The Ottumwa Courier

Local News

April 16, 2014

Hedrick building has friends

HEDRICK — The community wants a civic center, and they've been willing to work for it.

"I'd say we have 15 to 25 volunteers each time," Tommy Smith of Hedrick said. "These are all good people."

Smith was volunteering his services at the Easter Brunch held at, and for, the Carl Craft Civic Center in Hedrick. Easter and Mother's Day are the two biggest fundraisers, but Hedrick has one of its brunches the second Sunday of nearly every month.

For the Easter holiday, they served roast lamb, smoked ham, scrambled eggs, biscuits and sausage gravy, the beloved sauerkraut soup with the potatoes and chunks of sausage, mashed potatoes (real mashed potatoes, pointed out a volunteer) and salads.

It makes sense they'd bring in donations, on a freewill basis, because a big chunk of the $240,000 they brought in through their fundraising went to build a brand new kitchen. It's been helping fund the civic center ever since.

The goal is to completely renovate the old high school gym. But rather than doing that as one big project for half a million dollars, like some towns might do, they've taken a different route.

"We're making progress," said Laverne Cavin, "steady progress. We're real lucky with the volunteers we have."

Smith said they've made improvements like adding air conditioning, new furnaces and insulation.

Cavin, former mayor of Hedrick, estimated that over and above money from fundraising, the hours community members have volunteered knocking down walls, tearing up old boards and lugging debris have been worth tens of thousands of dollars, if not hundreds of thousands. Up to 25 show up to help each month.

Smith, who was not born in Hedrick, said the story goes that there's fond memories of that gym, including some proud basketball moments and nostalgia. "When the school district consolidated with Pekin, Pekin tore the high school down. People asked them to leave the gym standing."

Text Only
Local News
  • Graham's presentation A sweet history lesson OTTUMWA — In one of the most popular monthly presentations the Wapello County Historical Society has ever hosted, it was standing-room only to hear the history of Graham Milk and Ice Cream Company and try some of the popular product. A landmark in Ot

    July 31, 2014 3 Photos

  • Ready, set, shop! OTTUMWA — Iowa's government says businesses must participate in the Tax-Free Weekend this Friday and Saturday. Store manager Greg Martin isn't complaining. "It’ll be much busier [than typical weekends]. Back to school is the second busiest season nex

    July 31, 2014

  • LCL scholarship recipients Supporting the health care future of the community OTTUMWA — For several area college students, Thursday afternoon was a chance to put names and faces with the thousands of scholarship dollars they have just received. The Ottumwa Regional Legacy Foundation hosted a reception to honor the 25 college s

    July 31, 2014 2 Photos

  • 0801 OTT DMV new building exterior -M Ottumwa's DMV station ready to move OTTUMWA — If you believe you'll need to visit the driver's license station next month, you may want to write this down: 2849 N. Court St., Suite B. That'll be the new address for the Iowa DMV's office, which is currently located across from the Fairf

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0801 OTT Five Things logo -L T Five things to do in southeast Iowa OTTUMWA — Celebrate summer in a variety of ways and in several communities this weekend. Many towns are holding festivals, shows and events all centered around the summer theme, so head out while it's warm. 1. "Summer Shorts" is the Davis County Play

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0731 OTT Aviation plane -T -M Flying free OTTUMWA — The financial obstacle may have been removed if your career goal starts with learning to fly. "We have it set up for three terms, about nine months," said pilot and chief flight instructor Darren Graham at Indian Hills Community College. "

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Supervisors discuss pipeline potential KEOSAUQUA — Van Buren County Supervisors received preliminary, general information on a new pipeline being proposed to carry oil from North Dakota through Iowa, including Van Buren County, then crossing into Illinois. The proposed Bakken Pipeline wou

    July 30, 2014

  • Fairfield stabbing suspects' trials separated FAIRFIELD — The three people accused of dragging a man into a Fairfield apartment before robbing and stabbing him have had a judge grant their requests to separate their trials. Dawn Dunn, Dustin Roll and Brett Hedblade are each charged with willful

    July 30, 2014

  • Local business donates grain rescue tube KEOSAUQUA — Stockport Elevator, owned by Roquette America, donated a grain rescue tube to Birmingham and Stockport Fire Departments. A training session was conducted Monday, led by Dale Ekdahl, a representative of Outstate Data, LLC, the device’s man

    July 30, 2014

  • Where do my taxes go? OTTUMWA — Wapello County Board certified its tax levy. But what does that mean? Based on budgets submitted by various levying authors, the Wapello County Auditor prepares and certifies the levy rates for the county. Budgets for each levy are based on

    July 30, 2014

Photo reprints


Obituaries

Facebook