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By Jeremy Schiffres, Daily and Sunday Freeman, Kingston, N.Y.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

What a week!

Sorry I’ve been MIA for the past week. It’s been a busy one (as you know if you read our paper or Web site), so blogging got back-burnered.

I had a feeling, when one of our reporters came to me last Saturday evening and said three students had been arrested for an alleged rape at Kingston High School, that this would be a week like no other. And I was right.

I’ve gotta say, though, I’ve never seen a case move through the local criminal justice system so quickly. That was, indeed, remarkable. In a span of less than seven days, we had the incident itself, six arrests (spread out over several days), grand jury proceedings, a significant reduction of the charges and the release from jail of all the suspects, leaving only the adjudication of the remaining misdemeanor counts to be completed. Most criminal cases around here drag out for a year. Maybe this is the start of a new trend. Here’s hoping!

This also was the week when I put together the Freeman’s annual "Business Review & Forecast" supplement, which will be in Sunday’s paper. The section involves a considerable amount of extra effort on my part, including numerous hours in the office on my usual days off, so I had little time for anything else while working on it. (Just ask my wife and son!)

Then there was the annual Career Conference on Thursday at Ulster County Community College – a great event at which we professionals share our experiences, advice and alleged wisdom with high school students. I was a presenter on the Communications panel for the seventh time, and I truly enjoy participating in this event, but having to look polished in front of a roomful of teenagers starting at 9:30 a.m., on a day when I ordinarily wouldn’t go to work until 1:30 p.m., is not my idea of a good time. (Kudos, by the way, to my co-presenters, Tracy Baxter, news director and co-anchor Cable 6 News, and Sylvia Murphy, vice president and general manager at the PR/marketing firm JMC; and especially to Wallkill High School guidance counselor Kevin Bach, who moderates the Communications panel each year and a does a great job keeping the young people involved and engaged.)

Then there was Gov. Spitzer’s State of the State address, a shooting in Kingston, a pedestrian getting run down by a state trooper’s patrol car in northern Ulster County, the suspension of the town police chief in Saugerties, the out-of-nowhere announcement that the state prison in Hudson will be shut down and countless other stories that kept our reporters, editors and readers occupied this week.

So you’ll forgive me, I trust, for putting my blog on a seven-day hiatus.

I’ll try to be a more faithful correspondent next week.



Blogger Yankee James said...

Nice blog!

January 12, 2008 at 2:59 PM 
Blogger Jeremy Schiffres, City Editor said...

A note to my readers:
The above comment, by a man calling himself Yankee James, is from a local white supremacist named James Leshkevich. I don't agree with his politics or points of view, but his comments, like those from any readers, are welcome.
Please be aware though, that Yankee James' blog, called The Hudson Valley Freeman, is, in no way, affiliated with our newspaper, the Daily and Sunday Freeman of Kingston, N.Y.

January 12, 2008 at 3:32 PM 
Blogger Yankee James said...

Thanks for the kind words Mr. Schiffres.

And thanks for allowing me to post on your blog. (unlike a few others in the area)

"White supremacist" is a bit extreme. I wouldn't run from "White Separatist" though.

See here:

January 13, 2008 at 12:27 PM 

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