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[00:00:02]

>> I NOW CALL THIS MEETING OF ABILENE CITY COUNCIL TO ORDER.

[CALL TO ORDER]

IT'S 11:15, ON THIS BEAUTIFUL MONDAY MORNING.

[INVOCATION]

MAYOR PRO TEM WELDON HURT. AFTERWARDS, TRAVIS WILL PROVIDE

THE PLEDGES. >> PLEASE PRAY WITH ME.

DEAR LORD, THERE ARE TIMES WHEN WE FORGET, BUT TODAY WE NEED TO TELL YOU HOW THANKFUL WE ARE FOR YOUR GUIDANCE AND JUST LOOK TO YOUR GUIDANCE LORD, AS WE GO THROUGH THESE NEXT FEW WEEKS.

WE ASK GUIDANCE FOR ALL OF OUR LEADERS, NATION LEADERS, STATE LEADERS, LOCAL LEADERS. LORD, HELP US MAKE THE DECISIONS THAT MAKE THIS WORLD A BETTER PLACE.

WATCH OVER OUR FIRST RESPONDERS, AT THIS TIME PLEASE WATCH OVER ALL THOSE PROVIDING MEDICAL ATTENTION.

IN JESUS NAME WE PRAY, AMEN. >> I PLEDGE ALLEGIANCE TO THE

[PLEDGE TO THE UNITED STATES FLAG AND THE TEXAS FLAG]

FLAG OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, TO THE REPUBLIC FOR WHICH IT STANDS, ONE NATION UNDER GOD, INDIVISIBLE WITH

LIBERTY AND JUSTICE FOR ALL. >> GOOD MORNING, IN THE LAST FEW WEEKS, I'M IMPRESSED WITH OUR COUNTRY AND STATE, HOW WE'RE RESPONDING. TODAY IS ABOUT TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS THAT ALLOWS US TO RESPOND APPROPRIATELY.

WE'RE GOING TO PULL AGENDA ITEM NUMBER 3.

WE'RE GOING TO TALK ABOUT IN THE FIRST AGENDA ITEM NUMBER TWO, TALK ABOUT BEING SURE THAT WE'RE CONSISTENT WITH THE GOVERNOR AND WHAT HE HAS COMMUNICATED, AGENDA ITEM NUMBER FOUR, WE'LL TALK ABOUT WAYS THAT THE CITY CAN PARTNER IN THE COMMUNITY. OUR CITY MANAGER IS WANTING TO PROVIDE AN OPPORTUNITY FOR EMPLOYEES WHO ARE WORKING FOR YOU, OUR CITIZENS, TO HELP OUT IN THIS ENDEAVOR.

[2. Resolution: Receive a Report, Hold a Discussion and Public Hearing, and Take Action on Extending the Mayor's Declaration of Local Disaster Issued March 16, 2020]

BUT WE'LL GO TO ITEM NUMBER TWO NOW AND REMIND EVERYONE, ROBERT HANNAH WILL PRESENT THAT. WE WILL HAVE A PUBLIC HEARING ON BOTH ITEMS, ALLOW YOU TO PARTICIPATE IN THE CONVERSATION. MR. HANNAH.

>> THANK YOU, MAYOR. WHAT YOU HAVE BEFORE YOU TODAY, IS AN EXTENSION OF THE LOCAL DISASTER DUE TO COVID-19 PANDEMIC. THE LANGUAGE WE ARE REQUESTING COUNCIL TO FOLLOW MIRRORS THE LANGUAGE THAT THE GOVERNOR ISSUED ON MARCH 19TH IN HIS EXECUTIVE ORDER GA-08, WHICH WAS EFFECTIVE 11:59 MARCH 20, 2020, IN THE EVENT WE NEED TO EXTEND THIS ANOTHER SEVEN DAYS, WHICH FRANKLY, I ACCEPT WE PROBABLY WILL, WE WILL HAVE ANOTHER SPECIAL CALLED MEETING TO DO THAT. DOES COUNCIL HAVE ANY

QUESTIONS? >> THIS WILL BE A PUBLIC HEARING. I WANT TO COMMUNICATE THAT I HAVE THE AUTHORITY TO EXTEND IT EVERY SEVEN DAYS WITHOUT A PUBLIC HEARING. BUT WE REALLY WANTED TO PROVIDE THE PUBLIC AN OPPORTUNITY TO PARTICIPATE IF THEY CHOSE TO.

WE WILL HAVE A PUBLIC HEARING. BUT DOES COUNCIL HAVE ANY QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS PRIOR TO THE PUBLIC HEARING?

>> SO WE'RE JUST BASICALLY EXTENDING WHAT THE STATE OF TEXAS IS DOING? WE'RE NOT GOING FURTHER THAN WHAT THE STATE OF TEXAS IS DOING?

>> NO, SIR. AT THIS TIME WE ARE NOT BEING ANYMORE RESTRICTIVE THAN THE GOVERNOR'S ORDER.

I WILL SAY AT THE MOMENT, I JUST LOOKED AT THE NUMBERS, WE STILL HAVE ZERO CONFIRMED CASES.

CONFIRMED CASE IS A POSITIVE TEST RESULT.

WE HAVE A NUMBER OF OUTSTANDING TESTS AND WE WILL BE PUBLISHING THOSE NUMBERS ON OUR WEBSITES VERY SHORTLY.

BUT AT THIS POINT IN TIME, I THINK AS LONG AS WE PRACTICE SOCIAL DISTANCING IN OUR COMMUNITY, WE CAN AVOID MUCH OF WHAT IS GOING ON IN OTHER PARTS OF OUR COUNTRY IN CALIFORNIA, IN ILLINOIS, IN DALLAS COUNTY, WE NEED CITIZENS TO BE RESPONSIBLE AND TO TAKE THIS DECLARATION SERIOUSLY.

>> I JUST HAVE A QUESTION ON TIMING.

THE GOVERNOR'S DECLARATION, EXECUTIVE ORDER GOES THROUGH APRIL 3RDRD. BUT WE ONLY CAN TAKE ACTION FOR SEVEN DAYS. SO WE'LL NEED TO RENEW EVEN BEFORE THE GOVERNOR'S ORDER IS UP?

>> THAT'S CORRECT. >> WE WANT TO BE PURPOSEFULLY

[00:05:04]

BE ABLE TO PIVOT IF WE NEED TO. I WANT TO PAUSE AND JUST THANK NOT JUST OUR CITY MANAGER, ROBERT HANNAH, BUT OTHERS WHO FOR GOSH, THE LAST 15 CONSECUTIVE DAYS HAVE WORKED ON THIS ISSUE. THERE IS NOT A HANDBOOK.

THERE IS NOT ANY SORT OF GUIDELINES ON WHAT WE SHOULD BE DOING. SO WE'RE DOING THE VERY BEST THAT WE CAN. THERE MAY BE A NEED FOR US TO MAKE A MODIFICATION, WE'VE SAID THAT FROM THE VERY BEGINNING, BUT WE'RE GOING TO DO ALL THAT WE CAN TO BE SURE THAT WE PROTECT WHILE WE SERVE THIS COMMUNITY.

>> ANY QUESTIONS FROM THE COUNCIL BEFORE THE PUBLIC HEARING? THIS ITEM DOES CALL FOR A PUBLIC HEARING. SO AT THIS TIME, I WILL OPEN UP THE PUBLIC HEARING. IS THERE ANYONE WHO WOULD LIKE TO SPEAK EITHER FOR OR AGAINST? IF SO, PLEASE COME FORWARD TO GIVE YOUR NAME FOR THE RECORD. SEEING NO ONE, I'LL CLOSE THE PUBLIC HEARING. DOES COUNCIL HAVE ANY ADDITIONAL QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS? IF NOT, I'LL ACCEPT A MOTION AND A SECOND.

>> SO MOVED. >> MOTION BY COUNCILMAN MCALISTER AND A SECOND BY COUNCILMAN HURT.

ANY FURTHER DISCUSSION? >> READY TO VOTE.

>> ROLL CALL. ALTHOUGH ITEM 3 IS PULLED, AND

[3. Resolution: Receive a Report, Hold a Discussion and Public Hearing, and Take Action on Temporarily Suspending the Requirements of the Public Information Act]

NOT UNDER CONSIDERATION, I THOUGHT IT WOULD BE PRUDENT FOR STANLEY JUST TO HAVE A CONVERSATION ABOUT THE THOUGHT PROCESS AROUND AGENDA ITEM NUMBER 3.

>> SURE, MAYOR. THANK YOU.

THERE IS A PROVISION IN THE PUBLIC INFORMATION ACT THAT HAS BEEN PRESENT FOR A LONG TIME. IT'S NOT REALLY TIED TO THE CURRENT LOCAL DISASTER. BUT IT ALLOWS A COMMUNITY OR A LOCAL GOVERNMENT, WHETHER IT BE A SCHOOL DISTRICT OR COUNTY OR A CITY OR SOME OTHER TYPE OF ENTITY THAT IS SUBJECT TO THE PUBLIC INFORMATION ACT. IF THERE IS SOME SORT OF DISASTER OR SOME SORT OF SITUATION, YOU KNOW, SAY THE HURRICANE THAT WE HAD DOWN ON THE COAST THAT TEMPORARILY HINDERS A LOCAL GOVERNMENT FROM COMPLYING WITH THE PUBLIC INFORMATION ACT, THAT THE GOVERNMENTAL BODY CAN SAY FOR THE TIME BEING, WE'RE GOING TO SUSPEND THAT FOR SEVEN DAYS AND FOR UP TO ANOTHER SEVEN DAYS, THAT IS AS LONG AS YOU CAN SUSPEND IT, UP TO 14 DAYS. THAT ALLOWS DURING THAT TIME OF LOCAL DISASTER, TO KIND OF PUT EVERYTHING ON HOLD FOR THAT TIME PERIOD AND THEN AFTER THE 14 DAYS, THE REQUIREMENT TO RESPOND TO THOSE PUBLIC INFORMATION REQUESTS KICKS BACK IN. SO IT DOESN'T PREVENT PEOPLE FROM MAKING REQUESTS. IT DOESN'T STOP THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT FROM HAVING TO RESPOND TO THOSE REQUESTS.

IT KIND OF JUST PUTS EVERYTHING IN A HOLDING PATTERN, FOR JUST A PERIOD OF TIME WHILE THE LOCAL DISASTER IS GOING ON.

THAT IS REALLY ALL IT DOES. IT'S NOT USED VERY OFTEN.

BUT I'VE BEEN KIND OF TRACKING WHAT ENTITIES ARE FOLLOWING IT.

THE ATTORNEY GENERAL HAS A SITE THAT SHOWS THOSE THINGS PUBLICLY. IN THE LAST COUPLE OF WEEKS, IT'S GONE FROM ONE OR TWO, I JUST CHECKED IT TO ABOUT 23 TYPE OF ENTITIES THAT HAVE REQUESTED THAT AT THIS POINT.

I ANTICIPATE IT TO INCREASE, BUT IT'S NOT SOMETHING THAT IS

A DIRE SITUATION AT THIS POINT. >> ONE THING THAT WE TRY TO POSTURE IS PLAN FOR THE VERY WORST SCENARIO.

AT THE SAME TIME PRAY AND HOPE FOR THE BEST.

TO BE IN A SITUATION THAT WE CAN RESPOND APPROPRIATELY.

AND SO THE DEMANDS OF INFORMATION IS TO RESPOND WITHIN TEN DAYS. WELL, WE'RE NOT THERE.

I DON'T THINK WE'LL GET THERE. BUT THERE COULD BE A SITUATION WHERE DYNAMICS COULD CHANGE. AND CITY HALL IS THEN DARK.

THEN TO COMPLY WITH THE LAW, I THINK STAFF'S RECOMMENDATION WAS THIS PROVISION HELPS US. BRIEF CONVERSATION, I DON'T THINK WE'RE THERE YET. SO IT'S PULLED.

IT'S NOT UNDER CONSIDERATION. BUT NOT KNOWING EVEN WHAT TOMORROW LOOKS LIKE, IT MAY BE BEFORE YOU IN THE FUTURE DIFFERENTLY. BUT WE WANT TO PROVIDE THAT INFORMATION. YOU WANT TO SAY ANYTHING MR.

HANNAH? >> I DO, MAYOR.

OUR JOB AS STAFF MEMBERS IS TO GIVE COUNCIL ALL OF THE OPPORTUNITIES TO MAKE THE DECISIONS THAT THEY'RE ELECTED TO DO. SO THAT IS REALLY WHAT WE'RE DOING HERE, JUST TO DO THAT. HAPPY TO GO IN WHATEVER DIRECTION COUNCIL WANTS. WE'VE TABLED THIS ITEM FOR NOW.

IF WE NEED IT AGAIN, WE'LL BRING IT UP.

>> STAFF AND THEIR DILIGENCE PROVIDES RECOMMENDATIONS TO US AND ULTIMATELY IT'S UP TO THE POLICY MAKERS TO MAKE THE DECISION. AT THIS TIME WE'RE PULLING THAT. I WANTED TO PAUSE AND PROVIDE AN OPPORTUNITY FOR YOU TO BE AWARE OF THAT.

>> CAN I ASK A QUESTION OF STANLEY?

AM I ALLOWED TO DO THAT? >> WHEN IT SAYS, I GOT AN

[00:10:03]

E-MAIL ABOUT THAT THIS MORNING, THAT IS WHY I'M THINKING ABOUT THIS. WE'RE NOT DOING ANYTHING TODAY.

BUT THIS WOULD NOT SUSPEND PUBLIC INFORMATION.

IT WOULD JUST DELAY THE AMOUNT OF TIME FOR US TO RESPOND TO

IT. >> THAT'S CORRECT.

>> SO WE'RE NOT SHUTTING DOWN INFORMATION.

WE'RE NOT WITHHOLDING INFORMATION.

IT'S JUST THAT IF WE'RE DARK AND PEOPLE ARE HAVING TO WORK FROM HOME AND THERE IS NOBODY HERE.

THEN WHAT IS A BUSINESS DAY AT THAT POINT.

IT'S JUST A PAUSE BASED UPON THE LOCAL DISASTER.

>> THANK YOU. >> THE WHOLE THOUGHT PROCESS IS TO PUT THE CITY IN THE BEST POSITION AVAILABLE.

WHEN I SAY SEVEN DAYS A WEEK, I REALLY MEAN SEVEN DAYS A WEEK.

IN FACT, YOU EVEN HAVE STAFF WORKING ALL DAY YESTERDAY IN PREPARATION FOR THINGS COMING UP THIS WEEK.

[4. Resolution: Receive a Report, Hold a Discussion and Public Hearing, and Take Action on Approving a Chapter 380 Agreement with the United Way of Abilene]

WANT TO PROVIDE THE INFORMATION.

WE'LL NOW MOVE TO ITEM NUMBER 4.

I'LL ASK ROBERT HANNAH TO PRESENT THIS ITEM.

>> THANK YOU, MAYOR. MY COMPUTER HERE WAKES BACK UP AGAIN. SO WHAT IS BEFORE YOU TODAY IS A CHAPTER 380 AGREEMENT AND THIS CHAPTER 380 AGREEMENT WOULD ALLOW THE CITY OF ABILENE TO PARTNER WITH THE UNITED WAY AND ANY OF THEIR PARTNER AGENCIES.

THE CHAPTER 380 OF THE TEXAS LOCAL GOVERNMENT CODE ALLOWS THE CITY TO PROVIDE AN ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM, INCLUDING PUBLIC EMPLOYEES LABOR. AND IN THE PAST, WE'VE BEEN IN SITUATIONS LIKE WITH THE TORNADO WHERE CITY EMPLOYEES HAVE GONE TO WORK FOR 211 TEMPORARILY, JUST TO ANSWER CALLS. AT 11 O'CLOCK TODAY, WE HAVE EMPLOYEES THERE NOW ANSWERING CALLS.

I WOULD LIKE TO PUT THIS UNDER THE COVER OF THE LAW AND ACTUALLY HAVE A LEGAL DOCUMENT THAT SAYS I'M AUTHORIZED TO DO THIS. AND SO THIS WOULD ALLOW US TO HAVE THAT DOCUMENT. IT ALSO ALLOWS POTENTIALLY THE OPPORTUNITY FOR FUNDING, DIRECT FUNDING IF THAT SHOULD EVER BE NECESSARY. HOW WOULD THAT COME INTO PLAY? WELL, IF THE FOOD BANK NEEDS ASSISTANCE.

IF RENTAL HOUSING NEEDS ASSISTANCE.

IF PEOPLE NEED ASSISTANCE WITH UTILITY BILLS, BASIC NEEDS AND FOR WHATEVER REASON WE'RE THE LAST MAN STANDING, SO TO SPEAK, AND WE HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO HELP, THEN WE CAN HELP.

THIS CREATES A FORMAL PROCESS WHERE THAT IS ALLOWED UNDER THE LAW. I DON'T ANTICIPATE THAT TODAY.

BUT AT THE SAME TIME, I'M TRYING TO CONTEMPLATE, I'M THINKING TEN CHESS MOVES OUT. WE'RE TRYING TO MAKE SURE WE HAVE EVERY OPPORTUNITY TO ASSIST OUR COMMUNITY AND OUR CITIZENS AND OUR NEIGHBORS TO THE BEST OF OUR ABILITY.

AT THE END OF THE DAY, THIS IS THEIR MONEY.

AND THIS COULD ALLOW US TO GET IT BACK TO THEM IF NECESSARY.

>> SO OUR PUBLIC CEOS, OUR SUPERINTENDENTS, CITY MANAGER, ALL HAVE MADE DECISIONS TO PAY THEIR STAFF.

SO WE HAVE INDIVIDUALS THAT ARE ON THE PAYROLL.

SO DECISION IS MADE. SO WE HAVE EMPLOYEES, WE'RE REDUCING SERVICES, CAN REALLOCATE THEIR WORK TOWARDS THE BETTER OF OUR COMMUNITY. THIS ALLOWS US TO DO SO IN A TRANSPARENT WAY. SO RATHER THAN JUST DO THIS, WE WANT TO PUT IT BEFORE THE COMMUNITY, ALLOW THE COMMUNITY TO PARTICIPATE IN A CONVERSATION AND REALLY ALLOW US TO BE SUCCESSFUL IN SOME OF THOSE THINGS WE TALKED ABOUT, THAT WE MAY NEED DOWN THE ROAD. 70 PERCENT OF ALL BUSINESS IN ABILENE OR EMPLOYEES ARE IN THE SERVICE INDUSTRY.

BECAUSE OF THE CURRENT CLIMATE AND RESTRICTIONS, THE NUMBER OF FAMILIES, OUR NEIGHBORS, WHO ARE GOING TO BE IN NEED.

SO WE WANT TO DO OUR PART. COUNCIL HAVE ANY QUESTIONS FOR

THE PUBLIC HEARING? >> ROBERT, IS THERE ANY TYPE OF TIME LIMIT? WE'RE NOT FUNDING LONG TERM JOBS. I JUST WANT TO MAKE A CLARIFICATION ON THAT. JUST IN TIMES OF NEED, CORRECT?

>> TIMES OF NEED. FRANKLY, I WOULD RENEW IT WITH COUNCIL IF I EVER DID IT AGAIN. THIS IS REALLY FOR THE COVID-19

RESPONSE. >> THANK YOU.

>> QUESTIONS OF COUNCIL BEFORE THE PUBLIC HEARING?

>> YOU KNOW, YOU MENTIONED THE TORNADO THAT WE HAD AND HOW ABILENE CAME TOGETHER. AND I THINK THIS IS JUST ANOTHER TYPE OF STORM. I MEAN, IT'S NOT A WEATHER STORM. IT'S AN ECONOMIC STORM THAT WE'RE GOING THROUGH. I THINK THIS WILL SHOW HOW THE PEOPLE OF ABILENE COME TOGETHER AND HELP EACH OTHER.

SO I APPRECIATE THE OPPORTUNITY THAT WE'RE GOING TO HAVE TO HELP PEOPLE. AND I THINK IT'S GREAT.

I THINK THAT IS WHAT MAKES US DIFFERENT.

WHEN YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT SOME OTHER CITIES AND COUNTIES AND STATES HAVING ISSUES, BUT THEY'RE NOT ABILENE.

AND THIS IS WHAT I THINK MAKES ABILENE GREAT, WE'RE WILLING TO HELP EACH OTHER OUT REGARDLESS OF WHAT IT COSTS.

>> QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS OF COUNCIL BEFORE THE PUBLIC

HEARING? >> JUST TO ANSWER YOUR STATEMENT OR QUESTION, THERE IS A ONE YEAR END TO THE CHAPTER

[00:15:05]

380. IT CAN END EARLIER, BUT IT CANNOT EXTEND MORE THAN A YEAR IN TERMS OF THE CONTRACT.

>> AT THIS TIME WE'RE NOT WRITING A CHECK.

WE'RE JUST ALLOWING OUR EMPLOYEES WHO ARE ON THE PAYROLL OF THE CITY TO PARTICIPATE IN SERVING OUR

NEIGHBORS. >> MAYOR, ANY FUNDING REQUEST WOULD HAVE TO GO THROUGH THE SAME CHANNELS AND PROCEDURES REQUIRED UNDER STATE LAW. IF WE DID SOMETHING OVER $50,000, IT WOULD HAVE TO COME TO COUNCIL FOR APPROVAL.

IF COUNCIL WANTED ME TO BRING ANYTHING UNDER $50,000, YOU COULD DIRECT ME TO DO THAT NOW. MY INTENTION IS TO HAVE A TOOL

AVAILABLE IF IT'S NECESSARY. >> WE KNOW THERE WILL BE A NEED FOR US TO RESPOND. ANY OTHER QUESTIONS BEFORE THE PUBLIC HEARING? THIS ITEM DOES CALL FOR A PUBLIC HEARING. SO AT THIS TIME, I'LL OPEN UP THE PUBLIC HEARING. IS THERE ANYONE WHO WOULD LIKE TO EITHER FOR OR AGAINST THIS ITEM? IF SO, PLEASE COME FORWARD TO GIVE YOUR NAME FOR THE RECORD.

SEEING NO ONE, I WILL CLOSE THE PUBLIC HEARING? COUNCIL HAVE ANY ADDITIONAL COMMENTS OR QUESTIONS? WE HAVE A MOTION BY COUNCILMAN CRAVER.

WE'RE READY TO VOTE. >> ROLL CALL.

MOTION CARRIES. >> 11:31 A.M.

>> BEFORE WE DISMISS, MAYOR, IF WE KNOW, CAN YOU ADDRESS HOW THE COUNCIL MEETING WILL BE HANDLED THURSDAY, WITH REGARD TO PUBLIC INPUT AND THE MEETING SIZE, ET CETERA?

>> STAN, DO YOU HAVE ANY CONCERNS WITH THAT AT ALL?

>> PERFECT. >> WE WILL BE EXERCISING THE NEW PROVISIONS OF THE TEXAS OPEN MEETING ACT THAT ALLOW USES TO CONTINUE PUBLIC BUSINESS BY BROADCASTING ON CHANNEL 2. WE'LL ALSO HAVE A DIAL-IN LINE THAT CITIZENS CAN DIAL IN THAT WILL BE ON THE AGENDA, I THINK IT'S ON THE AGENDA NOW. IT'S NOT YET.

>> IT WILL BE TODAY. >> IT WILL BE TODAY.

WE'RE STILL DOTTING OUR IS AND CROSSING OUR TS ON THE TECHNOLOGY. MANY CITIES ARE DOING IT THIS WAY. YOU'LL BE ABLE TO CALL IN, THERE MAY BE A SCREEN FROM THE STANDPOINT OF THIS IS YOUR QUESTION, ASK YOUR QUESTION. WE'RE WORKING THROUGH THE DETAILS. BUT THE BOTTOM LINE IS, THERE WILL BE A NUMBER THAT YOU CAN CALL IN SO THAT THE PUBLIC CAN PARTICIPATE. CITY HALL WILL BE CLOSED TO THE PUBLIC STARTING TOMORROW AT 8:00 A.M.

THAT IS SOMETHING THAT MANY OF OUR PEER CITIES ARE DOING.

AN EFFORT TO MAKE SURE THAT WE HELP ENCOURAGE AND PROMOTE SOCIAL DISTANCING. TO KEEP PEOPLE AWAY FROM GATHERING. I WOULDN'T THINK PEOPLE COME HANG OUT AT CITY HALL. BUT I'M TOLD THEY DO.

I'M NOT SURE WHY. THAT IS HOW WE'LL HANDLE THAT.

WILL NOT BE SHUT

* This transcript was compiled from uncorrected Closed Captioning.