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
  • 0728 OTT ribs in eldon BBQ dinner with a hundred friends

    ELDON --- This year's Eldon Rib Cook-off was won by three BBQ chefs --- and about 150 hungry visitors. "I was down here last year, too," said Dwayne Yates from Floris, who was biting into his third smoked rib. "I never had a bad one yet." That's what

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Mediacom: Rural cable consumers and companies mistreated OTTUMWA --- You may want to add just a racing channel, a court channel or a nature channel to your cable line up. Unfortunately, you'll probably have to buy a "bundle," which, ironically, is what it will cost you here in Wapello County. That's accord

    July 26, 2014

  • Alternate juror could not have convicted Techel based on evidence DAVENPORT — An alternate juror who was dismissed before Seth Techel, 23, of Agency was convicted of killing his wife and the non-consensual termination of a human pregnancy says the verdict could have been different if she had been in deliberations.D

    July 25, 2014

  • Overcome testing fear, get a good job OTTUMWA — It's not who you know, it's what you know. That's what City leaders say about getting a good paying job in Ottumwa. "It seems like in the last year we've had a real reduction in the number of individuals who've applied," said Joni Keith, hu

    July 25, 2014

  • Water Pollution Control Facility gets OK to upgrade OTTUMWA — An emergency Ottumwa City Council meeting resulted in spending $140,583 for the Water Pollution Control Facility. Friday afternoon, council members listened intently as Ottumwa Water Pollution Control Facility Superintendent Kam Reeves told

    July 25, 2014

  • Quincy Ave. project starts Aug. 4 OTTUMWA — Updates on the Quincy Avenue project was given to residents and businesses residing between Albia Road and Hwy. 34 on Thursday night at Ottumwa City Hall. About a dozen people attended the meeting where City Engineer Dan Sturm gave an updat

    July 25, 2014

  • Silence continues on fatal shooting OTTUMWA — Law enforcement is exercising its right to remain silent about a shooting death that occurred south of town this week. The Wapello County Sheriff's Office, which had responded to the shooting, said most information on the case would now com

    July 25, 2014

  • 0726 OTT cedar creek Gone in a flash

    BLOOMFIELD — Bob Parker got about as close to lightning as you can Friday morning, and came out of it without injury. A line of thunderstorms started moving through southeast Iowa in the early morning hours. Parker was heading to work at about 7 a.m.

    July 25, 2014 2 Photos

  • 0726 OTT Garden Bites III Color Photo -T Garden Bites sees growth BLOOMFIELD — Nearly one month ago, families gathered at Pioneer Ridge Nature Center to plant various vegetables to harvest and eat on Thursday at Garden Bites. The program allows families to get their hands a bit dirty at Pioneer Ridge and plant food

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0725 OTT Riverfront design A new outlook on Ottumwa OTTUMWA — A "River Renaissance" is brewing in Wapello County. Planners working for Christian Rushing Studio from Tennessee took the public's ideas, and gave them life via maps, numerical projections and artists' renderings. "Hold onto your seats; you

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

Photo reprints


Obituaries

Facebook