The Ottumwa Courier

Local News

June 19, 2013

To the Skies

OTTUMWA — Ottumwans will turn their eyes to the sky this weekend as hot air balloons float above the city.

The 36th annual Ottumwa Pro Balloon Races kicked off Wednesday night with carnival rides, Ottumwa Shrine Club’s barbecue pork dinner, Ottumwa Municipal Band concert and balloon activities. The fun continues throughout the weekend with more food, music, entertainment and of course, skies filled with hot air balloons.

This year, 36 pilots from six states — Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Illinois and Wisconsin — will maneuver their balloons above Ottumwa as they try to drop baggies onto targets as accurately as possible.

“The fun flight [Friday night] is really a chance for the pilots to be able to meet up with their sponsors and take the sponsor for a ride,” said Dale Dommer, who organizes the balloon races every year alongside his wife, Holly.

During the fun flight, the pilot tries to grab a ring off the top of a pole to win $250. But to up the ante, if the sponsor agrees to fly, the pilot could win $500 if he or she snags the ring.

The fun flight does not count for the overall competition, though. The real competition begins at 6 a.m. Saturday.

Pilots are given different colored baggies, which they have to drop as close to the center of an “X” as possible at two or three locations across the city.

“The balloonmeister [Bill Clemons] determines where the ‘X’ is going to be placed, and sometimes it can be pretty challenging,” he said. “It’s all a matter of accuracy, trying to get as close to the center of the ‘X.’”

But sometimes instead of dropping a baggie on an “X,” the pilots will instead be asked to throw baggies into two large triangles, the distance between them counting toward their final score.

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