Castagna, Castagno, and Castano


Castano is the 9358th most common last name in the USA ; Castagna is 17,838th

Chastain Central focuses primarily on French surnames that derive from the European Chestnut Castanea sativa, but surnames from the Castanea come also from other European languages. The Italian Castagno refers to the tree, while Castagna indicates the nut from the tree. In Spanish Castaño is the tree and Castaña is the nut. Castaña is not commonly used as a surname, but there is a town of Castana in Iowa, and there are a number of roads called Castana. This page features Italian and Spanish spellings. See also English spellings.

If you have corrections or submissions to this page, you may use the Submit Content Form. Use the Index below to go to specific names, or you may use Ctrl+F in most systems to search this page. Please report broken links.

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Index to Topics

Prominent Biographies
General Biographies
Crime Fighters
Arts and Film
Place Names and Miscellaneous

Index to Topics
Prominent Biographies

Though there are many prominent individuals with these surnames, three stand out among the rest.

Andrea del Castagno, Artist
(1423 - 1457)

Last SupperFrom the Web Gallery of Art (see also for samples of art works):

Andrea del Castagno (originally Andrea di Bartolodi Bargilla), one of the most influential 15th-century Italian Renaissance painters, best known for the emotional power and naturalistic treatment of figures in his work.

Little is known of Castagno's early life, and it is also difficult to ascertain the stages of his artistic development owing to the loss of many of his paintings. As a youth, he was precocious. He executed a mural of Cosimo de' Medici's adversaries (rebels hanging by their heels) at the Palazzo del Podestà in Florence, earning him the byname Andreino degli Impiccati ("Little Andrea of the Hanged Men"). It is known that he went to Venice in 1442, and frescoes in San Zaccaria are signed and dated by both him and Francesco da Faenza.

His first notable works were a Last Supper and three scenes from the Passion of Christ, all for the former Convent of Sant'Apollonia in Florence, now known as the Cenacolo di Sant'Apollonia and also as the Castagno Museum. These monumental frescoes, revealing the influence of Masaccio's pictorial illusionism and Castagno's own use of scientific perspective, received wide acclaim. In his altarpiece painting of the Assumption of the Virgin for San Miniato fra le Torri in Florence, Castagno's style more closely resembled International Gothic.

In 1451 Castagno continued the frescoes at San Egidio begun earlier by Domenico Veneziano. The light tones that Castagno adopted for his outstanding St Julian (1454-55) show Veneziano's influence.

In a work for a loggia of the Villa Carducci Pandalfini at Legnaia, Castagno broke with earlier styles and painted a larger-than-life-size series of Famous Men and Women, within a painted frame (now in the Castagno Museum, Florence). Passion of SebastianIn this work, Castagno displayed more than mere craftsmanship; he portrayed movement of body and facial expression, creating dramatic tension. Castagno set the figures in painted architectural niches, thus giving the impression that they are actual sculptural forms. He achieved similar force in his Youthful David (National Gallery, Washington, D.C.), painted on a shield. His last dated work (Florence Cathedral) is an equestrian portrait of Niccolò da Tolentino.

Passion of Muhammad Ali

Castagno's emotionally expressive realism was strongly influenced by Donatello, and Castagno's work in turn influenced succeeding generations of Florentine and Paduan painters. --From the Web Gallery of Art. This text along with the Last Supper and the Passion of Sebastian appear here by permission of the Web Gallery of Art. Guardian Unlimited reports the interesting fact that Castagno's A.D. 1450 painting of martyr Saint Sebastian stuck with many arrows served as the inspiration for the cover of American Esquire's April 1968 issue featuring Muhammad Ali, newly stripped of his world heavyweight crown because of his refusal to be drafted to Vietnam.

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Giovanni Battista Castagna, Pope Urban VII

Giovanni Battista CastagnaGiovanni Battista Castagna was born in Rome on August 4,1521. He served the Vatican as a diplomat with assignments in France, Spain, and other places. He was also a significant contributor at the Council of Trent. He became Archbishop of Rossano in the Kingdom of Naples in 1553 and Cardinal in 1583. Upon the death of Sixtus V, Castagna was elected the 228th Pope on September 15, 1590. He took the name Urban VII. Many remember the short 34-day tenure of Pope John Paul I in 1978. That of Pope Urban VII was even shorter. In fact it is the shortest in history—only 13 days. Though he was a vigorous man, he contracted malaria a few days after his election and died on September 27 at 70 years old. However, in his few days as Pope, he showed his kindness and his concern for the poor by arranging practical relief.
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Vanessa Dingledine Castagna, Chairman of Mervyns
(1950- )

Vanessa CastagnaShe appeared three times on Fortune's list of 50 Most Powerful Women in American Business, but October, 2004 introduced an entirely new list—Forbes’ The 100 Most Powerful Women in the World, and Vanessa Castagna, Executive Vice President, Chair, and Chief Executive Officer of J.C. Penney Stores, Catalog and Internet came in at #38!

Following her graduation from Purdue University in 1971 with a degree in psychology and speech communication, Vanessa joined Lazarus, a division of Federated Department Stores and discovered that she loved retail. She later worked for Target and then for Wal-Mart. In 1996, Vanessa, became senior vice-president and general merchandise manager at Wal-Mart's stores division and was widely credited with revitalizing its apparel business by improving quality and merchandise assortment.

On July 14, 1999 she was tapped by troubled J.C. Penney as executive vice-president and CEO of its stores, merchandising, and catalog division. She was in the running for the corporate CEO job in 2000 but lost out to turn-around artist Allen Questrom who had restored Neiman Marcus to health and rescued Federated Department Stores. However, Questrom and Castagna held very compatible visions of what was needed at Penney, and Vanessa was instrumental in driving the changes that improved Penney’s business, such as centralized buying and shipping, and improved fashions. There was speculation that she was being sought for the top spot at Sears. In 2001, she was appointed executive vice president and chief operating officer at J. C. Penney.

When Questrom announced his resignation for December of 2003, Vanessa was considered by many analysts to be his likely replacement. After the surprise choice of Mike Ullman of Macy’s, Vanessa Castagna resigned. She received about $3 Million in conjunction with her departure. Castagna was Questrom's choice for CEO, and he was disappointed that she did not get the position. He said that he “had considered it his job to ‘help her get to the next level.’ But because he needed her focused on the turnaround, she could not join corporate boards or take on other challenges that might have rounded out her resume and made a difference in the chief executive race.” (Star-Telegram, January 3, 2005.) He ascribed to her a pivotal role in improving J. C. Penney's merchandise, stores, and operations, and in building a strong management team.

After Vanessa’s resignation, other large companies were rumored to be interested in her. The most persistent speculation concerned May Department Stores, whose chairman and chief executive, Gene S. Kahn, resigned suddenly in mid-January, 2005. But when that position went to John Dunham, Vanessa was snapped up by Cerberus Capital Management LP, a private-equity firm, to be chair of the Mervyn's retail chain. Almost immediately, there was speculation that Cerberus was trying to acquire J. C. Penney's and that it might become part of Vanessa's portfolio. What a sweet turn of events that would be. But it did not happen.

In 2002, Vanessa wrote a 28 page booklet, J.C. Penney Company, Inc.: a century of timeless values, published by The Newcomen Society of the United States. Vanessa has been a visible advocate for such children's programs as the YMCA of the USA, Boys & Girls Clubs of America and 4-H, among others. Forbes Top 100 List 2004
Vanessa Castagna 2003 interview about the Penney’s turnaround

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Index to Topics
General Biographies Name Index
Asterisks indicate links to Special Articles. Use back arrow to return. Other names are listed alphabetically below.
See also: Castagna and related names in Outer Space!

1. Ashley*
2. Bruna
3. Cary
4. Errica*
5. Giovanni
6. Dr. John P.
7. Paolo
8. Robert
9. Robert
10. Vanessa
11. William John
1. Andrea

1. Carlos
2. Catalina*
3. Francesco*
4. Franco
5. Gonzalo
6. Grace del Rosario
7. Javier
8. Megan

Andrea del Castagno (Renaissance Artist). See Chastain Central biography

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Ashley Castagna (Gymnast). See more at Chastain Sportsdesk.

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Bruna Castagna, 1905-1983 (Operatic Mezzo-Soprano)

Bruna Castagna

Bruna was born October 15, 1905 in Bari, Italy, near Milan. She is referred to on occasion as an alto or a contralto, but she is best known as a powerful mezzo-soprano. She had only three months of vocal lessons before she made her opera début in Mantua as Nurse Marina in Boris Godunov in 1925. Bruna was at La Scala from 1925-28. In Barcelona one of her signature roles was as Carmen. She was offered a contract to perform at the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires, where she sang for three seasons.

She first sang in the U.S. at the undesirable Hippodrome in 1933. Bruna Castagna AdShe didn't understand the sort of place it was until she saw it, but on March 2, 1936, she débuted at the Metropolitan Opera in New York as Amneris in Aida and there sang for 10 seasons. She was introduced on the August 8, 1937 Charlie McCarthy Show as a "Sensational new star of the metropolitan opera company who in one season has climbed the ladder to the very top of the operatic ladder." She recorded Verdi's Requiem and Beethoven's Missa Solemnis with Toscanini. Her last public appearance was as Carmen in Philadelphia in 1950. She died July 10, 1983 in Pinamar, Argentina. Bruna was also a pianist. An odd fact about Bruna Castagna is that her name can translate as Brown Brown. Her last name means chestnut which can refer either to the tree or the (brown) color.
Charlie McCarthy Show Episode
Charlie McCarthy Show

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Carlos Castaño 1965-2004? (Paramilitary Leader). In the midst of the conflict and political strife in Columbia, Carlos Castaño fought drug traffickers and left-wing guerrillas for twenty years. He organized the powerful paramilitary organization called the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia or Autodefensas Unidas de Colombia (AUC). At 20,000 strong, it is a force to be reckoned with.

Carlos Castaño first became a paramilitary leader in the late 1980s when he helped create a force for Medellin cocaine cartel leader Gonzalo Rodriguez Gacha to oppose leftist rebels who interfered with his cocaine trade. Later, his older brother, Fidel Castaño, organized a civilian self-defense militia when the government was unable to protect ranchers and landowners in Cordoba against the rebels. Fidel's self-defense group was demobilized after a peace agreement was reached, but when conflict broke out anew, Carlos Castaño reactivated the militia in 1993. In 1996, he united all the self-defense groups in the country into the AUC. Under Castaño, the AUC has killed thousands of civilians suspected of working with Marxist rebels. Sometimes, the AUC works in conjunction with the government against the leftists.

Castaño's 2001 autobiography, My Confession was a best seller in Columbia. In the book, he admits to ordering assassinations, including those of government officials thought to be sympathetic to the Marxists. Carlos Castaño is wanted in the United States on five counts of drug trafficking, as the AUC became involved in cocaine to fund their organization. In November 2004, the Columbian Supreme Court authorized Castaño's extradition to the U.S, though many believe him to be dead.

On April 16, 2004, Castaño and his body guards were ambushed at a store. Reports vary. One witness says that Castaño was killed trying to escape, another that he was taken to a farm and tortured for two days before he was killed. Other rumors are that he is alive and hiding in Panama, Israel, or the United States. We may never know. When he went missing, Castaño's wife, Kenia Gomez, and their infant daughter were rushed to the United States, where the little girl is receiving treatment for a congenital condition. Interview with Carlos Castaño, The Washington Post, March 12, 2001.

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Cary Castagna (Police Reporter). Cary Castagna is a police reporter for the Winnipeg Sun. See his list of articles.

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Catalina Castano 1979- (Tennis Player). Catalina was born in Pereira, Risaralda, Columbia, South America on July 7, 1979. She lives in Sarasota, Florida. She began playing tennis at age 10 and turned pro in 1998. See stats and more biography at Chastain Sportsdesk.

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Errica Castagna (Gymnast). See more at Chastain Sportsdesk.

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Franco Castano (Photojournalist). Many of the Associated Press articles for which Franco provides photographs are about Italy, and Naples news events are prominent among them, so perhaps Franco serves the Associated Press near this area.

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Francesco Castano (Body Builder). At 15, Francesco was a gangly weakling, but determined to change his image. Now he is a body building guru. See more at Chastain Sportsdesk.

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Giovanni Battista Castagna 1521-1590 (Pope Urban VII). See Chastain Central biography.

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Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano (Golfer). This golfer from Madrid, Spain is best known for his surprising win of the Dutch Open on June 12, 2005. He was ranked number 421 in the world. The 24-year-old was playing in only his 16th event as a professional but edged longtime leader Gary Emerson of England to take first place. He was one shot behind Emerson going into the final round but shot a 67 to finish at 11 under par, winning by two shots. See a News Report of the event.

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Grace del Rosario Castano (President of Johnson & Johnson (Philippines), Inc.). Grace is Johnson & Johnson's first female president in the Philippines. She is also a board member of ECRP (Efficient Consumer Response-Philippines), an intercorporate association for improvement, made up of manufacturers, distributors, retailers, and service providers. In 2005, she won the Agora Award for marketing management. The Agora Awards pay tribute to world-class companies for their marketing excellence.

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Javier Castaño (Journalist). Javier gained 20 years of journalistic experience as a correspondent for Colombian newspaper El Tiempo, reporter for the New York Daily News, and reporter for El Diario before leaving El Diario around 1990 to help start up Hoy, where he served as News Director. El Diario La Prensa and Hoy are main rivals for Spanish readers in New York City. El Diario La Prensa has been in business almost a hundred years. Hoy is now part of the Chicago Tribune Company. In April 2005, Javier came back to El Diario La Prensa as Managing Editor. Javier Castaño is author of New York Colombiano.

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Dr. John P. Castagna (Institute Director). Dr. Castagna holds the Edward Lamb McCullough Chair in Geology and Geophysics at the University of Oklahoma and is Director of the Institute for Exploration and Development Geosciences there. He specializes in geophysical reservoir characterization and seismic lithologic analysis. He holds a Ph.D. in Geophysics from the University of Texas at Austin and has published more than 100 papers. John joined ARCO's well logging research group in 1980, and then ARCO International Oil and Gas Co., with responsibility for offshore China and Russia exploration. He worked with ARCO in a variety of capacities, except for a few years with Vastar Resources, until he came to the University of Oklahoma in 1996. He is very active in the Society of Exploration Geophysicists (SEG), and was named Distinguished Lecturer in 1995.


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Megan Clancy Castano (Program Director). Megan works for Family Promise, which organizes and provides support for 112 Interfaith Hospitality Networks around the country that offer shelter, meals, and support services to temporarily homeless families. She graduated in 1997 from Villanova University and received her Master of Arts in Public Communication from American University.

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Paolo Castagna, (Managing Director Fiat India). Paolo has been with Fiat since 1988. On June 1, 2005, he became managing director of troubled Fiat India, which had performed poorly against aggressive competition in India. Previously, Paolo served as managing director, marketing and manufacturing in Austria and Germany.

Castagna quickly re-organized the management structure of Fiat India, addressed service standards, and targeted the premium end of its product line for promotion. This was followed by drastic price cuts of certain models in order to take on the competition and increase market share. Fiat India also benefits from additional capital investment.

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Robert "Bob" Castagna (Catholic Public Policy Spokesman). Robert Castagna is General Counsel and Executive Director of the Oregon Catholic Council, which comprises the active Bishops of Oregon. As spokesman for the OCC, Castagna advocates and promotes the perspectives of Oregon's Catholic Bishops on various issues at state and national levels. The OCC held its organizational meeting on Wednesday, Jan. 17, 1979, and Robert Castagna has served as Executive Director for more than 20 years. See Twenty-fifth Anniversary of OCC. Among the issues is opposition to some pro-gay legislation.

Gay issues addressed:
Oregon Civil Unions Bill 7-14-05
Senate Bill 1000 6-29-05
Marriage Amendment 9-23-04
Marriage Definition 7-9-99

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Robert Castagna (Photographer and Minister). Robert is a graduate of the New York Institute of Photography. He received their prestigious Merit Award and was featured in the Institute's Photo World Magazine as an exemplary photographer. His work has been exhibited in such venues as Boston Public Library, Danforth Museum of Art, Harvard Square, Hynes Convention Center, and the Western Gateway Heritage State Park. Awards include the Cambridge Arts Council Grant and the Award of Excellence from Photographer's Forum Magazine. He now provides wedding and event photography services, and has enjoyed several years teaching free photography courses to older adults.

Robert became part of the Church of Scientology around 1990. The Church was founded by L. Ron Hubbard, and a number of public figures are counted among its adherents, such as Tom Cruise, John Travolta, Kelly Preston, Kirstie Alley, and Jenna Elfman. Even though the U.S. Government determined Scientology to be a religion, some "cult watchers" included Scientology on their list. In 1992, Robert Castagna was one of four Church of Scientology members who filed lawsuits in the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts against one such group for violation of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Robert was ordained by the Church of Scientology, and in the summer of 2004 he established the Dorchester Scientology Volunteer Ministry to help the Massachusetts community reduce crime and violence through programs such as the Reading and Study Skills project and a non-violence program called the Way to Happiness. The reading program is for both children and adults, and they are free to anyone in Dorchester and the surrounding area no matter what religion they may hold. Robert's wife, Ksenia, a musician who has opened for Willie Nelson, Robert Cray, and the Indigo Girls, works along side her husband and is supervisor of the after-school initiative. Recently the Church of Scientology has been in the center of controversy due to the church's stand against antidepressant drugs, but the attention has had a positive rather than negative impact on Robert Castagna's outreach--more people are inquiring. In addition to his ministry with the Church of Scientology, Robert runs a Scientology prison ministry and serves as Vice President of the Religion Communication Council, an interfaith association.

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Vanessa Dingledine Castagna (Chairman of Mervyns). See Chastain Central biography.

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William John Castagna (Federal Judge). The Honorable William John Castagna is a Senior Judge of the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida with offices in Tampa, Florida. Castagna received his LLB, JD from the University of Florida in 1949 and was accepted to the Florida Bar the same year. He was appointed U.S. District Judge July 24, 1979. He assumed his current status of Senior United States District Judge in June of 1992. Before his judicial appointment, he was a partner MacKenzie, Castagna, Bennison, and Gardner. The Judge William J. Castagna Award for Judicial Excellence of Barney Masterson Inn of Court, a professional organization for judges and attorneys, is named for him.

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Index to Topics
Crime Fighters

Curt Castagna, Garden Grove Police Department, California
James Castano, FBI Agent
Philip Castagna, Police Chief, Bordentown, New Jersey
Shawn Castano, Deputy Sheriff, Dutchess County, New York
Thomas Castagna, Police Officer, Connecticut
William J. Castagna, U.S. District Judge, Florida

Index to Topics
Arts and Film


Paul Castagna, Artist and Art Restoration, Chastain General News 12-01-05 and 8-11-05
Robert Castagna, Photographer
Andrea Castagno, Renaissance Painter
Franco Castano, Photojournalist


Alexandra Castano, Opera Singer, Chastain General News 9-26-05
Bruna Castagna, Operatic Mezzo-Soprano


John P. Castagna, Geophysics
Dario Castagno, Too Much Tuscan Sun: Confessions of a Chianti Tour Guide


Mario Castagna, Producer, Performer
Terry Castagna, Performer
Flores de Castanos, Performer

IMDb, "Earth's Biggest Movie Database" has a wealth of detail on television as well as movies. Information for this section is taken primarily from IMDb. You may search IMDb for information on your other film interests.


Edward Castagna Johnny Trouble (1957)
Jacopo Castagna The House of Chicken (2001)
Joe Castagna How's Your Love Life? (1971); That Tender Touch (1969); appearances on Wild Wild West
Stacey Castagna Threat (2005)
Dino Castagno Bad Trip (1988) (TV)

Film Staff and Crew

Alexis Castagna Miscellaneous Crew, Safety in Numbers (2005); Dark Love Story (2004)
Carolyn Castagna Art Department, Hamlet (2000/I)
Marc Castagna Miscellaneous Crew, various projects
Marco Castagna Writer, Soft Air (1997); Miscellaneous Crew, La Ribelle (1993)
Marq A. Castagna Cinematographer, Get Goosed (2002); Miscellaneous Crew, Mercenary (1997) (TV)
Patrizia Castagna Writer, Soft Air (1997)
Rosario Castagna Producer, The Lovable Cheat (1949)
Melchor Castano Miscellaneous Crew, That Marino Thing (1999)
Michelle Castano Miscellaneous Crew, Two Brothers (2004)
Sandra Castano Production Manager, Two Brothers (2004)

Index to Topics

Armand Castagna, Fishing
Ashley Castagna, Gymnastics
Brian Castagna, Swimming
Ericca Castagna, Gymnastics
James Castagna, Golf
Justin Castagna, Basketball
Samantha Castagna, Rodeo

Brandon Castania, Soccer

Beth Castagno, Special Olympics Volunteer
Pat Castagno, Track Coaching

Carlos Castano, Bicycling
Catalina Castano, Tennis
Francesco Castano, Bodybuilding
Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano, Golf
Natalie Castano, Basketball

Index to Topics

Castagna Commerce
Castagna Realty
Castagna Construction

Castagna Wines from Julian Castagna's Australian vineyard. Ric Castagna, graphic design and software development.

Castagna Commerce Park Commercial properties.

Castagna Construction Commercial, industrial, institutional.

Castagna Realty Commercial properties.

Giuseppe Castagna Computer programming, France.

John Castagna Seismic Analysis, Reservoir Geophysics, and Petrophysics.

Robert Castagna Wedding and event photography.

Screen Play Marketplace Oscar Castagna's clearing house for screenplays.

Index to Topics
Place Names and Miscellaneous

Castagna Coachbuilders, Milan, Italy. Makers of exquisite automobile bodies that were much in demand by the rich and famous during the 1920s and 1930s.
Castagna Restaurant and Cafe, Portland, Oregon. Popular upscale restaurant. See reviews at Gayot and in the Portland Tribune. Website

Castana, Iowa and Castana Elementary School.

Judge William J. Castagna Award for Judicial Excellence. Named for Federal Judge William John Castagna.

Streets. The following links lead to specific details at Melissa Data, an excellent resource for streets in America.
Castagna, Mayo, FL; Wellfleet, MA.
Castana, 14 in CA; Palm Bay, FL; Port Saint Lucie, FL; Willow Spring, NC; Papillion, NE; Leechburg, PA; Guaynabo, PR.
Castano, 14 in CA; 4 in PR; 3 in AZ; 2 in FL and NM; 1 each in AR, MA, NV, NY, OH, and TX.

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