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KSTP.com Year in Review: 13 Notable Stories from 2013

Updated: 12/31/2013 4:52 PM
Created: 12/31/2013 11:14 AM KSTP.com
By: Jennie Olson

As we welcome in a brand new year, we're taking a look back on some of the stories that grabbed viewers' attention both nationally and locally. Some are tragic, some are politically charged, and some are just plain bizarre. The stories have been compiled based on website analytics and opinions from the editors. Here's a look at 13 notable stories from 2013:


Boston Marathon Bombing

Two pressure cooker bombs exploded during the Boston Marathon in April, killing three people and injuring hundreds others. The suspects were identified as Chechen brothers Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev. Tamerlan Tsarnaev was shot by police and then run over by his brother Dzhokhar and died. Dzhokhar was injured but escaped.

Read our coverage here.


George Zimmerman Acquitted of Murder

In July, George Zimmerman was acquitted of second-degree murder and manslaughter for the shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in Florida. Zimmerman was the neighborhood watch coordinator for the gated community where Martin was temporarily staying.

Read our coverage here.


Pope Francis Elected

From "the end of the earth," the Catholic Church found a surprising new leader, a pioneer pope from Argentina who took the name Francis. He is the first pontiff from the New World and the first non-European since the Middle Ages. Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, the archbishop of Buenos Aires who has spent nearly his entire career in Argentina, was a fast and fitting choice for the most unpredictable papal succession - start to finish - in at least six centuries.   

Read our coverage here.


Death of Adrian Peterson’s Son

Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson’s 2-year-old son died from injuries suffered during a reported assault by his mother's boyfriend this year.

Sioux Falls police responded to a medical emergency call and say the child was not breathing when they arrived; he was rushed to a local hospital with injuries that were consistent with abuse. The boyfriend of the child’s mother, identified as 27-year-old Joseph Robert Patterson, was arrested and charged with aggravated battery of an infant and aggravated assault.

Read our coverage here.


Gay Marriage Legalized in Minnesota

In May, Gov. Mark Dayton signed a bill that made gay marriage legal in the state on Aug. 1. Dayton's signature on the bill ended an intense two years for gay marriage supporters and opponents, which swung from a failed push to constitutionally ban same-sex weddings into a successful bid to becoming the 12th state to affirm them.

Read our coverage here.


Schaffhausen Sentencing

A man who killed his three daughters to get back at his ex-wife will spend the rest of his life in prison without the possibility of supervised release. A jury found in April that 35-year-old Aaron Schaffhausen was sane when he killed 11-year-old Amara, 8-year-old Sophie and 5-year-old Cecilia at their River Falls, Wis., home. He was sentenced in July.   

Read our coverage here.


Missing Women

Jeffery Trevino was sentenced to 27 1/2 years in prison for murdering his wife, Kira Steger. In September, Trevino was convicted of second-degree unintentional homicide after killing Kira Steger last February; her body was found in the the Mississippi River in May. She was last seen alive in February having dinner at the Mall of America with Trevino, who she planned to divorce. Prosecutors told jurors that Trevino killed Steger because she was having an affair and wanted to leave him. Read our coverage here.

The remains of 24-year-old Mandy Matula of Eden Prairie were found in November after she went missing in May. Her story grabbed public attention as family members, friends and community members joined in search efforts for six months. Matula was last seen leaving her home May 1 with her ex-boyfriend, David Roe. Roe fatally shot himself in the head in an Eden Prairie police parking lot the next day after he was called in for questioning. Read our coverage here.

A year after a 27-year-old Oakdale woman was reported missing and seven months after her body was found, her ex-boyfriend was indicted on third degree unintentional murder charges in connection to her death. Prosecutors are accusing 29-year-old Aaron Schnagl of causing Danielle Jelinek's death by providing her with cocaine. Read our coverage here.

The body of a University of Minnesota student who went missing this fall was found in rural Rice County in October. Twenty-year-old Anarae Schunk disappeared following the shooting death of 23-year-old Palagor Obang Jobi on Sept. 22 at Nina's Grill in Burnsville, according to police. Schunk was with her ex-boyfriend, 31-year-old Shavelle Chavez-Nelson, who has been charged in connection with the shooting. Read our coverage here.


Wisconsin Toddler Found Dead in Trunk

A missing 2-year-old from Polk County, Wis., was found dead after he somehow got into the trunk of a car near his home. Chief Deputy Steve Moe said the Chevrolet Impala was one of three vehicles that belong to customers of a repair shop at the boy's home near Centuria. Isaiah’s body was found by a sheriff's deputy when the owner of the car came to pick it up. About 2,450 volunteers were involved in the search for Isaiah.

Read our coverage here.


St. Louis Park Pond Crash

A 5-year-old and 7-year-old died after a car veered off a highway ramp in St. Louis Park and landed in a holding pond back in November. Three other children were hospitalized.

The children were submerged in the car in near-freezing water for up to 45 minutes.

Read our coverage here.


Lilydale Landslide

Two boys on a field trip with their fourth grade class were killed in a landslide at Lilydale Regional Park back in May. The boys were looking for fossils with their classmates from Peter Hobart Elementary School. It happened as the boys walked along a path near the edge of the Mississippi River bluffs.

Read our coverage here.


Kowalski Founder Killed in Helicopter Accident

Jim Kowalski, the founder of Kowalski's Markets, died in September in an accident involving a float plane while on a fishing trip in Canada. Kowalski was standing on one of the floats as the plane was taxiing slowly toward the shore on Dee Dee Lake when he lost his balance and fell into the propeller. Many customers were in shock as the news spread and had nothing but praise and kind words when asked about Kowalski.

Read our coverage here.


New Prague School Hoax

A 12-year-old boy was charged with felony terroristic threats for making a prank 911 call about an active shooter at New Prague Middle School in March. The threat put all schools in the district under lockdown, and the Mayo Clinic also went into lockdown to prepare for any injuries.

Read our coverage here.


Ice Ashore Damages Homes on Mille Lacs

Ice-outs were reported on lakes in northern Minnesota in May because of a cold and snowy spring. Some homes along the shore of Mille Lacs Lake were damaged because the ice was moving like a glacier and pushing up against the homes. A KSTP viewer sent in the incredible footage of the ice making its charge onto shore.

Read our coverage and watch the video here.

Which stories stuck out to you the most this year? Share your opinions in the comment section below or on our Facebook page: Facebook.com/KSTPTV.


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