From snakes infesting a dream home, to controversial police shootings, to sexual harassment allegations, Minnesota encountered a diverse swath of stories in the year 2017.

Here are WCCO’s most-read stories of 2017 below:


Victim Forgives Woman Who Smashed Beer Mug In Her Face

asma jama in court WCCOs Top 20 Most Read Stories Of 2017

Asma Jama (credit: CBS)

Although technically reported in late December, this story continued to get many views into the month of January.

A Ramsey County woman was sentenced to serve six months behind bars for attacking a woman at a Coon Rapids restaurant last fall. The victim spoke directly to her attacker in front of a packed courtroom. The emotional testimony was one of our most-viewed videos on Facebook, too — with 5 million views.

Better Business Bureau Lowers MyPillow Rating To F

mypillow WCCOs Top 20 Most Read Stories Of 2017

MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell (credit: CBS)

The Better Business Bureau (BBB) of Minnesota and North Dakota lowered the rating for Chaska-based MyPillow from a BBB rating to an F. The organization said the company violated its code of advertising after receiving complaints from consumers.

First, the BBB said MyPillow’s “buy one get one free” discount has to be extended for a limited time, and could otherwise be construed as using the sale to mask the product’s regular price. The BBB said a “substantial number” of the 232 complaints filed against the company are regarding this confusion.


VIDEO: SUV Appears To Be Driving On Water On Upper Red Lake

suv driving on upper red lake janet gohman WCCOs Top 20 Most Read Stories Of 2017

(credit: Janet Gohman)

People took advantage of the weird weather back in February, and a group in northern Minnesota got video of an SUV gliding along the water on Upper Red Lake.

The video, taken by Ryan Mullen, shows the vehicle appearing to drive through waves on the lake.

It’s pretty great.


House Of Snakes: Dream Home Turns Out To Be A Nightmare

garter snakes WCCOs Top 20 Most Read Stories Of 2017

(credit: CBS)

It sounds like a scene out of a horror movie: A Minnesota mom and her kids unsuspectingly move into a house full of snakes.

While it may sound hard to believe, it was a frightening reality for a family left with few options after buying what they once considered the perfect home.

Infant Found Safe, Suspect In Custody After AMBER Alert

sharline miles1 WCCOs Top 20 Most Read Stories Of 2017

Sharline Miles (credit: Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension)

A 7-month-old child was recovered safe after police issued an AMBER Alert for a suspected abduction. Sharline Breanna Miles, 20, reportedly was in a car with mother, who was driving, with the young boy in the back seat when the two started arguing.

When the mother pulled the car over, the woman reportedly dragged the mother out of the car and left, saying the mother would never see her child again.

Burnsville police found the suspect car, the boy and Miles at a Holiday shortly after the AMBER alert was issued.

Growing Concern Over Brothers Arrested With Guns, Bomb-Making Materials

abdullah alrifahe and majid alrifahe WCCOs Top 20 Most Read Stories Of 2017

Abdullah Alrifahe and Majid Alrifahe (credit: Hennepin Co. Jail)

Authorities say two brothers with ties to the Middle East had an arsenal with bomb-making materials, guns and ammunition in their car.

Inside the brothers’ car, police found a loaded AK-47, another rifle, a handgun, a grenade, large amounts of ammunition, and what would later be identified as bomb-making materials, including a drone.

Walker Addresses Newest Structure Inspired By Mass Hanging Of Dakota Men

10 04 v4 WCCOs Top 20 Most Read Stories Of 2017

(credit: credit: Rosa Maria Ruehling; Commissioned and produced by dOCUMENTA (13))

Just one week before the grand re-opening of its Sculpture Garden, the Walker Art Center needed to apologize for one of its newest structures.

The piece was called “Scaffold”, which is a piecing together of various gallows used in U.S. history.

One of the main inspirations, however, is the 1862 Mankato gallows — where the largest mass execution in U.S. history took place. It’s where 38 Dakota men were hanged after being convicted of rape and murder during the Dakota Wars.

The piece was soon torn down.


Officer Yanez Found Not Guilty On All Counts In Castile’s Death

jeronimo yanez WCCOs Top 20 Most Read Stories Of 2017

Jeronimo Yanez (credit: CBS)

After days of deliberation, a jury found Jeronimo Yanez, the St. Anthony police officer who fatally shot Philando Castile during a traffic stop last summer, not guilty of second-degree manslaughter in the school cafeteria worker’s death.

The July 6 shooting gained national attention after Diamond Reynolds — Castile’s girlfriend, who was in the car during the shooting — live-streamed the bloody aftermath on Facebook.


Belle Plaine Allows Satanic Monument In City Park

belle plaine satanic monument WCCOs Top 20 Most Read Stories Of 2017

The monument created by The Satanic Temple (credit: CBS)

For a brief time, a small Minnesota town got a lot of attention for a Satanic monument coming to their veterans park.

The city created the free speech area to allow for a statue, with a cross on it, to stay in the Veterans Memorial Park.

However, after The Satanic Temple said they’d be putting up their own monument to honor soldiers, the city council eliminated the free speech area and the park is free of any memorials.

MPD Officer Who Shot Woman Identified As Mohamed Noor

mohamed noor crop WCCOs Top 20 Most Read Stories Of 2017

Officer Mohamed Noor (credit: Minneapolis Police Department)

An Australian woman called 911 after hearing what she thought was a sexual assault in a Minneapolis alley. Moments later, a responding officer shot and killed her from inside his squad car.

The officer was later identified as Minneapolis Police Officer Mohamed Noor. He has yet to be charged.

Some Minneapolis Restaurants Adding Fee To Fund Health Care

bryant lake bowl WCCOs Top 20 Most Read Stories Of 2017

(credit: Bryant Lake Bowl Facebook Page)

A number of Minneapolis restaurants began including an extra fee with your meal to fund health care.

Barbette, the Bryant Lake Bowl and the Bird are just a few of Kim Bartmann’s restaurants. She’s adding a 3 percent service charge to customer’s checks to offset the rising cost of healthcare for her employees.

Judge Orders Review Of Airline Seat Sizes, Legroom

airplane generic WCCOs Top 20 Most Read Stories Of 2017

(credit: CBS)

A federal judge ordered the Federal Aviation Administration to review seat sizes and legroom on commercial airlines. No word on the results of this.


2 Dead After Minnehaha Academy Explosion

minnehaha academy explosion5 WCCOs Top 20 Most Read Stories Of 2017

The aftermath of the explosion (credit: CBS)

Tragedy struck this summer when an explosion at a private school in south Minneapolis killed two people.

A gas leak sparked an explosion that destroyed portions of the Upper Campus. Demolition on the school began in early December.

Minnesota Ranked 2nd-Worst In U.S. For Racial Equality

racial inequality report pkg 10 sigoutefbfbc0aefbfbc0a0aefbfbc0aefbfbc0a 0822t215158 mov WCCOs Top 20 Most Read Stories Of 2017

(credit: CBS)

A report listed Minnesota among the worst states in America for racial inequality. The website 24/7 Wall Street listed Minnesota as the second-most unequal state in the country behind Wisconsin.

The study measured gaps between black and white residents in areas like unemployment, income and homeownership. It found that black people in Minnesota are ten times more likely to end up in jail or prison than white people.


Family Learns Minn. Missionary Declared Dead Is Alive In Africa

jerry krause WCCOs Top 20 Most Read Stories Of 2017

Jerry Krause (credit: Krause Family)

A report from the South African Civil Aviation Authority said a missionary pilot crashed and died in 2013. But his family says that is now not the case.

They posted on Facebook how the South African government has removed their official report due to new evidence and that Krause has been seen and found to be alive, adding that the U.S. government knows his location.

The Krauses say sources within the Pentagon and Department of Defense have told them they need presidential approval to make their next move. They hope the public will put pressure on their lawmakers now to bring a husband and father home.

Police: 3 Arrested For Kidnapping Teen, Assaulting Her For 29 Days

steven power thomas barker joshua holby WCCOs Top 20 Most Read Stories Of 2017

From left to right: Steven Powers, Thomas Barker and Joshua Holby. (credit: Douglas County)

A farmer who stopped by his house in the middle of his work shift ended up finding a missing 15-year-old girl from Alexandria. She disappeared Aug. 8 from outside her mother’s home.

Police say a family acquaintance and two other men assaulted her in various locations for nearly one month.

She was able to escape after the three men left her alone in a foreclosed property in rural Grant County.

Police arrested Thomas Barker, Joshua Holby and Steven Powers, for physically and sexually assaulting the teen.


Parents Question Twin Cities Dentist’s Alarming Diagnoses

dr deanna alevizos WCCOs Top 20 Most Read Stories Of 2017

Dr. Deanna Alevizos (credit: Metro Dentalcare)

A WCCO investigation found children who were diagnosed with cavities by a Burnsville dentist that other dentists said didn’t exist. Dr. Deanna Alevizos was accused of doing unnecessary dental work on kids to cash in.

More families came forward with complaints after the initial story aired.


Western Wisconsin Man Bags Buck Of A Lifetime

record deer WCCOs Top 20 Most Read Stories Of 2017

Greg Widiker and his trophy buck (credit: Greg Widiker)

For the past three years, a Wisconsin teacher pursued the huge buck. Trail camera photos tracked the huge buck’s growth. Then in September, a trail camera took an image of the buck and Greg Widiker bagged his buck soon after.

It is one of the largest white-tailed deer ever taken in Wisconsin.


Sen. Franken Resigns Amid Multiple Harassment Allegations

fran WCCOs Top 20 Most Read Stories Of 2017

Sen. Al franken gives his final speech on the Senate floor (credit: CBS)

Following weeks of sexual misconduct accusations made against him, Sen. Al Franken announced his resignation. He set the date of his resignation for Jan. 2.

5-Year-Old Marine Fights Burglar, Daughter Chases Him Through Town

Gary Wells

(Photo credit: Milwaukee Co. Sheriff’s Office)

Fred, a World War II veteran, says his dog started barking and alerted him to someone breaking in through a back door of the West Allis house on Dec. 4. The 95-year-old was able to wrestle alleged burglar, Gary Wells, to the ground before the homeowner’s daughter ran downstairs to help fight the thief off.

Fred’s motivated 51-year-old daughter Mary then took off after Wells, chasing the burglar for six blocks before catching and holding him for police.


New Tick-Borne Disease Identified In Minn., Wis.

ticks WCCOs Top 20 Most Read Stories Of 2017

(credit: CBS)

Now, this is an interesting one. Despite being posted in 2011 (yes, you read that correctly), this story was one of our top stories read in 2017.

Mayo Clinic researchers identified a new tick-borne disease in Minnesota and Wisconsin. Doctors said it’s just as serious as Lyme disease, but harder to detect.

Honestly, we’re not sure how it happened. But a similar phenomenon happened in 2015 with a year-old winter storm post. It seems to have started with one of Facebook’s new features that reminds you of a “memory” of one of your posts on this day in the past few years. Check out the full write up on that one here.


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