The Ottumwa Courier

Local News

May 25, 2013

Travelers bring two lessons in one

OTTUMWA — From a teaching standpoint, the timing couldn't have been better.

Ottumwa High School educator Patti Durflinger was running an errand in Eldon Thursday when she saw two miniature covered wagons. She struck up a conversation with the "drivers" and discovered that a Missouri couple was taking action on their environmental beliefs.

"I had just had [my students] working on a section about the environment," Durflinger said Friday. "This couple was so enthusiastic."

The wife, Dana McGuire, and husband Gavain U'Prichard, are on foot pulling the wagons which, on the outside, list the causes they support and on the inside have supplies and their 2-year-old. When school lets out, they'll have their other children, ages 11, 8 and 4. They're walking to Canada, hoping to raise awareness of how important the environment is, Durflinger said. When she heard they'd be stopping in Ottumwa, she asked them if they'd be willing to stop at OHS.

Students talked to the visitors, pulled the wagons and had their pictures taken by Durflinger. Her environmental section had been on wildlife, the importance of being kind to our environment and the factors that can impact nature.

Though the couple's specific cause is climate change and global warming by 4 to 6 degrees, Durflinger said that is a bit more in-depth than her students needed to go. They're aware there are multiple viewpoints on the subject and that it's a topic of scientific and political debate. Friday's visit wasn't about supporting or countering the couple's specific environmental beliefs. Though the visit did jumpstart a conversation about science, the "teachable moment" Durflinger saw while talking to the couple in Eldon went beyond the environment, even beyond science.

"We want [students]," she said, "to be aware that there are people who believe in a cause, to see somebody who is really passionate about something. To understand if there's something [a student] believes in, they can either be complacent or take action."

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


Obituaries

Facebook