OTTUMWA — This is the third of three installments of the year in review as seen in Ottumwa Courier headlines.
Both Ottumwa and Blakesburg received federal funding to improve water quality for residents.
A farm crawl through southeast Iowa put the spotlight on local foods as more area residents were informed about eating locally-grown items.
Schools debated just when the opening bell should ring after the education secretary suggested more sleep might help students in the classroom.
Cargill announced plans for a new hog feed plant north of Ottumwa. This would add to Cargill’s already substantial investments in southeast Iowa.
Indian Hills attempted to give students a boost by opening the Pothoven Academic Success Center. The center was named after John Pothoven, the president of the board of trustees.
Ottumwa voters elected two new members to the local school board.
Phil Noel was named Ottumwa Regional Health Center’s new CEO, succeeding Phil Dionne as the center’s head.
The Broadway Boys, a national touring show asked Seton Catholic School’s choir to join them onstage during their Ottumwa performance.
The Grassroots Gaming Expo helped keep Ottumwa in touch with its place in video game history.
Iowa’s economy continued a slow climb back from recession. That process led Cargill and Workforce Development to jointly host a job fair for prospective area employees.
Ottumwa made a bid to land Mumford and Sons for a performance by filming a video appeal to the band.
A student at Evans Middle School was arrested after being caught with a marijuana pipe. The arrest sparked discussions about younger students and drug use.
Rain wouldn’t normally be a headline event, but it was in late September. The first significant rains in more than a month fell on Ottumwa.
Gas prices began a long decline that would take them below $3 per gallon. Prices rebounded slightly at the end of the year.
Wilson Elementary School celebrated as it was taken off a national list of schools in need of assistance.
Oktoberfest celebrated 40 years as one of the biggest events in Ottumwa.
Work began on the intersection of Highway 34 and Quincy Avenue. The construction work would make traffic tricky for much of the rest of the year, though it was completed in December.
Honey Creek Resort got lucky, avoiding fire after a lightning strike hit the main lodge.
Ottumwa schools finally got their text alert systems set up for parents, but complaints remained through the end of the year that the system was not working as well as expected.
Ottumwans took to the streets for a walk as part of the governor’s healthiest state initiative.
After several weeks of uncertainty, a new contract meant there would not be a strike by Ottumwa school bus drivers.
Requests for assistance were up at local food pantries as people continued to struggle in a weak economy.
Indian Hills Community College hosted a career day for students in eighth grade.
A group of Ottumwa Girl Scouts made a video wearing bald caps as a way to raise awareness of the need to be informed about cancer.
Light snow fell on the area. October snow isn’t unheard of for southeast Iowa, but this heralded a sharply colder turn that would endure through the end of the year.
Students from Ottumwa High School got to meet da Vinci, a robotic surgeon at ORHC. The students dove right in, taking quick advantage of the opportunity to manipulate the system during the visit.
Indian Hills hosted a groundbreaking for a planned business incubator. Incubators provide low or no-cost overhead and infrastructure for business startups.
Seth Techel’s retrial began in Mount Pleasant.
Zombie Fest drew shambling hordes of undead, or at least their dopplegangers, to Ottumwa for the halloween season.
Work began on transforming an old tree in the Ottumwa Cemetery into a statue of a Civil War-era soldier in the veterans’ section of the cemetery.
The Legacy Foundation asked the public for input on what they wanted to see with the renovations of the former movie theater in downtown Ottumwa.
A new dialysis center opened, providing residents with access to additional treatment options.
Tom Lazio won his bid for Ottumwa mayor in a landslide. The election also sent two new council members into city government.
Work on the Chillicothe bridge neared completion.
Seth Techel’s retrial ended in a second hung jury, reportedly by the same 10-2 margin as the first trial. Prosecutors plan to retry Techel a third time, but a location and date have not been set.
The 833rd Engineer Company arrived back in Ottumwa after deployment to Afghanistan. The return meant the Iowa National Guard had no full units serving in either Iraq or Afghanistan for the first time in more than a decade.
A town hall meeting aimed at teaching people how to tap into the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. The rollout ran into multiple challenges.
Southeast Iowans paused in late November to reflect on the Kennedy assassination, 50 years after it happened in Dallas.
The Iowa Department of Transportation sent its librarian to Ottumwa to talk about the history of Iowa’s transportation system.
A train derailment in Albia caused a stir but no injuries as several cars carrying salt came off the rails.
Temperatures plunged. While winters in southeast Iowa often have periods in which daytime highs struggle to reach freezing, the extended cold was unusual for its duration and severity.
A grinch broke into an Ottumwa family’s home and stole their Christmas presents.
SIEDA moved into a new home. It wasn’t a long trip, though, as they moved less than a block down the street.
David Barajas, the Ottumwa Economic Development Center’s director, announced he was departing for a new job in Marshalltown.
Seth Techel’s attorneys were allowed to withdraw from the case. They had announced plans to do so after the first retrial.
The Legacy Foundation made more than $162,000 in grants to local agencies.
Cardinal Superintendent Joel Pedersen was nominated for the John C. Maxwell Leadership Award. The nomination for the national award recognized Pedersen’s work in leading the district and embracing new opportunities.
A major snowstorm just before Christmas dropped eight inches of snow on the Ottumwa area. The heaviest band was just to the northwest.
Bob Gomez retired from Dr Pepper in Ottumwa after about a half-century of helping tweak people’s taste buds.
Longtime Ottumwa radio owner Tom Palen announced he was selling KLEE and KOTM. He said the sale would protect their character as uniquely local stations.