Melissa Lambrecht


Search continues for Escapee

Ottumwa police along with the Wapello County Sheriff’s Department continue to search for an Ottumwa man wanted in connection with a high speed chase earlier this week. Police say Dustin McDanel led officers on a high speed chase into Ottumwa Monday.  He is wanted on escape status from the Iowa Board of Corrections for an unexcused absence from a residential facility in Ottumwa. Authorities say the truck McDanel was driving drove off an embankment and crash landed nose first.  McDanel then got out of the vehicle and fled on foot into a wooded area along Pennsylvania Avenue.Read More

BNSF railroad to pay employee compensation

An Ottumwa man employed the Burlington Northern Sante Fe railroad has been awarded 12-thousand dollars by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration. OSHA officials say the railroad was in violation of the Federal Railroad Safety Act after the company disciplined an employee assigned to it’s terminal in Ottumwa for following a doctor’s treatment plan. OSHA’s  acting regional administrator Marcia P. Drumm says “workers should never be forced to choose between staying healthy or face disciplinary action. An investigation upheld the allegation that the railroad company disciplined the conductorRead More

City Council discusses grass

The Ottumwa City Council, Monday evening, heard recommendations from the “Make Ottumwa Shine Committee” to prohibit parking of motor vehicles on the grassy area of residential front yards in Ottumwa and to modify the definition of what constitutes nuisance grass and weeds, from the current 12 inches to 8 inches. Although no formal vote was taken to change the City Ordinance, addressing these issues, according to City Council Member Skip Stevens, the Council appeared to mostly be in favor of making the changes. A question arose as to how toRead More

Beach Deficiencies

Larkin Aquatics of Kansas City, MO recently did an evaluation of The Beach Ottumwa Facility and came up with a total of 47 deficiencies at the site, some minor and some serious. The report notes lack of maintenance and repairs at The Beach, everything from worn out carpet and bleachers to broken electrical wiring in the parking lot, leaky roofing, mis-aligned water slides, and ADA non-compliant restrooms. Some of the deficiencies are being worked on, presently.  However, Ottumwa Parks Director, Gene Rathje, said that the total cost for fixing allRead More

Trout Stocking This Friday

October 28, 2014  – Ottumwa, Iowa –  Anglers will have an opportunity to trout fish in Ottumwa this fall.   The Iowa Department of Natural Resources will be stocking trout at the Ottumwa Park Campground pond on Friday, October 31st.     There will be no fishing derby event or prizes with this stocking. Anglers must be properly licensed and possess an Iowa trout stamp to fish for trout.  Children under 16 may fish for and possess trout if they fish with an adult who has a valid Iowa fishing license and trout stamp; however the combined Read More

Eckman resigns as director of Ottumwa Area CVB

Ottumwa, Iowa – Oct. 28, 2014 – Mark Eckman has tendered his resignation as director of the Ottumwa Area Convention & Visitors Bureau. Eckman did so during the Bridge View Center, Inc. Board of Director’s regularly scheduled meeting earlier today. (The Ottumwa Area CVB is a sub-unit of Bridge View Center, Inc.) The resignation is the result of Eckman accepting an offer to become the next executive director of the Council Bluffs CVB. He will lead the OACVB through the end of Nov. The Bridge View Board will form aRead More

City Council approves resolution on Health Center

Meeting in special session Monday afternoon, the Ottumwa City Council approved a resolution approving the publication of a public notice soliciting competitive proposals for the sale of real estate located within the City’s West gate Urban Renewal area. Specifically the City has received an offer from River Hills community Health center to purchase real estate located adjacent to their downtown building at the intersection of Market and River Drive, or the City’s parking lot directly behind its facility. The Health center wants to purchase the property for one dollars inRead More

Ottumwa man arrested in connection to shooting

A 40 year old Ottumwa man is facing numerous charges following his arrest by the Ottumwa Police Department. Lt. Jason Bell says Adam Sean Horn of 433 North Market has been charged with Robbery in the 1st degree, and Burglary in the 1st degree. The charges are the result of an investigation conducted by the police department. On October 14th, the Ottumwa Police Department received a report of a victim that had arrived at Ottumwa Regional Health Center with an apparent gunshot wound to the leg. The victim identified asRead More

Pennsylvania Ave Open to Through Traffic

October 23, 2014  – Ottumwa, Iowa –   Local motorists are advised that Pennsylvania Avenue is now open to traffic from Court out to the city limits.   Work continues at the intersection of Pennsylvania and Jefferson Street.   Traffic on Jefferson will not be able to cross Pennsylvania from either direction.   Drivers should exercise caution due to workers still in the area. Construction on Stage 1 of the Pennsylvania Avenue Reconstruction and Widening Project started in late April and should be complete yet this fall.   Major construction work will resume in 2015 onRead More

Ottumwa & Wapello County receive state tourism award

Ottumwa, Iowa – Oct. 23, 2014 – The Iowa Tourism Office and Travel Federation of Iowa lauded Ottumwa and Wapello County for the “Outstanding Niche Market Initiative” at the annual Iowa Tourism Awards on Oct. 23. The initiative award recognized the pitch video designed to persuade the English folk-rock band Mumford & Sons to select Ottumwa as a future site of its “Gentlemen of the Road” concert series. The idea was conceived by Larry Gawronski, executive director of Bridge View Center and co-sponsored by the Ottumwa Regional Legacy Foundation andRead More

Crisis Center to hold observance

Residents in the area are invited to take part in a Day of Unity set for Friday in Ottumwa. The Crisis Center in Ottumwa is inviting everyone to join them in Central Park tomorrow afternoon near the Ottumwa Public Library at 2:45. Purpose of the event is to make residents aware of domestic violence. October is Domestic Violence Awareness month. Those attending are asked to wear purple and join others as purple balloons are released in remembrance of those who have lost their lives to domestic violence. At 3:30 tomorrowRead More

PTYC moves

OTTUMWA— The district’s Prime Time Youth Care program will be moving to a new home in November. Due to the district’s board office moving out of the McCarroll Drive location, PTYC will now provide north side services at Wilson Elementary. “We looked at all elementary schools on Ottumwa’s north side and Wilson made the most sense in regards to space,” said Kim Hellige, Director of Community Programs, which oversees the PTYC program. Wilson School has both a cafeteria and gym, and had space for PTYC to have an office and storage.Read More

Council approves plans for parking lot

Plans for a major makeover of the Jefferson street Parking Lot is a step closer to reality following action taken by the Ottumwa City Council Tuesday evening. The council approved a resolution awarding a contract to JDM Contracting Company after they submitted the best bid price of 307-thousand, 777 dollars. The project consists of improvements to the parking lot including sewer repairs. The Ottumwa Legacy Foundation has agreed to fully fund the project up to 475-thousand dollars plus the improvement made to the alley adjacent to the parking lot. AlsoRead More

New restaurants coming to Ottumwa

Two big names in fast food restaurants are apparently coming to Ottumwa. In today’s edition of the Ottumwa Courier it’s reported Culver’s and Jimmy John’s restaurants are coming to Ottumwa. Culvers will be located on Venture Drive adjacent to Menards, while Jimmy John’s will be located in the Kmart Plaza. Officials say Culver’s could be open by sometime next summer, while Jimmy Johns is expected to be open sooner than that.

William Elmer Hixson

William Elmer Hixson, 72, of Ottumwa, IA passed away Wednesday, October 22, 2014 at the Ottumwa Regional Health Center. A Graveside Service with Military Honors will be held Saturday, October 25, 2014 at 1:00 p.m. at the Batavia Cemetery in Batavia, IA. 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 72 year old, William Hixson.

City Council gets update on Facade Project

Plans to construct a pedestrian trail corridor under highway 34 is one step closer to reality following last night’s city council meeting. The council approved a resolution approving a professional services agreement between the city and Garden & Associates for design services for the project, pending the approval of a Community Attraction and Tourism grant totaling 130-thousand, 875 dollars. The project will connect the north and south trail system via an under pass located under highway 34. If the application for the CAT grant is not approved, the agreement betweenRead More

Pre-Winter Maintenance Will Close Jeff St Viaduct

October 21, 2014 – Ottumwa, Iowa – The Jefferson Street Viaduct will be closed to traffic and pedestrians Saturday, October 25th. The City’s Public Works Department will be spraying linseed oil on the Viaduct roadway and sidewalk. The linseed oil application is done every fall prior to the onset of winter weather to protect the bridge surface from the corrosive effects of the salt used to control ice in winter. The work will be postponed if weather conditions look unfavorable for the work. The Viaduct will be closed at 7Read More

School Administrative offices to move

The administrative offices of the Ottumwa School District will change locations. Superintendent of schools, Dr. Davis Eidahl says the offices will be moved to the second floor of the Agassiz school building. Eidahl says in terms of facilities, the McCarroll location is the next building that needs to be closed. While not the district’s oldest building, there are immediate needs that would require substantial rresources in order to occupy it. He says the building’s design……especially the roof make repair issues even more challenging. He says it is not cost effectiveRead More

Ottumwa man back in custody

 Jesse Clawson  Kenneth Miskimins A 27 year old Ottumwa man is back in custody following his arrest Monday. The Wapello County Sheriff’s Department arrested Jesse James Clawson Monday afternoon at the intersection of Madison and Mary Streets. Clawson was wanted on an arrest warrant for Escape from the Ottumwa Residential facility. During the arrest, Clawson led sheriff deputies on a pursuit that came to an end at the intersection of 91st Avenue and River Road in Wapello County. Clawson was taken into custody on the outstanding warrant for Escape asRead More

Van Buren County woman arrested following stabbing

(Keosauqua)— a 60 year old Van Buren County woman has been arrested on a charge of Willful Injury following an incident in Bonaparte Sunday night. The Van Buren County Sheriff’s Department says it received a report of a stabbing at a house in Bonaparte. As a result of an investigation, Diane Kay Bell was arrested. She is being held in the Van Buren County Jail on a 50-thousand dollar bond. Injured in the incident was a 54 year old Bonaparte man who was airlifted to University of Iowa Hospitals inRead More

Ottumwa man wins lottery

An Ottumwa man has a lot more gingle in his pocket after winning bid in the Iowa Lottery. Jerry Penniston won 15-thousand dollars in the Iowa Lottery’s Mega Million drawing on October 14th. Penniston matched four white balls and the Mega Ball in the game to win five thousand dollars. However because he added the Megaplier to his purchase he received a total of 15-thousand dollars. Penniston purchased his winning ticket at Murphy USA store located on Venture Drive.

Hit and Run in Fairfield

On October 8, 2014, the Jefferson County Law Center received a call that a child on a bicycle had been hit by a female driver in a black 4 door car on Fairview Street north of Pence Elementary School and that the driver of the car continued on without stopping. An investigation was initiated by the Fairfield Police Department. On October 13, 2014, an individual came to the Jefferson County Law Center and stated that she was the driver of the vehicle involved in the incident. This individual was NicoleRead More

Tourism impact continues upward trend in Wapello County

Ottumwa, Iowa – Oct. 19, 2014 – Two critical measures of tourism show growth in travel expenditures in Wapello County. The US Travel Association recently released its annual report, the Economic Impact of Travel on Iowa Counties. According to the report, travelers spent $80.6 million in Wapello County during calendar year 2013. Spending was $80.29 million during 2012. While this increase was smaller than expected, it was better than the decreases realized by counties with cities comparable to Ottumwa. Clinton County’s county seat is Clinton. The eastern Iowa county sawRead More

Thrashers House of Terror

Police investigating home robbery

Ottumwa Police are asking for the public’s help in locating an Ottumwa woman wanted in connection with a robbery in Ottumwa earlier this week. The Ottumwa Post reports 32 year old Shawna Patzel of 209 North Sherdan was shot during a robbery at her home Tuesday morning. Police say the shooting occurred shortly before 11:00 a.m.   Wanted in connection with the robbery is 23 year old Cassie Jo Polson ofOttumwa.  Authorities say Polson allegedly threatened Patzel along with 25 year old Haley J. Leonard  and 31 year old Jeremia K. Gillespie. Police say Polson  fled the sceneRead More