The Ottumwa Courier

Local News

December 26, 2013

2013 Year in Review



Ottumwa High School claimed a graduation rate of 81 percent. While this was up from a rate of 70-75 percent several years ago, it still lagged well behind the state average.

Students in Ottumwa faced a school shuffle with the opening of the newly named Liberty Elementary School. The changes in where students attended classes went into effect with the start of the 2013-14 academic year.

Ottumwa firefighters and police officers played dodgeball in a combination team-building exercise and fundraiser.

A leak at the Wapello County Law Center destroyed equipment used by the county’s 911 dispatchers. The leak, caused by a frozen pipe, forced calls to be routed through other counties for a time.

The Des Moines River at Ottumwa was rising, but fears of possible flooding were downplayed as experts thought the drought that began in the summer of 2012 would continue. It became a strange weather year, though. The state saw its wettest spring in history, followed by a summer drought that was even worse than 2012 in some places.

A grease fire at Cargill drew Ottumwa firefighters, but the fire was quickly contained with minimal damage.

The Ottumwa High School show choir returned from competition as grand champions for the first time. The season was the choir’s most successful in more than a decade of competitions, with multiple finishes in the top three.

One final resident of St. Joseph Hospital was discovered: Mr. Bones. The fully articulated skeleton was found as the building was cleared in preparation for demolition.

A federal lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency included Ottumwa. The suit successfully contended the EPA ignored rule-making procedures and implemented regulations illegally.

Ottumwa firefighters participated in the “Fight for Air Climb,” a combination competition and fundraiser that tested their ability to do move up several stories while wearing full firefighting gear.

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