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.

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.

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 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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…

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.

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.

It is impossible to say how deeply we disagree with the Iowa Supreme Court’s ruling in the suit over the release of records from Ottumwa’s ill-fated RedSpeed experiment.

A few weeks ago Steve Dust, CEO of the Ottumwa Regional Legacy Foundation, made a presentation to the city council about proposed riverfront developments. Our editorial board met just a couple days later, and decided to invite him to make a similar presentation.

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 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.

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.

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.

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.

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 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.