News Briefs: Detroit Pistons Owner Pledges to Raise $10M for Flint

In this week’s news, celebrities rally behind the people of Flint, Michigan, wastewater workers in Louisiana make a grim discovery, and the Wisconsin Public Service Commission reprimands a water utility for unapproved spending.
News Briefs: Detroit Pistons Owner Pledges to Raise $10M for Flint

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Tom Gores, owner of the NBA’s Detroit Pistons, has pledged to raise $10 million from the private sector for relief efforts in Flint, Michigan.

Flint has been under intense scrutiny from government officials and the national media after lead was discovered to have contaminated the drinking water there.

According to a report by NBC News, Gores plans to donate some of his own money as well as hold fundraising benefits at the professional basketball team’s venues. “This is a national issue,” Gores said in a statement. “Flint was once a cornerstone of American industry that gave a lot to this country. We need help now more than ever and ask that people from coast to coast continue stepping up.”

Gores isn’t the only one from the private sector to step up to the plate. Celebrities such as singers Aretha Franklin, Cher and the rock band Pearl Jam have also donated to the cause.

Source: NBC News

State Commission Reprimands Water Utility for Unapproved Spending
The Wisconsin Public Service Commission reprimanded the Fulton Water Utility for spending $38,610 on meter monitoring equipment without getting the commission’s approval.

According to the Janesville Gazette, the statutory violation was noticed last fall when the utility listed the project as justification for a request to raise water rates. The commission could have stripped the utility’s ability to raise revenue to fund the project but noted it was the utility’s first infraction.

“Violating state statute and commission rules is a serious matter,” said a letter from the commission to the Fulton town clerk dated Jan. 21. “The commission has the authority to disallow the recovery of costs of unauthorized projects and to refer utilities to the Wisconsin Department of Justice. Future violations may result in referral for enforcement action.”

Town Chair Evan Sayre told the newspaper that the utility was unaware it needed the utility’s permission to purchase the equipment.

“We’re very proactive,” Sayre says. “We had a situation and took action. Nobody told us we needed to ask them first.”

The Wisconsin Public Service Commission requires utilities the size of Fulton, which serves about 3,200 residents, to seek advance approval for construction projects that equal or exceed 25 percent of the prior year’s revenue, according to the report.

Source: Janesville Gazette

Human Fetus Found in Sewer Tank
City workers who were cleaning out a 500-gallon wastewater tank in Moreauville, Louisiana, made a grim discovery on Jan. 25. The employees found a human fetus while disposing of sewer waste around 1 p.m.

According to the report, the fetus appeared to be 28 to 32 weeks old and weighed approximately 2 pounds. Officials said it would be another six to eight weeks before the final autopsy results are revealed.

The Acadia Parish Sheriff’s Office and Moreauville Police Department continue to look into the matter. Investigators told Avoyelles Today that they have a “person of interest,” but no arrest has been made as of Thursday.

Source: Avoyelles Today


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