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Could wasps solve the problem of the flies?

Monday, August 10th, 2009

In the Sunday Whistleblower column, I wrote about the frustrations of two rural Scott County residents whose homes have been bombarded by flies from the neighboring feedlot. The flies leave behind trails of excrement on the siding and windows of Richard Theis and Wiley Vogt’s homes.

Scott County got involved in the dispute because the feedlot operator, Roger Breeggemann, had up to 90 head of cattle on a 10-acre property that legally could only hold eight. County officials worked out a solution with Breeggemann, which required him to lease additional land and spray Theis and Vogt’s homes with a product to keep the flies away. Both Theis and Vogt said they were concerned about an insecticide being sprayed on their homes. (more…)

Sister signed off on expensive oil change

Friday, August 7th, 2009

My colleague, obit writer and Whistleblower contributor Tim Harlow, today revisits our earlier blog post about a family’s complaint over an expensive oil change.:

It looks like Whistleblower was misled about a reader’s claim of being duped at Superior Brookdale Ford in Plymouth.
As it turns out, the dealership did get the go-ahead for the $685 repair job from the sister of Jody Rumpel, whose family initially claimed the deaf and mentally-challenged woman had only agreed to a $27 oil change for her 1999 Ford Escort.

Judy Still, who also shares a credit card with her sister, said she authorized the repair on Rumpel’s behalf after being contacted by a mechanic at the Plymouth dealership before the work commenced. She was told that the price had escalated because of an unexpected problem involving a damaged oil pan.

“I thought it was ridiculous, but I told them they had the car, it was unmobile. You’ll have to fix it,” Still said Friday.

Rumpel’s brother-in-law, Dick Runman, contacted Whistleblower last week after he heard about the expensive repair. He claimed the family was not given prior notice about the extent of the work or the size of the bill, and claimed his sister-in-law was “shocked” when she discovered how much it would cost to reclaim her car.

Runman argued that the dealership was responsible for the damage, because it is the only place Rumpel has taken her car for an oil change in at least three years.

The dealership resolved the dispute this week by refunding Rumpel half the cost of the bill. Neither party elaborated on what led to the settlement.

Runman said the charges are acceptable, because, “after all, she did get a new plug and oil pan.”