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ADULT CARE: Renovation Doubles Service

Three weeks ago, WesleyLife, an Iowa non-profit completed a two-million dollar renovation of its adult day care facility.

The W.T. and Edna Dahl Center can now serve twice as many older adults.

It’s an alternative between in-home care and living in a nursing home. Seniors don’t have to live there, they can get supervision and medical but also some much needed social and recreational connections.

“It’s an opportunity to be with other people, have an enriching day or week, and an opportunity for caregivers to refresh their batteries,” said Denise Gienapp.

WesleyLife says adult day care is  cheaper than nursing home facilities and they have several payment options, including Medicaid.

YMCA RUN: Joggers Don Flannel

Flannel proved a valuable accessory Saturday morning in downtown Des Moines.

Warm flannel helped keep nearly 2,000 people warm during the riverfront YMCA’s 24th annual Red Flannel Run.

Runners and walkers were encouraged to wear flannel for the three or five mile route.

We found few complaints about the cold weather, Kathy Strottmann explains why, “The weather is perfect.  If you remember last year was zero degrees and windy.  So this is a perfect day for an outdoor run.”

This year’s run was the first run in memory of Luke Almix Simmons, an athlete and supporter of the YMCA who was fatally struck by lightning while on a run in 2007.

All future runs will be in Luke’s memory.

MISSING WOMAN: Benefit Gives Hope

It’s been a week and a half since Iowa family or friends have heard from 34 year old Jessica Pratt.

The missing Des Moines mother of three left for New Orleans on February 6th and hasn’t been heard from since back in Iowa.

Friends say Pratt planned to spend a week in New Orleans working at clubs for Mardi Gras, but never showed up on her scheduled return flight to Des Moines last Sunday.

Something her close family and friends say is out of character for Pratt, “It’s not like her to go a day or two let alone a whole week, something just don’t seem right,” said cousin, Buck Pratt.

Saturday, family and friends gathered at Krazy Kafe in Des Moines for a benefit fundraiser including a silent auction.

FAFSA HELP: College Goal Sunday Kicks Off

Students preparing to go to college could use any financial assistance they can get and the deadline to file for aid is almost here.

Filling out the paperwork can get complicated, but some trained volunteers are ready to help.

College Goal Sunday is a week-long event that kicked off Saturday.

Volunteers at 29 locations in Iowa are holding events to help students and parents fill out FAFSA forms and answer questions.

Event organizers say it’s important to fill out your forms early.

“There are more and more families applying each and every year. It’s good to get the FAFSA completed early to ensure that you qualify and receive as much financial aid as one can get,” said Delores Hawkins, a Financial Aid Director at Des Moines Area Community College.

CANCER CARE: Mercy Receives Commendation

CANCER CARE: Mercy Receives Commendation

Des Moines’ Mercy Cancer Center at Mercy Medical Center has been recognized for its work this week.

The Commission on Cancer (CoC) of the American College of Surgeons (ACoS) granted the center a three-year accreditation with commendation.

The accreditation shows that the care exceeds the requirements of a full cancer program in the areas of cancer committee leadership, cancer data management, clinical services, research, community outreach and quality improvement.

ALLOWABLE GROWTH: DMPS To Petition Lawmakers

Des Moines’ interim superintendent wants to sign a petition calling on house lawmakers to approve allowable growth for schools. The petition is being circulated by a group called School Administrators of Iowa.

The Des Moines’ School Board will consider signing it at Tuesday’s meeting.

State senators have already approved an allowable growth bill for the next two years, but house republicans are siding with Governor Branstad. He wants lawmakers to tackle education reform before they set funding levels.

DIABETES WALK: JDRF To Take Over Skywalk

Thousands of walkers will spread out across downtown Des Moines to fight type one diabetes on Saturday.

Workers spent Friday night setting up for annual Walk for a Cure to Fight Juvenile Diabetes.

This year the walk will wind through the skywalk and end at the downtown Marriott at 7th Street and Grand Avenue.

Organizers hope to raise $1.2 million for research, they are already half way to that goal.

It’s not too late to get involved. Registration starts at 8 a.m. and the two-mile walk starts at 8:30.

The Des Moines walk is one of the biggest in the nation, thanks in part to the emcee, Channel 13’s very own Chief Meteorologist Ed Wilson.