After a grassroots effort to keep the Silver Lake Pool open, misbehavior at Soldiers Field pool shut both pools down, at least temporarily.
Large crowds at Soldiers Field Pool, fueled by hot weather and free admission, grew unruly. Unsafe activities included fights, pushing, children being left unattended and general disregard for the rules and the authority of the lifeguards.
The city shut down both pools on Wednesday as officials worked up a solution to the predicament.
On Monday, swimming resumed at the two pools, and while admission is still free, the city is putting tighter limits on capacity and requiring swimmers to register. Capacity was set at 300 for both pools.
Additional staff members were also brought in to control activities outside of the water.
One of the biggest challenges is informing parents that children 12 and younger must accompanied by an adult.
It's unfortunate that the behavior of a few have sullied the efforts of so many to keep the pools open and free of charge. We can do better. Thumbs down.
Converter thefts averted?
Two arrests in early May appear to have taken a bite out of catalytic converter thefts in the area. A Rochester man was arrested in Iowa on May 7 for allegedly trying to steal catalytic converters from cars.
Howard County, Iowa, sheriff’s deputies were called to Lime Springs for a report of people trying to remove catalytic converters from cars there.
Deputies executed a search warrant for the Rochester suspect's car and found seven catalytic converters in his possession.
Then, on May 12, a 60-year-old Rochester man was arrested in Eyota. A search of his vehicle uncovered a total of eight catalytic converters.
Since those arrests there have been few reports of catalytic converter thefts. The arrests also came after area law enforcement and auto shop owners instituted a program to etch license plate numbers on catalytic converters, making them easier to identify.
Thumbs up to thwarting thieves.
The Rochester City Council has begun discussing its proposed plan to spend nearly $17.5 million the city is expected to receive through the American Rescue Plan Act.
Nearly $7.5 million of the federal funds the city expects to receive could be used to keep tax increases down for five years. The city council is also considering spending $636,000 in federal funds to cover the cost of waiving restaurant and bar liquor license fees for a second year.
Liquor license fees were waived last year because bars and restaurants were forced to close and reduce operations because of pandemic restrictions.
Thumbs up for federal help paying local taxes and fees.