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Osborne County memorial damaged

Special to The Hays Daily News

LURAY -- Leaders in Osborne and Russell counties were shocked to learn Wednesday morning a memorial to 11 fallen soldiers was nearly demolished.

The B-24 Bomber Memorial, dedicated in April 2004, was damaged extensively, said Laura McClure, librarian at Carnegie Research Library in Osborne.

"The biggest question in my mind is 'Why?' " said McClure, a former Kansas legislator.

An investigator with the Osborne County Sheriff's Department drove Wednesday afternoon to the monument, which is approximately 7 miles northwest of Luray. When he returned, he could only speculate about what caused the damage, Sheriff Curtis Miner said.

There were no tire tracks leading up to the monument, Miner said.

"There were some varmint track," he said. "We're just speculating at this point."

There have been coyote hunters in the area, Miner said, and a nearby farmer reported that one of his cows had been loose.

"It may not be a criminal investigation," the sheriff said.