DROUGHT STATUS WORSE: Despite a winter with slightly above normal precipitation, Iowa’s drought situation is worse than it was at this time a year ago — 54 percent of the state is in severe drought condition or worse, compared to 24 percent a year ago. Without at least normal precipitation from March through May, look for conservation mandates and restrictions to be implemented statewide.
OVERSIGHT MISSING: Another example of oversight problems in small towns: the State Auditor’s Office reports that the longtime superintendent of the Coggon power plant used a plant credit card to buy gas for personal vehicles, concert tickets and items from companies selling pornography, pet medicine and a supplement for male erectile dysfunction, among other things. All told, more than $60,000 allegedly was misspent. William Edgerly and former secretary Deneen Mangas are accused of the misspending, and the Auditor’s Office said the personal purchases went on for years because the plant’s board of trustees didn’t provide oversight. The board rehired Edgerly last May with a 23.5 percent salary hike after he had resigned in December 2011, shortly after citizens petitioned for the audit.
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