Modified with your suggestion:

def tverify(str, ie)
  puts "\n"
  puts "Checking for text '#{str}'."
  print "Actual Result: "
  if ie.text.include? str
    puts "Test Passed. Found the string: '#{str}'.  Valid"
  else
    puts "  !ERROR!   Test Failed!  Could not find: '#{str}'."
  end
end

def lifollow(str, ie)
  puts "\n"
  puts "Verifying '#{str}'.  "
  print "Actual Result:"
  if ie.li(:id, str).exist?
    puts "Found the link: '#{str}'.  Following link."
    ie.li(:id, str).click
    sleep(1)
  else
    puts "  !ERROR!   Test Failed!  Could not find: '#{str}'."
  end
end


Thanks for the tip.

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