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An eclectic mix of stories rounded out the biggest headlines in North Dakota during 2016 as oil, agriculture, politics, sports and money dominated the landscape and conversations in the Peace Garden State. Add a fatal shooting and a drug epidemic, and the top 10 stories in North Dakota reveal a year filled with tragedy, triumph and storylines that will continue to play out into the new year. These are the top 10 stories compiled by Forum News Service and ranked by editors across the state.
JACKSON, Wyo. — A 33-year-old West Fargo man was snowmobiling on a trip out in Wyoming when he somehow hit a tree and died on Friday, Dec. 30. Andrew Grossnickle was snowmobiling with a group of friends near Togwotee Mountain Lodge in northwest Wyoming on Friday morning when the incident occurred, according to the Jackson Hole Daily.
MOORHEAD — A 25-year-old Moorhead man suffered a compound fracture after being involved in a snowmobile rollover accident Friday night, Dec. 30. Shortly before 8 p.m., the Moorhead Police Department, Clay County Sheriff's Department, Moorhead Fire Department and FM Ambulance responded to a call of a snowmobile driver able to see a bone sticking out of his leg after rolling down a hill in an open field near 6701 1st St. N., in Oakport Township.
WAHPETON, N.D. — The suspect in a Breckenridge, Minn., shooting Thursday, Dec. 29, was arrested Friday afternoon, Dec. 30, in Wahpeton, N.D. Several agencies involved in Friday's daylong manhunt for 27-year-old Matthew David Allard, of Breckenridge, found him about 3 p.m. at a mobile home in south Wahpeton, said Wahpeton Police Chief Scott Thorsteinson. Thorsteinson said Allard surrendered without incident and had no weapon in his possession at the time of the arrest, though agencies were told he was armed and dangerous.
VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — A Navy SEAL originally from Cavalier, N.D., died in a kayaking accident off the Virginia coast this week. Petty Officer 1st Class Devon Grube was recovered by the U.S. Coast Guard Wednesday and taken to a hospital where he died from injuries, according to the The Virginian-Pilot newspaper. “Our deepest condolences go out the sailor's family as we work to ensure that they have the support they need in this difficult time,” the Navy said in a statement.
FARGO — The Diocese of Fargo and a group representing Catholic employers have filed a lawsuit in federal district court in North Dakota opposing federal health care coverage requirements that include gender transition surgery and abortion, the employers' group said Wednesday, Dec. 28. The Catholic Benefits Association, which represents employers such as Catholic parishes and hospitals, said the rules contradict Catholic values.
GRAND FORKS — Grand Forks might be the third-largest city in the Peace Garden State, but it's among the most widely viewed on social media. Instagram released the locations with the most posts from each state this month, and Grand Forks made three appearances in the top five: UND, the Ralph Engelstad Arena and the city itself. The five most Instagrammed locations in North Dakota in 2016 were: • Fargo. • UND. • North Dakota State University. • Ralph Engelstad Arena. • Grand Forks.
DEVILS LAKE, N.D. -- Devils Lake residents who have initiated a petition to abolish the city’s ban on pit bulls say they have more than half of the signatures needed to put it to a public vote. Daisha Azure made the announcement Wednesday on a Facebook page named after her pet grooming business, Pretty Paws. They need 444 signatures -- 15 percent of the number of people who voted in the last gubernatorial election.
WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.) will retain her roles on five Senate committees, her office announced Wednesday, Dec. 21. Heitkamp will continue to serve on the committees on agriculture, nutrition and forestry; banking, housing and urban affairs; homeland security and governmental affairs; Indian affairs and small business and entrepreneurship. Heitkamp touted her previous work on the committees on rural issues in a news release.
City of Minot Street crews continue to play catch up following a rash of snowstorms in three weeks that dropped 25 inches of snow on the city. “Our biggest issues are time, people and equipment” said Minot Public Works Director, Dan Jonasson. “We only have one blower and only so many operators available. Mix that with having to work at night, when traffic is light, we have an uphill battle when clearing snow.”