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.
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.
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.
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.
We can’t help but be uneasy about the interest Alliant Energy is showing in the city’s tentative steps toward using solar power to help shave some costs at city-owned facilities. Alliant’s history of rate increases and fundamental opposition to solar power gives us little reason to believe t…
It would be easy to give in to cliché when talking about Judge Arthur “Art” McGiverin. He had a remarkable legal mind and rose to the highest levels of the Iowa judiciary, serving for 13 years as the state’s chief justice.
We have rarely been so pleased to be wrong as we were on Saturday with the Canteen eating contest. The event’s move from Central Park to Canteen Alley had us concerned.
School board members were right to delay the vote on whether to move ahead with construction of a new elementary school on Tuesday. But they should give the idea strong consideration.
There aren’t too many good options in the current situation with the City of Ottumwa and the Ottumwa Community School District. On Tuesday, the council rejected the school district’s proposal to share the costs of the school resource officers 50-50.
Anyone who has watched Blackbird Investments’ actions over the past several years could see a stark difference between past performances and Tuesday’s update for the city council. The brash, defiant attitude Blackbird has displayed in the past was gone.
The Courier’s editorial board did a bit of looking ahead during this week’s meeting. Specifically, we spent some time talking about the upcoming second edition of the Canteen eating contest.
Blackbird Investments’ statement on the stalled projects in Ottumwa and Des Moines was hardly a master class in damage control. It contained the usual elements — straw man arguments and vague claims of progress — but failed in its goal. Ottumwa has no more reason to trust Blackbird today tha…
When people scheduled this year’s Race for the Cure and the work day at Seton’s playground, they probably figured mid-May would be safe. Sure, it rains occasionally, but it’s at least warm by then. Right?
There can be no question today that Blackbird Investments has not been forthcoming with Ottumwa about the debacle at the former St. Joseph Hospital. Rather than demolishing the building, Blackbird has demolished its own reputation.
We’re going to use a different approach for this Saturday’s editorial. There isn’t one overwhelming issue we want to address today, but there are some points worth making that don’t demand a big space. So we’re giving you a couple bite-sized editorials today to clear them out.
Wednesday morning’s “Bridges out of Poverty” seminar drew a big crowd to Indian Hills. Many were educators, coming from several area districts and counties to hear ideas. It was a diverse group, and that’s good.
Spring is finally, unquestionably here. We’re seeing it everywhere. Flowers are coming into bloom, trees are beginning to bud. Even construction projects forced into dormancy by the winter are resuming work.
We’re writing this before Friday’s Ladies Night Out in downtown Ottumwa. That’s the reality of newspaper timelines on occasion. Different pages are due at different times. In our case, the editorial pages are due well before the event began.
Despite the week’s forecast and the National Weather Service’s inclusion of a chance of snow Friday (don’t worry, it won’t stick around), it’s clear that spring is here.
The line between information and advocacy is a fine one. Tuesday’s discussion by the city council on the proposed hotel at Bridge View Center shows just how important it is.
Tonight’s discussions about the proposed hotel at Bridge View Center are likely the most important it has had. This is a make-or-break moment for the proposal.
The win for Warehouse Barbecue in the Iowa Pork Producers’ pulled pork bracket comes on the heels of word that Morgan’s Corner is once again serving one of the top 10 burgers in the state. Both are good news for Ottumwa.
The proposal from County Attorney Reuben Neff to use some of the money saved by vacancies to retain people in the office makes sense to us. While details are being worked out, the basic approach and the end goal are both appropriate.
Word this week of new vandalism at Mars Hill Church is dismaying. While the recent incidents don’t come close to the level that took place 13 years ago, when the church was burned, they remain unacceptable.
Sens. Chuck Grassley and Dick Durbin reintroduced a bill this week to require the U.S. Supreme Court to allow cameras to film proceedings. Here’s hoping Congress moves quickly to pass it.
Next week is Sunshine Week, when you’ll see many news organizations emphasize the importance of laws designed to ensure government is open to public scrutiny. We’re pleased to take part.
It’s easy to overlook a series of important entries for Tuesday’s council meeting. They’re in the consent agenda, a listing that rarely draws much discussion. But these five items deserve a bit of a spotlight.
The school district’s decision to reconsider its approach to allowing students from outside the district to compete on Ottumwa teams needs to be approached with caution. While the willingness to re-evaluate in light of information board members say is new is laudable, they also risk creating…
The Ottumwa Area Chamber of Commerce took a bit of a risk when it brought back the Home and Garden Show. Numbers like what the last few shows had prior to the hiatus in 2018 would have been difficult to recover from.
Ottumwa will likely take a major step on Tuesday toward one of the most significant projects seen in the downtown area in decades. It can’t afford to get this one wrong.
Area schools are in a tough spot right now. Winter has melted their calendars. They’ve missed a lot of days, and making up the classroom time isn’t as simple as it sounds.
After years of stagnant funding, Iowa legislators took a step toward maintaining the state’s historic strength in education with a tentative deal that would increase funding by 2.1 percent. It’s a welcome shift from the minimal increases in the past several years.
The fact it has taken this long for Wapello County to find a new, permanent county engineer isn’t a particular surprise. But we’re glad the search is, apparently, over.
It’s not too much of a stretch to say the county’s emergency management coordinator, the Red Cross and the Salvation Army saved lives this week by opening the emergency warming shelter.
The Ottumwa school district is starting the process of evaluating schools on the city’s north side, including Ottumwa High School. The district’s schools are aging, and require significant investment in upkeep. The question they’re facing now is whether the best use of the district’s money i…
The formal announcement that Fly Ottumwa would skip 2019 was a long time coming. The reality is that the writing was on the wall months ago, but officials with the organization waited to confirm it.
One would have thought Indian Hills, which is still under close scrutiny for the games it has played regarding the departure of two baseball coaches last year and the explosive allegations by former players, would have made sure there was no doubt about whether it was following open meetings…
This Week's Circulars
- Prep football: Backyard Brawl coming to Ottumwa
- Eldon man arrested on child pornography charge
- Pornography defendant to remain in custody
- Morris out, Lazio in as city administrator
- Morris put on administrative leave
- Prep volleyball: Confidence key for experienced Bulldogs
- Friday meeting on Morris' departure, Lazio appointment as interim CA
- Women's soccer: Warriors mean serious business in 2019
- Ottumwa deer season opens next month
- 5 things to do in southeast Iowa this weekend
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