Looking Back on 2018; The Biggest Stories in the Red River Valley
2018 was a year filled with celebrations, sorrow, hope and tragedy in the metro
FARGO, N.D. — 2018 was a year filled with celebrations, sorrow, hope and tragedy in the Red River Valley.
KVRR’s Jessie Cohen takes us back to the beginning and walks us through this last year.
It all started back in January…a bright new start for a location that once took the life of a young Fargo Police officer.
A new home built for heroes.
But not long after, flames were seen stretched across West Fargo.
“You don’t hear about a lot of fires that magnitude and five mile radius to stay inside,” said one community member.
People told to take shelter after a diesel tank fire sends plumes of dark, hazardous smoke into the air.
Fear for some, started to feel a bit more like closure in February.
“There is no excuse. There is no rationalization. There is nothing. I am guilty and I deserve every year I get,” said Brooke Crews.
Brooke Crews will spend life in prison after pleading guilty to murdering 22 year old Savanna Greywind and kidnapping her newborn.
Excitement was seen across the river as people celebrated the first ever Detroit Lakes ice harvest.
And just down highway 59, people were still debating. To demolish or restore the Kirkbride hospital in Fergus Falls?
“Fear has no place in schools,” students said.
A national calling turned local in March.
“We shouldn’t have to be afraid to go to school and get an education,” one student said.
Students rallied behind those who watched their fellow students get killed in a Florida mass school shooting.
“The bravery of the students in Parkland is what inspired us. For them to go out and stand up for what they believe in and really push for a nationwide movement like this, is incredible.” another student said.
And with politics already in the air, a taste of election season came with it.
The first visit from Vice President Mike Pence.
“We believe our tax cuts are going to save the typical family of four in North Dakota more than 2,600 dollars every year,” Pence said.
But new positions on the local level were also on the minds of community members.
A new superintendent, a new principal, and a new West Fargo mayor.
“I’ll miss the staff the most,” said former West Fargo Mayor, Rich Mattern.
And one place that many missed, came back to life.
The Bison Turf opened its doors once again.
Our very own Danielle Church flew with Chief Photographer John Hanson to Washington D.C.
And TJ Nelson took another trip later in the year.
And not long after the honor flight, POTUS made his trip in the opposite direction.
“Hello Fargo, Hi Fargo, we love you Fargo,” Trump said.
While he spoke about the possibilities for the people of North Dakota, inmates are getting second chances in the community.
“The opportunities are pretty great for people who want to cooperate and want to change their life,” said one staff member.
The new clay county correctional facility and law enforcement center is seen for the first time.
The people of St. Thomas celebrated their new title of town of the year with the KVRR team…
…while people in Fargo watched the future change for one local teacher.
Many also said goodbye to a local department store.
“I just wanted to walk through it one last time because I’ve grown up going there and hanging out so it was just kind of one last time,” said one customer.
While other’s said hello to their new favorite dessert.
“That gives me goosebumps, to be able to, in this country that we live in, take your dream and do it and have it succeed and keep growing,” Nichole said.
Nichole’s fine pastry’s lemon curd layer cake wins the best cake in North Dakota by the food network.
That wasn’t the only excitement, the city of Fargo celebrates its growth at the Block 9 groundbreaking.
“We’re really excited about this because it starts the next Fargo up, we become an urban city. We become an area people want to live by,” said Fargo Mayor, Tim Mahoney.
But not long after, at the end of September, the city of Fargo endured a long, two week trial for William Hoehn.
The other suspect in the Savanna Greywind case.
After the jury rules not guilty, he still receives life in prison.
“I was happy after being disappointed with the verdict,” said Savanna’s mother.
A painful time for the Greywind family, with a decision that provided some relief.
That wasn’t the only weight lifted off people’s shoulders.
You can now choose X on your license if you do not identify as a male or female.
“The fact that Minnesota is opening this option makes me proud to be a Minnesotan to be perfectly honest,” said one member of the community.
Election season came quick.
“There’s no better example of character in public life and public office than your United states senator Heidi Heitkamp,” Former Vice President Joe Biden said.
“For me this has been the honor of a lifetime, serving as North Dakota’s senator,” Heitkamp said.
Which ends with Congressman Kevin Cramer taking the senate seat.
But Heidi continues to push for Native Americans safety until the very end.
“Once again, our first citizens seem to be the last for consideration,” Heitkamp said.
And in this neck of the woods, a new Moorhead mayor, Cass and Clay Sheriffs were welcomed.
And 2018 ended with a new addition to our family here at KVRR…Alison Voorhees gave birth to beautiful baby Hayden.
“Everybody said to us leading into this, you are going to love this little baby more than you can ever imagine and they were 100% right. I cannot imagine my life without him anymore so yeah we’re pretty in love. He is by far the best Christmas gift I have ever gotten,” Alison said.
With no businesses and changes to different cities, it’s time to say goodbye to 2018.
We had all your coverage in 2018 and are looking forward to continue in the new year.