event is sold out.

For more information, visit SpecialOlympics.ca.

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The Red Deer Catalina Swim Club is hosting its annual Freeze or Fry event this weekend.

The competition runs Saturday from 8:15 a.m. until 7 p.m. and Sunday from 8:30 a.m. until 5 p.m.

The meet is unique as it is the only outdoor swim meet of the season for year-round swim clubs in Alberta.

It takes places at the outdoor recreation pool in downtown Red Deer.

Fifteen other clubs from across the province will be competing with Catalina at the annual event.

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For many years field hockey has taken a back seat to other sports in this province, including here in Red Deer.

Recently, the sport has seen a spark of interest in this community that has Red Deer Field Hockey experiencing some growing pains.

In this story, we'll explain how and show you how some players are now capitalizing on the great opportunities field hockey has to offer. 

Rene Rondeau was at the 2nd annual Field Hockey Festival in Red Deer this weekend and has the story.

Also, if you are interested in learning more about the sport, take a look at some additional information we've put together about field hockey!


To join, contact Field Hockey Alberta at http://fieldhockey.ab.ca/

Field Hockey Red Deer Adult Drop-in now available for June - Thursday at 7-8 at Collicutt Centre.

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The Alberta Sport Development Centre – Central (ASDC-C) recently named Kelsie Bostock as their Female Athlete of the Month for May 2017.

Bostock is a 15-year-old Red Deer resident and Grade 9 student at St. Francis of Assisi School. She is a competitive softball, ringette and volleyball athlete. 

Kelsie is a catcher and shortstop with the Red Deer Rage 16U “A” team, and competes with her team in the Girls Prairie Softball League (GPLS), as well as the Red Deer Ladies Fastball Association. 

Kelsie plays volleyball at both St. Francis and with the Queens Volleyball Club 15U team.  Kelsie’s St. Francis team won City Championships in 2014, 2015 and finished 2nd in2016.  Kelsie’s Queens team finished 5th in Tier 3 at Volleyball Alberta Provincials in the 2017 season. Kelsie played ringette on the Red Deer Ringette U16 “A” team this past season.

As a softball athlete, Kelsie has been playing with the Rage since she was 6 years old.  In that time Kelsie has been part of capturing 4 Provincial Silver Medals (2011, 2013, 2015, 2016), a Provincial Gold Medal in 2012 and was selected as the Catcher for the GPLS All Star Team in 2014 and 2016.  This past summer, Kelsie and her Zone 4 teammates captured the Gold Medal in Softball at the 2016 Alberta Summer Games and competed at both Westerns and Nationals.

With Kelsie’s strong work ethic, her athletic gifts and her training experiences with ASDC-Central she will surely continue to grow and develop in her sporting career!

ASDC-Central thanks Tom Bast Sports for celebrating the ASDC-Central Athlete of the Month recipients by the provision of commemorative apparel for each recipient.

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RED DEER – A Lethbridge resident has joined a list of the top athletes to ever call Alberta home.

Rick Duff – along with 11 other Albertans, including Edmonton Oilers star, Ryan Smyth – was inducted into the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame on Friday (May 26).

The Lethbridge native – who was added to the Lethbridge Sports Hall of Fame in 1990 – started boxing competitively in 1979, kicking off a career that would see him win seven provincial championships, five Canadian National Championships and a number of international events. He also joined team Canada at the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles, where he continued to fight after breaking his left hand early in his second match of the tournament.

“I am so stoked,” Duff stated when asked about being added to the Alberta Hall. “I don't really have the words for it, but I'm pretty excited and honoured that I've had this opportunity to be inducted. I'm very, very pleased and honoured to be inducted with this group of inductees in 2017. It's quite a feat.”

Following his appearance at the Olympics, and after taking some time off to recover from injuries, Duff joined the Canadian Forces, where he served as an artilleryman and later as a mechanic.

It was after his time in the military that he would come back to boxing, making his return as a coach. After volunteering as an assistant coach with boxing clubs in Lethbridge, Calgary and Edmonton, Duff became the head coach at the Lethbridge Boxing Club in 2010.

“In the last seven years, I've seen a big-time growth in female and young male boxers,” explained Duff. “I really have a strong team of about 10 competitors with two girls competing... and it really feels like it's growing every year.”

While he now works full-time for a local restoration company and makes a point of being a dedicated family man, Duff discussed where he finds the motivation to carve out the time needed to help grow and nurture the sport in our city.

“Trying to build champions and bring kids off the street, and make the gym membership affordable for kids to come down and learn the discipline of boxing. Get a little fit and get a little confidence in themselves.”

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The Central Alberta Buccaneers set sail on their 2017 season with a big win on Saturday.

The visiting Bucs romped to a 44-14 triumph over the Grande Prairie Drillers in week one Alberta Football League play.

After falling behind 14-13 early, the Buccaneers stormed back to take a 31-14 lead at half-time, then tacked on a couple more scores in the second half on their way to victory.

"The first game of the season is always the most nerve-wracking," said Jesse McPhail, Bucs slotback. "You never really know how good [the team is] or how other teams stack up until you see the results after the first week."

The Buccaneers won the game, which featured a first quarter that took more than 90 minutes to play, despite travelling to Grande Prairie with just 31 players.

"Guys really stepped up. We needed everyone to ball out and everybody did," said team captain Mark Fay. "Absolutely everyone on our roster left it all on the field. Every Buc played his heart out and it showed on the field and on the scoreboard."

The Bucs play their home opener this Saturday, June 3 vs. Lloydminster (6 p.m. at MEGlobal Athletic Park, Lacombe).

In other opening week AFL action the defending league champion embarrassed the Airdrie Irish 88-0, the St. Albert Stars shutout the Calgary Wolfpack 56-0, and the Lloydminster Vandals pillaged the Parkland Predators 66-0.

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A hockey legend and a women’s baseball pioneer are just a pair of this year's inductees into the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame.

Friday afternoon, the class of 2017 was officially introduced to the public before an evening banquet to honour them further. 

Ryan Smyth, he of 1270 games, 386 goals and 842 NHL points, most of which came with the Edmonton Oilers, headlines this year’s group.

The Banff native said he’s extremely humbled.

“Everybody came from different avenues. From the athletics side, the commitment, the sacrifice, the dedication that each person put in to get to this stage is awesome to see. To be recognized from the committee and the Sports Hall of Fame here in Alberta is breathtaking,” he said.

As an Oilers fan growing up, Smyth admits he was extremely fortunate to live out his dream for 14 years in his home province.

“I loved every minute of it. I appreciated the people and the commitment that they got their bums in the seats to cheer on their team. I was fortunate and blessed to be a part of it all.”

Captain Canada also offered an update on his health after sustaining a massive hit during the Chinook Hockey League final, saying he’s feeling better and that he still needs some dental work done. He hasn’t made up his mind about playing again next season.

Another star of the show on Friday was Betty Carveth Dunn, recipient of this year’s Pioneer Award.

Dunn, 92, was the master of the spinning ‘suckerball’ and one of just 64 Canadian women to play in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, depicted in the movie A League of Their Own.

Dunn said it’s great that the league she played in is still remembered fondly.

“It was made for Hollywood, the picture, but a lot of it was true. It was wartime and Phil Wrigley had ideas that there was going to be another major league team in the States and of course when the men came home, it fizzled out,” she said.

On how far women have come in sport since her day, Dunn added, ‘They have, they’ve progressed a lot, but they have a long way to go yet to be on par with the men. There are lots more young people, young women playing baseball than there was before, which is a great asset because sports is just -- it’s wonderful for young people, and it keeps you out of mischief.”

The rest of the class of 2017 includes Lethbridge boxer Rick Duff, Edmonton swimmer Keltie Duggan, baseball builder Doug Jones, world champion alpine skier John Kucera, tennis builder Hans Maciej (posthumous), basketball builder Herbert McLachlin (posthumous), golfer Marilyn Palmer O’Connor and squash builder Sharon Trenaman.

As well, the 1984/85 NAIT Ooks hockey team is being inducted and St. Albert journalist Jeff Hansen received the Bell Memorial award.

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The Red Deer Riggers improved to 3-0 in Sunburst Baseball League play with a big 9-2 win Friday night in Edmonton over the Confederation Cubs.

Joel Maz hit a solo home run for Red Deer while Derrick Chapman had a four-hit night.

The Riggers play their home opener Tuesday (May 30) at Great Chief Park at 7 p.m. vs. Sherwood Park.

The club will host its annual tournament June 10-11.

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Abby Thiesen has found a new place to play.

After the University of North Dakota made the decision to shut down its women’s hockey program, the Red Deer native found herself without a team. Her academic career was also left up in the air.

Thiessen posted a tweet on Tuesday saying she will be continuing her education at St. Cloud State University in Minnesota, where she will hit the ice with the Huskies.

The former Red Deer Sutter Fund Chief had four assists in 35 games in her lone season with the UND Fighting Hawks.

Thiessen was invited to attend Hockey Canada’s National Women’s Program Strength and Conditioning Camp earlier this month in Hamilton.

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After waiting a couple extra weeks to play their home opener, the Red Deer Riggers waited a few more innings before bringing their vaunted offence to Great Chief Park.

The Riggers fell behind 7-0 before storming back to edge the Sherwood Park Athletics 11-9 in Sunburst Baseball League action Tuesday night.

Jaret Chatwood sparked the comeback with a two-run homer in the bottom of the fourth, part of a seven-run Red Deer rally in the inning.

Chatwood finished with three hits on the night, ending up a triple shy of hitting for the cycle.

J.P. Willner and Shayne Court each had two-run doubles for the Riggers while Jason Chatwood added a two-run single.

On the mound, Chad Price started for Red Deer and was roughed up in the second inning, giving up five runs.

Joel Peterman and Dustin Northcott each gave up a pair in their relief appearances before Ben Runyon and Josh Edwards shut down the A's to seal the win.

The Riggers (4-0) are back in action at Great Chief Park this Sunday at 6:30 p.m. vs. St. Albert.

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CP Rail has notified Lacombe County that they are planning a number of closures of roads at crossings throughout the County over the next couple weeks to facilitate upgrades and repairs to their rail line.

Traffic will be detoured along local roads during the closure; watch for signs indicating the detour routes.

Below is a list of roads and tentative dates and times for these closures:

May 30, 2017 Rge. Rd. 27-1 south of S.H. 12 6:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
May 31, 2017 Rge. Rd. 27-3 south of S.H. 12 6:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
May 31, 2017 Twp. Rd. 40-2 west of Rge. Rd. 27-3 12:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.
June 1, 2017 Rge. Rd. 27-4 south of S.H. 12 6:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
June 2, 2017 Twp. Rd. 40-2 east of Rge. Rd. 27-4 6:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
June 3, 2017 Rge. Rd. 27-5 south of S.H. 12 6:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
June 4, 2017 Rge. Rd. 28-4 south of S.H. 12 6:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.

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The Red Deer PeeWee AAA Dairy Queen Braves were in Calgary for three games this past  weekend, winning all three of them convincingly.

The DQ Braves found their bats early in game one against the hometown Calgary Cubs, slugging 19 hits in 5 innings to defeat the Cubs 16-2. 

Nolan Baragar went 4 for 4 at the plate and Heath Hachkowski ripped a home run and a single in the winning affair.  Grayson Leuck led the defense from the mound striking out seven batters in three innings of work.

The DQ Braves continued their offensive showing in the next game against the St. Albert Cardinals with another 15 hits over 5 innings, winning 20-2.

Heath Hachkowski drove in eight runs with a single, a home run and a grand slam home run.  Grayson Leuck and Nolan Baragar added home runs of their own.  Hachkowski and Jacey Steeves teamed up on the mound to shut the door on the Cardinals. 

Sunday morning, the Braves were up against the Sherwood Park A’s.  The Braves were down 3-6 going into the bottom of the 7th inning when the team rallied with 6 hits and an intentional walk to score 4 runs to win the game. 

Sam Honke got the walk-off single to end the game.  Kyle Belich earned the win on the mound coming in for the last three innings allowing no runs, no hits and striking out four batters.

Head Coach Scott Murray is proud of the team’s success over the weekend noting all of the wins were total team efforts with contributions from the entire roster. 

The PeeWee AAA Dairy Queen Braves are in action next on June 10th for two games at 10am and 4pm at the Westpark Middle School ball diamonds.

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The latest fundraiser for the Blackfalds Dual Ice Development Society should be a really fun one.

DIDS is attempting to raise a million dollars to go towards the twinning of the lone indoor ice rink in Blackfalds.

Renderings from the Town are expected out in June.

On July 1, the society is hosting a Canada 150 4-on-4 ball hockey tournament at the Blackfalds Multiplex.

Teams have a 13 player maximum and are guaranteed to play in at least three 30-minute full arena games. There will also be beer gardens and cash prizes for the top teams.

Early bird registration ends May 31.

To register or for more information, email DIDScanada150ballhockey@gmail.com or call 403-350-4324. For more information on the cause, visit the DIDS Facebook page.

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First You Walk the Walk

There is an old saying: "You can't really understand another person's experience until you've walked a mile in their shoes." Walk a Mile in Her Shoes® asks men to literally walk one mile in women's high-heeled shoes. It's not easy walking in these shoes, but it's fun and it gets the community to talk about something that's really difficult to talk about: gender relations and sexual violence.

Put Yourself in Her Shoes™

Each year, an ever-increasing number of men, women and their families are joining the award-winning Walk a Mile in Her Shoes®: The International Men's March to Stop Rape, Sexual Assault & Gender Violence. A Walk a Mile in Her Shoes® Event is a playful opportunity for men to raise awareness in their community about the serious causes, effects and remediation to sexualized violence.

What can I do?

Join us June 8, 2017 we embark on our 6th Annual Walk.  The funds from this walk will go to supporting the different programs and services that are offered at The Outreach Centre.  Last year we had over 200 Men "Walk the Walk".  Will you be one of those Men who strive to make a change?

For more information or for sponsorship opportunities contact Darcy at the Outreach Centre.

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RED DEER- The Cabinet for the Sheraton Celebrity Dance Off 2018 is seeking a partner charity to bring to Red Deer another season of celebrity dancing. Applications are now being accepted.

Over the last five years, the Sheraton Celebrity Dance Off has raised over $2 million dollars supporting Red Deer Hospice Society, Big Brothers and Big Sisters, Aspire Special Needs Resource Centre, Women’s Outreach, Central Alberta Sexual Assault Support Centre and the establishment of the Central Alberta Child Advocacy Centre.

Event co-chair Christine Moore says; “The Sheraton Celebrity Dance Off is an great fundraiser.

Just as importantly, it’s a community builder which showcases the organization, raising its profile, all of which has a long lasting impact for the agency.”

Charities who wish to apply will find the application form at celebritydanceoff.ca. 

The deadline to submit applications is Friday, June 9, 2017 at 4 p.m.

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