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Highway 81 near Beloit shut down for fatal crash

Highway 81 west of Beloit has been shut down following a fatal traffic crash involving a semitrailer carrying toxic substances, according to the Janesville Gazette.

The accident happened near Kauffman?s Country Store at 9550 West Highway 81 around 2:10 p.m., officials said.

One person reportedly died in the crash and the coroner has been called, Capt. Jude Maurer, of the Rock County Sheriff?s Office, told the Gazette.

Trucks carrying toxic substances carry a placard that lets first-responders know what it is carrying, but they could not find the placard on the truck, Maurer said. The truck belongs to the DeLong Company of Clinton.

Reward offered in armed hotel robbery

A $5,000 reward is being offered for information that leads to the arrest of the three masked and armed men who robbed a Janesville hotel Tuesday.

Officers were called to the Baymont Inn at 616 Midland Rd. at 12:28 a.m. for a report of an armed robbery.

The front desk clerk told police the three men came into the lobby, displayed their guns and demanded money. They took an undisclosed amount of money from the cash register and were last seen leaving the lobby on foot.

All three were wearing dark clothing and masks, and were about 6 feet tall.

Anyone with information is encouraged to contact the Janesville Police Department at 608-757-2244 or Janesville Area Crime Stoppers at 608-756-3636.

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Accused kidnapper takes stand

The woman accused of kidnapping her newborn nephew and driving him across state lines took the stand Wednesday in her own defense.

Kristen Smith, 31, of Colorado, is on trial in federal court this week.

Smith is charged with kidnapping 5-day-old Kayden in early February. The infant was found about 30 hours later inside a frost-covered plastic bin behind a gas station in Iowa.

Smith testified that she suffered a miscarriage in January two weeks before her half-sister, Brianna Marshall, gave birth to Kayden Powell.

Officer testifies tote with missing baby had frost on it

Federal prosecutors continue to build their case against the woman accused of kidnapping a 5-day-old child and abandoning him in sub-zero weather.

Kristen Smith is being tried on federal kidnapping charges in connection with the Feb. 6 disappearance of Kayden Powell in Beloit.

Jurors got a glimpse of the emotional 30 hours when Kayden was missing. They heard from Kayden?s mother and father about the terror they experienced when they discovered the child was gone.

The child disappeared from a town of Beloit home in the middle of the night. When they discovered Kayden was missing, they also noticed the child?s aunt, Smith, was gone.

Initially they did not suspect Smith had taken the child because she was planning on leaving and returning to Colorado. In a frantic 911 call, Kayden?s mother, Brianna Marshall, made it clear she didn?t think her sister was involved in Kayden?s disappearance.

Officials say moving sex offenders outside city limits will not solve issues

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett signed an ordinance that limits where registered sex offenders can live.

The ordinance requires all registered sex offenders to live at least 2,000 feet away from schools, day cares, parks and playgrounds.

In Rock County, local law enforcement and victim recovery programs agree that exiling sex offenders outside of the city will not completely solve the issue.

There are more than 250 registered sex offenders in the city of Janesville. Deputy Police Chief Dan Davis said an ordinance like Milwaukee's would push convicts completely out of the community.

"An ordinance similar to the one they passed in Milwaukee would pretty much mean you cannot live in the city of Janesville," Davis said.

Robber smashes way into gas station

Robber smashes way into gas station

A robber used a brick to smash his way through a door to get into a gas station late Monday night, according to a release from Janesville police.

Police were called to Stop-N-Go at 1804 E. Milwaukee St. at 11:30 p.m. and found the front door smashed. No one was inside.

Officers said video surveillance showed a masked man throwing a large brick through the door. Store management is trying to determine what was taken.

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Janesville police look for stray kitten

The Janesville Police Department is looking for the public’s help in finding a stray cat that bit someone Sunday night, according to an alert.

A resident in the 3800 block of Labrador Lane was bitten by a stray kitten around 8:40 p.m., officials said. The kitten had short fur and was gray in color with black stripes.

Officials said the kitten also had a wound on the back of its neck, and doesn’t belong to anyone in the neighborhood.

The kitten was last seen running in a south west direction, according to the alert.

Officials ask anyone who owns or finds a kitten matching the description to call 608-755-3100.