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This is when we’d usually be doing an editorial tied to commencement events at area high schools. We’d be planning for several busy weekends, trying to get to multiple ceremonies for photos celebrating the Class of 2020.

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It was easy to miss on Thursday, but Wapello County hit a major milestone in the pandemic. After weeks of watching the number of cases jump from one day to another, the number of active cases fell.

Don’t tell my kids, but I’m reading a book again that makes them nervous.

It’s getting increasingly difficult to ignore the fact Gov. Kim Reynolds has had a fair amount to say about COVID-19 hotspots in Iowa wherever they’ve popped up in the past couple weeks — unless it’s Wapello County.

I’m writing this column a few days early for once. It’s not like there’s anything else I’m going to settle on, and who knows what the next few days will bring.

The announcement that the Wapello County Fair has been canceled for 2020, the first cancellation since World War II, wasn’t a huge surprise. As businesses and organizations struggle to find a way to reach a semblance of normalcy in an era of social distancing, many are erring on the side of …

Local officials have been insistent in recent days that they are prohibited from releasing additional information about where the sharp increase in COVID cases are coming from. We don’t think they’re right.

There’s no real way around it. The first time I ran an errand with a face mask on last week, I felt like a dork.

There are some critical points that people need to understand about the next couple of weeks and the way Iowa is beginning the process of allowing businesses to reopen. One of the biggest is that we should be careful drawing conclusions immediately.

Colin’s been getting a taste of some old-school video games over the past week.

As the COVID-19 pandemic wears on, there has begun to be some discussion about when, and how, to begin relaxing the restrictions we’re living under. But we’re missing a major piece of the puzzle, one that is essential in knowing how to do so without risking a new spike in cases.

When I was growing up, I always thought a World Series between the Cardinals and Rangers would be a no-lose prospect for me. I lived in St. Louis. I was born in Dallas. Either way, a team I liked would win.

The city is on shaky ground if it embraces the riverfront revitalization plan being pushed by the Ottumwa Regional Legacy Foundation right now. It should wait to proceed, even if that delays the project by a year or more.

Federal officials believe this week may well be the worst nationally for the COVID-19 outbreak. Iowa, as it has throughout this pandemic, is a couple weeks behind the national trend. No matter where you are, April is going to be tough.

An old friend posted a link Friday morning on Facebook that I really wish she hadn’t. It’s easily the most irritating earworm I’ve ever heard in my life.

Iowa saw a spectacular act of selfishness on Thursday, one made all the more stunning by the fact it came as people are trying to pull together in an effort to limit the spread of COVID-19 and its toll on the state.

I’ll admit it: I watch too much television.

This is a hard time for all of us. We understand that. Aside from the concern about the spread of COVID-19, there is the loss of routines and, in many cases, income. People have good reason to be on edge.

This is a tough announcement to make. It was comforting for so many years to think of serious, lethal outbreaks of highly infectious diseases as having been confined safely to the history books or to fiction. The past several months have shown the world otherwise.

Newsrooms have a long, not always proud tradition of gallows humor. The jokes and stories that get passed around are rarely the kind of things we’d publish, especially when the people telling the stories have been in the business for a while.

Tuesday’s vote by the council on the Fiscal 2021 budget was no surprise to anyone who has paid attention to city government. Councils rarely make major changes to the budget proposal they receive from the finance department, and this time was no different.

It started off as an experiment, a trial and error. It ended with being a member of a state championship team.

The 2020 construction season is here. Weather delayed the streetscape work by a day, but it got going this week. It’s one of the higher-profile projects in Ottumwa, but Ottumwans are still in the dark about the other big one. With each day that passes, the silence at the former site of St. J…

I’m not a chilihead the way some people are. Don’t get me wrong, I probably use more than my share of hot sauce. When my wife and I were dating, she thought my parents’ cooking was too hot. Now she reaches for the Tabasco as readily as anyone.

This week’s statement from Wapello County Public Health on coronavirus fears was clear and warranted. At its heart, the message was that awareness and vigilance are warranted, but panic is not.

I’m writing this a few days early this week. I woke up this morning to news that the Boy Scouts of America declared bankruptcy amid thousands of abuse claims against the organization.

We understand why a lot of people are on edge about the new coronavirus, now called COVID-19, that has erupted in China and spread to a number of countries. Any time there’s a new disease it’s scary. Combine that with the ease by which this one appears to jump from one person to another, the…

The city’s budget throws into stark relief the difference between where Ottumwa is and where other cities our size are. It’s a deficit Ottumwa is unlikely to be able to make up anytime soon, which means the shortfalls may well become worse in the coming years.

Tuesday brought my favorite part of preparing items for our Ottumwa Life magazine. I got to head over to Heartland Humane Society to get photos for the Adoptable Pets section.