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TOUGH START: Barnstormers Home At Last

It has been a long four weeks for the Iowa Barnstormers.

Their first road game was out in Spokane. Then week two it was back out to the west coast to Portland where Iowa got its only win of the year. After a bye-week the Barnstormers lost by seven in Cleveland.

Those three trips totaled almost 8,000 miles all before a single home game.

Tuesday marked the first practice inside their home arena. So players had a lot of questions. Schematic questions like how will the new curved end zone change our game plan and logistic questions like where`s the locker-room!?

The road wasn`t all bad and now they get paid with four home games over the next six weeks.

The first of those home games is Saturday at 7:05 p.m.

DRAKE DECISION: Business School Gives Up Secondary Accreditation

Drake University is voluntarily giving up its business school’s secondary accreditation for one year.

The school announced on Monday that it failed to meet stands of the AACSB and won’t be accredited for the next year.

The school plans to reapply for accreditation next spring.

Drake says the loss of the accreditation won’t impact the quality of education the school offers to its 1,550 undergraduate and postgraduate students in the next year.

Iowa State University, the University of Iowa and the University of Northern Iowa are all accredited through AACSB.

YOUNKERS FIRE: Engineers Determining Fate Of Historic Building

The fate of the downtown Des Moines Younkers Building could be decided as early as Wednesday.

Alexander Company, which owns the now burned out Younkers Building, have three choices – save what’s left of the building; save only part of it; or demolish the whole thing.

Engineers were lowered into the rubble Tuesday to get a first hand look at the damage.

Engineers were specifically checking to the north wall facing the Des Moines Partnership Building and the east and south walls. They will assess the damage and determine what parts, if any, of the historic building can be saved.

FIRST LISTEN: Younkers Fire 911 Calls Released

For the first time we’re hearing the 911 calls made as the historic Younkers building went up in flames.

Between dispatch taking 911 calls and the fire and police crews communicating with each other there were more than 600 calls recorded related to the Younkers fire starting with people downtown who spotted the blaze.

The first calls starting coming in just before 1 a.m. of people reporting heavy black smoke coming from the area.

A fire truck and medic at a call near Court Avenue were first on the scene and reported the top two floors were already on fire.

Less than five minutes after the first crews arrived, it was quickly changed to a two alarm fire and several other units were called to the Younkers building.

Less than 15 minutes after the first crew arrived on the scene the fire was changed to a three alarm fire and all available units were called to help.

FIRE TRAINING: Newest DMFD Recruits Put To The Test

The Des Moines Fire Department’s newest recruits are practicing with live fire this week.

The group of 16 recruits suited up to practice in Urbandale Tuesday.

“They are going to get their gear dirty, their helmets will get a little smoked up, and they’ll get sweaty. It’s hard but they’ll walk away with sense of satisfaction and a lot of confidence,” Des Moines fire captain, Joe Hogan said.

Today they are practicing going in the fire from above simulating a basement fire.

The recruits say it’s hard to get used to wearing the masks and not being able to see.

“Very much looking forward to this for the last few months… good training, good instructors and our crews are good so not nervous at all,” recruit Brandon Gray said.

The recruits have about four weeks left of training.

POLICE SHOOTING: Officers Acted Within Policy

The three Des Moines police officers who fired their guns at a suspect last month are back on the job.

Thirty-year-old Shawntee Young is accused of driving through a crime scene on March 20th. Officers say they told young to stop, but he kept driving and officers opened fire.

Young was found with two gunshot wounds in his back and was taken to the hospital. He’s charged with two counts of assault with a dangerous weapon.

Police say an internal investigation shows the officers acted within department policy and they are back on duty.

NEW BRIDGE: Check Out Grand Ave. Design

A historic bridge over the Des Moines River will soon have to go and city leaders want residents to help design its replacement.

The Grand Avenue Bridge downtown is slowly falling apart. City leaders say it will be more cost effective in the long run to replace the bridge than it will be to continue fixing it.

However, they want the new bridge to keep some aspects of the current one.

One possible design the city is considering preserves the classic arched design.

grand ave bridge design

The city will hold a public meeting next Monday to gather public input on this and other design possibilities.

Construction of the new bridge could start in 2016.