Melissa Lambrecht


Updated: Big Projects

Update: A press release from the City of Ottumwa says that Pennsylvania Avenue will close starting at around 8 A.M. on Monday, March 16. Pennsylvania Avenue east of Elm Street, to Van Buren Avenue will be closed to through traffic. A posted detour will be in place, and is pictured below. Original Post Ottumwa’s Public Information Coordinator Tom Rodgers today gave a summary of five major street re-construction projects that have either started in Ottumwa, or will be starting within the next few weeks. Motorists are being advised to watchRead More

Parking Warnings

If you receive one of those bright green “Warning Tickets” for illegally parking your motor vehicle or trailer on the grassy area of your front lawn, you need to contact the Ottumwa Health and Inspections Department, not the Ottumwa Police Department. Warning tickets will be issued the rest of the month of March, and enforcement of Ottumwa’s new Nuisance Ordinance change will begin April 1st of this year. Under the new code, no motor vehicle, whether it be car, truck, boat, RV or Trailer, is allowed to park on theRead More

OPD Staffing

Ottumwa Police Chief Tom McAndrew said today that he is facing a challenge with current vacancies in the Ottumwa Police Department. McAndrew noted that normal staffing on the Police Department consists of 39 Officers, but, with a combination of injuries and resignations, the Department is operating with a Staff of around 34. McAndrew said that there is a current vacancy in the Gang Officer position, and the downtown parking enforcement officer is also vacant. McAndrew added that wages and benefits do Not appear to be a factor in recruiting newRead More

Bridge View Meet and Greet

The Public is invited to a “Meet and Greet” event at Bridge View Center, Monday April 6th at 5 P.M. City Administrator Joe Helfenberger said that residents and business owners will have an opportunity to meet the new Bridge View Center Director, Scott Hallgren and to say goodbye to former director Larry Gawronski. Also, Abby Kisling from Tipton, Iowa will be introduced as the new Ottumwa Area Convention and Visitors’ Bureau Director, filling the position vacated by Mark Eckman, who took a job in Council Bluffs, Iowa.

City Gasoline Tax

The recent passage of the State’s 10 cent per gallon gasoline tax increase will mean about $400,000.00 more in revenues for the City’s Road Use Tax Fund, according to City Administrator Joe Helfenberger. Helfenberger said that the additional monies translate into re-constructing an additional 4 city blocks of roads and street maintenance. The increase in the gasoline tax will also benefit Wapello County, with an additional $600,000.00 in revenues. Helfenberger said that the increased revenue can only be spent on street construction and street maintenance, through the Road Use TaxRead More

Neighborhood Meeting About Church St Project

March 6, 2015  – Ottumwa, Iowa –  The public is invited to an informational neighborhood meeting about the upcoming Church Street Reconstruction Project.  The meeting will be Wednesday, March 11, 5:30 PM at Bridge View Center, 102 Church Street. The meeting is for sharing information with the community about the project’s construction schedule, work zone traffic changes and street closings, impacts of the project on the neighborhood and other public improvements.  The meeting is open to the public; residents and businesses in the project area are especially invited to attend.Read More

Stephen Craig Chrisman

STEPHEN CRAIG CHRISMAN, 66, of Highland Center and formerly of Ottumwa His body has been cremated. Graveside services and burial will be 10 a.m. Monday at Memorial Lawn Cemetery with military services conducted by Walter B. Schafer Post #775 Veterans of Foreign Wars and O.B. Nelson Post #3 American Legion. Reece Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements.

Updated: Amber Alert

Update: The amber alert was canceled on Sunday Morning after Brianna Crane was returned safely to Johnson County Sheriffs Office by a third party, and Kenneth Johns was arrested by a SWAT team without incident. AMBER Alert Information NCIC: m272517853 Date: 2015-03-07 Time: 15:33:08 Location: SOLON,IA Destination: UNKNOWN Vehicle Information Color: GRY Year: 2014 Make: FORD Model: FOCUS License Plate Number: Other: UNKNOWN PLATES CRANE,BRIANNA CHRITINE ELISE (Child) General Information Race: W Gender: F Age: 9 Height: 4’00 Weight: 85 Hair: BRO Eyes: HAZ Other Important Information Their Clothing: Shirt/Blouse:Read More

Missing Person

Authorities are asking for the public’s help in locating a 92 year old man Missouri. A search is under way for 92 year old Norris Edwin Gaffney.  He is described as a white male 5 feet 10 inches tall weighing 210 pounds.  He has white hair, blue eyes and was last wearing bib overalls, a hat and possibly wearing glasses. He was last seen Friday morning at 8:30 on a gravel road west of the Scotland County high school in a brown 1992 Chrysler with Missouri license SL 1F1F. GaffneyRead More

Penn Ave Reconstruction – Phase 2 – Kicks Off Next Week

March 5, 2015  – Ottumwa, Iowa –  Work is scheduled to resume on the Pennsylvania Avenue Reconstruction Project next week.   DeLong Construction of Washington, Iowa will kick off phase 2 construction on Monday, March 9th, conditions permitting. The first step of construction will be to install an off road sanitary sewer south of Pennsylvania Avenue and east of Fellows Street. This portion of the project is expected to take one week to complete.   When the sewer work is complete, the section of Pennsylvania Avenue east of Elm Street to Van Buren AvenueRead More

Iowa Avenue Reconstruction Starting Monday

March 5, 2015  – Ottumwa, Iowa –  Work on the $2.5 million Iowa Avenue Reconstruction Project is set to begin on Monday, March 9th.  The overall project includes full width, full depth street reconstruction, new sanitary sewer, storm sewer, and water main on Iowa Avenue from Main Street to Highway 34.   Starting Monday, Iowa Avenue will be closed to through traffic from the north side of the railroad tracks down to the Elks Lodge.    Drivers will need to detour around to enter Iowa Avenue at the intersection with U.S. Highway 34/63. This initialRead More

Everett Shields

EVERETT SHIELDS, 86, of Ottumwa Funeral services will be 10 a.m. Saturday at Reece Funeral Home with Pastor Jay Allison officiating. Burial will be in Shaul Cemetery with military services conducted by O.B. Nelson Post #3 American Legion and Walter B. Schafer Post #775 Veterans of Foreign Wars. Visitation will begin at 11 a.m. Friday at Reece Funeral Home with the family present from 5 to 7 p.m. Memorials may be made to Heartland Humane Society.

Iowa Avenue Project

Ottumwa Public Works Director Larry Seals said today that re-construction work on the first phase of Iowa Avenue, from Main Street to near the Elks Club, will begin next week, likely on Tuesday. That portion of Iowa Avenue will be closed on Tuesday, Seals said, and employees, particularly those who work at Cargill Meat Solutions, will have to get to the pork processing plant via Highway 34. Seals said that preparation work for closing that portion of Iowa Avenue will be going on tomorrow and Monday in the construction zone.Read More

Update on oil pipeline to through SE Iowa

At least three Iowa counties have hired engineers to oversee the installation of a proposed underground oil pipeline pending its approval by the Iowa Board of Utilities. Officials report that Webster county Tuesday approved the hire of an engineer to survey the pipeline’s construction . Dakota Access LLC a unit of Energy Transfer Partners applied in January for the structure that would cut through 18 Iowa counties including several in southeast Iowa. Calhoun and Sac counties have also secured engineering services. The proposed pipeline would carry crude oil from the Bakken oil fields in North Dakota across South Dakota and Iowa to Patoka, Illinois. TheRead More

Viola Carnes

VIOLA CARNES, 93 of Ottumwa Graveside services and burial will be 1 p.m. Tuesday at Ottumwa Cemetery with Pastor Suzie Swahn of First Christian Church officiating. Reece Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements.

Linda Luke

LINDA LUKE, 67, of Ottumwa Funeral services will be 3 p.m. Wednesday at Reece Funeral Home with Pastor Loyd Osborn officiating. Cremation will follow the service. Visitation will begin at 11 a.m. Tuesday with the family present from 4-6 p.m. Tuesday. Memorials may be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospitals

Greg “Grumpy” Songer

GREG “Grumpy” SONGER, 62, of Ottumwa His body has been cremated. Visitation with the family present will be from 5 to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at Reece Funeral Home. There will be a Masonic service held at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday. Memorial services will be 10 a.m. Thursday at Reece Funeral Home. Memorials may be made to Izaak Walton League or Heartland Humane Society.

Warren Edgar Beatty

Warren Edgar Beatty, 88, of Keosauqua died at 4:15 P.M. Monday March 2, 2015 at Good Samaritan Society-Van Buren, Keosauqua.  He was born April 8, 1926 on the family farm north of Keosauqua to Roy and Willa Viola Liming Beatty and married Ruby L. Owens on April 4, 1948 in Fort Madison. Warren lived on and farmed the family farm until he semi-retired, moving to Keosauqua in 1988.  In addition to farming Warren drove a truck for the local creamery and sale barn. He was a member of the Keosauqua United MethodistRead More

City Hall elevator to get repairs

A complete make over of the elevator at City Hall is a step closer to reality following action taken by the Ottumwa City Council last night. The council approved a resolution awarding a contract for the City Hall elevator modernization project. The project consists of a complete modernization of the elevator.  When completed the elevator will comply with ADA standards for existing elevators. One bid was received for the project, a bid from Walter A. Zlogar  Incorporated.  They submitted the best bid price of 208-thousand, 688-dollars. The project will be financed throughRead More

Potential Scam Targeting Iowa Taxpayers

The Iowa Department of Revenue has been made aware of a potential scam targeting Iowa taxpayers. The scam begins through an automated phone call that displays on caller ID as being from 515-281-3114. That phone number is the Department’s general Taxpayer Services number; however, no automated phone calls can originate from that number. When answering the call, the taxpayer is informed they are eligible for a refund from the Iowa Department of Revenue. The taxpayer is then asked whether the refund should be deposited into the account the Department has onRead More

Done Deal!

(Ottumwa)— It’s official!  The canteen in the alley in downtown Ottumwa has been sold.  In an exclusive interview with Ottumwa Radio News, Shirley McBeth revealed the popular sandwich shop has been sold to Scott Pierce, owner of Pierce Fencing. Shirley says she and her husband Ernie met for several hours Monday evening  with Pierce and during the meeting an agreement was reached to sell the business.  Shirley says a contract is expected to be signed soon. McBeth says both parties are very happy with the agreement reached.  Under the agreementRead More

Ottumwa Generating Station providing cleaner energy for Iowans

OTTUMWA, Iowa – March 2, 2015 – Alliant Energy’s Iowa utility recently completed projects at the Ottumwa Generating Station (OGS) that are reducing emissions and making Iowa’s air cleaner. Local and state leaders, labor partners and project contractors joined OGS co-owners Alliant Energy and MidAmerican Energy to celebrate the completion of a $491 million comprehensive air quality control project and other efficiency upgrades at the facility. “We are using state-of-the-art technology to advance how we generate energy for our customers,” said John Larsen, senior vice president of generation for Alliant Energy.Read More

Mumford and Sons not stopping in Ottumwa

Mumford and Sons apparently will not be performing in Ottumwa any time soon. Ottumwa Radio news has learned the Grammy Award winning British folk rock band will give a performance at Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa. Last year Ottumwans came together to produce a video entitled “we can’t wait” for them to come to Ottumwa for a summer concert. Personnel from the group even sent representatives to Ottumwa  to look for a possible site for the concert. Waverly will be the only stop in Iowa.  Tickets for that concert will go on sale March 6th.

Mark Allen Yochum

Mark Allen Yochum, 53, of Batavia and formerly of Eldon, passed away Wednesday, February 25, 2015 at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics.  Visitation will be held Saturday, March 7, 2015 from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. at the Kremer Funeral Home in Eldon.  As were Mark’s wishes, his body will be cremated following the visitation.   In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be directed to the family.  Friends may sign the online guestbook at   Kremer Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements for 53 year old, Mark Yochum.

Freezin’ for a Reason

“Freezin’ for a Reason”- The first annual 2015 Polar Plunge to benefit Special Olympics will be held Saturday, March 28th at 1:00 P.M. in Greater Ottumwa Park, hosted by the Wapello County Sheriff’s Department. Individual or Team participants raising 75 dollars or more will be diving into the chilly waters of the pond West of the Jimmy Jones Shelter, to raise money for Special Olympics. Chief Deputy of the Wapello County Sheriff’s Office, Don Phillips said that teams have already been formed from the Sheriff’s Office, the Ottumwa Police Department,Read More