News Briefs: Body Recovered After Man Falls Into Manhole

In this week’s news, an act of kindness ends tragically for a good Samaritan, Halifax Water employees are back on the job, and groundwater regulators in Nebraska join forces to combat drought
News Briefs: Body Recovered After Man Falls Into Manhole

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An act of kindness ended tragically earlier this month in Syracuse, New York, and the good Samaritan’s body was found two days later in a sewer.

Using fingerprints, the Onondaga County Medical Examiner’s Office positively identified the body as 28-year-old Brandon Closure.

After a brief but strong storm caused the streets to flood Tuesday, Closure was helping a woman push her car out of waste-deep water when he fell into an open manhole and was swept away, according to Syracuse.com.

An inch and a half of rain fell in 30 minutes, causing a buildup of pressure in the sewer system and the manhole cover to pop off.  Closure’s body was found in a sewer more than 2 miles from where he fell into the system.

Source: Syracuse.com

Unions Vote to End Labor Dispute
Unionized employees with Halifax Water voted on July 13 to accept a five-year contract, ending an eight-week labor dispute between the two sides. They returned to the job later that week, CBC News reports, after going on strike May 19.

Halifax Water issued a press release stating that the agreement with members of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Locals 227 and 1431 covers all outstanding issues, including changes to the employees’ pension plan, which had been the main sticking point.

Details of the agreement have not been released, but Halifax Water says the contract will save the agency about $20 million over the next 14 years compared to the old contract. The deal reportedly gives workers annual wage increases of up to 2.25 percent per year.

Source: CBC News

Nebraska Groundwater Regulators Join Forces
Nebraska groundwater regulators are taking a proactive approach to the threat of a drought or dry year, and are working together to maintain a sustainable, long-term water supply in their districts.

The Middle Niobrara Natural Resources District has partnered with four other Niobrara River basin districts. Under a law approved last year, the districts hope to qualify for state funding by creating a basin-wide water management plan instead of focusing on their specific area. Additionally, the team of districts hopes to save more water that flows through Nebraska in rainier years in anticipation of a drier year or drought.

“It’s one more proactive step we can take to look at what we have for water resources,” says Mike Murphy, general director of the Valentine-based district. “This is an opportunity for us to come together as a basin.”

There are no specific projects in the works yet; however, this could change after the districts have a better understanding of water usage in the basin, says Terry Julesgard, general manager of the Lower Niobrara NRD in Butte.

“Our goal is to make sure we maintain the basin so we can keep everyone profitable,” says Julesgard.

Source: Associated Press



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