The rapidly growing body of evidence finds that football is associated with an intolerable level of injury with permanent effects. Over the past 25 years I have had three grandsons with serious, career-ending football injuries, namely a dislocated hip, a concussion with intracranial bleeding and a cervical (neck) fracture. As far as we can tell at this time there have been minimal long-term effects. The studies of concussions’ delayed effects on the brain have shown permanent major damage and that makes participating in football seem unreasonable to me. Where is our willpower to do something about it? Unfortunately, participating in or viewing football is a highly rewarding activity on other levels such as providing enjoyable, stimulating competition and viewing opportunities, either live or on tv. At upper levels it is highly financially rewarding for players, coaches and institutions. To make things more complicated, football athletic programs at upper levels have started donating large sums to the academic centers at their universities.

I have arrived at the conclusion football participation should be discouraged at all levels. I will no longer stand aside as a knowledgeable observer and participate as a spectator watching live or on tv in spite of a lifetime of enjoyment doing just that. I will discourage others from playing football.

David Wetrich, M.D.


I am writing this letter over the recent protests being held by various NFL players at which they are disrespecting the very symbol that allows them their rights. I believe strongly in the rights guaranteed all of us in the Bill of Rights. However, I do not appreciate or agree with their decision to take a knee during the National Anthem and disrespect the United States of America’s flag. Many courageous young men and women have put themselves in harm’s way or lost their lives for them to be able to freely express their opinions and beliefs.

I think we should also boycott any NFL game with any players who are allowed to disrespect and show such total disregard for our flag, being a veteran myself, who stood beside my fellow countrymen from many different backgrounds, many different social classes and ethnicities in the United States’ military. We stood side by side, risking our lives daily for the rights we all now enjoy. Our flag has always and will always stand for freedom.

James Telfer


I’m excited to be writing this letter of support for Holly Berg in the upcoming primary for Ottumwa City Council. Holly Berg has the intelligence, insightfulness, and leadership skills to make educated and fair decisions.

Holly Berg leads by example. Not only does she serve on numerous boards and committees, but she volunteers all the time. If there is an event for a committee she doesn’t serve on, she still calls to offer hours of her time to setting up, marketing, selling concessions, or cleaning up. She and her husband are proud to spend money locally and support the fundraising efforts of our community. You will see her wherever improvement is happening, and she stays well-versed on all of the workings of the city. She listens to the needs of people, and goes immediately into action to lend a helping hand.

Her understanding of economic development is impressive. Not only does she understand the needs of the city, but understands Wapello County, and how we fit into the state of Iowa.

A vote for Holly Berg is a vote for a dependable, smart, and fair candidate. Her dedication to the Ottumwa community and her honesty are at the foundation of who she is as a person.

I am confident that she will do her utmost to represent the interests of the people and businesses of Ottumwa. Please join me in voting for Holly Berg in the primary on October 10th, 2017.

Sara Gerot


Editor’s note: Letters in support of candidates in Ottumwa’s municipal

elections will be accepted through Nov. 1.

Do your kids need healthcare coverage? Do you work hard to keep your kids healthy?

Are you aware that there is a program offered in Wapello, Keokuk, and Mahaska counties to assist families in obtaining health coverage for children?

The program is entitled, “Presumptive Eligibility for Children” is temporary Medicaid (Title 19). An application is required to be completed and will be filled out by our office personal. A benefit of presumptive eligibility for children is that the child is covered the same day the family applies and they can seek care immediately. This eliminates the period of time the child is without adequate insurance coverage. The Medicaid application process can be very overwhelming, often leaving children uninsured. American Home Finding Association’s Child Health Program is here to help you with this process! Additionally, if the family’s income is above Medicaid income guidelines, the application will be automatically sent to hawk-i for further consideration.

Presumptive eligibility for children allows children to receive regular well child exams, as well as, adequate care when they are ill. Our agency can schedule appointments with physicians and dentists before the family even leaves our clinic. We have received great feedback from families regarding how helpful our assistance has been in getting your children insured.

American Home Finding Association’s Child Health Program has helped many families in obtaining health benefits for their children. Make sure a broken bone does not break the bank. Let us help you.

For additional information, contact Kim Proctor RN, hawk-i outreach coordinator, at (641)682-8784 or

Kim Proctor


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