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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

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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

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One-Time Drug Court Administrator Accused of Making Drugs

QUINCY, Ill. (AP) — The former leader of a western Illinois county’s drug court is facing federal charges that he maintained a drug house.  

The Quincy Herald-Whig reports 59-year-old John Grotts of Ursa made his first court appearance Wednesday on the federal charges that replace two state methamphetamine-related charges. The former head of the Adams County Drug Court was arrested along with a live-in 35-year-old Quincy woman after a raid of Grotts’ home. Items reportedly seized from the home included two bags of marijuana, related paraphernalia and 11 guns. Continue Reading

Kathlynn_Shepard

UPDATE: Missing Girl’s Backpack Found

The backpack of 15 year old Kathlynn Shepard has been recovered by a search team of police and dogs. Another backpack was also found that belonged to the 12 year old girl who had escaped. The backpacks were found several miles south of a hog confinement where the girls were taken. Kathlynn Shepard and the 12 year old were abducted earlier this week while walking home from school in Dayton. The alleged kidnapper is 42 year old Michael Klunder, who was found dead of self inflicting injuries just hours after the 12 year old had escaped. Continue Reading

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Suspected Kidnapper Kills Himself; 15-Year Old Still Missing

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Authorities say a man suspected of abducting two girls near an Iowa bus stop had committed suicide.  

Forty-two-year-old Michael Klunder was found dead Monday night at a rural property northeast of Dayton. The Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation did not release more details Tuesday about Klunder’s death. Dozens of federal, state and local law enforcement are searching by air, land and water for 15-year-old Kathlynn Shepard. She and a 12-year-old girl were taken near a bus stop in Dayton, about 60 miles north of Des Moines, on Monday afternoon after accepting a ride from a stranger. Continue Reading

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Here Come the Crops

Farmers finally, for the first time this spring, got into the fields and planted some crops. The USDA crop report says they planted 9-million acres of corn and soybeans this past week. It also stated that 71% of corn was planted, which is behind the five year average of 92%. Delayed planting can be blamed on cold and rainy conditions. It’s estimated that farmers this year will pant close to 23 million acres of corn and soybeans. Continue Reading

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Moore, Oklahoma Residents Dig for More Victims

MOORE, Okla. (AP) — It’s been a long night in the tornado-blasted suburbs of Oklahoma City and residents are bracing for a long day as well, digging through the rubble and hoping not to add to a death toll that’s at least 51. Overnight, spotlights illuminated massive piles of shredded cinder block, insulation and metal as crews did their grim work. Scores of blocks that used to be neighborhoods have been flattened. Continue Reading

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Drug Busts

Lee county’s narcotics task force has arrested a Ft. Madison man, a Keokuk woman, and a New London man on felony drug charges. 21 year old Derek Bradham of Ft. Madison is facing counts of pot possession with intent to deliver and a drug stamp violation. If convicted of both, he could go to prison for up to 10 years. Continue Reading

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Twisters Hit Breadbasket; Could be More Today

SHAWNEE, Okla. (AP) — Forecasters say more tornadoes could hit the nation’s midsection today. Violent storms ripped through Iowa, Kansas and Oklahoma yesterday.  

The worst damage appears to be in the Shawnee, Okla., area, where one person was killed. A resident says his mobile home park “took a dead hit.” Continue Reading

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Midwest Gas Prices Spike

As the Memorial Day weekend approaches, so do higher gas prices. The reason midwest residents are seeing a spike in gas prices today can be blamed on outages and maintenance at several oil refineries. This means for shortages that will boost the price all around the region. It’s so far affected Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, South Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, and Wisconsin. Iowa drivers today are paying around $3.67 for regular gas. Continue Reading