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Big Ox Stops Operations, Gov. Reynolds Signs Childrens' Mental Health Bill, SPM 4:04

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Iowa’s mental health regions have until next April to figure out how to fill the gaps in mental health services available to children. But they won’t get any additional funding to do it – at least not this year.

The mandate comes after Governor Kim Reynolds signed a new law today (Wednesday) laying out the first statewide children’s behavioral health system.

Reynolds says some of the services the law calls for are early diagnosis, therapy, and a family crisis hotline.

But the children’s mental health law does not include more funding for the mental health regions, which rely in part on property taxes. Reynolds says a goal of hers before the next legislative session is to come up with a plan for long-term mental health funding. 

Big Ox Energy has ceased all operations after its permit to discharge wastewater to Sioux City's treatment plant expired Tuesday.

The South Sioux City biofuels plant had ceased its methane production activities on April 19 in order to make repairs to the plant, which has received numerous citations for environmental violations from Nebraska regulators. It had continued to pretreat wastewater from other South Sioux City industries and discharge it to Sioux City, but those operations now have stopped.

The city of Sioux City will not renew Big Ox's permit until a number of issues are resolved, assistant city attorney Justin Vondrak said. Big Ox owes the city more than $3 million in unpaid wastewater treatment fees, fines and late charges, a total that the company is disputing.

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