We added a new member to our household over the weekend, at least for the season.

If you're interested in submitting a Letter to the Editor, click here.

Last week a reader came into our office and asked about whether Ottumwa should have a ward system, rather than the at-large city council it currently has. We took the question to our editorial board, which met this week.

The City of Ottumwa is considering investing in the development of a hotel property adjacent to the Bridgeview Center. The primary goal of the investment, as stated by Councilmember Mark Roe during his editorial board interview, is to attract visitor spending and offset the existing public s…

The death of Chief Justice Mark Cady leaves a massive void in the Iowa judiciary. Aside from the shock of his death at 66, it comes at a time when the relationship of the judicial branch to the other levers of governmental power is under as much scrutiny as it has ever been. It is a delicate…

It’s not quite Thanksgiving yet, but any question about whether the holidays are upon us were answered by Santa’s downtown visit on Thursday and Friday evening’s hike through the Holiday Nights ’N Lights display.

Well, as predicted my resistance to Disney+ lasted all of about 12 hours this past week. The lure of Star Wars was too much to resist. Honestly, for a lifelong Star Wars fan “The Mandalorian” alone probably is worth the price.

Supervisor Brian Morgan’s comment that he was “shocked” by the number of ballots needed for last week’s elections could have described us when we heard just how many ballots were needed, too.

Last week’s announcement that Wells Fargo and the U.S. Small Business Administration would expand a microfinance program to Ottumwa was good news for the community. It’s tough to say just how much of an effect it will have, but it’s an encouraging step.

During this time of Thanksgiving, MANY THANKS to all past and current veterans, all law enforcement individuals, all First Responders, all Fireman - Thank you for your service in keeping us safe and protected.

Tuesday’s elections saw Ottumwa voters turn out five members of the school board, ensuring the board will look very different in the near future. It was an unmistakable statement of dissatisfaction with the current board.

I recently read an article in the Ottumwa Courier entitled, "City's concentration of power concerning." It was an interesting article, and seemed to point out a very problematic issue with the way our current administration, council, and Mayor have handled particular situations as of late. W…

Many of the Courier’s editorials have points on which reasonable people can disagree. That’s normal and, frankly, healthy. Americans never have been much for marching in lock-step on issues for long.

I’ve always enjoyed Halloween. It’s one of the few times of the year I can indulge my love of morbid movies and themes without worrying about how weird I look.

I love a white Christmas. A white blanket of fresh-fallen snow sets the scene perfectly for a visit from Santa, cocoa and opening gifts in front of the Christmas tree.

As our readers let us know, this past Saturday’s editorial page fell well short of our standards. There were multiple, serious errors. Here’s what happened.

The Courier’s editorial board has reservations about this year’s candidates for city council. While the board commended the candidates for stepping forward, none was a clear-cut match for both the office and the situation Ottumwa currently finds itself in.

The return of trout to Ottumwa was a boon for area anglers, but I never can watch the stocking of the ponds without recalling a scout trip I went on more than two decades ago.

The Courier’s editorial board wrapped up interviews with each of the four city council candidates Thursday night. We appreciate each taking the time to meet with us and explain their views on current city issues and what they see as Ottumwa’s path forward in a changing world.

Rob Freed’s comments about riding his bike across Iowa as part of a cross-country ride to raise awareness of the disease that took his son’s life weren’t specifically aimed at Ottumwa. But they still hit a mark.

Hed: That’s rock?

Much of this week’s meeting of the Courier’s editorial board focused on the current dispute over the standing of seven candidates for Ottumwa’s school board. The candidates are the subjects of a new court filing that seeks to have them removed from the ballot because their candidate petition…

The school board’s decision Monday to tap the brakes a bit on the assessment of the country club site as a possible location for a new elementary school makes sense. It’s also an important indicator that what had appeared at times to be a headlong rush is a more deliberate process than criti…

My husband and I try to be do-it-yourselfers as much as possible. It saves us some money and gives us a chance to work together on something.

The city council has an important decision to make tonight. It is being asked to vote on hiring Moulder & Associates/Midwest Municipal Consulting to help find a new city administrator. It’s not the kind of thing that usually gets a lot of attention from the public, but it’s difficult to …

This week, as always, provides some time for reflection. The tragedy that took place 18 years ago, to many, still elicits strong memories and emotions from those who witnessed it, even if it was through the lens of television.

The Ottumwa Fire Department had a busy weekend. Four structure fires in about two hours, which included three within about a half-hour, always raise questions.

Back to school preparations this year were pretty much the same in my house as they’ve been for more than a decade. As my children got older they had more say, but it’s still fundamentally a process of preparing to get back to a school schedule.

The sudden placement of City Administrator Andy Morris on administrative leave raises serious questions about the city council’s adherence to Iowa’s open meetings law.

One of the great things about parenting is introducing your kids to the things you loved as a child.

One of the top stories we’ve had recently was Frank Huston’s interview looking back at his career. It hit the paper Friday, and the online readership underscores the effect he had on generations of Ottumwans.

I’ve been reading an interesting book this past week. I almost always have more than one book going at a time, but this is one of those rare times one of them has been so strong it crowded out the others.

The laws surrounding consent may vary state by state, but you don’t need to be a legal expert to understand how consent plays out in everyday life.

Larry Northup and the Evans Middle School students on the Great Western Expedition should be getting back into town this morning. It’s Northup’s final trip with the school’s travel program, a program he has shepherded for years.

Like many of you, we’ve been seeing posts online by people saying their electrical bills have shot up by far more than Alliant Energy’s interim rate would allow, or even their proposed rate hike if it was approved in full by the Iowa Utilities Board.

It’s not often a major piece of new equipment comes with a discount of more than 50 percent, but that’s effectively what the city is getting with the new river rescue boat. The cost to the city was slashed thanks to donations from other organizations.

It has been fun to watch the Bulldog baseball and softball teams this summer. Both have had seasons to be proud of, and they’re not finished.

One of the biggest gambles on Ottumwa’s future in recent years kicked off Monday. Crews began setting up protective barriers to separate the sidewalks in front of businesses on East Main Street from the streetscape project that will remake the road.

I don’t know whether I’ll be able to catch this weekend’s final of the Women’s World Cup live. I’ll try, but I also know I’ll be working.

This has indisputably been a difficult year for those who manage Iowa’s waterways. Far more rain has fallen in 2019 than normal. While patterns have been less relentless in the past several weeks, Iowa is still getting more than its share of rain.

If you have the chance to visit the Wapello County Historical Museum’s exhibit on World War I, do it. It’s worth seeing.

This Week's Circulars

Obituaries

SIGOURNEY formally of Floris. Funeral service Sunday 2:00 P.M. at the Holm Funeral Home , Sigourney. Visitation 1 hour before. Graveside service Monday 1:30 P.M. at IOOF Cemetery, Bloomfield. Surviving her husband Harold Henderson. Arrangements Holm Funeral Home.

Marilyn McDanel, 89, Centerville, died December 4, 2019, at Wayne County Hospital, Corydon. Funeral services are 10a.m. Monday, December 9, with visitation 2-4p.m. Sunday, December 8, at Thomas Funeral Home. Condolences may be shared at www.thomasfh.com or facebook.com/thomasfuneralhome.

KESWICK Joseph Kiefer died Dec. 3, 2019 in Iowa City. Funeral Mass, Saturday 10:30 A.M. at St. Mary Catholic Church, Prayer service Friday 4:00 P.M. with visitation til 7:00 P.M. Holm Funeral Home Sigourney.