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A very different 2018 Top Ten List

By Staff | Dec 30, 2018

Once again, this week’s Faribault County Register has our annual Top Ten Stories of 2018 list included. Every year I need to mention that the list is pretty arbitrary, both in which items are on it, and the order they are in.

Arguments could easily be made for one of the other stories being No. 1 instead of the weather, but you probably have to admit the weather was pretty nasty all year long and caused much damage across the county.

There are also other stories which could easily have been on the list, and maybe should have been.

I call them my honorable mention stories. They were in contention to be on the Top Ten, but somehow did not get chosen.

For instance, there were a lot of cases of upset citizens speaking out at various public meetings. Some were at information sessions dealing with Level 3 sex offenders moving into three different communities. Others concerned a proposed hog facility near Blue Earth.

Then there is Bomgaars Supply opening in the former Walmart building in Blue Earth. After all, it had been our top story in 2017. But not on the list in 2018.

And having a new county attorney, Kathryn Karjala-Curtis, appointed in January, elected in November, was big news.

So were the new Sprouts in Blue Earth, added security systems put in at the courthouse and the county schools, as well as a proposed Veterans Memorial in Blue Earth and the lack of day care issue.

All were good possibilities for the list.

Then there was my favorite story, which did not make the final cut. The dogs and deer issue in Blue Earth.It was, oh, so close, to cracking into the Top Ten. OK, not really.

But, since I did write a column about the deer ‘vandalizing’ my home on Main Street in Blue Earth, I guess I could add it to my list of strange crime stories of 2018. You see, I think we had a lot of them. Odd crimes in Faribault County.

Now, unfortunately we always have a lot of court stories about domestic abuse and violence, drug arrests, DWIs and thefts. But this past year, well, there were some that were just plain unusual for us to see here in rural southern Minnesota.

Here, then, is the Top Ten Crime List, but in no particular random order.

1. A couple of people stole a pickup truck in Fairmont, backed it up to the First Bank Blue Earth entryway, and pulled out the ATM machine using a chain. They did it at 3 a.m., and got away. The pickup was found near Frost, the ATM is still missing.

2. Almost literally a day after the brand new Sprout statues were installed ’round about Blue Earth, one was vandalized and damaged. Someone threw a bunch of decorative landscape rocks at the new Sprout at Steinberg Park.

3. There was the case of someone stealing a business truck and taking county deputies on a chase that ended up in a field by Elmore. Instead of stopping, they proceeded to race around the field hitting squad vehicles, until finally the deputies rammed the truck.

4. There was the case of vandals hitting a sewage lift station in Wells. Another case of vandalism was at Riverside Cemetery, where a rose quartz stone was also stolen from a grave monument.

5. There was a case of four men from Mankato breaking into a house in Blue Earth to steal things because the owner of the house sold them a car and did not deliver it to them.

6. Under dumb ideas is the one where a man tried to use a stolen credit card at the Casey’s in Winnebago with a police officer standing right behind him.

7. Or the man, obviously under the influence of some form of intoxicating chemicals, who walked into the Human Services office in the courthouse annex all upset and ranting about something. He had a backpack filled with drugs and drug paraphernalia, discovered by deputies when they came to arrest him.

8. There was an assault of a woman on the hiking/biking trail that leads from the Blue Earth water tower to the two rest stops on I-90. The woman had stopped at the rest stop and was going on a walk down the trail when she was assaulted by an unknown man.

9. There was the couple who loaded up a cart full of electronics at the Blue Earth Walmart (before it closed). The man backed the car up to the door in a handicap parking space and started loading everything into the car. All the while a store employee was watching him.

10. And, finally, we have the case of the two men who beat up a state trooper on I-90 after a traffic stop near Blue Earth and led officers on a high-speed chase to Albert Lea before being arrested.

So, there you go. One more Top Ten List for 2018, albeit a bit unusual.