Critical Mines Management Meeting This Month

October 8, 2014

Frank Wall, a shareholder of MGN announced today notification of a Special Meeting of Stockholders which every stockholder should attend to protect their investment by seeing “what is really going on” with the use of their money.

Dobbs needs to explain to each of us, and the financial news media, why the directors are accelerating a troubled company’s demise.

As a Mines Management Inc. (MGN) shareholder, Frank Wall would like to caution all of his fellow stockholders of the “Full Ratchet Anti-Dilution Provision,” which is slated to be approved at the SPECIAL MEETING OF SHAREHOLDERS on Monday, Oct. 13, 2014.

 In Wall’s opinion, Mines Management CEO Glenn Dobbs is putting the company and its stockholders in jeopardy, and “the word needs to get out” before further alleged damage is perpetrated by Mines Management directors. In Wall’s opinion also, Mines Management officials are doing this because they want to be paid their exorbitant salaries, which they receive for producing absolutely nothing except hype and more hype until there is nothing left.

Glenn Dobbs...is soaking the company and his shareholders over a million dollars a year, and his son Douglas, now president, has been getting half that...

Also in Wall’s opinion, every stockholder should attend this meeting because it is too late to “sell out” as the company’s stock seems to be plummeting and is now at 61 cents per share.

Dobbs needs to explain to each of us, and the financial news media, why the directors are accelerating a troubled company’s demise.

One item on the meeting agenda is to “Approve the reduction of the Preferred Stock conversion price to equal the price at which the Company subsequently sells equity if the Company subsequently sells equity at a price lower than the conversion price (the ‘Full Ratchet Anti-Dilution Provision’).”

Is this none other than diluting MGN stock as collateral for a hard-money loan?

 On page 15 of SEC Schedule 14A, filed 2014-09-15 for Period of Report 2014-10-13, note the following recommendation by the MGN Board: The Board recommends that you vote “FOR” the approval the issuance of all of the Underlying Shares in excess of 19.99% of the Common Stock issued and outstanding on the Closing Date.

The Frank Wall recommendation (his opinion) is that you vote “AGAINST” the approval the issuance of all of the Underlying Shares in excess of 19.99% of the Common Stock issued and outstanding on the Closing Date, recognizing there will be or could be repercussions in the short term by doing so, putting emphasis against “bad business practice” and maybe by losing 50 percent of the company.

Wall stated: “It is my belief, Glenn Dobbs with his salary as CEO, and in addition to being paid as a director, and his aggregate bonuses, stock, stock options, severance provisions, medical, etc. is soaking the company and his shareholders over a million dollars a year, and his son Douglas, now president, has been getting half that, and the directors?”

On page 15 of SEC Schedule 14A, filed 2014-04-30 for Period of Report 2014-06-12, note the following Compensation Components:

Base Salary. Historically, we annually review and establish base salaries for our executives based on the scope of their responsibilities, individual performance and budget constraints and take into account competitive market compensation paid by companies in our identified peer group for similar positions. Our Compensation Committee determines the salary for our Chief Executive Officer, and, after consideration of the Chief Executive Officer’s recommendations, for each officer other than the Chief Executive Officer. In 2013, due to the Company’s limited financial resources, it decided not to review peer group base salaries and not to award regular salary increases. Effective March 26, 2013, we increased the base salary of Douglas D. Dobbs, our President and Secretary from $210,000 to $234,000, an increase of 11%. The increase related to Mr. Dobbs’ promotion from Vice President of Corporate Development to President. We did not increase the base salaries of Glenn M. Dobbs or Nicole Altenburg because of budget constraints.

Glenn Dobbs needed this additional financing to pay his salary, plus enhanced stock and options of 2,525,631 shares at 8.32 percent. He was paid $651,000 in 2010, $736,800 in 2011, $436,000 in 2012 and $455,000 in 2013, Douglas Dobbs, who owns 2.35 percent of MMG, was paid $496,000 in 2011, $252,000 in 2012 and $291,000 in 2013. Also, the Dobbses have huge severance compensation packages of $1,156,198 and $718,198, respectively, for “Change of Control.”

Additionally, the five MMI directors, including Glenn Dobbs, had a combined income of $215,750 in 2012. In 2013, with Glenn Dobbs raking up another $106,250 as director, their combined salaries were $398,250. In Frank Wall’s opinion, that’s not a shabby incentive to say yes to every proposal or costly legal action that Glenn Dobbs suggests.

In conclusion, I, Frank Wall, urge you to attend the Oct. 13 meeting of Mines Management Inc. shareholders. The meeting is open to the company’s shareholders, both large and small.

____________________________________________________________________________________

Frank Wall Corrects the Record Regarding Montanore Litigation

September 24, 2014

Just yesterday the Montana Supreme Court denied Mines Management's appeal to dismiss District Court Judge James Wheelis.  The five judge panel ruled unanimously, and also clarified the "double-speak" spiel by Glenn Dobbs in his press release "Mines Management Corrects the Record Regarding Montanore Litigation." -- My how the worm turns. -- Expect more clarifications to MMI's assertions in the near future to the "timely" newswire release. 

In fact, the latest ruling refutes the corporation's spin.

AMEX MGN issued the above press release on June 18, 2014, asserting that, by agreeing to hear the appeal,

"The Montana Supreme Court reversed a March 2013 state district court ruling on the validity of the unpatented mineral claims, now owned by Optima Inc., by vacating an injunctive order due, in part, to faulty reasoning and lack of evidence."

In fact, the latest ruling specifically refutes the corporation's spin. The opinion of the Montana Supreme Court states unequivocally that, "The January 7 Order had nothing to do with the summary judgment itself." It was simply an agreement to review a procedural point of law pertaining to Judge Wheelis' injunction:

"Our Order did not address the propriety or the merits of the injunction itself, but rather set it aside on these procedural grounds and instructed the District Court to consider the issue further." -- Montana Supreme Court Justice Jim Rice

Judge Wheelis' determination that Montanore Minerals Corp., Mines Management Inc., and Newhi Inc. are indeed claim jumpers stands.

Meanwhile, Frank Wall, legal representative for Libby Creek Ventures and self-made, successful pro se litigant in opposition to AMEX MGN's machinations, is preparing to depose Dobbs and several other key players next month. The depositions pertain to Wall's recently filed action in Lincoln County, MT, DV-14-140 pursuant to  the company's ongoing water pumping and dumping into the environmentally fragile Libby Creek watershed. Wall has scheduled the depositions for early October and he has a list of hard questions to which many of us have wanted answers for quite some time.

Montanore Minerals Corp. Purchases Non-Jeopardy Biological Opinion on Grizzly Bears

May 18, 2014

Headlines like the Missoulian’s “Feds: Proposed Montanore Mine Won’t Harm Grizzly Bears” are exactly the kind that AMEX MGN’s propaganda machine was prompting with its press release in April. With the delivery of the Biological Opinions from the Fish, Wildlife and Parks (FWP) agency regarding the welfare of threatened species should the Montanore ever be approved, the corporation saw another opportunity to pump its share prices by putting a positive spin on the news.

True, FWP did return a “non-jeopardy” determination regarding grizzlies and bull trout living in federal lands that would become a denuded mine complex should the trouble Montanore project ever reach fruition.

However, contrary to the corporation’s spin, the Biological Opinions do not state that the mine would not jeopardize threatened species. A cursory review of the documents immediately reveals the truth of the matter. FWP states that, if the corporation implemented numerous mitigation measures, then it would not pose a threat to the delicate ecological balance of the Cabinet-Yaak ecosystem that currently sustains only the barest numbers of iconic grizzly bears, bull trout and several other dwindling species.

Even this dubious conclusion is subject to considerable doubt. The entire document is bought and paid for by the mining corporation. Rather than face further delays while FWP personnel relied on limited staff to address the topic, Montanore Minerals Inc. opted to fund a contractor to “assist” the agency in completing the Biological Opinions. The resulting tome is clearly based on the erroneous notion that the Montanore Mine must be built no matter how severely the resulting damage promises to compromise endangered species, the Kootenai National Forest and the federal Cabinet Mountains Wilderness lands. 

Highlights of mitigation directives contained within the “Final Biological Opinion on the Effects to Grizzly Bears From the Implementation of Proposed Actions Associated with Plan of Operations for the Montanore Minerals Corporation Copper/Silver Mine” include:

  • Purchase or obtain perpetual conservation easements for replacement grizzly habitat totaling 6,185 acres
  • Fund 2 hours per week, 30 weeks per year airplane flyovers for grizzly monitoring
  • Fund and develop public outreach information and education for grizzly conservation
  • Fund local FWP law enforcement officer
  • Fund a local FWP Habitat Conservation Specialist
  • Fund two Grizzly Specialists in Libby
  • Implement and fund access changes on 20 USFS roads
  • Control and monitor noise levels
  • Prohibit employees from carrying firearms
  • Prohibit private vehicle transportation for employees

 These and dozens of other directives are expensive, and given that the corporation expects to have a grand total of  $500 thousand in operating capital by the end of 2014, currently cost-prohibitive. However, in its latest press release, the firm voices unsubstantiated confidence in its ability to borrow more money. In addition, the document provides scant substantiation that any of these measures would save precious bears. Just purchasing mitigation property does not directly relate to the unceremonious displacement of grizzlies from their current habitat, nor does funding Bear Specialists directly reduce the serious threats to grizzlies posed by exponential increases in traffic, noise, air and water pollution. Locking up garbage in bear-proof containers does not minimize the hunger of bears in areas suddenly denuded of natural food sources. 

Fortunately for this iconic species, litigation in federal court is challenging the “threatened” designations of the Cabinet-Yaak bear population. The Alliance for the Wild Rockies, a powerful legal tour de force that has previously won injunctions preventing USFS from selling logging contracts in grizzly bear recovery zones, has gone to court to compel FWP to uplist the bears to endangered status. Apparently, only administrative delays have prevented this action. Once grizzlies are designated as endangered, current mitigation directives are open to numerous additional legal challenges and court-ordered revisions.

So it seems that the much-heralded Biological Opinions on the Montanore Mine proposal in fact raise many more obstacles than they remove for the intractable plan. So much for the accuracy and trustworthiness of media information sources. Stay tuned for the scoop on the BO for aquatic species. It’s a barnburner.

 

Cleveland Interview Reveals New Information on the Shooting Near Proposed Montanore Mine

January 18, 2014

Vince Devlin, a Missoula-based reporter, recently checked into calls by many concerned citizens and Alternative One for further scrutiny into the shooting of a Montanore Mine opponent on his own property adjacent to the proposed mine. Devlin spoke by phone with victim John Cleveland, who remains hospitalized as of January 18, 2014.

This new information by no means lays the incident to rest.

Devlin brings to light the new fact that Cleveland was not hunting when Wagner took aim and shot him. The landowner was simply out for a walk near his cabin, looking for animal tracks. Unfortunately, a bullet to his femur shattered his quiet enjoyment of his remote land, putting him in a hospital bed for more than two months and subjecting him to several grueling surgeries.

In earlier reports on the so-called “hunting accident,” writers mention that although the property owner was not wearing hunter orange, he would not be brought up on charges. In one of Devlin’s earlier articles, he says, “Cleveland, who owns a cabin off Libby Creek Road, allegedly told authorities he had gone hunting that morning, a Saturday, but had forgotten his orange vest.” Cleveland’s interview proves that statement to be a complete fabrication. In fact, it is just one of many false statements and misinformation released by Lincoln County Sheriff personnel.

While Devlin shows his mettle as a reporter in following up on this strange tale, he is not privy to additional evidence that Alternative One has uncovered regarding all of the individuals involved. This new information by no means lays the incident to rest. 

Read the original Montanore Conspiracy story here

Montanore Mine Boogey Man Threatens Alternative One

April 21, 2014

A boogey man lives in the Montanore Mine, and he goes by the various names of dbtuner, avegasdude777, bobuandu, i_am_gunderson and others that come and go on a daily basis. When not acting as a night watchman among the abandoned pole buildings of the rundown compound, he spends his days somewhere within the adit, spittle flying and tiny eyes glinting in the dark, furiously posting vicious, inflammatory comments on the Yahoo finance forums.

He sends out words like the bullets, aiming at targets that he conjures in his mind, often merging them into one large target such as environmental “eco-terrorists.” From time to time, his voice is modulated and filled with false sagacity, but more often it rises to a fever pitch, ranting and wailing like the legendary banshee, prophesizing death.

The founder of Alternative One has drawn the beast’s attention and has become, within the confused, volatile whirlwinds of his mind, the source of all evils. He has been using words as a bludgeon against her. The problem? She has the temerity to voice a dissenting opinion when it comes to the environmentally disastrous Montanore Mine proposal.

Unschooled in the etiquette that prevents humans from crossing the line between acceptable behavior and complete disregard for decency, the Montanore Mine troll knows no bounds. Fixated on the notion that several individuals posting comments on the AMEX MGN (Montanore’s U.S. stock exchange designation) forum referenced above are all the words of Alternative One’s founder, the beast in the belly of Montanore has launched an all-out effort to defame, denigrate and threaten her, posting her name multiple times each day, her address and phone number, and personal information about her.

The vast majority of the monster’s venomous diatribe is completely fabricated. The problem is that the uniformed tend to take anything online at face value, and the monster’s constant barrage of blather is damaging her reputation and good name.

Due to the nature of his comments and the history of this defamation, which dates to the time that Alternative One first went public in 2010, members of the organization know the identity of this individual and are taking appropriate action to put an end to his libelous abuse. However, everything takes time, and meanwhile, the ogre has begun making death threats against the Alternative One founder, as shown in the screen shots below.

Read the rest of the story.

 

 

Claim Jumping Scandal: The Facts

Read the original Alternative One story about Glenn Dobbs' claim jumping activities in his attempt to seize the claims of local grandmothers.

Alternative One Website is Back

January 1, 2014

For more than two years, Alternative One has led the fight against the proposed Montanore silver and copper mine in Northwest Montana. Our research, outreach, public education, and active participation in the permitting process have been key factors in generating overwhelming public opposition to this environmentally destructive project.  

MMI’s stock price has fallen by more than 67 percent.

During the most recent public comment period, 47,000 people representing all 50 states and more than 40 foreign countries told the permitting agencies-- the U.S. Forest Service and the Montana Department of Environmental Quality-- that they are opposed to the Montanore Project. A total of 26 private citizens went on record in support of the mine.

MMI has taken extreme measures to hide the facts about the mine and the massive public opposition to it.

Points of contention common to many of the anti-mine comments include water consumption and pollution, destruction of wildlife and fish habitats, and the size and safety of the tailings impoundment. The Montanore plan would place a permanent tailings dump measuring 2 miles long and towering 37 stories high in the midst of the Kootenai National Forest.

By raising Montanore’s profile, Alternative One shined a bright light on the Forest Service, DEQ, Army Corp of Engineers, and other agencies involved in the permitting process. These agencies are accountable to all American citizens, not just the tiny and barely relevant handful of Lincoln County, Montana, residents and Mines Management executives and directors who support the mine.

The company may no longer have legal access to the adit.

Through our website and media work, Alternative One exposed Mines Management, Inc., Montanore’s parent company, its Hedge Fund Manager CEO Glenn Dobbs, and other company principals with shadowy pasts, to a level of scrutiny they had successfully avoided for years. We reviewed hundreds of court and other public documents that relate to MMI claim jumping, violations of Forest Service regulations, and allegations of financial misconduct by Dobbs’ web of offshore corporations. We uncovered MMI links to documented human rights abuses in Indonesia.

Since Alternative One’s founding, the Dow Jones industrial average has jumped by more than 65 percent. During that same time period, as potential investors have learned the truth about the Montanore Mine and the company that owns it, MMI’s stock price has fallen by more than 67 percent.

In early April 2013,a Montana judge threw another roadblock in Montanore’s path when he affirmed that MMI was guilty of claim jumping. As a result, the company may no longer have legal access to the mine adit. Although Alternative One had no direct connection to the case itself, we conducted an independent investigation of it, validated the legitimacy of the claim jumping allegations, and brought it to the public’s attention months before the judge’s decision.

MMI has taken extreme measures to hide the facts about the mine and the massive public opposition to it. Our success came at a high price, and we quickly encountered a strong, heavy handed response from the company and some of its local “supporters.” Pro- Montanore zealots, some of whom have extensive criminal backgrounds, threatened Alternative One leaders, and damaged and destroyed our personal property. We were subjected to electronic espionage and public harassment.

Local business leaders and politicians have been at the forefront of Montanore’s campaign. Public agencies have provided some local residents with preferential treatment in exchange for supporting the mine. A few who engaged in criminal activities against mine opponents have mysteriously obtained financing for their own questionable business ventures. Local law enforcement has refused to investigate criminal accusations linked to mine personnel and their associates.

Alternative One believes the conduct of MMI, law enforcement, and other public agencies must be investigated by the U.S. Justice Department, for possible criminal violations under the Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act. Alternative One has publicly called for a RICO investigation.

Last April, we made the decision to shut down our website and focus our efforts in a different direction. The various public comment periods had ended, and litigation could only commence if and when the project received a favorable Record of Decision by the agencies. The guilty verdict in the claim jumping case promised to further delay development of the mine.

Over the past eight months, our strong core of informed and dedicated volunteers has been conducting an Investor Outreach Program, through which we have provided to thousands of potential Montanore investors facts and background on the project, the company, and the depth and breadth of public opposition. We believe that investors deserve all of the facts before they back a project of this nature, and that this campaign is at this point the most effective and appropriate use of Alternative One’s resources.

On Nov. 16, 2013, a tragic incident occurred within a few miles of the Montanore Mine that caused us to rethink our priorities. John Cleveland, who owns more than 1,000 acres of pristine wilderness that surrounds Montanore’s puny parcel, was shot and critically wounded by an unemployed miner. Mr. Cleveland was nearly killed on his own property when the gunman, Mike Wagner, allegedly chased a wounded deer onto clearly marked private land.

Mr. Cleveland’s family has owned this land for more than 100 years. In order to save his property along with its water and wildlife from devastation, he is actively opposing the Montanore proposal. Mr. Cleveland has been involved in litigation with Montanore, and has been forced to confront the company for illegally trespassing on and utilizing his property without permission.

Alternative One has reviewed and investigated the handling of this shooting, as well as information provided to us by local citizens who have been victimized by the systemic corruption that poisons Lincoln County and its government. We have identified obvious inconsistencies in the story, motives, and possible links between the shooter and Montanore. Mr. Cleveland has also been subjected to threats and harassment from pro Montanore thugs. Lincoln County Sheriff Roby Bowe oversaw the destruction of evidence. The treatment of this shooting by law enforcement and the rush to cover up key details by the Montanore-tainted local media are at best highly suspicious. Mr. Wagner almost killed a man, yet he faces only minor misdemeanor charges for his actions.

Sheriff Bowe, some of his deputies, and the judge who presided over Mr. Wagner’s initial hearing, are named as defendants in an ongoing Federal case in Missoula. The allegations against these men include Obstruction of Justice and Tampering with Evidence, both of which are included in the list of crimes that can lead to the filing of a RICO case. The Sheriff has given no indication that he will do the right thing and step aside while the case proceeds.

The Cleveland shooting must be investigated by outside law enforcement. The U.S. Justice Department needs to take over, because no investigation led by Sheriff Bowe and his department can have an ounce of credibility.

Without the daily scrutiny to which they were subjected for nearly two years, Mines Management will draw no lines when it comes to pursuing their private financial interests. Therefore, we have decided to bring back the Alternative One website. Alternative One Founder Lynne Haley and other members will write articles for the site, and Ms. Haley will resume her duties as Editor. We will report on the Montanore Project and Mines Management, the Cleveland shooting and public corruption, and we will press the Justice Department, the Securities and Exchange Commission, and other government agencies to scrutinize and investigate possible illegalities and to pursue justice for the victims.

 

 

More Recent Content 

Beyond the Right Wing: Glenn Dobbs, AMEX MGN and Green Bashing

Montanore Mine Boogeyman Threatens Alternative One (scroll down to bottom of this page)

Investigation Request 

Alternative One believes that several incidents related to Montanore Mine opponents in Lincoln County merit federal investigation. Click here to see the letter we recently sent to federal lawmakers.

Alternative One to SEC: Investigate AMEX MGN for Market Manipulation

RE: Montanore Mine Racketeering Investigation

The Montanore Fallacy 

January 1, 2014

In a dark corner of the Corporate Critical Care Unit, the lines on its life support monitor are nearly flat.  As its father and son leadership team bleed the company’s dwindling cash reserves, its share price has fallen by more than 90% in three years.   Outside of tired in-house PR efforts, the only signs of investor interest are occasional blurbs in penny stock newsletters.  Although its name, Mines Management, Inc., would lead one to believe that it is a mining company, the corporation that owns the Montanore Mine oversees not a single operating mine.

Dobbs' rabid anti-environmental bent...is kept under tight wraps.

For ten years the company’s principal huckster, Hedge Fund Manager CEO Glenn Dobbs, has been peddling Montanore as a state of the art, environmentally sound silver and copper mine with no significant opposition, poised to begin operating in a matter weeks or months.  Potential investors are subjected to dubious claims that the mine’s minerals are essential for our national security.   Each quarterly report contains new proclamations about permitting progress and forward movement.    Questions regarding insider trading accusations and ongoing litigation are not addressed.  Dobbs’ rabid anti-environmental bent, including his Sierra Club documented zero environmental voting score as a Washington State legislator, is kept under tight wraps.  A tiny, low profile, and relatively insignificant company, Mines Management has, until recently, escaped appropriate scrutiny.

Montanore has promised hundreds of jobs, but after ten years of Glenn Dobbs’s leadership, the company’s local payroll consists of a couple of part time low skilled security guards.

As Alternative One and others have begun to tell the real Montanore story, the cracks in Dobbs’s company have become prominent, and its image tarnished significantly.  In the last four years, company spokespeople have put forth no fewer than 32 mine permitting timetables, none of which has been met.  In April, 2013, MMI lost a major claim jumping case and may no longer have legal access to the mine adit.  The EPA graded Montanore as Environmentally Unsatisfactory.   An impressive list of environmental organizations and private landowners are opposed to the mine, poised to tie up the project for at least a decade if it were to obtain agency approval.  Almost 50,000 private citizens are on record in opposition to Montanore, while fewer than 30 weighed in on the company’s side.  Not a single individual citizen or representative of government or academia claimed a national security need for the minerals Montanore would produce.

Besides the company’s officers and a handful of employees, Montanore’s only base of support is made up of Montana residents who live within a few miles of the proposed mine.  Although the town of Libby is best known as an asbestos contaminated EPA Superfund site, a situation created by years of irresponsible mining practices by W.R. Grace Corporation, many in the town embrace the environmentally destructive Montanore Mine as the next in a long line of failed corporate saviors.   Some look back fondly to the days of unregulated, irresponsible logging practices and mine-related environmental contamination.  Montanore has promised hundreds of jobs, but after ten years of Glenn Dobbs’s leadership, the company’s local payroll consists of a couple of part time low skilled security guards.

MMI has misled the public and its investors into believing that Montanore will miraculously avoid lawsuits.

The stunning dichotomy between the overwhelming opposition to MMI’s project and the myth that the mine is both needed and publicly supported could generate in-depth sociological and behavioral studies.  MMI’s textbook use of propaganda techniques, the ineffectiveness of regulatory agencies and the company’s ability to infiltrate them, and the isolation of the communities in Northwest Montana are a few ingredients in MMI’s toxic witches brew that has kept Montanore on life support.  

Clearly, Mines Management is a company with much to hide.

Lincoln County has proven to be the perfect setting for MMI’s 1930s style propaganda campaign.   Many locals rarely travel beyond its borders.  Large segments of the population are poorly educated.  The area is fertile ground for radical right wing fringe groups and Fundamentalist Christians who ridicule sound science, embrace superstition, and readily buy into corporate-sponsored anti –government, anti -environmental  messages and conspiracies.   When Glenn Dobbs refers to  Montanore as “benign” and “clean”, the descriptions are repeated without question.  Not one of the Lincoln County politicians or local news editors who support the project has shown the slightest indication that he or she read even a single page of the Environmental Impact Statement. 

The promise of mining and construction jobs and favorable financial windfalls helped MMI gain control of local elected officials, business leaders, and media outlets.   The company seized control of the Chamber of Commerce.   Fearful of the inevitable repercussions for not joining in, even mine opponents displayed pro Montanore window signs in their homes and businesses.  The public school superintendent and the CEO of the local hospital, both of whom have had front row seats to the sad Grace saga, shamelessly jumped on board.  

For years major environmental organizations have opposed Montanore.   Although these groups provide lengthy and detailed documents to the permitting agencies, the lion’s share of their work involves litigation that takes place only after a project receives a positive Record of Decision.  Because most of the organized environmental opposition has been in the background, MMI has misled the public and its investors into believing that Montanore will miraculously avoid lawsuits. 

Read the rest of the story.