Tuesday Afternoon News, June 11
Memorial Services Scheduled For Missing 15 Year Old
DAYTON, Iowa (AP) - A memorial service has been scheduled for a 15-year-old Iowa girl who was missing for weeks before her body was discovered in a river.
Palmer & Swank Funeral Homes says a service for Kathlynn Shepard will be held Thursday at 1 p.m. at the Southeast Webster-Grand Middle School gymnasium in Boxholm. It's open to the public.
Residents of Dayton, where Kathlynn lived with her family, are holding a tree-lighting ceremony for the girl Monday night that will feature 1,500 purple lights.
Authorities say Kathlynn and a friend were kidnapped May 20 in Dayton by registered sex offender Michael Klunder. He hanged himself after the younger girl escaped.
A massive search for Kathlynn lasted weeks. Her body was found Friday under a bridge near Boone.
Farmers Still Delayed With Spring Planting
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa farmers endured another wet week largely keeping them out of the fields.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture says in Monday's crop update that 92 percent of Iowa's corn is now planted. Usually planting is all but completed by now. Eighty-six percent is rated in fair, good, or excellent shape while 14 percent is poor or very poor.
Just 60 percent of the soybean crop is planted much lower than the normal 95 percent and 39 percent has emerged while average is 83 percent.
Planting and emergence for soybeans are the latest since 1993.
State Climatologist Harry Hillaker says temperatures were below normal every day last week at all locations in the state. The statewide average rainfall was 1.1 inches slightly under average of 1.2 inches.
Woodbury County Deputies To Patrol More Communities
SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - Woodbury County has given its deputies the green light to monitor seven towns.
Deputies with the Woodbury County Sheriff's Office will respond to calls for help with dogs at large and other ordinance violations for a $35 per hour fee.
The Woodbury County Board of Supervisors approved a measure Tuesday that will add the towns of Cushing and Smithland to a list that already includes Bronson, Danbury, Hornick, Lawton and Pierson.
Sheriff Dave Drew says he will monitor if the workforce is sufficient, but he doesn't expect a need for more deputies.
The newspaper reports state law requires towns to provide police service, but most in the county have relied on periodic patrols by county deputies.
Olson To Retire From Democratic Chair - Eyes Governor's Race
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa Democratic Party Chairman Tyler Olson is stepping down from his post.
The Cedar Rapids state representative has said he is considering a run for governor, but his letter Tuesday to the party's central committee does not mention that directly. He simply says it is time
for him to decide how he "can best serve Iowans" and that he cannot explore his options while holding this position.
Olson will retain his House position.
Democratic state Sen. Jack Hatch, of Des Moines, says he is exploring a run for governor. Republican Gov. Terry Branstad has not announced, but is widely expected to seek re-election.
Olson was re-elected last year to his fourth House term. He serves as ranking member of the Appropriations Committee.
He has served as party chairman since January.
Police Identify Body Found In River
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Police have identified a body spotted by
a fisherman as it floated in the Des Moines River.
Des Moines police identified the body as 35-year-old Zachary Wayne Johnson, of Des Moines.
A fisherman reported the body, and police say a fire department water emergency team brought the body to shore.
Police say the body had no obvious signs of trauma and it wasn't clear how long it had been in the water. An autopsy is planned.
Iowa City Man With Sword Harasses Public
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - Iowa City police say a man harassing people outside a gas station had a sword, throwing knives and a flask of cocaine.
Police responded to a complaint Monday night about a man with a guitar scaring customers at a Tiffin gas station. Police spotted 21-year-old Deandre Lamar Ronald Irby outside the station.
A complaint says police confiscated a "samurai-type" sword sticking out the back of Irby's T-shirt, as well as two throwingknives and a flask with a white powdery substance.
The Irby was arrested and taken to the Johnson County Jail. He faces a serious misdemeanor charge of possession of a controlled substance and an aggravated misdemeanor charge of carrying weapons.
Court records do not list an attorney.