The Ottumwa Courier

Local News

June 23, 2013

View from the ground

OTTUMWA -- Pilot and passengers say the view out of a hot air balloon can be spectacular from the air. But veteran chase-car drivers will tell you that they've seen some interesting things on the ground, too.

At the 36th Annual Ottumwa Pro Balloon Races, most views this year had to be enjoyed from ground level.

"There were three competition flights we wanted to do," said Dale Dommer, one of the organizers. "We did not get any of them in."

None of the balloonists or crew members (the people who help assemble, recover and break down the balloon) seemed terribly disappointed Saturday and Sunday.

"We go to races all over," Dommer said, "with the knowledge we might not get to fly. We may fly every flight, none or somewhere in between. It's part of the life of being a balloonist."

Pilot Mike Hadley of Richland said ballooning happens about 50 percent of the time. He went traveling around one year where he and his wife were able to race 17 out of 19 times. But that's not typical. Averaged out over the years they've been flying, they expect about half their flights to take off.

"We did get to fly two nights. We cancelled the competition portion but we did a fun flight," Dommer said Sunday.

During the fun flight, there was a goal. Brandon Bloom of Indianola, sponsored by Hy-Vee, flew across Church Street toward Ottumwa Park. Below him was a kiddy pool. The crowd went wild when he successfully dropped his rubber duck into the water. And with the night glow and the fireworks display, said Dommer, the park was just packed.

That type of support comes from area residents who weren't at the event, too. Kelly Maxcy of Des Moines, said property owners in and around Wapello County were typically kinder than those in other areas.

Text Only
Local News
  • Pedersen: Spec. Ed. students should count ELDON — If you're going to publish graduation rates, stop excluding some children who are doing well. "In some ways, I think it's a little upsetting to the parents of a child who has a physical handicap or is otherwise [in special education], that th

    April 23, 2014

  • 0424 OTT Pennsylvania construction B&W photo -M -T Penn Ave. construction begins Thursday OTTUMWA — Motorists are advised that Pennsylvania Avenue will be closing for Stage 1 of the Pennsylvania Avenue Reconstruction and Widening Project on Thursday. Pennsylvania Avenue will be closed from just downhill from the intersection with Jefferso

    April 23, 2014 2 Photos

  • 0424 OTT Lottery addiction graphic -T -L -M Hoping for riche$ — Part 3

    OTTUMWA — At first, George bought a lottery ticket once or twice a week. Nothing big. Spent $1 or $2 at a time. As the big jackpots rolled around, he’d purchase a few more tickets. No big deal, he thought. Soon, playing the lottery became his obsessi

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo 2 Stories

  • Interpreter bill approved in kidnapping case OTTUMWA — A filing in an Ottumwa case illustrates one of the basic tenets of the American legal system and its costs. Adem Anota is charged with one count of kidnapping. The charge is a Class A felony, among the most serious and one of only a few cri

    April 23, 2014

  • Van Buren OKs teacher pay hike KEOSAUQUA — The Van Buren Community School Board ratified a master contract with its certified staff members recently. Superintendent Dr. Pam Ewell, the Van Buren Education Association and the district reached a settlement which calls for increasing

    April 23, 2014

  • 'Ride With the Clowns' bike event full of fun OTTUMWA — This bike ride is a joke. No, seriously. The 10th annual "Ride With the Clowns" spring tune-up is set for Saturday, May 3, and this fun ride is sponsored by the Ottumwa Shrine Club Clown Unit. "It draws a regular crowd," said Mark Merringer

    April 23, 2014

  • Youth playing with guns panic Fairfield residents FAIRFIELD — The Fairfield Police Department received two calls Tuesday from concerned citizens reporting kids with guns in the vicinity of both elementary schools. In both incidents, the guns were actually pellet guns but looked real. According to a

    April 23, 2014

  • The most fun you ever had

    OTTUMWA — Not every child's idea will be possible — but every idea was recorded. "Kaboom" project manager Brenna Hull of the nonprofit group's San Francisco office was in Ottumwa Tuesday. She asked students at the Ottumwa school district what they'd like to see in a playground.

    April 22, 2014

  • 0423 OTT Recycle center color photo 2 -T -M Where every day is Earth Day

    OTTUMWA — Putting cans in the correct bin, saving electricity and adjusting the thermostat are not new concepts to the Ottumwa/Wapello Recycling Center staff. "We try to practice what we preach," said Janice Bain,

    April 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • 0423 OTT lottery retailers graph -T -M Hoping for riche$ — Part 2

    OTTUMWA — We’ve all heard countless stories of lottery winners and losers. The winners, some of whom hold down multiple jobs, have modest dreams for now. One wants to buy a new home or car, another wants to pay of their debts or give to charity and e

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo 2 Stories

Photo reprints


Obituaries

Facebook
E-edition