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Floods now blamed for 24 deaths...Dale Bumpers dead at 90...Ratings drop for New Year's Day bowls

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ST. LOUIS (AP) — Flooding in the Midwest is now blamed for 24 deaths. Officials say nine of them occurred in Illinois, where the body of 18-year-old Devan Everett was discovered yesterday. A flood-related death in Livingston County earlier in the week has also been added to the total. Four other people are missing.

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (AP) — Authorities in southeastern Missouri say the Mississippi River has crested below predictions there and has begun receding. The deputy city manager of Cape Girardeau (juh-RAHR'-doh) says the river didn't reach the anticipated high crests, but that was likely from levee breaches on the Illinois side. She says the impact on the city of about 40,000 has been "relatively mild," with about two dozen homes and a dozen businesses damaged.

UNDATED (AP) — The search has resumed for the lead singer of the Arkansas country-rock band Backroad Anthem. Craig Strickland disappeared during severe storms last Sunday while duck hunting on Kaw Lake, near the Oklahoma-Kansas state line. The Oklahoma Highway Patrol has been using search dogs, boats with sonar and drag lines and a helicopter in the search. The body of Strickland's hunting partner was recovered on Monday.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Former Arkansas governor and U.S. senator Dale Bumpers has died. His son says the former Democratic lawmaker died last night in Little Rock. He was 90. Bumpers drew national attention for his impassioned defense of Bill Clinton during the president's impeachment trial.

UNDATED (AP) — There's been a 13 percent drop in the TV ratings for the New Year's Day bowl games, compared to last year. The Rose Bowl drew a 7.9 rating, its lowest since it became part of the BCS in 1999. Yesterday's lopsided games are getting the blame, along with the fact that the College Football Playoff semifinals were held on New Year's Eve. The overnight ratings were announced today by ESPN.

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The Associated Press


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