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.

Text Only
Local News
  • 0723 OTT Riverfront color photo -L -M Ideas flow at Riverfront Renaissance workshop OTTUMWA — Ideas flowed as freely as the river itself Tuesday evening as more than 100 Ottumwans shared their vision of what the riverfront can be.The Riverfront Renaissance design charrette, sponsored by the Ottumwa Regional Legacy Foundation, drew p

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Kids … not cash OTTUMWA — From a project that started with nothing, supporters created a top-notch education facility for at-risk youth. Someone in on the project from the beginning shared the story. Wapello County Supervisor Jerry Parker addressed a community advis

    July 22, 2014

  • Staying healthy during extreme heat OTTUMWA — After unusually cool temperatures last week, it may have been easy to forget how the heat of summer feels, but an incoming heat wave will quickly remind you. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, heat is the No.

    July 22, 2014

  • Shooting ruled homicide OTTUMWA — The death of a man shot in Wapello County has been ruled a homicide. The Wapello County Sheriff’s Office on Monday received a 911 call of a shooting 4 miles southwest of Ottumwa. Deputies discovered Clinton Gus Leedom, 49, of Bloomfield, to

    July 22, 2014

  • 0723 OTT flood file photo Over $1 million to fight floods EDDYVILLE — It's not the way a town wants to get $1 million, but the damage suffered by Eddyville in recent floods has prompted the federal government to cut a check. Actually, it's Area 15 Regional Planning Commission, a community assistance agency

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Driver's license services temporarily suspended KEOSAUQUA — Van Buren County Treasurer’s Office has notified the Iowa Department of Transportation that it has suspended driver’s license services due to staffing issues in the county treasurer’s office. It is anticipated suspension of the services

    July 22, 2014

  • 0723 OTT Canoe Camp color photo -L -M -T Canoe Camp teaches water safety OTTUMWA — Six children at Pioneer Nature Area and Nature Center pond were making waves and getting wet as they flipped their canoes over in attempt to rescue each other. Since summertime and water activities go hand-in-hand, the goal of the activity

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0723 OTT Seth Techel mugshot -T Techel jury may begin deliberations Wednesday DAVENPORT — The jury in the third trial of a Wapello County man accused of murdering his wife may begin deliberations as early as Wednesday in Scott County, Davenport. The jury was excused mid-afternoon Tuesday while Judge Daniel Wilson, who continue

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Three appointed to Board of Adjustment OTTUMWA — Three new faces will appear on Wapello County Board of Adjustment, thanks to help from the county’s newspaper of record, the Ottumwa Courier. Four applicants applied for the positions and three were selected. New members include Marcia Week

    July 22, 2014

  • Slain woman's boyfriend: I didn't kill her DAVENPORT — A married man who had an affair with a slain Wapello County woman testified this morning that he did not kill her. Jason Tinnes, a jailer who worked with the late Lisa Caldwell Techel, said their affair ended shortly before she died. Tinn

    July 22, 2014

Photo reprints