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2012 In Review: Top Minnesota News Headlines

[Jan.-Feb.] | [March-April] | [May-June]
[July-Aug.] | [Sept.-Oct.] | [Nov.-Dec.]

In 2012, Minnesotans (and Minnesota Vikings) fought over a proposed constitutional amendment that would define marriage as existing only between one man and one woman, and another that would require voters to have government-issued IDs.

Minnesotans united in grief over a workplace shooting rampage in Minneapolis and a massive flood that wiped out streets and zoo animals in Duluth.

Minnesotans worked together to ensure one of the world's tallest men could afford to buy a new pair of size 24 shoes.

And Minnesotans gawked in fascination at some of the year's other most notable stories -- like the man who got ticketed for yelling at a cat, the news anchor who called out a bully for calling her fat, and the dog owner who made sure his ailing pet experienced some brief comfort in the waters of Lake Superior.

Here are some of the top headlines from 2012 as WCCO originally reported on them:

Top 2012 Headlines: January & February

January 1: Twins Born At HCMC In Different Years

"It was a great day to have a baby because everybody was in such a celebratory mood anyway," said the proud mom. "When Freya was finally born the nurses had made confetti and threw confetti all over and everybody was clapping, so it was a party when she came."

Costa Concordia Shipwreck
(credit: ANDREAS SOLARO/AFP/Getty Images)

January 15: White Bear Lake Couple Was On Italy Cruise Ship

A couple from White Bear Lake, Minn. is among those missing from the Costa Concordia cruise ship that crashed and tipped over off the Italian coast, according to family members.

January 20: Minn. Man Contracts 'Rat Lungworm' Disease In Hawaii

"Every day it gets a little better. It's kind of a roller coaster with the pain but overall, that's what I tell everybody. Overall, I'm getting better every day," he said.

January 30: Teacher Accused Of Racial Discrimination On Paid Leave

"He told the whole entire class that it is easier for him to teach rich white folks than poor black people," Latasha Tolbert said.

February 5: 9-Year-Old Suspended After Michael Jackson Dance

A 9-year-old boy was suspended last week after he mimicked Michael Jackson's crotch grab during a rendition of "Billie Jean" at school.

Fatal Crash Alexandria
(credit: Lowell Anderson, Echo Press)

February 20: 4 Women Confirmed Dead In Crash Near Alexandria

The crash happened in the eastbound lanes near mile marker 97 just after 3 p.m. Monday. Authorities say the four women were in a car heading west when they crossed the median and collided head-on with a car traveling in the eastbound lane.

February 23: Oil Boom Creating Dark Side Of Industry In North Dakota

"This is the wild, wild west and that's the only way I can describe it to someone who doesn't know," said Kelsey Wingate, an oil mechanic.


[Jan.-Feb.] | [March-April] | [May-June]
[July-Aug.] | [Sept.-Oct.] | [Nov.-Dec.]

Here are some of the top headlines from 2012 as WCCO originally reported on them:

Top 2012 Headlines: March & April

March 8: Post Office Won't Deliver To Rochester Trailer Park

"It saddens me because I like the 'homey' feeling of having your mailman come to your door," Barb Henderson said. "A few bad apples spoil the whole bushel."

Cat Generic
(credit: Jupiter Images)

March 22: Man Gets Ticket For Yelling At Cat

The man, who was not identified, admitted to authorities that he had been swearing loudly at the cat. His defense to officers was that he is "human."

March 26: How Does America's Tallest Man Buy Shoes?

Igor Vovkivinskiy says he's contacted several shoe companies and only heard back from Reebok. He says he was told it would cost $15,000 to have shoes made for him, money not in the budget for this college student.

Annie Stensrud
(credit: CBS)

March 27: Former KEYC Anchor Pleads Guilty To 3rd-Degree DWI

Twenty-eight-year-old Annie Stensrud was arrested in the city of North Mankato just before noon on Dec. 21, 2011, for probable cause DWI. Stensrud was thrust into the spotlight after a video showing her slurring through a newscast went viral.

March 31: Mpls. Police Ponder 8 P.M. Curfew After Youth Mob Attacks

"Curfews are just going to make them want to act out even more," said Mary Carter. "I don't feel like that would solve the problem because I feel that kids that would adhere to the curfew aren't the ones causing the problems to begin with."

April 2: Motor Home Crash Kills 5 In Minn. Family

Twenty-five-year-old Tom Kerber and 24-year-old Melissa Kerber from New Prague died. Three younger Kerbers — 10-year-old Jessica, 12-year-old James and 14-year-old Joy — were also killed. All three children were from Jordan.

April 4: Was $12,000 A Restaurant Tip Or Drug Money?

A lawsuit was filed in Clay County District Court and alleges that the waitress found a box, left at her table at the Fryn' Pan restaurant in Moorhead. She said she followed the customer to her car to return the box but the woman told her to keep it.

April 10: Brother, Day Care Operator, Parents Killed

"I was leaving out of the door for work and I got a call from my son, and he said that one of my nieces and my other son had called him and were all hysterical and telling him that something is going on over at the house," said Bolden. "My niece said, 'They're all gone.'"

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[Jan.-Feb.] | [March-April] | [May-June]
[July-Aug.] | [Sept.-Oct.] | [Nov.-Dec.]

Here are some of the top headlines from 2012 as WCCO originally reported on them:

Top 2012 Headlines: May & June

May 3: Amy Senser Found Guilty Of 2 Felonies In Hit-And-Run

Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman said it was a clearly tough decision for the jury, based on the length of deliberations, but in the end justice was served. "I think if you're driving a car and you have an accident, the state legislators and all the rest of us believe you have a duty to stop, and that is clearly something that Miss Senser did not do," he said.

May 7: Champlin Woman Warns Of The Consequences Of Tanning

"When they did the surgery, they had to take off almost the entire top of my nose. You could have heard a pin drop in the room, there was no conversation. There were tears running down my face," said Raquel Guckeen.

May 23: Forever Hungry: One Family's Struggle With Prader-Willi Syndrome

Doctors say people with Prader-Willi syndrome feel ravenous; they liken it to the feeling healthy people get with they haven't eaten for three days. There's nothing those with the disease can do to minimize that feeling of constant hunger. But there are ways parents can help kids cope.

May 28: Explosion, Fire At Sartell Paper Mill

When the explosion went off, a shockwave emanated from the mill, hitting people's homes, rattling their windows. "It just felt like somebody hit our house," one witness said. "The windows and everything were shaking."

Gay Marriage
(credit: CBS)

May 29: Stance On Gay Marriage May Cost Rev. His Church


"I think people are scared — scared of change, and what has been in the closet is finally coming out, and too many people are not willing to accept it," Rev. Oliver White said.

June 1: Former WCCO Radio Personality Dark Star Found Dead

When he didn't show up for the afternoon show, colleagues became alarmed and tried desperately to reach him by phone. When those calls went unanswered, they drove to his Minnetonka apartment. Their worst suspicions had come true – lying face down in his apartment, George Hutton Chapple was dead. He was 66 years old.

June 7: Mom Speaks Out After Being Told Not To Breastfeed In Public

Hadley Barrows did point out one of the ironies of the teachable moment. "You think of the library as a place of knowledge. And even in the library ... they don't know that it's OK to nurse your kid in public."

Seal Stranded In Duluth
(credit: Crimson Raisanen)

June 1: Flooding Prompts State Of Emergency In Duluth

Photo Gallery: Flooding in Duluth

"This morning my thoughts are with our friends and neighbors in Duluth and the surrounding region, as they respond to major flooding," Gov. Mark Dayton said. "I have spoken to Duluth Mayor Don Ness and have offered all possible state assistance now and during the recovery. I will travel to Duluth tomorrow morning to discuss further how the state can help."

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[Jan.-Feb.] | [March-April] | [May-June]
[July-Aug.] | [Sept.-Oct.] | [Nov.-Dec.]

Here are some of the top headlines from 2012 as WCCO originally reported on them:

Top 2012 Headlines: July & August

Toni Medrano
(credit: CBS)

July 9: Police: Mother Charged In Baby's Death Sets Self On Fire

Authorities said Toni Medrano was found suffering serious, life-threatening burns. She was taken to Regions Hospital, but died as a result of her injuries. Investigators said Medrano was despondent and suicidal, and had doused herself with a flammable liquid before setting herself on fire.

July 11: 2 Sisters Found Dead In Wis., Father In Custody

The family's neighbors are beside themselves. Neighbor Emily Kuhn said she can't imagine losing three children and that her heart breaks for the girls' mother. "I'm praying for her," she said. "I hope she finds of closure."

July 16: Bikini Parade To Go Forward -- Despite City's Objections

Cynthia Frederick runs the electric beach tanning salon in Mankato, and she wants to break the Guinness Book of World Records' record for the largest bikini parade. She needs 451 women dressed in bikinis to do it. The City, however, has some objections.

July 24: QR Codes On Headstones: Preserving Personalities Of Those Passed

In four steps, the loved one's memory is eternalized with a little help from the digital world. After purchasing your QR code from Katzman Monument Company, you go to where you can upload information, pictures, even video. Then, you can attach the QR code. After it's read with a free app on your phone, you can access the pictures and video right at your fingertips.

August 2: 2nd Woman Attacked By Otter In Minn.

For the second time this summer, a Minnesota swimmer has been attacked by an otter. The first incident happened a few weeks ago, near Duluth. This weekend, a woman was attacked near her family cabin in McGregor. Now, it's making her think hard about going in the water again.


August 3: Crash Causes MOA Ramp Support To Fall On Truck; 1 Dead

The U-Haul's driver appears to have misjudged the size of the truck as it entered the ramp. The truck hit a support, causing part of the ramp to fall, police said.

August 7: Lake-Living Amoeba Suspected In Child's Death

"The risk of infection from Naegleria in Minnesota is very low," said Richard Danila, an assistant state epidemiologist. "Swimming is a very healthy summertime activity and we do not want to discourage people from swimming. Rather, simply avoid swimming, diving or other activities in obviously stagnant water when temperatures are high and water levels are low."

August 10: A Man Floating With His Dog Makes The World Wonder

"I can only give him what I can, and he's always given me his all," said John Unger. "I hope he passes in his sleep, nice and peaceful. Doesn't everyone want their loved ones to pass peacefully?"

[Previous] | [Next]

[Jan.-Feb.] | [March-April] | [May-June]
[July-Aug.] | [Sept.-Oct.] | [Nov.-Dec.]

Here are some of the top headlines from 2012 as WCCO originally reported on them:

Top 2012 Headlines: September & October

September 11: Schools Investigate After Urine Found In Girls Locker Room

"I think it's disgusting," Princeton student Taylor Sleen said. "Why would you do that to someone else's stuff? The soccer balls were all full of it and some soccer people's shoes were all yellow and stuff — it's gross."

September 12: Pine County Crash Leaves 4 Dead, 1 Seriously Hurt

"The wreckage is so bad you can barely recognize the truck," Pine County Chief Sheriff Deputy Steven Blackwell said, adding that debris scattered hundreds of feet into the nearby woods. The semi hit the passenger side of the pickup where the 58-year-old victim was seated, he said. Blackwell declined to say who was driving the pickup.

September 22: St. Cloud Man Dies After Injuries From Punch

"We just saw him and was laying there and there were people around him," Kilpatrick said. "We really didn't think much of it, and as we were getting out we thought we saw someone on the ground. We went back inside, we came outside and there was a cop car."

September 27: Police: Shooter Among Dead In Mpls. Office Shooting

"This is not an everyday thing," said Minneapolis Police Deputy Chief Kris Arneson. "This is something we see on the news in other areas, not Minneapolis."

October 2: TV Anchor Responds To 'Bullying' Letter On Her Weight

"What got to me was that he said I was a bad role model for young girls and I have three young girls," Jennifer Livingston said. "You know nothing about me then what you see on the outside, and I am more than a number on the scale."

October 12: H.S. Yearbook Won't Include Student's Baby, Suicide Victim

High school yearbooks are lined with memories both good and bad, but in Northern Minnesota, one high school wants to keep a few things from its pages. A controversy is brewing at Menahga High School over the issues of teen pregnancy and suicide.

October 15: Vote 'Yes' Strategist Will Vote 'No'

Michael Brodkorb's voting no on the gay marriage amendment, even though he helped develop the strategy that put it on the ballot. "It provided a turnout opportunity for Republicans," he said.

October 18: Congressman Ellison Calls Challenger Fields A 'Scumbag'

Congressman Ellison later issued a statement apologizing, and saying he, "acted beneath my personal standard as a public official." Fields also issued a statement: "At a time when we need civility and leadership from Washington politicians, Congressman Ellison has proved that he cannot deliver."

October 19: Questions Can Trigger 'Split Visit' Charge At Doc's Office

Susan Krantz was upset when she opened a recent bill. Along with the list of procedures was the itemized charge of $50.06 for something she couldn't make out. When she questioned Park Nicollet, the response puzzled her.

[Previous] | [Next]

[Jan.-Feb.] | [March-April] | [May-June]
[July-Aug.] | [Sept.-Oct.] | [Nov.-Dec.]

Here are some of the top headlines from 2012 as WCCO originally reported on them:

Top 2012 Headlines: November & December

November 2: Metro Gun Shops Nervous After Rash Of Burglaries

"It disturbs me that bad guys have guns on the streets. It disturbs me greatly they're mine, so I want the public to know this," Briggs said.

November 7: Minn. Voters Beat Gay Marriage, Photo ID Proposals

Minnesota's rejection of the gay marriage ban was just one piece of a big night for gay activists and their allies nationwide. In Maine and Maryland, voters legalized gay marriage; in Washington, a measure to the same was leading. The wins were a resounding reversal of a 32-state winning streak for gay marriage opponents.

November 7: After Big Losses, Minn. GOP Faces Tough 2 Years

With Mark Dayton in the governor's office, Minnesota's Capitol will be under total Democratic control for the first time in more than two decades. With another state budget deficit looming, Dayton will enjoy a far more receptive audience to his frequent demand for income-tax hikes on top earners. The defeat of the gay marriage ban is certain to embolden backers of legal gay marriage; Dayton has also said he would support letting gays marry under state law.

November 8: Wife Of Imprisoned Denny Hecker: 'He Was Made For Me'

Theirs may not be your typical love story. But in a WCCO exclusive, Denny Hecker's wife says she and the imprisoned former auto dealer were made for each other. The two married after he pleaded guilty to conspiracy and fraud — and soon were both behind bars in separate states.

November 24: Police Arrest Man For Killing 2 Teens During Alleged Break-In

Smith told deputies he had shot and killed two people breaking into his home the day before – Nov. 22 – at about noon. Deputies then located the bodies of 17-year-old Nicolas Brady and 18-year-old Halie Kifer in the basement of Smith's home. The two teens were cousins.

November 30: Cold Spring Officer Shot, Killed While Conducting Check

"He was a policeman trying to help someone. He was called there to help and he went there and was shot doing his job," said Donna Knaus, a manager at Cold Spring Bakery not far from the crime scene. "It's horrible."

December 9: Twin Cities Gets Its 1st Big Snowstorm Of The Season

Hyland Hills was the place to be, fresh powder and lots of people anxious to attack the hill. But it wasn't all fun and games. Clearing sidewalks, cars or just moving about on slippery sidewalks reminded us of how this beautiful white stuff can also be a pain.

December 13: Frank Vascellaro Interviews Obama On Fiscal Cliff, Spending Cuts

"Look, if we don't do anything, if Congress does nothing, then on Jan. 1 taxes on every family in America go up. For the typical, middle class family, that means $2,200 out of pocket. That's $2,200 that could be spent on groceries, a mortgage, sending a kid to college. It means $200 billion come out of our economy that suddenly businesses aren't seeing, and as a consequence, they may slow down in terms of their investment and their hiring. So it would be bad for the economy, bad for American families," Obama said.


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