Road Closure

Saturated Ground + More Rain = Flooding in Iowa

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Much of Iowa is likely to deal with flooding this week as more rain falls on ground that is already saturated.  

National Weather Service forecaster Kurt Kotenberg says 3-to-6 inches of rain is expected across Iowa this week after 6-to-8 inches of rain fell in the past few days. Kotenberg says the ground simply can’t absorb more water right now. So flash flooding will remain a concern across Iowa. The weather service predicts the Iowa River will crest at a record 22 feet at Marshalltown early this week, so flooding is likely there. Continue Reading

Eastern Iowa Official Receives White House Honor

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — An elected official in eastern Iowa is the recipient of a White House honor given to openly gay, lesbian and transgendered public officials.  

The Iowa City Press-Citizen reports Johnson County Recorder Kim Painter was one of 10 openly LGBT public officials from across the country to receive the White House’s Champion of Change honor Wednesday. The awards are given on the birthday of Harvey Milk, who became one of the first openly gay people to serve in elected office when he won a seat on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in 1977. Painter has been openly gay since she first ran for county recorder 15 years ago, winning the 1998 general election by 52 percent. She’s won re-election since by wide margins. Continue Reading

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Illinois Governor Upset About Concealed Carry Approval

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn strongly opposed the plan for concealed carry in the state, but that didn’t stop the Illinois House from approving it today. The bill, which is now being passed on to the Illinois Senate, would allow qualified gun owners to carry their weapons in public. Quinn is upset because he believes the bill would wipe out Chicago’s ban on assault weapons and other local gun ordinances. The governor vows to do all he can to keep the bill from getting approval in the Senate. Illinois is the only state in the nation without a concealed-carry law. Continue Reading

Madigan-Backed Concealed Carry Bill Goes to Full House

 SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) _ Illinois legislation allowing public possession of
concealed guns has passed the House Judiciary Committee. It was a compromise
backed by Speaker Michael Madigan.  
 The measure was endorsed Thursday 13-3 and goes to the full House Friday. It
comes two weeks before a June 9 deadline set by a federal appeals court for
Illinois to abandon its prohibition on the public possession of weapons. Continue Reading

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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

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

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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

Hobby Lobby Back in Court to Defend Sexual Health Views

DENVER (AP) — A federal appeals court in Denver today will hear a challenge from the arts-and-crafts chain store Hobby Lobby, which says paying for health care coverage that includes the morning-after pill and some intrauterine devices goes against its religious beliefs.  

Hobby Lobby says it should be exempt from that part of the new health care law. Right now just religious groups are exempt.  

The chain has a store on Agency Street in Burlington.   Continue Reading