OTTUMWA — Here's part one of the year in review as taken from Courier headlines.
Gas prices dropped below $3 per gallon for the first time in a couple years. They would end the year below that mark as well.
Maria Valencialiono was the New Year’s Baby for Ottumwa.
The Iowa Department of Education said Ottumwa student numbers were up, reversing a long-term decline.
Ottumwa High School’s Victory Bell was stolen. The theft, thought to be related to scrap metal prices, has not yet been solved.
Volunteers put in work on getting some of Ottumwa’s public clocks working again, including the clock on Ottumwa High School.
Former Ottumwa Transit Authority director Pam Ward was indicted on federal charges related to her tenure. Her trial resulted in a hung jury, and prosecutors declined to pursue the case further.
The annual eagle watch in Ottumwa drew people downtown on a cold Saturday in hopes of spotting Ottumwa’s most popular winter visitors.
The 833rd Engineer Company was called up for service in Afghanistan. The announcement was made only a couple weeks before their third deployment in the past 12 years.
An Ottumwa police officer badly damaged a patrol car when he hit a garbage truck, sparking a community-wide discussion on how officers handle the vehicles.
Ottumwa Police Chief Jim Clark announced his retirement. Tom McAndrew, a longtime officer in the department, was selected as his successor.
Construction of Ottumwa’s new elementary school was on schedule, though officials had yet to pick a name for the building.
Oskaloosa and Fairfield were announced as overnight stops for RAGBRAI. The Fairfield stop eventually wound up in the Guinness Book of World Records.
Lightning was blamed for a house fire, the first of what would become a very busy year for Ottumwa firefighters. By year’s end, 40 structure fires took place within city limits.