Blood Found and Search Continues for Dayton Girl, 15

DAYTON, Iowa (AP) _ Law enforcement officials and volunteers are continuing to
search for a 15-year-old Iowa girl who was kidnapped, even though the chances of
finding her alive have diminished.  
 Division of Criminal Investigation agent Bill Kietzman said 10-member teams
will search today in an expanded area of central Iowa for Kathlynn Shepard.  
 Police say 42-year-old Michael Klunder convinced Kathlynn and a 12-year-old
friend to get into his truck while they were walking home from school. They say
he took them to a hog confinement building, where their hands were tied with zip
ties. The 12-year-old broke free and ran through the woods to safety. Continue Reading

QC Man to Face Homicide Charge in Death of 23-Year Old

 DAVENPORT, Iowa (AP) _ A Davenport man has been charged with vehicular
homicide, eight months after a crash that killed a 23-year-old man.  
The Quad-City Times reports that 44-year-old Dale Lee
Varner was arrested Thursday night. He is being held at the Scott County Jail.  
 A Scott County grand jury this week charged Varner with two felonies _ homicide
by vehicle and voluntary manslaughter. The grand jury also handed down an
aggravated misdemeanor charge of involuntary manslaughter against Varner. Continue Reading

Hand of Lincoln: Abe's note saving teen soldier up for sale

A hastily scrawled note by President Abraham Lincoln just two months before his assassination ordering a disabled 14-year-old boy released from the Army in response to a plea from the boy’s father went on sale Thursday in Philadelphia. The message saying “Let this boy be discharged,” and signed A. Lincoln was written on a telegram from Col. Thomas W. Harris about his son, Perry. It had been in a private collection and was valued at $15,000 by Nathan Raab of the Raab Collection, which offered the previously unknown document for sale. The letter is considered rare because there are few Lincoln documents relating to children. Continue Reading

Judge declares mistrial in penalty phase of Jodi Arias trial

Jurors who spent five months determining Jodi Arias’ fate couldn’t decide whether she should get life in prison or die for murdering her boyfriend, sending prosecutors back to the drawing board to rehash the shocking case of sex, lies and violence to another 12 people. Judge Sherry Stephens gave a heavy sigh as she announced a mistrial in the penalty phase of the case Thursday and scheduled a July 18 retrial. “This was not your typical trial,” she told jurors. “You were asked to perform some very difficult duties.” The panel then filed out of the courtroom after 13 hours of deliberation that spanned three days, with one female juror turning to the victim’s family and mouthing, “Sorry.” Continue Reading

Defense releases photos, texts of Trayvon Martin

Data released Thursday by the defense from slain Florida teenager Trayvon Martin’s cellphone includes texts with a friend about fighting, smoking pot and being forced to move out of his mother’s house because of trouble at school, as well as photos of a gun and what looks to be a potted marijuana plant. A hearing next week will decide if the information can be used at the trial for George Zimmerman, who is charged with fatally shooting the unarmed 17-year-old last year during a confrontation at a gated community in Sanford. Prosecutors want the negative evidence omitted, but Zimmerman’s defense attorney said if they try to portray his client as the antagonist and Martin as the victim, he wants to show the jury that Martin has talked about fighting before. “If they had suggested that Trayvon is nonviolent and that George is the aggressor, I think that makes evidence of the fighting he has been involved with in the past relevant,” said Mark O’Mara. Zimmerman, 29, has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder, claiming self-defense and his trial starts next month. Continue Reading

RI education board approves arming university cops

State education officials have approved allowing the University of Rhode Island to arm its campus police officers. The state’s Board of Education voted Thursday evening at a meeting at the URI campus. The proposal would leave it to URI officials to decide whether to arm the university’s police force. Right now, Rhode Island is the only state that prohibits public higher education police officers from carrying firearms. Calls to change that policy got a boost after URI police responded to reports of a gunman in a university building last month. No gun or shooter was found, but supporters of the legislation say the incident highlighted a critical security weakness. Continue Reading


Kidnapped Victim Speaks

The twelve-year-old that had escaped Monday from 42-year-old Michael Klunder, spoke earlier today about what happened that frightening afternoon. Dezirea Hughes is a seventh-grader from Dayton, Iowa. Hughes said that Klunder lured them into his truck Monday by telling them they could earn money by mowing some lawns. The girls both said they wanted to, but needed to call their parents first. Klunder said he would give them a ride home and just continued to drive. Continue Reading

Obituaries Thursday May 23rd

Christopher Joel Johnson, 55, of Burlington, died at 5:48 PM Tuesday, May 21, 2013, at his home.  

Born April 2, 1958, in Burlington, he was the son of John Oscar and Florence Kathleen Sheridan Johnson. On August 25, 1979, he married Sheri Jean Boyd in Burlington.  

Chris had retired as a Locomotive Journeyman Machinist.  

He was a 1976 graduate of Burlington High School. Continue Reading

Thunderstorms, hail slow Oklahoma tornado cleanup

A band of thunderstorms is battering the Oklahoma City area and slowing cleanup operations in the southern suburb where a tornado killed 24 people and destroyed thousands of homes earlier this week. The National Weather Service said Thursday that the storms are producing hail, heavy rain and high winds. A flash flood warning is also in effect for some areas. The Weather Service says more severe storms are forecast for late afternoon and at night. It says tornados are a possibility. Continue Reading

Missing Utah mom's father-in-law not getting out

The father-in-law of missing Utah mother Susan Powell won’t be released from prison Thursday, the Washington state Corrections Department said. Steve Powell has been serving time on voyeurism charges for secretly recording images of young neighbor girls. He was sentenced in June 2012 to 2 1/2 years in prison. May 23 was the earliest possible date Steve Powell could be released, based on sentence reductions he earned in prison for participating in programs and avoiding serious infractions, Corrections spokesman Chad Lewis said Wednesday. To get out early, inmates must submit an acceptable release plan. Continue Reading