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Really, you can’t make this stuff up

By Staff | Jan 2, 2015

I hope you enjoy reading our choices for the top 10 news stories of the year in this week’s Faribault County Register. The list gives you a way to look back on what made the headlines in the county in 2014.

The 10 include a couple of crime/court stories, some stories that involve millions of dollars, and a few that were down right shocking at the time they were announced.

But, they were not the only stories which were covered in the pages of the Register over the last year. And, many of those other ones were also shocking, or just plain strange.

In fact, a few were just bizarre enough to have been excellent ideas for our annual April Fools Day prank story.

Except for one thing. They were true.

Here is little rundown of some of my favorite strange, odd and/or weird stories of the year in no particular random order:

1. United South Central School Board purchased 800 seats from the soon to be torn down Metrodome, at a cost of $40 per seat. This would have been a terrific April Fools Day story, except it was decided in January, not April, and it was true not made up.

2. A business in Winnebago was selling drone aircraft that could photograph anything from the air. The skies above Faribault County could soon be filled with small, unmanned planes. Again, it would have made for a wonderful April Fools Day story. But, it was all true.

3. The new industrial park project in Blue Earth was delayed several times because there might be ancient archeological artifacts buried there, there are some wetlands that need to be swapped out, and there is a 300-foot deep old well that needs to be filled with cement.

4. A wood stork native to Florida somehow made it to a farm site near Blue Earth and caused quite a ruckus. Hundreds of birders from around the Midwest came to see it; only the second time one has ever been spotted in Minnesota. It just even sounded like a made-up story but it wasn’t.

5. How about these news items? A man stabbed on the main street of Bricelyn, an explosive device found in a park in Bricelyn, a physical altercation (fight) during a Blue Earth City Council meeting and an attempted murder in Winnebago. They all happened in 2014.

6. An old 1950s style underground bomb shelter discovered attached to a basement of a house being torn down in Blue Earth. It was complete with old food jars on the shelves, cots, stove and water and sewer lines.

7. The United South Central Schools mascot costume’s “head” was stolen and later discovered in a basement where it had been used for entertainment at parties. Really.

8. The body of an unidentified murder victim, buried in Blue Earth 34 years ago, was exhumed (that means dug back up, in case you wondered) by law enforcement officials because of new scientific ways to try and identify her. The whole story of Jane Doe is a strange one, and yet continues to be fascinating, as well.

9. The statue of the Green Giant had a huge crack in its foot and was in danger of possible structural damage. It was fixed with some crack filler, purchased at the local Walmart. Really.

To be honest, this is a story we once considered for our annual April Fools Day spoof. It would have been complete with a Photo-shopped picture of the Giant starting to lean over and about to topple over due to his damaged foot.

10. An old, abandoned cemetery out in the middle of nowhere well, it is at least a half mile from any road with some of the oldest grave markers in the county, including the only War of 1812 veteran buried in Faribault County.

There you have it. Some of the interesting, strange, even bizarre stories we covered during the past year.

Honestly, you just can’t make this stuff up.

Our fake story last April 1, about roundabouts with Sprout statues planned for downtown Blue Earth, seems to pale in comparison to some of these actual real stories.

Thanks for reading us in 2014. We will try and give you all the news no matter how strange in 2015.