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BEAVERDALE PROJECT: Groundbreaking For $1.1m Streetscape

A project seven years in the making is finally getting started.

City leaders broke ground on a $1.1-million streetscape project along Beaverdale Avenue.

It will run from Beaver Crest Drive to Fagen Drive.

The upgrades will include new storm sewers, utility upgrades, new lighting and a re-design of the traffic flow at the Beaver and Urbandale intersection.

At one point a roundabout was considered for the intersection but after hearing criticism from residents, the city took it out of the plan.

“At this point as you can see everyone is really excited about this project. It really symbolizes the community coming together to make something happen,” Sasha Kamper says.

Construction crews will move in next week and will be there all summer.

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BALDI TRIAL: Paul Gray’s Widow Testifies

The trial of Des Moines pain doctor Daniel Baldi continued Tuesday with testimony about one of his most famous patients.

Brenna Gray, the wife of multi-platinum musician Paul Gray took the stand Tuesday.

“All I observed was there was a needle in his foot,” Brenna said. She discovered her husband’s body at an Urbandale hotel in May of 2010.

The state medical examiner ruled the Slipknot bassist died of an accidental overdose caused by the drugs fentanyl and morphine.

Urbandale detective, Sgt. Daniel Stein investigated Gray’s death and told the jury about the hotel room he found him in. Stein testified authorities collected several pills bottles, drug paraphernalia such as a spoon, and a bag of needles.

The defense says although Gray was a patient of Dr. Baldi’s the only prescription he provided to Gray was one that helps someone get off an addiction.

HOUSE DAMAGED: Family Saved From Fire

Two adults and a young child were sleeping upstairs when they woke up and found their Des Moines home on fire early Tuesday.

Someone driving by around 1:15 a.m. called 911 to report a fire in the 1500 block of 33rd. When firefighters arrived they found the front of the house fully involved.

The three people had to crawl through hot smoke to get out the back door.

Medics treated and took all three to the hospital.

The fire also damaged a neighbor’s home.

“It was pretty chaotic, we were woken up about 1-1:30 in the morning by the police kinda banging on our doors and windows, kinda letting us know there was something going on. And I looked outside and immediately there was the bright orange and the heat, you could feel it as soon as you opened the door,” says neighbor Peter Morningsnow.

Investigators are looking into the cause of the fire.

Damage to the home may be more than $30,000.

YOUNKERS FIRE: Demolition To Begin Soon

The owner of the burned Younkers building in downtown Des Moines says demolition will begin on part of the structure soon.

The Alexander Company owns the building.

Officials say they are planning to demolish the sixth, seventh and eighth floors of the east building. That’s everything above the arched windows. It’s also the most fire damaged part of the building.

Tuesday, a crane was rolled into place allowing experts to take samples in preparation for demolition.

More Younkers fire stories

The Alexander Company says work could begin this week or early next week.

The historic building went up in flames in the early morning hours of March 29th.

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TRAGIC ACCIDENT: Teen Killed By Train Remembered

New details are emerging about a teenager who was killed Sunday when he fell beneath a moving train on the east side of Des Moines.

For the rest of his life, Easter will be different for Marlon Grahm. It’s the day he watched his best friend die.

Grahm and his friends had been drinking and were walking down Des Moines Street early Sunday morning when his long time buddy, 18-year-old Phillip Simmons decided to jump on a slow passing train.

“I said ‘hey bro, we’re not messing with that train bro. We’re not gonna jump it no more.’ And he goes up to it to try to jump it and I grab him. I say ‘no bro. You’re not going, you’re not going to go to that train. You’re not gonna to try jumping it.’ And I turned and looked for everybody else and I turned back towards him and he’s running back towards it again.”

Then, tragedy struck.

ACCIDENTAL DEATH: Girl, 4, Shot In The Chest

A young child has been killed in what police are calling an accidental shooting Monday night.

Des Moines police responded shortly after 7 p.m. on a report of a possible shooting at an apartment complex at 2746 Fleur Drive.

Police say a 4-year-old girl was shot in the chest. She was taken to Blank Children’s Hospital where she was pronounced dead.

“I just got done from dinner and heard a lot of people shouting and yelling the address of the apartment building. We opened the door to see what was going on and the police showed up and the ambulance. We didn’t see anything until they brought the little girl out,” neighbor Jessica Uren said.

“I see her every so often playing out on the deck so it’s obviously very, very sad. It’s a sad thing to see someone so young and cute and have that happen to,” Molly Harper added.

BEAUTIFUL BULLDOGS: Drake Honors Porterhouse

A cape and a crown came in handy at Drake University Monday.

Being beautiful isn`t easy. While some dogs can`t commit to their costumes, Ella Harban is ready to commit her life to her dog Gary.

“He’s so handsome,” Ella says.

Huckleberry has already dedicated a year to Drake University as the 2013 most Beautiful Bulldog.

But no beautiful bulldog has put in more face time than the famous Porterhouse. “I don’t think he had any idea how big of a deal he was,” said Porterhouse’s owner Erin Bell.

Porterhouse won the contest in 2009, but he stuck around as Drake`s living mascot. “This is where porterhouse shined and we definitely miss having him a lot today,” said Bell.

Porterhouse died unexpectedly last December. “I don`t think there will ever be another Porterhouse,” said Porterhouse.

In honor of this irreplaceable dog is a new award, the Porterhouse People’s Choice Award.