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ONLINE PLEA: Social Media Helps Woman Find Birth Mom

A 19-year-old woman is meeting her birth mother for the first time thanks to a photo she posted online.

Hannah Stouffer of Urbandale posted a photo asking for information on her birth mother earlier this week.

Three days and 53,000 re-tweets later, she got a hold of her mother. It turns out her mother still lives in Des Moines. They`ve been texting back and forth for days.

Stouffer says she needed some time to prepare for meeting her mother in person..

“’I’m as ready as I’m going to be. I’m nervous. I`m scared. Every time I think about it I just want to cry. I just can`t believe it`s happening already. I’ve waited so long and it`s finally happening,” Stouffer says.

Growing up all Stouffer knew about her birth mother was that she gave birth to Stouffer when she was 15-years-old. “I was just so angry that she would give me up.”

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RECYCLE REVOLUTION: Party Celebrates Earth Day

People will celebrate Earth Day this weekend with a one of a kind block party and concert. The celebration is Saturday in the East Village.

Ciji Matrisin knows all about waste. She says, “I titled myself as the Chief Recycling Officer.” She started Recycle Me Iowa four years ago. The growing company handles recycling for apartment dwellers, small businesses and specializes in zero waste events.

This Saturday, she’ll throw a party called Recycle Revolution. She says, “It’s overall just an Earth Day celebration. I wanted to give people an actual activity that they could do to implement, I call them Earth Day resolutions.”

BRIDGE DESIGN: Council To Vote Monday

The Des Moines city council will meet Monday to approve a design for the Grand Avenue Bridge downtown.

The bridge is crumbling and council members say it’ll cost less to replace it than to fix it.

The city is considering several options. There’s a basic model, which is the cheapest at about $6 million.

As more features are added to make it look more historic, the price tag goes up. A bridge with real arch supports, like the one on the current bridge, would cost about $32 million.

DRUG DEATHS: Judge To Rule Whether Witnesses Can Testify

The trial of a Des Moines doctor has hit a road block.

Dr. Daniel Baldi is accused of nine counts of involuntary manslaughter.

The prosecution was scheduled to call more witnesses to the stand Friday morning, however when the Judge asked if the attorneys were ready to proceed it was clear not everyone was on the same page.

Polk County Assistant Attorney Jaki Livingston had planned to call a Doctor to the stand to testify Friday morning.

However, the doctor plus four other witnesses the prosecution wanted to testify have been put on hold.

Thursday, the defense filed a motion for all five witnesses to be excluded from testifying because they violated Baldi’s constitutional right.

The witnesses are experts but did not specifically write the reports they would be talking about. The defense claims it would not allow Baldi an opportunity to face his accusers.

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WATER WOES: Struggle For Community Gardens

It was supposed to be easier this year.

The planting beds were in place, strawberries returning and neighborhood volunteers had the memories of last year’s bumper crop to fuel them.

“We got a lot of vegetables and produce out of it,” said Terry Mitchell, a resident of the King-Irving neighborhood on Des Moines’ near-north side.

“At one point we were harvesting 250 pounds of tomatoes daily,” said Ralph Chiodo, who runs the community garden as a part of his Forest Avenue Outreach program.

Around 3,000 pounds of fresh food and out of a forgotten site in the King-Irving Neighborhood that formerly produced little more than sore eyes.

“100% of the food from these gardens go to food pantries and neighborhood families—people who participate,” Chiodo said.

But the good vibe at this community garden and the others in Des Moines was knocked askew this week by a call from Des Moines Water Works regarding this year’s water rates.

METRO MANHUNT: Inmate Escapes While In Transit

Police swarmed an Urbandale neighborhood Thursday evening searching for a convicted felon who managed to escape police custody.

The escaped inmate, 37-year-old Kenny Bevard has been on the run for several hours.

He managed to escape while being transferred from Polk to Dallas County sheriffs’  custody shortly before 5 p.m. near the Menards store on Hickman Road.

Police say Bevard was handcuffed, shackled and wearing a green and white jail jumpsuit when he slipped away.

Bevard then stole a car from the nearby Love’s truck stop.

That car was then located in the 7500 block of Hickman Road near the Buccaneers’ ice hockey arena.

Police immediately launched a massive search bringing in tracking dogs and using a DOT airplane.

CHILD ENTICEMENT: Police Say Girls Got Away

Des Moines police are investigating an attempted child enticement case.

A Des Moines mother says her six-year-old daughter and a seven-year-old friend were walking home from another friend’s house near East 12th Street and Ovid Avenue Tuesday when the incident happened.

The girls say a blue car approached and stopped at the corner and a man in the backseat asked them to get into the car.

The pair ran back home.

The man in the car was white and he was wearing a red shirt. He is believed to be about 30-years-old. The girls couldn’t provide a further description.