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DATA CENTER: Microsoft Behind ‘Project Alluvion’

West Des Moines officials say the city will be home to a $1.1 billion Microsoft data center that will be one of the company’s largest centers in the U.S.

Officials made the announcement Friday morning about the data center, which had been previously referred to as Project Alluvion.

Microsoft plans to construct the building west of Highway 28 between Pine Avenue and Highway 5.

The Iowa Economic Development Authority board approved millions in tax credit for the project at its meeting Friday morning.

Construction will start this spring and the center will create more than 80 jobs.

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EASTER WEEKEND: Churches Preparing For Full Pews

While most stores are closed Easter Sunday this weekend means big business for churches around the world.

Saint Francis of Assisi in West Des Moines is Iowa’s largest Catholic parish. Its main church can seat around a thousand people. But church officials say they expect around six thousand people will visit the church over the weekend.

On Sunday, the sermon will be projected on two large screens in a separate overflow room that seats around 500. Officials at Saint Francis of Assisi say their attendance doubles almost every year over Easter weekend.

Father Ray McHenry says Pope Francis has inspired and excited many Catholics. According to a recent poll by the Pew Research Center 85 percent of Catholics have a favorable view of Pope Francis.

While the poll indicates the Pope’s popularity has not brought more people to Mass, Father McHenry says he’s seen an increase especially around the holidays.

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.

DATA CENTER: New ‘Project Alluvion’ Details Friday

More details about a new data center project in West Des Moines are being released Friday.

Officials from West Des Moines and Polk County will join Gov. Terry Branstad for a news conference Friday morning to discuss Project Alluvion. The company behind the data center has been kept a secret.

The city has already approved a plan to provide infrastructure improvements and other incentives worth $18 million to lure the project to the area.

An 11:30 a.m. press conference will be held Friday, right after the Iowa Economic Development Authority board discusses state incentives for the business.

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MORE LAYOFFS: Wells Fargo Cuts 30 Locally

wells fargo layoffsWells Fargo home mortgage is cutting dozens more jobs in the metro.

The company announced Wednesday 30 metro employees will be laid off, part of more than 300 layoffs nationwide.

Wells Fargo has cut more than 10,000 jobs nationwide since last July.

PALIN VISIT: Conservative Women Rallying Around Ernst

female gopSarah Palin already announced her support for US Senate candidate Joni Ernst. Now Palin is joining her on the campaign trail.

The former vice presidential candidate will stump for Ernst at a rally in West Des Moines as part of a ShePAC event that aims to support, honor and elect conservative women.

The “Heels On, Gloves Off” event is set for April 27th.

Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds, Senator Deb Fischer of Nebraska and former Nebraska Governor Kay Orr will also attend the event.

AVIATION CONFERENCE: Sioux City Crash Pilot Returning To Iowa

A former pilot is coming back to visit Iowa 25 years after his plane crashed in Sioux City.

Al Haynes will speak at the 2014 Iowa Aviation Conference.

Haynes was the captain of United Flight 232 which crashed in July, 1989 at the Sioux Gateway Airport.

The flight from Denver to Chicago suffered an engine failure and it crashed on the runway during an emergency landing. Sadly, 112 people died, but Captain Haynes was credited for saving 184 lives that day.

Haynes will speak on April 22nd at the West Des Moines Sheraton. The event starts at 7 p.m., it’s free and open to the public.