County approves emergency texting

LOL, FTW and OMG could soon add HELP.

Texting could be the latest way to call for help in Mower County. The county board approved the purchase of an updated E911 system that would allow people in distress to text 911 for assistance.

Sheriff Terese Amazi noted most counties in the state are being required to update their 911 service.

“In three to five years, our system will be obsolete,” she said.

Board looks to guard against lightning damage

The county board approved the $8,000 purchase of a reserve radio transmitter.

The transmitters, which ensure the county has no radio deadspots, are prone to lightning strikes. The transmitters are positioned across the county on top of radio towers, and it takes four to six weeks to repair.

Often, deadspots occur when repairs are taking place.

“We have experienced dead areas with our portables,” Sheriff Terese Amazi said.

If the LeRoy tower went down, Amazi said they’d have to move a tower from another radio community.

County Coordinator Craig Oscarson noted the system won’t be used right away, which may cause some concern because of the price.

“That’s an expensive item to have sitting in your shelf,” Oscarson said.

However, Commissioner Jerry Reinartz said it’s good to have one.

“I’d say it’s better to have one in reserve than none,” he said.

Passport services limited to Monday-Wednesday

Travelers may not want to procrastinate when it comes to getting a passport.

The Mower County Recorder’s Office will now offer passport services only Monday through Wednesday because of staffing limitations in the recorder’s office.

According to Commissioner Tony Bennett, the office isn’t able to keep up with passport services and regular business on Thursdays and Fridays.

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