RESCUE. A boat operator and a sheriff’s deputy teamed up last night to rescue a motorist whose Jeep Cherokee had plunged into the river. They pulled Charles Sidwell from his submerged vehicle and summoned transportation to the hospital, where Sidwell was treated and released. Although he blamed the mishap on brake failure that caused the Jeep to became airborne, Sidwell was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol, disobeying a traffic signal, and illegally transporting alcohol.
FACTORY. Construction of an ammonium nitrate production plant for Greene County moved a step closer to reality on Tuesday when county legislators voted to rezone 400 acres to house the facility. The plant would be operated by Austin Power Company of Ohio, a manufacturer of explosives. Some prospective neighbors of the plant complained about the deal, which was orchestrated by the county’s economic development agency.
OFFENDER. A former high school teacher who had been convicted of rape and sodomy, but was allowed to go free on probation as requested by her victim, may go to prison after all. According to Greene County’s district attorney, Alison Peck violated twice a condition of her probation, requiring that as a registered sex offender she give notice of changes of residence. Ms Peck’s conviction arose from activities with a 16-year-old lad with whom she performed, as a keyboard player, in a rock band.
IMPERSONATOR. A man who is disguised as a police officer could be targeting Greene County women. The sheriff issued a warning last Monday, saying that a man driving a car with a blue flashing light on the roof stopped a young woman motorist, made her get out of her car, patted her down, and then, saying he was going to look up her criminal record, went back to his car and drove away.KIDNAPPER? A man who is accused of abducting a three-year-old boy and fleeing to California has been extradited back to Greene County. Bernard Rheaves, 27, is now in jail and facing a child abduction charge, as well as an earlier count of check-kiting. According to the county sheriff’s office, Rheaves decamped with the boy, who is his son, after getting into a custody quarrel with the boy’s mother.
PIMP? A local fourth grade teacher (currently on leave) was booked into Greene County jail last week on charges of promoting prostitution. The arrest of Laura A. Fiedler, 35, according to police reports, resulted fro an undercover investigation of activities at a local hotel.
DECEPTION. The foregoing items demonstrate a rhetorical trick: inviting a false inference by not explicitly forestalling it, when circumstances make it likely that respondents will otherwise draw it. The false inference is that the cited Greene County events occurred in Greene County, NEW YORK. Actually, they occurred, or were reported to have occurred, in the Greene counties of Ohio, Missouri, Arkansas, Tennessee, Pennsylvania and Illinois. Of course the author of those items did not say that the events occurred in New York’s GreeneLand. But the scoundrel set up the deception-by-omission by means of a history of bloggery devoted to matters in that Greene County.
So now for some genuinely local items:
SUICIDE. Just before noon last Thursday (2/24), Christopher Hare drove up from his home in Germantown, parked near the eastern approach to the Rip Van Winkle bridge, walked west onto the bridge carrying a metal briefcase, walked past the sign saying “When it seems like there is no hope, there is help,” and jumped to his death on the ice below. Mr Hare, 31, a native of Virginia, was an electrician’s apprentice and reportedly had a history of mental illness. Authorities closed bridge traffic both ways for nearly two hours, until they determined that the metal briefcase was not explosive.
RAPE? Following an incident in the Jefferson Heights section of Catskill on February 24, sheriff’s deputies arrested Louis Sanchez, 40, of Saugerties on charges of rape and of endangering the welfare of a child. The latter charge derives from suspicion that Sanchez committed the rape in front of the victim’s two-year-old.
FUEL GOUGE? The price of regular gasoline in GreeneLand has soared past the $3.60-per-gallon mark. At Citgo today, $3.66; Getty, $3.68; Stewart Shops in Athens, $3.65. By way of contrast, the nation-wide average was $3.45. And in other Greene Counties (including Dodge’s Chicken Store in Paragould, Arkansas), lowest local prices for regular fuel ranged from $3.24 up to $3.47.
ASSAULT? Martin Morales, 21, of Cairo has been charged with attempting to murder his former girlfriend. According to police reports, as covered in local news media, Morales traveled to Winooski, Vermont, donned a black ski mask, broke into an apartment there, and beat and stabbed Mary Rowlands. She survived and told police that he might have fled to hangouts in Hudson. After a search of designated places there, he was found and clapped in Columbia County jail.
LAUNCH. Our community, volunteer-run radio station is now on the air. The official launch of WGXC (signifying Greene and Columbia counties) last Saturday (2/26) at Catskill’s Community Center, drew an immense crowd of well-wishers. Scores of people packed the broadcasting room, providing a live audience for home-grown musicians and composers, program hosts, announcers, notables. Upstairs, multitudes of children and adults partook of the day’s live entertainment and home-made refreshments. The opening festivities, in short, surpassed all expectations. What went out on the air, however, was a different matter. The station’s signal did not go out loud and clear. Listeners were assailed by squawks and squeals and mumbles. Only half of the station’s authorized, needed broadcast power was operational. Since then, the signal has been much improved. It is at FM90.7.
HIRING. The Thomas Cole National Historic Site in Catskill, vaunted birthplace of distinctively American art, is advertising a job opening for a part-time curator. The appointee would help with the museum’s collection of art and artifacts, with its exhibitions, and with its Fellows program. She or he would be hired for just 12 hours per week, at a wage that is not specified but would be decidedly modest.
So: more than 30 people have applied for the job. Among the applicants, higher education far past the bachelor level is normal. Masters and even Doctoral degrees abound, as do publications in professional journals. Every applicant points to at least five years of relevant experience.
That tells us something about the state of the economy, and about the scramble for survival in the world of art, AND about the prestige that has been earned in the last few years by the Cole House operation
DEAD END. The Greene County (NY!) government’s web site offers links not only to various departments but also to “News and Press Releases.” But that link brings up “Page not found.”