BP Gas Station South of Ottumwa Robbed at Gunpoint

(OTTUMWA, Iowa) – On March 20, 2018 at approximately 1:01AM, Wapello County Sheriff’s Office received a 911 call from BP Gas Station south of Ottumwa located at 4108 Hwy 63. The caller reported that a male subject had entered the gas station and pointed a handgun at the caller and had stolen some cigarettes after being unsuccessful in opening the cash register. The caller advised the vehicle left north on Hwy 63 and provided Wapello County Dispatch with a description of the vehicle that the male subject was seen getting into.

A short time later Ottumwa Police Officers seen a vehicle matching the description northbound on Madison Ave in Ottumwa, a traffic stop on the vehicle was conducted at Madison Ave and Mary St. in Ottumwa.

As a result of the investigation Wapello County Sheriff’s Deputies arrested Jacob Bonner, 18, of Eldon, Iowa and Gabriel Clarkson, 18, of Eldon, Iowa for Robbery 1st a Class B Felony. were held in the Wapello County Jail.  Ottumwa Police Department assisted in the investigation.

No other details have been released about this investigation.

– Note: A criminal charge is merely an accusation and a defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty. This information was provided via a news release sent by the Wapello County Sheriff’s Office out of Ottumwa, Iowa.

Current Highway Traffic Situation Causes Headaches, Changes Could Be on Horizon

The Iowa Department of Transportation in coordination with the Federal Highway Administration recently conducted an in-depth assessment of a portion of land north-northwest of Oskaloosa. The plan: building a bypass that converges north and south traffic on Highway 63 to Highway 163.

The idea of building such bypass has been on the thoughts of many for years now. The study began in July of 2013, recently the Environmental Assessment was released.

There is hard-hitting evidence that this could greatly improve traffic, accident rates and safety in and around Oskaloosa. The crash rate on Highway 63 above the statewide average, by almost 20-percent. From 2007-2011, the rural crash rates on Highway 63 were also higher than statewide averages.

Between 2010 and 2014 there were 171 crashes on Highway 63 within the Oskaloosa corporate limits, a stretch of road that is only 3.1 miles.

The Environmental Assessment addresses the need to improve traffic operations stating that “currently, all through traffic on U.S. 63 in the study area must travel through the city of Oskaloosa through its busiest intersection at U.S. 63 and IA 92 located along the west side of the City Square Park in downtown.” Many semi, freight and grain truck traffic operates on these routes coming from Eddyville, Bussey or Ottumwa area to travel north to New Sharon, Pella or traffic determined for Interstate 80.

By creating this bypass, semi and constant highway traffic will be kept out of the city of Oskaloosa. Freeing up one of the busiest intersections from turning or merging freight truck traffic in the city. The proposed bypass would begin on the intersection of Highway 163 and 235th Street, it would then meet Highway 63 roughly at 210th Street (East).

Mapped plans from the DOT Environmental Assessment document.

Within this assessment the DOT took research notes about the intended area and landscape. Making sure to log the various areas that were considered wetlands, woodlands, flood lands, prime farming land, the location of streams or rivers, and what the department determined as bad habitat. Listings of plant species located within the study area is also readily available.

A question some may have with this proposed bypass would be the widely talked about Regional Airport location. The assessment covered that as well. An Environmental Assessment was completed for the proposed airport for the Federal Aviation Administration in October 2016. The location of the proposed airport would lie just west of the proposed interchange of the U.S. 63 Oskaloosa Bypass and IA 163.


The Iowa DOT is soliciting comments on the document during the comment period which ends December 4, 2017.  To be considered in the decision document, please email or postmark your comments by that date and send them to:

Tamara Nicholson

Iowa DOT – Office of Location and Environment

800 Lincoln Way

Ames, IA  50010



Information derived from the Environmental Assessment from the Iowa DOT.

The full document is available online: Oskaloosa Environmental Assessment

Construction Slated to Begin on Old Highway 102

Beginning at 7:30 AM next Monday October 2nd, Mahaska County will be doing pavement repair, widening and overlaying Old Hwy 102/G-5T.

The project will begin north of the South Skunk bridge, south of 155th street and proceed north and easterly to a point approximately 1320 east if the intersection of County Roads T-33 and Old Hwy 102 or G-5T.

The second section of the project will begin at the intersection of T-22 and G-5T and proceed north to the south City Limits of Peoria.

The project is scheduled to be completed in 30 working days which is the 13th of November weather permitting.  The project is intended to keep one lane open for traffic through the use of flaggers and pilot cars. The possibility of complete closure time will be kept to a minimum.

We ask those that commute on this road to allow for extra time to deal with the one-lane traffic or the detour route is down Hwy 63 from New Sharon to Hwy 92 in Oskaloosa then west to Hwy 163 and back to Pella.

The lane widths during this work will make it unsuitable for wide loads, so using the detour is advised. Mahaska County asks for your patience as we complete this project so as to try to get project completed earlier.

If you have any questions you can call me at my office at 641-672-2897.


Accident North of Ottumwa, Driver Deceased at Scene

Around 1 AM on the morning of September 14, the Wapello County Sheriff’s Office received a 911 call of a single motor vehicle accident on Hwy 63 northeast of Ottumwa.

Upon arrival Deputies located a 1997 Isuzu Trooper in the median on its top. Deputies also located a single occupant in the vehicle that was identified as Leslie Palmer Lane Age 59 of Fairfield, IA. Lane was deceased at the scene.

Deputies were assisted by the ORMICS, Ottumwa Police Dept, Wapello Co Rural Fire, and Iowa State Patrol.

Two Killed in Traffic Accident Near Chillicothe

A fatal accident occurred just west of Ottumwa on Highway 163 on Thursday afternoon.

According to the accident report from the Iowa State Patrol, a Toyota Camry driven by 32-year-old Annie Kumcho Ngum of Coon Rapids, Minnesota, attempted to cross Highway 163 from Eddyville Road near Chillicothe to get in the northbound lane. Her vehicle was struck by a southbound semi driven by 59-year-old David Kirk Barnhill of Des Moines and pushed it into the median.

Ngum, along with her passenger, 31-year-old Patience Ndikum Mbuh of Anoka, Minnesota, were pronounced dead at the scene.

Barnhill was not injured in the crash.


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