Resiliency Despite All Odds: KVRR’s Year in Review, Part II
The KVRR year in review continues.
2015 has been quite a year in news and KVRR has been with you all along the way. Tonight we’ll take a look at the past year’s top stories from April through June.
The Red River Valley has seen its fair share of tragedy and unfortunately 2015 is no exception.
“A good young man opened his door to a monster,” says Chief Dave Todd of Fargo Police.
Ashley Hunter, a man who police believe is responsible for the deaths of people he may not have even known.
“First off I don’t understand why I’m getting charged with all three of this stuff and you say you have proof what proof is there that I’ve been charged in all these deaths,” says Ashley Hunter of Fargo.
Whether that’s true has yet to be determined but it was a cold blooded murder that put the town of Fargo on edge.
And on edge it continued to stay. When a husband and wife were attacked in the parking lot between Rick’s and Speck’s bars, four suspects were charged in the murder of 35-year-old Joey Gaarsland.
And soon Grand Forks was on edge too, when 21 year-old Marcell Travon Lewis walked into a Grand Forks Walmart Super Center and opened fire.
His blood alcohol level was two times the legal limit.
“It’s very difficult to determine the actual effects that level of blood alcohol concentration was having on this particular person on this particular night,” says Lt. Derik Zimmel of Grand Forks PD.
Willis was a senior airman stationed at Grand Forks Air Base, bringing up questions of mental health. After killing one person, he then killed himself.
Communities plagued with murders and gangs. It was around this time when the FM area introduced the Street Crimes Unit, battling an ever growing increase in crime and gangs.
“They’re going to be very engaged in activities in the community that may have gang member participation,” says Lt. Tory Jacobson with Moorhead PD.
Murder, gangs and even scandal.
“Nothing sexual but when your best friend stays behind in the classroom when you go to get coffee for the two of you its big red flag and that was inappropriate I thought.”
He was Teacher Of The Year, but Aaron Knodel was accused of having sexual relations with one of his students. Charges that were later dropped.
And what comes next isn’t any less fiery.
“I immediately got in my car drove down to the tracks saw that there were five or six cars that had derailed and there was fire and there was continuing explosions.”
A town with just 35 people all evacuated after an oil train derailed and caught fire.
Fire for the town of Heimdal and fire for the rest of the state.
Thanks to a dry spell the state was put on a Red Flag Warning and a burn ban. The Governor prohibited all outdoor burning.
From fire to murder to scandal to gangs, the Red River Valley has had its share of heartbreak and pain.
But with such horrors, the people of the Red River Valley proved resiliency and strength will not go away.
Join us tomorrow as we continue our year in review. We’ll take a look at the year’s top stories from July to September.