From a patient breaking out of the Mayo Clinic, to a woman getting her head stuck in a truck’s exhaust pipe, to a teen performing CPR on a squirrel, Minnesota encountered a lot this year.

Here are WCCO’s Top 20 Most-Read Stories of 2018:

(Editor’s note: stories are sequenced by the date they were published. The number next to each story indicates its rank in terms of most-read).

JANUARY

9.) Kneeling Protest Planned Ahead Of Vikings-Saints Playoff Game

(credit: Adam Bettcher/Getty Images)

A “take a knee” rally protesting police violence ahead of the Vikings playoff game against the New Orleans Saints captured our readers attention in January.

The kneeling protest was first popularized by NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who took a knee during the national anthem to highlight concerns over police shootings and racism in the U.S.

13.) What Does ‘Skol’ Actually Mean?

(credit: Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)

Minnesotans love their Vikings and love their ‘Skol’ chant — but what does it actually mean? Kari from Mahtomedi wanted to know, so our Heather Brown tracked down the answer.

And it may not be what you think.

19.) Police: Standoff Situation Involving Armed Suspect Continues On ‘U’ Campus

(credit: CBS)

University of Minnesota students received a safety alert after an armed man threatened refused to come out of his hotel room at the Graduate Hotel on campus.

The stand-off ended after 38 hours when police used a battering ram to enter the suspects room. Authorities went into action after the man threatened to burn down the hotel.

The suspect, 38-year-old Rashad Bowman of Woodbury, was arrested.

FEBRUARY

15.) Reality Check: More Minnesotans Own Guns, Violent Crime Remains Low

Minnesota set a record last year for the number of gun background checks the FBI conducted in the state.

And while more people are carrying guns than ever before, the crime rate remains relatively low. Our Pat Kessler gives the numbers a reality check.

MARCH

4.) Make-A-Wish Kid Now A Doctor In The Hospital That Treated Her

(credit: CBS)

Meet Doctor Jen Pratt, as she shares how went from battling cancer as a kid, to caring for patients of her own at the same hospital that treated her.

It’s a story that’s worth another read.

6.) ‘It’ll Be Alright’: Video Of Mayo Surgeons Performing Song Goes Viral

(credit: CBS)

Dr. Elvis Francois shared a video of him and fellow orthopedic surgery resident, Dr. William Robinson, performing a cover of Mike Yung’s debut single, “Alright”.

Francois says he was told by a since-retired doctor that it’s the surgeon’s responsibility to bear the burden of worry with patients.

The video went viral and has since received 2.4 million views.

MAY

10.) Cockroach Milk? Experts Call Insect Dairy The Next Superfood

(credit: Jupiter Images)

Scientists say they have discovered the next superfood that’s a perfect non-dairy alternative. However, they may have a hard time getting people to try it.

This story of cockroach milk intrigued our viewers — making it one of our top 10 most-read articles of 2018.

JUNE

8.) As Loneliness Rises Among Americans, Experts Warn It’s Making Many Sick

(credit: CBS)

The survey of more than 20,000 U.S. adults ages 18 years and older revealed some alarming findings that experts say is impacting the overall health of the country.

Interestingly, Generation Z — those ages 18 to 22 — were the loneliest group in the survey, while adults 72 and older were the least lonely.

 11.) Woman Rescued After Getting Head Stuck In Truck’s Exhaust Pipe

(credit: CBS)

It’s a story that may make you look twice.

In June, this young woman found herself in the wrong place at the Winstock Music Festival. It took a team of local firefighters and a power saw to set her free.

And while it’s unclear what led her to this predicament, it’s safe to say alcohol was involved.

JULY

2.) Bemidji Photographer Snaps Photo Of Mama Duck With 76 Babies

(credit: Brent Cizek)

A mama duck in Minnesota captured hearts across the nation after a Bemidji photographer snapped an image of her leading an astonishing 76 ducklings across a lake.

And while it’s not uncommon to see a troupe of 20 or so ducklings lining up behind a single hen, 76 of them is another story!

3.) Arrest Made After Boulder Falls Off Vehicle, Kills Mother & Daughter

(credit: Dakota County Jail)

A 33-year-old man was arrested in July after an 800-pound bolder dislodged from his truck — hitting the car behind him and killing a mother and her daughter. Officials say the driver, Joe Czeck, failed to stop at the scene of the accident.

The tragedy is a reminder to all drivers to secure your load.

12.) Minnetonka High School Student Shot, Killed By Police

Archer Amorosi (credit: CBS)

Minutes after Carver County Deputies arrived at a Chanhassen home, an emergency response call turned into a fatal police shooting. Officials say they encountered a boy, first deploying a Taser and later shooting their guns, hitting and killing 16-year-old Archer Amorosi.

The devastating incident caused the teens’ family to fight for change in how mental health cases are handled.

14.) Minn. DOC: Stillwater Corrections Officer Killed By Inmate

Officer Jospeh Gomm (credit: Facebook/CBS)

A violent and fatal attack on a Stillwater Corrections Officer completely shook our community in July.

Officer Joseph Gomm was attacked by an inmate in the industry building, where inmates have work assignments in things like welding and carpentry. Officials say other inmates blocked the door when officers responded.

The tragic accident led to many calls for change — including staffing shortages.

AUGUST

7.) Man Seen Trying To Lure Girls Into Car At Edina Target

(credit: CBS)

A mother’s warning to Twin Cities parents struck a cord with our audience after an older man tried to abduct one of her children at a Target store.

The mother told WCCO that when her nanny wasn’t looking the man reportedly leaned down to one of the kids and said, “little one, your mommy had to leave and she wanted me to take you to my house with me, and she’ll meet us later.”

17.) Parents Break Teen Out Of Mayo Clinic

(credit: CNN)

Alyssa Gilderhus, 18 and a senior in high school, had been a patient at Mayo for about two months, ever since having a ruptured brain aneurysm on Christmas Day.

After repeatedly asking to be transferred, her family went to extreme measures to find better care.

It’s a breakout you have to see to believe and it’s all caught on camera.

SEPTEMBER

1.) Offensive Arby’s Sign Leads To Police Investigation

(credit: CBS)

An offensive message at an Arby’s restaurant on Brooklyn Boulevard would prove to be WCCO’s most-read article of 2018. The sign featured the N-word and a derogatory term for a prostitute.

Brooklyn Center police said the sign was low enough to the ground that just about anyone could reach it.

5.) Are Antenna TVs Making A Comeback?

(credit: CBS)

Millions of Americans are cutting the cord to cable and switching to streaming services, but another alternative that’s becoming widely popular is as old as television itself: over-the-air antennas.

Tom McGlynn runs Mr. Free HDTV Man, one of several TV antenna installation companies in the Twin Cities. He says he’s getting so many requests, he can’t keep up.

OCTOBER

18.) Is He Giving It CPR?’: Body Camera Captures Driver Helping Squirrel

(credit: Jupiter Images)

Body cameras from a Twin Cities police department captured officers giving high-fives to a young driver after he appeared to successfully give CPR to a stunned squirrel.

The video now has almost one million views.

NOVEMBER

16.) Don’t Netflix And Drive: Motorist Crashes On I-94

(credit: CBS)

You’ve been told not to drink and drive, but what about Netflix and drive?

The State Patrol say’s don’t do it — after a woman crashed her vehicle while watching the streaming service on her iPad. The driver reportedly admitted that she had positioned her iPad on the passenger seat.

Unfortunately, officials didn’t catch what show she was watching.

20.) Jed Copham, Owner Of BIR, Dies After Yacht Accident In Florida

Jed Copham (credit: CBS)

The sudden death of Jed Copham, owner of Brainerd International Raceway, was a shock to many of our viewers. Officials say Copham was swimming off his parent’s boat near Sanibel Island when he drowned.

Few details were released about the drowning, but authorities said it appeared to have been an tragic accident.

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