The Ottumwa Courier

Local News

December 26, 2013

2013 Year in Review


The search committee announced Dave Silverio as its pick for the new Ottumwa Transit director. His selection was later confirmed by the City Council.

Iowa announced a second round of Blue Zone communities. Again, Ottumwa fell short. But Oskaloosa made the cut.


John Hunolt was named recipient of the Gene Schultz Community Service Award.

Crime in 2012 was down, according to the Ottumwa Police Department’s annual report.

Officials started talking about the need for expanding broadband access in Ottumwa and how to do it. High-speed Internet access was a theme through the course of the year, with both government and business leaders highlighting it as a key to economic growth.

Retired teachers donated a bulldog statue to Evans Middle School. The dog was installed at the west entrance to the school.

Ottumwa’s government was blasted for its secrecy during the hiring of the new transit director. Despite the efforts to limit what the public knew, the Iowa League of Cities said the search was conducted legally.

The city continued its efforts to change the way Ottumwa Transit does business. New rules were put into place for how the authority could handle contracts.

Seth Techel went on trial, charged with killing his wife, Lisa, in 2012. The trial ended after jurors deadlocked. Unable to reach a verdict, the jury left the judge little choice but to declare a mistrial. Prosecutors immediately said they would seek a new trial.

River Hills suggested it could leave downtown and seek space elsewhere in Ottumwa.

Naming Ottumwa’s new elementary school came down to two final choices: Liberty or Fahrney. The Ottumwa school board eventually selected Liberty.

Conservationists took a look at Chief Wapello for ideas on how to preserve the statue, which was dislodged from its perch atop the Wapello County Courthouse by a violent storm in 2012. The statue had yet to regain its place by year’s end.

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Local News
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