MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The year 2021 brought stories of joy, stories of devastation, and stories of disappointment. It was, in short, another memorable year that none of us will soon forget.
Here is a list of the top 20 most-read stories from WCCO.com in 2021, along with links to the original stories.
- Jan. 1: 2 Minnesota Bars Face 5-Year Liquor License Suspensions For Reopening On New Year’s Eve
Alibi Drinkery in Lakeville and The Interchange in Albert Lea both opened up for customers on New Year’s Eve — and were subsequently notified by the state that they face five-year liquor license suspensions for repeatedly violating Gov. Tim Walz’s executive order.
- Jan. 18: MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell Says Bed Bath And Beyond, Kohl’s To Drop His Products; Dominion Voting Systems Threatens To Sue
MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell said in an interview that Bed Bath & Beyond and Kohl’s are among the retailers that stopped selling his products due to his continued support of conspiracy theories related to President Donald Trump’s election loss.
- Feb. 9: Buffalo Clinic Shooting: 1 Dead, 4 Injured; Gregory Ulrich Identified As Suspect
Gregory Ulrich, 67, was taken into custody in connection to a deadly shooting at a Buffalo health clinic. Five people were shot in the attack at Allina Clinic Crossroads. One of the victims, who was brought to Hennepin Healthcare in Minneapolis, later died from their injuries, according to hospital officials.
- April 12: ‘Holy S**t, I Just Shot Him’: Chief Believes Officer Kim Potter Meant To Use Taser In Fatal Shooting Of Daunte Wright
Officials in Brooklyn Center released body camera footage of the fatal police shooting of 20-year-old Daunte Wright.
- April 20: Derek Chauvin Guilty On All 3 Counts In George Floyd’s Death
Following nearly a year of protest, introspection and raw emotion, former Minneapolis officer Derek Chauvin, who in May 2020 held a knee down on George Floyd’s neck for more than 9 minutes, was found guilty of second-degree murder and two other charges in Floyd’s death.
- April 30: Even When Residents Call For Their Help, Minneapolis Police Won’t Go Near 38th & Chicago
Once again, people who live near George Floyd Square wanted to know when Minneapolis police would respond to their calls for help.
- May 4: Derek Chauvin Juror Brandon Mitchell’s Participation In D.C. March Could Help Appeal, Legal Experts Say
A photo made the rounds on social media of Brandon Mitchell attending the March on Washington back in August 2020, which commemorated the 57th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. giving his historic “I Have a Dream” speech.
- July 15: George Floyd Mural Struck By Lightning In Toledo, Ohio
A mural honoring the memory of George Floyd in Toledo, Ohio collapsed after being struck by lightning.
- July 30: Woman Found Beheaded On Shakopee Sidewalk; 42-Year-Old Man Arrested
According to the Shakopee Police Department, the incident occurred at the intersection of Fourth Avenue and Spencer Street. A 55-year-old woman, identified as America Mafalda Thayer of Shakopee, was found on the sidewalk near the intersection and pronounced dead at the scene.
- Sept. 1: ‘My Heart Is Aching’: Mark Rosen Announces Wife Denise ‘Passed Peacefully’
Former WCCO sports director Mark Rosen says that his wife Denise died three years after being diagnosed with brain cancer. “My heart is aching. My beautiful wife, Denise, passed peacefully from Glioblastoma,” Rosen said in a tweet.
- Sept. 7: Police Search For 17 Cars Stolen From Brooklyn Park Dealership
A local car dealership reported more than a dozen cars that were stolen over the course of two days. Surveillance video showed three mask men entered the service area of Luther Brookdale Dodge late one night, taking five vehicles. But that was just the beginning.
- Sept. 8: Crowd Removed With Chemical Spray As MN State Fair Closed
Law enforcement officers used a chemical spray to disperse a crowd that created a disturbance at the main gate to the Minnesota State Fair as it was drawing to a close.
- Sept. 14: Eden Prairie Police: Body Found Fits Description Of Mike Elhard
Authorities in Eden Prairie said a body was reportedly found in the city fitting the description of Mike Elhard, the 39-year-old jogger who was reported missing less than 24 hours earlier.
- Oct. 2: ‘It’s Bad, It’s Bad’: Proctor Teens Say Students Used Item To Sodomize Teammate, Shared Video Online
WCCO uncovered disturbing details about why a Minnesota high school canceled its football season. School leaders and police in Proctor wouldn’t talk specifics, but multiple students told WCCO about a locker room assault and the video that spread on social media.
- Oct. 10: 3 Men Arrested After ‘Hellish’ Mass Shooting At St. Paul Bar Leaves 1 Dead, 14 Injured
Dozens of gunshots erupted just after midnight at the Seventh Street Truck Park, just down the block from Xcel Energy Center. Police said multiple 911 callers “frantically begged for help” moments after the attack.
- Oct. 10: ‘It Was Unbelievable’: Hunter Bags 600-Pound Bear In Western Wisconsin
Cory Kohls wasn’t even on a hunting trip when he shot a 616-pound bear in western Wisconsin. He just noticed the bear while driving by a corn field in New Richmond, so he asked the farmers if he could have permission to track down the bear.
- Oct. 15: Twin Cities Man Accused Of Operating Private Airport In Field Behind His Home
An Afton man faced several charges for having an airstrip on his property. Jeffrey Walker, 57, was charged with five misdemeanor counts in Washington County for violating the city’s restrictions for airstrips.
- Nov. 15: ‘It’s A Free Country’: Man Threatens TSA Agent’s Life, Throws Checkpoint Stanchion, Strips Naked & Masturbates, Charges State
Telling agents he “did not have to stop” because “it’s a free country,” a 44-year-old Minneapolis man was charged with threatening TSA workers at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. The charges stated that he also swung a stanchion line post before throwing it at agents, and also took his clothes off and masturbated.
- Nov. 26: Large Groups Rob Burnsville, Maplewood Best Buys On Black Friday
On Friday night, two different Best Buy stores in Minnesota were hit with large-scale thefts, part of a trend that spanned across the country. Major cities in California were hit with the same style crime earlier this week.
- Dec. 16: Historic December Storm Brings Tornadoes To Minnesota
A rare winter thunderstorm possibly whipped up more than a dozen December tornadoes in Minnesota one December night — an unprecedented event in recorded state history.