KVRR 2016 Year in Review: Part I
In Part I of our 2016 Year in Review, we take a look back at the top headlines in January, February and March
As 2016 comes to a close this week, we take a look back at some of the stories that made headlines at the beginning of this year.
Here’s KVRR’s Nick Broadway.
2016. A year filled with headliners and hopefuls, triumph and tragedy. Here’s a look back at the top headlines from 2016.
Top Headlines of January
While Moorhead finally saw an end to former junior hockey players Thomas Carey and Brandon Smith case of sex, lies and video tape, the case of a devastating fatal crash on I-94 was found to be far from over.
“I’ll never stop until I find the truth because I don’t have anything to lose,” said Ray Kvalvog.
The Minnesota State Patrol released pictures and video of a semi they believe may be the one 17-year-old Zach Kvalvog was attempting to pass in the eastbound lane on June 23rd, 2015 at mile marker 68 near Dalton. The video of the semi is taken from a patrol car’s dash cam and match the description given by witnesses to the crash.
“We need to have answers and we need to identify them and to ask more questions is really where it starts with from there,” added Sgt. Jesse Grabow of the Minnesota State Patrol.
“It’s a long shot, but becoming an instant almost billionaire isn’t that bad of a thing I suppose,” said one Powerball hopeful.
Powerball fever hit not only the metro, but the entire nation as the jackpot rose to a historic $1.5 billion.
“This is a crazy amount of money,” said another. “It will forever change somebody’s life.”
Three lucky people got to split that prize…none of which were from Minnesota or North Dakota.
But no one here needed $1.5 billion to celebrate. In fact, not even a snowstorm stopped Bison fans from traveling to Frisco Texas, hoping NDSU would bring home their fifth national title.
“They need us there,” said one stranded fan. “We’ve been there four years in a row. They need me there, I’m pretty sure. Me and the other 17,000 Bison fans.”
NDSU dismantled Jacksonville State, wrapping up their season with a pretty bow and ending the Drive for Five in victory.
“It’s unbelievable, I don’t even know what to say right now. It’s Bison Nation. I love you guys.”
“Oh, it’s amazing! This is the best day ever! It feels cool,” exclaimed a number of fans.
NDSU wasn’t the only college celebrating. UND named former North Dakota Governor Ed Schafer as their interim president while the university began the search for a permanent one.
“We put in a lot of attention and a lot of resources into re-imaging the university,” said Schafer.
Top Headlines of February
It was the ending no one wanted. Authorities found the body of Amanda Engst in Eddy County on the Spirit Lake Nation. Her family reported her missing in January. The Norman County Sheriff’s Office says two people were arrested driving her vehicle and are suspected in a string of robberies in the region.
“It was a bad situation in the end, but at least we know where she’s at now.”
And it was just one day later…the City of Fargo changed forever.
“It’s been an ugly day obviously here in our community. In our face,” said Cass County Sheriff Paul Laney.
“Law enforcement is a tight family,” said Fargo Police Chief David Todd. “You work the streets with those guys every day. It’s a brotherhood and sisterhood. So that’s what it’s like. It’s like losing a brother.”
“Coming from a small town, and knowing who they are it really hits home, it’s not necessarily what you want to hear on a night like that,” said one community member.
“We’re a tight-knit community, and we’re all out there to support one another, and that’s the way it should be,” added another.
“Thank you for the ultimate sacrifice, because without you the city wouldn’t be as safe as it is,” said one vigil attendee.
Officer Jason Moszer served on the Fargo PD for six years. Before that, he was a combat medic in the army. He served in both Bosnia and Iraq. In 2011, he was awarded with the Silver Star.
Thousands of people from around the nation and Canada turned out to celebrate his life.
“We all do the same job,” said one officer with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. “We’re all here to protect and serve regardless of borders, regardless of service, regardless of any of those things; it’s about being there for each other.”
While the loss of Officer Moszer hit the community hard, we also lost three local icons in the beginning of 2016. Longtime sportscaster Rod Lucier, famous for promoting the ill-fated Buddy Holly concert in 1959 and sports manager at KVOX radio died at the age of 82. Clara Hedin, best known in our area as one of the Kroll’s Ladies, passed away. Legendary Fargo sportscaster, Scott Miller, also passed away at the age of 57 from Melanoma cancer. Many knew him as the voice of the Bison and RedHawks, but more so for his favorite phrase, “My Oh My!”
“Every press box, press row or radio booth he ever touched is going to have an emptiness to it,” said friend Carrie Snyder.
Top Headlines of March
While Fergus Falls Teachers were busy fighting for a fair contract, Tara Nichols, a substitute teacher at DGF, was charged after being accused of having sex with a 17-year-old boy. Those charges were later dropped. James Whalen, a science teacher at Grand Forks’ Central High School was arrested and charged with two felonies after being accused of having a sexual relationship with a student. Whalen’s trial is set to begin in January.
“I was waiting for my son, and he called and said I can’t come in, they won’t let me come in and get you,” said one person who lives in the city.
People were allowed to return to their homes the next day as clean-up around the explosion site continued.
The driver of the semi, 32-year-old Biya Buta, pleaded guilty to criminal vehicular operation and was sentenced to 30 days in jail and a two-year probation term.
Authorities say 31-year-old Krystal Feist of approached 24-year-old Austin Forsman at the Flying J Travel Plaza in Grand Forks and shot him at close range. Feist is being held on federal charges and joining 11 other defendants in a conspiracy case to traffick meth in Minnesota and North Dakota.
People in Moorhead were shocked when long time city manager Mike Redlinger was put under a surprise job performance review and then resigned. The city council and Redlinger, who was instrumental in helping Moorhead battle the floodwaters of 2009, remain tight-lipped about the details behind his sudden departure. Redlinger became Assistant City Administrator to Fargo later in 2016.
Nick will continue with our year in review tomorrow night on KVRR Local News at 9.
LINKS FOR MUSIC USED IN PIECE:
Auld Lang Syne: U.S. Marine Corps Band
No Winners: Ross Bugden
The Jaws and Claws of Death: Marty Muke
Bedtime Stories: Ross Bugden
Victory: Music by Pedro
Touch: Mattia Cupelli
Sad Trio: Kevin MacLeod