Melissa Lambrecht


Closing Mental Health Facility in Southeast Iowa creates fears

The prospect of closing two of the state’s four mental health institutes is terrifying according to a mental health professional from Cedar Rapids who testified before lawmakers in Des Moines. Kent Jackson the administrative director for St. Luke’s Unity Point says it’s a fear of the unknown.  He says he has been unable to see a plan and that’s part of the problem.  This after he and Dr. Al Whitters Medical Director of Mercy Medical Center’s Behavioral Services talked to the Senate Human Resources Committee for more than an hour.  He says this is a hugeRead More

Ronald McElroy

RONALD McELROY, 80, of 700 W. Alta Vista Visitation begins at 11 a.m. Thursday at Reece Funeral Home with the family present from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday. Cremation will follow the visitation. Inurnment will be in the Floris Cemetery Memorials may be made to the family

Judith Helmick-Grooms

JUDITH HELMICK-GROOMS, 71, of Ottumwa Funeral services will be 10 a.m. Friday at Reece Funeral Home with burial in Chisman Cemetery Visitation begins at 11 a.m. Thursday with the family present from 5 to 8 p.m. Thursday Memorials may be made to Hospice serving Davis and Wapello Counties

Ric Simplot

RIC SIMPLOT, 62, of Ottumwa Funeral services will be 1 p.m. Friday at St. Mary of the Visitation with cremation following the service Visitation begins at 11 a.m. Thursday at Reece Funeral Home with the family present from 4 to 7 p.m. Thursday

IHCC accepting Vision Award Nominations

OTTUMWA — The Regional Economic Advancement team at Indian Hills Community College will be accepting nominations for the fourth annual Vision Awards through March 31. Vision Awards honor entrepreneurs from the Indian Hills 10-county region, which includes Appanoose, Davis, Jefferson, Keokuk, Lucas, Mahaska, Monroe, Van Buren, Wapello and Wayne counties.  Entrepreneurs play a vital role in the regional economy and Indian Hills annually seeks to recognize those who have been especially successful. The awards, which will be announced at a special banquet on the IHCC Ottumwa campus on April 23,Read More

City Council makes changes to Flood Protection Plan

Construction of a flood wall around the Ottumwa Water and Hydro plant is expected to move forward following action taken by the city councilMonday afternoon. During a special meeting, the city council approved a resolution on two change orders for construction of the wall. Change order 1 details the cost savings in the amount of almost 106-thousand dollars and extends the completion date of June 15th of this year. Change order number two includes the removal of an unknown electrical vault that had been abandoned.  An existing 24 inch main feed line wereRead More

Body identified

Authorities have tentatively identified the human remains found behind a grocery store in Burlington last month. The Burlington Police Department says an autopsy has determined bones found in late January possibly belong to Alfredo P. Rodriquez.  However an examination by the State Medical Examiner’s office in Ankeny was unable to determine cause of death. Rodriguez was reported missing on September 16th in 2012.  In the time since, detectives had been following leads into his disappearance. On January 22nd officers responded after city workers checking sewer lines found skeletal remains behind the Hy-vee food store near theRead More

Unoccupied prison needs millions of dollars in repair

There’s more bad news for the new 132-million dollar prison in Fort Madison. A number of legislators from the area say it will cost an additional 7-million dollars for repairs. Despite ribbon cutting ceremonies held in 2013, the new facility remains empty because of construction problems. The state fire marshal’s office still hasn’t authorized occupancy because of a lack of compliance with the state’s building code.

Council to discuss “TIF district

When the Ottumwa City Council meets for a special meeting Monday evening, it will consider a resolution rescinding a previous resolution and approving two change orders in connection with the city’s 2010 Flood Mitigation project. The first change order  details the cost savings in the amount of almost 106-thousand dollars and a contract extension date of June 1st of this year. The second change order includes the removal of an unknown electrical vault that had been abandoned.  The changes if approved will result in a new project cost of 1.2-million dollars.  TheRead More

2015 BOA Finals

Mike Buchanan, James Grob and Shea Earlywine broadcasting from the Bridge View Center for the BOA finals.

Bloomfield to be recognized by Gov. Terry Branstad

(Press Release) – An award ceremony to celebrate economic development & technology achievements in Bloomfield will be held next week. The event will declare Bloomfield’s Certified Connected Community status, designed to grow the local economy and improve our quality of life. Also at the event, Citizens Mutual will announce their new Gigabit internet service offering. Governor Terry Branstad will recognize this acheivement as well as Citizens Mutual’s commitment to building telecommunications infrastructure in Iowa. Currently, only 3% of communities in the nation have access to Gig Internet, which is theRead More

Snow Emergency Lifting – 3 PM, Feb 5th

 February 5, 2015  – Ottumwa, Iowa –  The City of Ottumwa Snow Emergency will be lifted, effective at 3 PM, Thursday, February 5, 2015.   On-street parking in the City will return to the regular, posted regulations at that time.   The City appreciates the public’s cooperation and patience with the ongoing snow removal operation and regrets any inconvenience caused by the process.    Residents and business owners are reminded to avoid placing the snow from driveways on the street, or plowing snow from driveways and depositing it on the right-of-way acrossRead More

Police to purchase new equipment

The Emergency Response Team of the Ottumwa Police Department will be better equipped to handle certain situations following action taken by the Ottumwa City Council Tuesday. The council approved a recommendation from Police Chief Tom McAndrew to purchase four Light Hawk XT tactical vests, hard armor plates necessary for the vests to function properly, four additional hard armor plates for two tactical vests purchased last year. The Emergency Response Team consists of sworn law enforcement officers from the Police Department who can be deployed for any situation that requires a policeRead More

Snow Emergency Declared – Noon on Feb. 4

February 4, 2015  – Ottumwa, Iowa –  The City of Ottumwa’s Snow Emergency Ordinance will be placed into effect at 12 noon on Wednesday, February 4, 2015.  Residents are reminded that while the Snow Emergency is declared, no parking is allowed on streets designated as “Snow Routes” until the emergency is lifted.   Snow Routes are marked with square blue signs showing a white snowflake. Parking on non-snow emergency route streets rotates sides on a daily basis.  On the even numbered days, parking is allowed on the even numbered side of the street. Read More

Yard ordinance closer to law

On a vote of 4 to 1 with councilman J.R. Richards voting no, the Ottumwa City Council last night approved the second reading of an that will prohibit parking vehicles of vehicles in front yards.  The ordinance specifically prohibits parking in the front yard except in a driveway.   The driveway may be constructed of concrete, asphalt, brick pavers or 4 inches of rock and must comply with the 2015 SUDAS standards. A number of residents spoke for and against the ordinance.  Former councilman Keith Caviness told the council If youRead More

Voters approve bond issues at Cardinal schools

Voters in the Cardinal school district have in favor of a 5.3-million dollars bond issue. 66-percent of the voters who cast a ballot Tuesday approved the measure.  A 60-percent majority was needed. The funds will be used to build, furnish, and equip an addition to the elementary school. and to make improvements to the middle school and high school buildings.

Janet Ilene White Pratt

Janet Ilene White Pratt, 81, of rural Keosauqua, departed this life on January 30, 2015 at Seasons Hospice in Naperville, IL. She was born February 22, 1933 at Bonaparte to Rollo H. and Helen C. McComb White. She married Darrell D. Pratt on May 1, 1955 in Bonaparte, IA. He preceded her in death on July 11, 2005. She grew up in Bonaparte and graduated from Bonaparte High School. She worked at White’s Shopping Center with her folks and on the Pratt family farm in the Harrisburg Township in VanRead More

Informational Meeting About Iowa Ave Project This Thursday

February 2, 2014  – Ottumwa, Iowa –  The public is invited to an informational meeting about the upcoming Iowa Avenue Reconstruction Project.  The meeting will be Thursday, February 5th at 5:30 PM at the Ottumwa Elks Lodge at 414 S. Iowa Avenue. The meeting is for sharing information with the community about the project’s construction schedule, work zone traffic changes and street closings. With amount of industry in the vicinity, there will be a considerable amount of coordination with nearby businesses to ensure continuity.   The meeting is open to the public;Read More

DE Releases Student Proficiency Data

On Friday, the Iowa Department of Education released new data on student proficiency rates and growth to the public. This report, called the Attendance Center Rankings, fulfills a legislative requirement to develop a system for evaluating and ranking Iowa public schools based on their performance on nine specific measures. The report released Friday features two of the nine variables, reading and math proficiency and growth toward college and career readiness. This information was released to Iowa superintendents last week to provide time for analysis of data prior to releasing theRead More

Overnight Snow Removal

February 2, 2015  – Ottumwa, Iowa –  City of Ottumwa Public Works Crews will be picking up the high windrows of snow piled along the sidewalks in the central business district starting the evening of Monday, February 2nd, weather permitting.   Work will begin on Church Street tonight. Hours of snow removal will be 7 PM to 7 AM.   Vehicles must be parked off these streets during the overnight hours of work to facilitate the snow removal.   Temporary no parking zones will be established to facilitate the snow removal. Once aRead More

Daisy Sells

DAISY SELLS, 91, of Ottumwa Funeral services will be 1 p.m. Friday at Reece Funeral Home with private burial in Ottumwa Cemetery Visitation begins at 11 a.m. Thursday with the family present from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday Memorials may be made to Calvary Open Bible Church

Charles Poncy

CHARLES PONCY, 92, of Ottumwa Funeral services will be 1 p.m. Saturday at Reece Funeral Home. Burial will be in Memorial Lawn Cemetery with military services conducted by O.B. Nelson Post #3 American Legion and Walter B. Schafer Post #775 Veterans of Foreign Wars. Visitation begins at 11 a.m. Friday with the family present one hour prior to the service on Saturday. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to IHCC Foundation for Chuck Poncy Memorial Scholarship or Ecumenical Lord’s Cupboard

Dennis Stoher

DENNIS STOHER, 90, of Ottumwa Funeral service and Elks Memorial service will be 2 p.m. Sunday at Reece Funeral Home. Cremation will follow the services. Visitation will be open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. The family will be present from noon Sunday until the time of the service. Memorials may be made to B.P.O.Elks Scholarship Fund.

Kevin Lowe

KEVIN LOWE, 53, of 605 W. Second St. His body has been cremated. Visitation with the family present is 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday at Reece Funeral Home.

Fertilizer plant to open in August

That 1.9-billion dollar fertilizer plant in Lee county is expected to begin production later this year. In a project update released this week, Iowa Fertilizer Company says plant construction should be complete by August with operations starting in the last three months of the year.  The company is building the plant near Wever in Lee County. Iowa Fertilizer says construction is about 70-percent complete.  The plant is expected to employ about 240 people and produce between 1.5 and two million tons of nitrogen fertilizer each year.  Company officials say they also wantRead More