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News In Brief

Insurance drop-in center offers help

DALLAS — TNT Insurance Services will continue to offer drop-in insurance enrollment assistance through the end of open enrollment, Jan. 31, 2016, at 140 SE Mill St. in Dallas.

Hours are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and noon to 8 p.m. on Saturday. The drop-in center provides free, one-on-one help to people shopping for and enrolling in health insurance.

TNT can help customers access the financial help available. Three out of four Oregonians who signed up through HealthCare.gov last year qualified for financial help.

Walk-ins are welcome, or call to schedule an appointment at 503-623-4342.

A bi-lingual Spanish/English certified application counselor is available, and TNT can arrange for other language translators.

For more information: 503-623-4342.

Butterfield named new Indy judge

INDEPENDENCE — Stan Butterfield, Independence prosecuting attorney, was confirmed as the new Municipal Court judge at the Dec. 8 Independence City Council meeting.

Butterfield will replace Independence Municipal Court Judge Janice Zyranoff, who will retire on Dec. 31.

Butterfield has a doctorate in law and operates a law practice in Dallas.

Thissell takes the oath for Indy PD

INDEPENDENCE — Jill Thissell was sworn in as an officer of Independence Police Department at the Dec. 8 Independence City Council meeting.

She started as an intern in 2004, and worked full time as an operations assistant in 2005 answering phones and helping with records.

In 2006, Thissell joined the ranks of the reserve officers. She has worked for the Oregon Peace Officers Association, which has given her “the opportunity to make a lot of valuable contacts,” said Chief Bob Mason at the ceremony.

“Jill’s very good at her organizational skills,” he said.

Those skills make her helpful at making connections and helping to solve cases, Mason said.

The hire brings Independence sworn officers to 13.

Arrest made after search warrant

INDEPENDENCE — On Dec. 8, Independence Police officers executed a search warrant at the residence of John Shapley, 52, of Independence, resulting in his arrest on theft and drug charges.

The investigation of a stolen laptop on Nov. 5 led police to the residence. During the course of the investigation, police received information that there was drug activity in the home.

Shapley was lodged at Polk County Jail on charges of unlawful possession and delivery of methamphetamine, unlawful possession of heroin, and first-degree theft.

Independence PD crack down on DUIIs

INDEPENDENCE — The Independence Police Department will have extra patrols during the month of December to focus on detecting and apprehending motorists under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Patrol officers willing to participate will work special DUII shifts in hopes to make roadways safer.

If you suspect a motorist of being under the influence of alcohol or drugs, never hesitate to contact police. Call 911 immediately.

If you are planning to drink alcohol over the holiday season, remember to have a plan, be responsible, and never drive intoxicated or on the influence of drugs.

FC raises utility reserve fund rates

FALLS CITY — The Falls City City Council approved a $3 per month increase to rates charged for the city’s utility reserve fund.

The fund creates reserves for upgrading water and sewer systems, and more immediately, helps cover costs for break downs and repairs.

“This is just a proactive measure to be able to take care of an emergency situation,” Ungricht said at the council’s meeting Thursday. “Unfortunately a lot of our maintenance issues and upgrades have been kicked down the road. It comes to a point, and our sewer is there, where you can’t kick it anymore.”

Increasing the rate $3 brings the monthly charge to $10 and will raise $14,400 annually.

Councilor Jenn Drill said she was concerned about the number of rates, fees and property tax increases already approved this year in the city or countywide, and those anticipated in the coming years as Falls City begins system upgrades.

Drill voted against the proposal, but the other four councilors present voted in favor.

The increase will take effect in March, 2016.

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