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In 2013, Minnesota lawmakers ushered in a new era of marriage equality and butted heads over such issues as the MNsure health insurance exchange and funding for the proposed Vikings stadium, which ultimately broke ground in December.
But elsewhere, Minnesotans’ acts of kindness captured our attention, from the Dairy Queen manager whose generosity after a blind customer was robbed of $20 earned him Warren Buffet’s commendation, to the man who threw $1,000 into the Mall of America rotunda on Black Friday … and was subsequently arrested.
We reported with heavy hearts unimaginable tragedies, such as when a mother’s car plunged into a pond, killing 2 of the 5 children inside.
However, from some tragedies sprung new hope, as when “Clouds,” the song young Zach Sobiech wrote when he found out he had terminal osteosarcoma, climbed Billboard and iTunes’ charts following his death.
Controversies raged from many corners — after high schoolers were disciplined for shooting their own “Harlem Shake” viral videos, after Adrian Peterson stated that he was “not with” gay marriage, after a lesson on structural racism chided some students.
But, in the end, many of the stories that will endure from 2013 highlighted that quintessential Minnesota character.
This is, after all, the land where a 4-year-old can become the world’s cutest mayor, where kids can enjoy a snow day in May, and where a Prince sighting is always a potential soundcheck away.
Here are some of the top headlines from 2013 as WCCO originally reported on them:
Top 2013 Headlines: November & December
It was Edward Snowden’s revelations of domestic spying by the National Security Agency that hatched the idea — graphic artist Dan McCall would take the NSA’s emblem and create a new look with a funny twist. Soon, he was having T-shirts emblazoned with the NSA logo accompanied by the slogan, “peeping while you’re sleeping.” Under the parodied emblem was the statement, “the only part of government that actually listens.”
Authorities say the two planes were carrying a group of nine skydivers for a tandem jump. But when the planes reached 12,000 feet, the trail plane came over the top of the lead plane and got caught up in its turbulence. The planes then collided, and the lead plane lost its wings and started on fire, the report said.
November 12: WCCO Radio Newsman Attacked, Robbed On Way To Work
“I think the scariest thing was that they didn’t say anything,” said 830 WCCO morning news anchor Steve Murphy, recalling last week’s incident.
“Those students were trying to undermine my authority from the get go,” she said. “I tried to say, like, ‘OK, you guys are taking it personally, this is not a personal attack. I’m not talking about all white people, you white people in general. We’re talking about whiteness as a system of oppression.'”
Heidi Weber worked for a year as dean of Globe’s medical assistant program. “They’re selling a dream, not an education. And that’s something they’d say quite often,” Weber said.
Two children have died after being trapped in a car underwater anywhere from 25 to 45 minutes in a pond following a crash Thursday morning in St. Louis Park. The deceased children were two of five kids unable to get out of the sunken car until emergency workers pulled it from the frigid pond. The car’s driver, who is mother and stepmother to the children, made it away safely.
November 30: Man Cited After Tossing $1,000 Into MOA Rotunda
Serge Vorobyov — who goes by the YouTube handle “Serge the Car Hauler” — threw $1,000 in dollar bills from the fourth floor of the Mall of America rotunda as a choir performed “Let it Snow” on the ground floor below. Serge said the reason he surprised everyone and tossed out the cascade of cash is because he’s had a rough year and just wanted to help other people on Black Friday.
December 5: Minn. Archdiocese Reveals Accused Priests’ Names
“The disclosures made today are not intended to be final,” Archbishop John Nienstedt wrote in his Thursday column in The Catholic Spirit newspaper. “We are currently engaged in a comprehensive review of clergy files, and the list will be updated as additional announcements are made.”