KOOP ex-volunteer torched the station over music picks, officials charge

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On Jan. 5, Paul Feinstein, a 24-year-old former KOOP volunteer angry about past playlist decisions, poured gasoline over the community radio station’s control panels and lit them on fire, Austin fire officials say. The resulting blaze caused more then $300,000 in damage and knocked the station off the air until last week, when it resumed operations in a donated studio. Feinstein has been charged with second degree felony arson and could face two to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. Feinstein, who has no criminal record, had clashed with another volunteer because his selections for an overnight Internet-only program had been changed, according to the Austin American-Statesman. He quit the station about a week before the fire. “We are kind of worried that people will look at us like a bunch of idiots,” Andrew Dickens, the president of KOOP told the American-Statesman. “Who the hell would have thought somebody would have snapped?” Ironic detail: Feinstein’s jazz program was called “Mellow Down Easy.”