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
  • 0730 OTT Better Buildings -T -M Wildwood could be your home OTTUMWA — There was always one child per class who just adored school. If they went to Wildwood, they may soon be able to move in permanently. The Ottumwa board of education met Monday, where staff told them where the district stood as far as "facili

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • A changing roster -- for school board OTTUMWA — If the last time you saw your board of education was before Christmastime, the current school board might surprise you. Two members retired from the board: longtime educator Ron Oswalt stepped down, as did board president Carol Mitchell. Bo

    July 29, 2014

  • Lottery sales top $3 million mark

    OTTUMWA — Mother Nature may have thrown Iowans a brutal winter, but it didn’t stop them from venturing out to buy lottery tickets. On Tuesday, the Iowa Lottery confirmed that it had topped the $3 million mark in sales for the third consecutive year.

    July 29, 2014

  • halo-5-guardians-concept_wallpaper-1920x1080-53cf9b0098ea45ada37dc0f66bc174f5.jpg The Art of Kong

    OTTUMWA — The Mona Lisa. Whistler's Mother. Donkey Kong? Don't be so surprised, said Walter Day, that video games and the surrounding memorabilia are being considered art. The creativity and artistic vision required to create a poster, said the found

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Slideshow: Truck overturns on roundabout

    July 28, 2014

  • 0729 OTT Picture veteran -T -M Veteran finally receives his medals OTTUMWA — A World War II injury may have saved the life of a U.S. Coast Guardsman from Iowa, but he lost friends and a box of military awards. Francis Hardy Harbour was born on Dec.16, 1919, in Drakesville. He joined the Coast Guard in 1941 as a mach

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Seasonal forecast Cool summer leading to cool fall? OTTUMWA — By late July, the average daytime high temperature starts to drop. What is normally the hottest part of the year is over. Averages are still in the mid-80s, and it certainly wouldn’t be out of the ordinary to see days in even the upper 90s.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • IHCC buildings.jpg Grant helps Hills keep students on track

    OTTUMWA — Thanks to a grant designed to improve graduation rates, Indian Hills Community College now has even more tools in its campuswide effort to help students with needs and give them the resources they need to stay in class. Indian Hills is one

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • 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

Photo reprints


Obituaries

Facebook