Friday, April 25, 2008

Greene Sweep

RECENTLY, according to Press reports and other sources: The body of Joshua Szostak, a college student who been missing since December after a party in Albany, washed up near Coxsackie Boat Launch. Windham’s Chamber Music Festival and its VFW post received grants from the Legacy Banks Foundation. Ray Rivera, co-manager of Wal-Mart’s Catskill Commons outlet, was feted, at a Second Baptist Church event, for services to the community. Earth Day (4/19) was observed in New Baltimore by means of a Conservancy-organized Hudson shoreline cleanup party; in Acra by means of a three-hour program, at Cornell Co-operative Extension’s Agroforestry Resources Center, on living in GreeneLand more greenishly; and in a Dick Nelson newspaper column opining that “Between air pollution, acid rain, high levels of mercury and PCB’s in fish, viral hemorrhagic septicemia (VHS), Chronic Wasting Disease, oil spills, global warming and our troops fighting a war in Iraq and Afghanistan, it’s a wonder there is anything left.” So “go out and enjoy” the day. At the Athens Cultural Center, for the Greene County Camera Club, Fawn Potash adumbrated “Art and Work.” A State Department of Transportation traffic engineer warned that completion of the giant Walgreen’s store at the Grandview Avenue/Central Avenue/West Bridge Street intersection, will likely bring—or add to—automotive gridlock. Cairovians celebrated, on April 6th, the 200th birthday of their town’s name change; from Canton. (Why? Didn’t they speak Cantonese?). Meanwhile, stores in downtown Cairo were hit by break-ins, and the fighting feuding Cairo firefighters carried on. Sgt Rick Jacobs completed 25 years of service with Catskill’s police department, and made big travel plans, but first gets to be the centerpiece, at Anthony’s Restaurant next Saturday, of a retirement roast. In an article in the professionally eminent Journal of Cosmetic Dentistry, Dr Theodore Belfor dilated on the efficacy of his Homeoblock device, as compared with the hyaluronic acid injection approach, in achieving adult facial augmentation. (So: If I am disfigured before the treatment, what am I afterward: refigured? figured? eufigured?). GreeneLand artist Tim Watkins, creator of wondrous facilities for bestowing active esthetic experiences on children, has been relieved surgically of a big (6 inches across), fat (6 pounds), squishy, gut-crowding, non-cancerous tumor. The Catskillians-only brush dump reopened, for use only on Saturdays; according to a print advertisement it is located on “Five Mile Toad.” Second-graders at Arthur Elementary School in Athens completed a science project that started last October, with fish eggs and water tanks and nutrients in their classroom: into Kaaterskill Creek they dumped 225 brown trout.

PURRING along splendidly is the accumulation of creations for Catskill’s second Cat ‘n Around show. Last year’s artists did not exhaust the stock of imagination and word play. Among already-delivered felines are Bror Karlsson’s “Aviator Cat” (biplanes, Fokkers, Spitfires…); “Postal Kitty,” coated with hundreds, perhaps thousands, of cancelled stamps from all over, by Hizzoner, Daniel Lalor; “Catfish,”” by Stephanie Lopez (daughter of State Assemblyman Peter L.), destined to grace the sidewalk in front of the new West Bridge Street store called—of course--Fish & Friends; and a piece by N.J. Wheelock, whose 100 hours of work at gluing 106,000 bugle bees and then applying 18 coats of glaze brought forth a glowing, glittering “Starry Night in Catskill” that, we venture to predict, will challenge last year’s auction record of $4600.

SHORT-HANDED: GreeneLand’s chief public defender, Dominic J. Cornelius. His recently sidekick, Joseph Meaney, has gone back to Albany, whence he came. Mr Meaney, who was well regarded here, has joined the Public Defender’s office there, for a boost in salary and a shorter commute. He had joined the PD office here in January, as the first authorized full-time assistant. For now, Mr Cornelius can only share the work with three part-timers.

THIS WEEKEND, as depicted in the Daily Mail’s “Calendar,” the only noteworthy local Saturday event is an afternoon Social Delight hosted by Cairo-Durham High School juniors. Other sources, including, call attention to the “Seussical” that will be performed tonight, tomorrow night, and Sunday afternoon at Catskill High School. And tomorrow morning, starting at 8 o’clock, Catskillians (in particular) are invited to gather at the Village Hall (422 Main Street) for doughnuts, coffee, and the distribution of equipment for commencing a downtown Clean Sweep program. That exercise would be the perfect lead-in (with messy work clothes being a badge of honor) to the Wine & Cheese festival commences at 1pm at Beattie-Powers House in Catskill. Hosted by the Fortnightly Club in support of Village Parks, that event offers treats contributed by 16 providers plus live music by the lively luscious Lex Grey and ace piano player Albert Garzon. $22 per person, or $20 if you buy in advance at Hood & Co. That experience in turn could whet one’s appetite for the Sunday “Food and Wine Pairing” (=super dining and drinking) at Bell’s Café & Bistro in Catskill, in collaboration with Hudson wine merchants, from 4pm. The menu is stunning. The blurb says “70$” per person. 943-4070.

Those experiences could make some of us fogies ready for a Tuesday program at the Washington Irving Senior Senter, where Hollie Gray (New York Alzheimer’s Association) will dispense advice on the subject “Maintain Your Brain.”

Friday, April 18, 2008

Lesson Learned

When Jim Cunliffe was a Peace Corps volunteer in Nigeria back in 1964—42 years before coming to GreeneLand to transform a Civil War-era factory into luxury lofts--he was seized with the idea of starting a school for would-be auto mechanics. Such a school would meet an acute local need, he reasoned, and it would be a great way of utilizing his training as an engineer.

So Jim proceeded to line up a building (gathered from the UK Crown Agencies) and the necessary equipment. Among the tools he gathered, from the residue of the British Empire days, were an old Oxy-Acetylene torch that took blocks of solid Acetylene and mixed with water to create gas, and a hand pump. As soon as he had enough equipment, he put out the word that training in automotive repair was available in Enugu, free.

No response.

Before giving up on the project, after five months, Jim had a conversation with Wem and Chikwendu, the two boys who were helping to clean the shop. “Why,” he asked, “is nobody coming? This training is something they need and it’s free.”

Wem answered his question with a question: “What do you want?”

It took some time, Jim recalled to Seeing Greene, but finally he realized that the boys were saying that everybody thought there must be something insidious--political, religious, self-serving--behind this offer of “free” schooling. Armed with that insight, Jim decided to change the terms of his offer. He sent out word that a three-month course of training in automotive repair was available for the equivalent of $US50 per student. That price equaled what a trained mechanic could earn in a month.

Once the new offer got to be known, Jim recalls, “a stream of students started the course. Within weeks it turned into a flood.”

“We enlarged the curriculum, to include heavy and industrial equipment mechanics. The system soon was running twenty-four hours a day, six days a week.

“After two more years the school became the foundation of the Insuku Technical University of Nigeria.

“Even today, more than forty years later, I meet sons and daughters of students who went to the school. They are engineers and mechanics working and living all over the world.”

As for Jim, his Peace Corps experience paved the way for a career devoted to building hospitals and other structures with local partners all over the Middle East.


TOMORROW (Saturday, 4/19/08) brings, among other things, a chance to learn how to live a greener life in GreeneLand. At the Agroforestry Resources Center in Acra, Cornell Co-operative Extension sages conduct a two-hour Earth Day workshop on that subject. (518)622-9820. Later in the day, starting at about 6pm, comes a bountifully balmy Saturday Studios event in Catskill. Fanciful abstracts, new Milbourns, and sculptures by the renowned Lubomir Tomaszewski occupy The M gallery (350 Main). Four New York City artists dwell on “Ado/Obsolescence”—transitions from youth to adulthood--at Gallery 384. Works curated by act Cairo sculptor, Ron Tunison, greet visitors to the Arts Council’s ground floor gallery, while food-focused paintings by Gary Shankman occupy the Upstairs Gallery (#398). Playful drawings, ceramics, and found-art objects festoon The Open (#400). Still farther up Main Street, Rudie Berkhout’s amazing lazers illuminate—and do at lot more—Play of Light, while just next door (at #462), six artists contribute to a show that Patrick Terenchin calls “Paper Products.”

MONDAY is the deadline in several GreeneLand districts for filing petitions to be put on the ballot for election to School Board seats.

DEFERRED, to an indefinite future date: The Artists’ Ledge condominium building project that was proposed, and approved officially, for the creekside area of Route 9A, where Tatiana’s Restaurant currently sits. Will there be more postponements? Hamlet on Hudson, for example?

DECLARED by Greene County Bancorp Inc.: a quarterly dividend increase of a penny per share, to 16 cents. If that boost is repeated in future quarters, an investor who buys company shares at the current price, of $13.20 per unit, would receive a return on investment of almost 5 per cent. A new BGC branch opened recently in Chatham, endowed with a cyber café, thereby giving new meaning to the phrase “full-service bank.” An eleventh branch will be opened in Ravena. It will occupy a former McDonald’s outlet (inspiring an Albany Business Review wag to put that news under the headline “Would you like a loan with that?”).

SPEAKING of business, or of industry, or maybe of rare marine phenomena, the Daily Maul reports that “…the business industry has really started to bring its head above water.”

Friday, April 11, 2008

By the Numbers

DEPLOYED to Afghanistan, for a 15-month tour of duty as a company commander, from Fort Campbell KY, by way of Catskill High School, international karate competition, Valley Forge Military Academy, West Point, Ranger school, sniper school, mortar school, airborne school: Expert Marksman and First Lieutenant Shane Oravsky.

ALSO DEPLOYED to Afghanistan, as an intelligence analyst who is trained to interpret photographic surveillance data, from Fort Huachuca AZ, by way of Greenville High School and six years of Army service, with training at Fort Drum (NY) and Fort Bragg (NC), as a member of headquarters company of the 27th Brigade Combat Team (a 1700-soldier National Guard unit from New York, part of Joint Task Force Phoenix VII): Specialist Ian Brand.

208,000=dollars that might NOT come to GreeneLand from the Federal COPS MORE program, even though that sum is duly earmarked and on deposit. According to Sheriff Greg Seeley, this “tremendous award” is in danger of being “de-obligated” by the U.S. Department of Justice because the former sheriff, Dick Hussey, after receiving the grant back in 2002, “chose to utilize only $6,000” of it and “chose to ignore” successive opportunities to “apply for an extension.” Sheriff Seeley only learned about the fund’s existence after taking office in January. He holds out hope of re-activating the grant for use in “community policing or the establishment of a much needed Drug Task Force.” To that end, he is sharing his “earnestly distraught” feelings with in letters (from which the foregoing quotations are taken) to political heavyweights near and far.

$ICKLY: the Journal-Register Company, parent of the Kingston-based Daily Freeman newspaper and of the Hillsdale-based Independent, among its 22 dailies and 310 other publications. The company’s share price dropped 58% on Monday, down to 22 cents. It faces a mountain of debt--$620 million or thereabouts--caused chiefly by an acquisition binge. Company head James Hall says the company could be for sale.

ANOMALIES DEPT. Can a property that has been bought for around $500,000 be assessed for tax purposes for only $95,000? Yes, if it’s a condominium unit in the Town of Catskill.

DEPARTING from GreeneLand to Rockland County: Catskill Community Theatre owner P J Maisano and his wife Jessica, who is director of the Catskill Public Library. He’ll continue to run the movie house, though, and to screen independent films on Wednesday nights in the summer.

20=per cent drop in prices of homes in GreeneLand riverside communities, as estimated by a well-placed sales agent, who says lesser figures, such as 12 per cent, are unrealistic.

16=number of zithers that take up space, along with autoharps, electronic keyboards of various vintages, drums, recorders, a ukelum [sic.] and originally designed instruments (a musical pinball machine; the Dual Primates Console) in the Catskill living room of Brian Dewan. Inventing instruments (along with cousin Leon) is what Mr Dewan does when he is not occupied with song-composing, film work, photographic mural-making or play-writing (“The Yellowjacket,” evocative of the old “Green Hornet” radio series, performed at Edinburgh Fringe Festival last summer). Just another local guy.

23=free throws made, out of 25 attempts, delivered at 10-second intervals, by 9-year old Justyn Lacy in the three-State phase of a schoolboys’ competition sponsored by Elks Clubs. That score gave Justyn only (!) a second-place finish.

LICENSED at last to sell hard liquor, after a wait of eight months: the Doubles II party room on Church Street in Catskill. The new dispensation comes just in time for the special fund-raiser to be held this Saturday: a “Mostly Beatles” show, from 4pm, managed by Michael de Benedictus, to benefit Beattie-Powers Place. For more information go to web site


45,000 and 45,000=State dollars granted to Greene County and to the Village of Catskill, to be matched by local sources, for use in promoting the manifold festivities marking, in 2009, the 400th anniversary of Henry Hudson’s historic sail up what became his eponymous river.

10,000=State taxpayers’dollars allocated to Catskill’s chamber of commerce, in support of enhancing the Second Saturday Strolls promotion from June to December, thanks to a member item procured by Sen. Jim Seward.

1229=number of pinwheels stuck in conspicuous bits of land around Greene County, by Childrens Services Agency personnel, as a way of publicizing the scale of cases of child abuse and neglect that were reported in 2007. In Greene County, Ohio.

Friday, April 04, 2008

April in GreeneLand

TRANSMISSION ART is not related to cars or trucks. It’s something that is happening right here in GreeneLand. Find out by way of Wikipedia or go right to the heart of the matter, in Acra:

CLOSE CALL. A local public service agency hired an office assistant recently—and quickly turfed her out; and changed the locks on the doors. The new hire, as it turned out, was on probation after being convicted of stealing $4300 from the Parent-Teacher-Student Association of Red Hook, while operating as treasurer of that organization. She was sentenced under the name Maureen Kevan. She applied for work as a $12.15-an-hour clerk in GreeneLand under the name Maureen Leggett, of Germantown. Her PTSA escapade, however, was not what prompted her abrupt removal from a job in GreeneLand. The trigger instead was information about the disappearance from Columbia’s County’s Housing Resources Agency, by way of account shuffling, of $21,000.

COMING to Catskill's First Reformed Church, on April 18th: debut concert by the newly formed Catskill Community Orchestra, led by David Woodin (who by day is a legal scholar) and including, in the program, two of his compositions. "My music," he assures us, "is not 'modern'."

FOR SALE OR LEASE: the Catskill Point waterfront property, containing the Point restaurant plus mooring plus a takeaway hut and Stella’s Lounge. According to owner Frank Guido (845 616 2468;, tenant Steve Tanner declined to renew his five-year lease or to exercise his option to buy the property. We will miss the good jazz at Stella’s. Service in the restaurant, we will not miss.

REOPENING SOON: the café in what Catskillians know as the Mayflower Building. The new Main Street operators of Café 355 are Jeffrey and Joseph Myers, with Jeffrey, a 1998 Culinary Institute graduate, presiding as chef. They will begin with breakfast and lunch, then may add dinner time. Building owner Andrea Lowenthal says she and previous operator Bean “are both happy to see that the good karma from the community helped give Jeff and Joe the confidence to take on this venture.”

REOPENING May 2: Juniper Woods, “clothing optional nudist resort” off Schoharie Turnpike. 945-1399.

REOPENING May 15st, with ebullient chef Adam Monteverde back on the job, and with boss Owen Lipstein anticipating a “breakout summer” for the place: Stewart House in Athens.

“EXHILIRATED” is how the aforementioned Mr Lipstein describes his current mood, too, about the future of his magazine, which is now titled, without bisecting virgule, INSIDEOUT. The 15,000 printed copies of the current “Hope” issue proved to be inadequate to keep the shelves stocked. Although it’s a “controlled” (=free) publication, scores of people sent in cards requesting subscriptions. In pages and in advertising, the coming “Play” issue, to be published in late April, will be “our biggest ever. So, in this time of depression about print media, I’m allowed to feel cheerful.”

OPENING in mid-May or thereabouts, in Catskill’s former Osborn Company firehouse, across from the County Courthouse: an Armed Forces Career Center. Recruiting Sergeant Paul Echols foresees a ribbon-cutting, an open house, prizes….

DWINDLING to disturbingly low numbers: the Hudson River’s population of American shad. According to Pete Grannis, commissioner of the State’s Department of Environmental Conservation (, the downtrend dates from the early 1990’s, and current population is 70% lower than the post-1980 average, and the “primary cause” of the trend “has been over-fishing.” Emergency regulations require that sport fishermen throw back the shad they catch and that commercial operators heed new rules about acceptable gear and acceptable times and places of fishing.

DWINDLING TOO have been GreeneLand home sales. In February, according to the NYS Association of Realtors, sales of existing single-family homes were down from the February 2007 figure by 10 per cent. That shrinkage was less than the State-wide fall in sales (19%) and the Columbia County fall (16%), but more than the Ulster County decline (4%).

GROWING but, fortunately, in a small way: GreeneLand’s rate of unemployment. In February the figure, provided by the State Labor Department, was 6.2 per cent, as compared with February 2007’s 5.9%. The recent figure could signify that 6.2% of persons who are classed as members of the private sector non-farm labor force are counted officially as unemployed. Or it could signify something else. The mavens who talk glibly about an unemployment “rate” of "X per cent” habitually neglect to answer the question: “per cent of what?” At any rate , the GreeneLand percentage figure is higher than for the United State as a whole (5.2%), for New York State (5.0%), for New York City (4.8%) and for Columbia County (5.1%).

CLOSED today, for renovations until April 21, is Catskill’s Public Library. That news received page-one treatment today in GreeneLand’s foremost daily newspaper and on its web site. In the latter case the caption said Head Librarian Jessica Maisano “stands by the walls and on the floors getting painted beige and refurbished floors.” That would be the same publication has reportified lately that “Ochoa shoots takes lead in Safeway International,” that “County Sheriff’s to patrol 24 hours,” and that in the course of a bit of burglarious fumbling, “locks were broken on some commercial establishments but apparently not invaded.”

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Shades of Greenes

LITERACY CRISIS Estimates of the rate of functional illiteracy in the United States--people who can't read a street sign or a medicine label--range between 16 to 20 percent. In [this State], however, the average is 25 percent. And in Greene County the illiteracy rate is 51 per cent. More than half of the inhabitants cannot read. --Tuscaloosa (AL) News.

NO MORE CO-EDUCATION? Starting next September, all public schools in Greene County will be single-sex institutions. This bold measure was adopted by school authorities in response to persistently poor test scores by students, along with high drop-out rates and high rates of teen pregnancy. --Fort Mills (GA) Times. [National Association for Single Sex Public Education ( will hold its fourth international conference in Memphis TN on Oct. 11-12. Not mentioned in that organization’s case for single-sex schooling is the observation that separation shields boys from the truth about their inferior performance. Ed.] DIRTY DEPUTY Greene County Sheriff’s Lieutenant Leftery N. “Terry” Tsouroutis has been sentenced to serve 27 months in Federal prison for violating the Mann Act and lying to Federal agents. Lieutenant Tsouroutis transported a 19-year-old State prisoner here from Baltimore. Although she had been brought back to face charges of burglary, robbery, credit card theft, and failure to appear when required, Tsouroutis got a local magistrate to release her on an unsecured bond, with the proviso that she must have daily contact with him. For the next three months, he engaged in numerous sexual acts with the victim at various locations in Greene County. In exchange for the sex, he paid her money and kept her out of jail even when she missed court and faced new charges. His conviction, said United States Attorney John Brownlee, “affirms the important principle that no one is above the law.”

--Rockbridge (VA) News Leader.


Ten suspected street-level drug dealers operating in Greene County have been charged as part of a task force sweep. Attorney General Tom Corbett said the sweep, conducted by the Greene County Drug Task Force, concluded a six-month investigation into the sale, distribution and possession of heroin, cocaine, marijuana or prescription narcotics such as Vicodin.

--Ch 4 (Pittsburgh PA) News.


Chosen as 2009 Greene County Junior Miss, from among 12 young candidates at Saturday’s annual “fun in the sun” event, was Karen Lott, daughter of Joy and Truitt Lott. Karen also received the Self Expression and Scholastic awards. The “Be Your Best Self”’ essay award went to Schahwetta Polk. Sponsoring the event was the Ladies Variety Club of Greene County.

--Biloxi (MS) Bulletin.


Greene County property and business owners are being asked to report damage from this week’s severe flooding. The county is seeking reports of damage to residential, commercial and agricultural property, including structural damage and damaged items within flood-affcted structures. The office of Emergency Management has activated a flood damage hotline at (417)829-6200.

-- Springfield (MO) Business Journal.


Greene Memorial Hospital will join IHS Pharmacy & Wellness Center in sponsoring, on April 9th, in the county fairgrounds, the third annual Greene County Health Fair.

--Xenia (OH) Gazette


April Finch, 31, has been sentenced to incarceration in a State psychiatric institution after being found guilty of child endangerment charges. Greene County sheriff’s deputies testified at the trial that Ms Finch reported that her baby, aged 3 and a half months, had been stolen. After an intensive investigation the deputies found the baby in the locked trunk of Ms Finch’s car. Deputy Terrence McSeeley testified that the baby, when found, she was "drenched in sweat despite the fact that the outside temperature was in the 50s, her diaper was very wet and full of fecal matter, she appeared to have vomited while in the trunk and was foaming at the mouth." According to her adoptive mother, Ms Finch was raised in some 25 foster homes, and is afflicted with dissociative identity disorder. The child’s father concurs.

--Greene County (IN) Daily World


Greene County fails to meet the Environmental Protection Agency’s new smog standards. Its air contains 79 parts of ozone per billion, as recently tested. That level of pollution was acceptable before March 12th, when the EPA-prescribed safety limit was 80ppb. Greene is one of 13 sub-standard counties in the State.

--Terre Haute (IN) Herald


National Weather Service teams determined that a Force 1 tornado crossed Greene County on Wednesday night (3/5), destroying one home and causing serious damage to four others.

--Tuscaloosa Times


Rose’s Courthouse Café will open Monday in the Greene County Courthouse. Owner Rose Habermehl will offer a variety of made-to-order breakfast and lunch items.

--from ‘Ozark Updates’ in Springfield (MO) News-Leader.

LEAKY DAM A dam holding back 27 acres of water in Greene County has sprung a leak. It's under 24-hour surveillance to make sure it does not breech and flood nearby homes. Property manager Thomas Darnell says emergency crews are draining the lake…. Until the water levels drop several more feet, neighbors in Greene Acres are under high alert. Darnell says some good will come of the problem. He plans to dredge the lake while its empty, clean up junk from the bottom, and build new piers for swimmers… Pockets of water [containinhg small-mouth bass] could be left behind even after the lake is drained, but Darnell points out those pockets will quickly heat up in the summer. He jokes and says if it comes to the worst, he might organize a fish fry for the county.

--Joanna Shrewsbury, NBC29 (VA).


George E. Young III was in custody in the Greene County Jail recently in lieu of posting $100,000 bond. He was charged with felony assault on a law enforcement officer plus auto theft, resisting arrest and first-degree burglary. The charges result from a chase that began about 1:30 a.m. Friday, when a Greene County Deputy spotted a speeding car that matched the description of a stolen vehicle, said Capt. Randy Gibson. The deputy followed the vehicle south…and was able to determine that the maroon Oldsmobile Intrigue was stolen. When he attempted to pull the vehicle over, the suspect sped off. The suspect eventually turned north…where deputies had laid a spike strip. The strip punctured at least one of the stolen vehicle’s tires, and the suspect ditched the car a half-block later, fleeing into one of the apartments, …a male resident grabbed a rifle and began to beat the suspect with it. “At that point,” said Capt. Randy Gibson, Young “fled out of the apartment, basically into the arms of the many deputies and police officers on scene.”

--Tuscaloosa Times


Charges of criminal homicide, aggravated assault, rape, and abuse of a corpse have been filed by Greene County’s district attorney against Jeffrey Martin, 50. The charges arise from the strangulation death of 14-year-old Gabrielle M. Becker.

--Xenia Gazette

For strangling his grandmother after she stopped giving him money, according to Greene County’s district attorney, Troy Ford, 37, faces a prison term of between 10 and 30 years.

--Springfield News-Leader


Angela Guernsey, 34, entered a plea of guilty to a charge of grand larceny. She admitted that she stole $29,000 from the treasury of Greene County’s annual Popcorn Festival.

--CH4 ( PA) News


A man suspected of committing as many as nine convenience store robberies in January now faces increased charges, after a Greene County judge dropped a case against him Thursday.

Kristy L. Ash, 41, dubbed the "salt-and-pepper bandit" because of his graying facial hair, had faced a single first-degree robbery charge. But prosecutors ran into problems securing a witness for that case, prompting Greene County Associate Circuit Court Judge Dan Imhof to dismiss it. The prosecutor's office responded by filing five new felony charges against Ash -- three for first-degree robbery, two for attempted robbery.

Assistant Prosecutor Matt Russell explained that his office had always planned on filing the additional charges if Ash wouldn't agree to a plea deal on the first. So when the case got tossed, Russell immediately filed the new charges.

--Dirk VanderHart, News-Leader