The statements from U.S. senators on plans for reformation of the nation’s prison sentencing laws are encouraging. It’s an overdue step that seems, at long last, to have bipartisan support.

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I took physics in high school. Perhaps the best way to describe the results is disastrous. And it was predictable, given my earlier difficulties in chemistry. There’s a reason I chose a career that isn’t connected to high energy experiments.

The statements from U.S. senators on plans for reformation of the nation’s prison sentencing laws are encouraging. It’s an overdue step that seems, at long last, to have bipartisan support.

There has been considerable griping over the Ottumwa school board’s decision to end the practice of allowing students who are not enrolled in the district to compete for Ottumwa teams. We understand the disappointment for families whose children did so. But we also believe the district has a point.

Voters in Wapello County and the rest of Iowa deserve a round of applause. Turnout for Tuesday’s midterm elections was about 55 percent in Wapello County, and just shy of 61 percent in the state as a whole.

The Ottumwa school board is reviewing the athletic sharing agreements and voting on same on Nov. 12. I have been involved with the girls and boys swim teams running the timing equipment for many years.

The midterms are over. I know many people are taking a sigh of relief that the political advertisements have stopped. While I’ve had the same thought cross my mind, the realist in me knows it’s only a matter of time before the presidential ads pick up for caucus season, especially here in Iowa.

The race between Dave Loebsack and Chris Peters for Iowa’s Second Congressional District appears to be something of a rarity statewide this year. Both candidates met with our editorial board, and we want to thank both for doing so.

Iowa Consumer Advocate, Mark Schuling is opposing Alliant Energy’s smart meter rollout at an Iowa Utility Board hearing Nov. 5 in Des Moines. Attorneys General and state utility boards around the country have opposed smart meters due to many studies showing no cost benefit. Smart meters aver…

For most of us, Halloween calls up memories of our childhood, of favorite costumes and the candy we’d haul back home, sometimes by the sack full.

Anyone can claim to have the experience or background to do a job. Jerry Parker has 20 years of experience as our supervisor. The knowledge of how everything runs and not having to be trained is a gold mine we should not ignore. He has many titles and serves on many boards. Here is a small l…

I’m supporting Mary Stewart for Iowa District 41 and I hope you will too. She is truly a listener and works hard to put her hand out and help people. I am a retired elementary teacher, having worked for many years in an at-risk school where children and families came with many needs. I’m cer…

You have to credit Ottumwa Superintendent Nicole Kooiker with giving a blunt, accurate assessment on the district’s efforts to stem the tide of students using open enrollment to study elsewhere.

If I was to describe Mary Stewart in one word it would be genuine. Mary Stewart has tirelessly traveled the district not politicizing but listening to the concerns of her constituents. Mary Stewart understands that politicians can not properly address a problem until they understand the prob…

I am the husband of Mariannette Miller-Meeks. I write in response to a previous letter that accused her of “abandoning Ottumwa” and looking to “get ahead … at any cost.” Our national politics is filled with personal attacks but I never thought this style of politics would reach Ottumwa. Regr…

The city’s steps to address parking regulations in Ottumwa make sense. While they will not satisfy everyone, and the city should remain open to improvements, the changes passed Tuesday are reasonable steps toward ensuring downtown revitalization continues.

I can’t remember the last time it snowed before my birthday.

I’ve talked here about sports in the past. If you’re a regular reader you already know I’m a Cardinals fan and keep close tabs on my hometown Cowboys. The Cards missed the playoffs with a late-season belly flop and the Cowboys don’t look like they’ll make it either.

There’s a big hole in Iowa’s laws regarding what information must be made available when a public employee leaves his or her position, and it’s time for the state to close it.

I am voting for Dr. Mariannette Miller-Meeks this November for the Iowa Senate and I hope you do too.  I met Mariannette many years ago when she became my eye doctor. Since then I have watched her demonstrate her leadership as a veteran, business women, Director of the Iowa Department of Pub…

The Wapello County Car Passenger Safety Program wishes to thank Legacy Foundation, Ottumwa Regional Health Center for providing us with a grant in the past year. Five car seat safety check events, four educational programs for parents on car passenger safety, and 96 child passenger safety ch…

The bond and contract for work on the Ottumwa Regional Airport is likely a formality for the city council this evening. It’s rare for anything in the consent agenda to raise eyebrows, much less generate serious debate.

This weekend’s weather isn’t shaping up to be the best for outdoor activities, but we hope people will still come out for the International Festival Saturday afternoon.

We have an election coming, and I think Wapello County residents would be wise to closely look at the candidates for county attorney.

I am writing concerning the constant blocking by trains for over the allotted 10 minutes at Quincy and Blackhawk. I along with several other businesses are located on Blackhawk Road. I constantly have customers that will tell me they have waited for over an hour for the train to move off the…

Last weekend was a family gathering. While the circumstances were less than ideal — we were gathered for a funeral — it was nice to see extended family and reconnect with some I hadn’t seen in years.

The county’s search for a new engineer has been a long, frustrating one. It’s not over yet, but the hiring of Wendell Folkerts as a temporary engineer is at least a step that will help ensure the county doesn’t fall behind.

“Iowa’s Medicaid’s per-member cost increases nearly triple since privatization,” was the headline that jumped out at me from the Des Moines Register’s online Top 5 for September 20. Wasn’t this quick change to privatization that our previous Republican governor pushed through and that our pr…

We’re doing something a little different on our editorial page today. If you look down a bit, you’ll see the state’s voter registration form.

A few weeks ago we told you we were looking for people for our editorial board. We got a good response, and this week we’ve reached out to the people who we hope will join us in the coming weeks.

A week ago we had the Ottumwa 2018 Walk to End Alzheimer’s. I was the committee chair this past year, and things went well. Far more credit for that belongs to our committee members than myself, and I want to take a few minutes here to say thank you.

Acts of violence against women — murder, in fact — have rocked the state of Iowa the last few months.

Acts of violence against women — murder, in fact — have rocked the state of Iowa the last few months.

Let me tell you about a friend, who is kind and considerate, the kind of person that comes into your life rarely. This person has dedicated her life to helping folks. Her real-life experiences put her in a unique position to bring about positive change for us. Her name is Mariannette Miller-…

If you don’t think local journalism matters, Thursday’s story on a change in the Wapello County Jail’s approach to purchasing medications should change your mind.

Puns are a sort of currency in the Courier’s newsroom. Every now and then we’ll go off on a tangent and spend 10-15 minutes trying to top each other’s jokes.