Revisit the region's biggest stories from 2019

Alexandria, S.D. farmer Richard Aulner, right, has a laugh with Zack Behrend, of Parkston/Kaylor Grain & Feed, while filling up his grain cart with pig feed a mile away from Aulner's feed bins. (Matt Gade / Forum News Service)

We are privileged to tell your stories and document the news of our communities by delivering responsible journalism. As we reflect on 2019, we wanted to pull together stories from across our network of news sites that stood out as turning points of change, sparks for conversation and the threads that connect our communities.

Here are 10 of those stories we felt were worth revisiting as 2020 approaches:

‘2019 Can Kiss Mine’

The Daily Republic, Mitchell, SD

Showcasing the adversity faced by many farmers in the Midwest this year, we captured compelling images, moments and thoughts from an everyday South Dakotan and his family struggling just to make a living. Read the full article>>

Why we’re sharing it now


"This story was fantastic work that took months to collect and showed the adversity many farmers in the Midwest had to overcome this year. To gather this and put it together truly proves the value of local journalism and demonstrates that we are the storytellers of our communities." — Luke Hagen, managing editor of The Daily Republic.

Selling a Collection of Classic Cars

Keyframe - Classic cars.jpg

WDAY, Fargo, ND

When one bachelor started a dream car collection, there was no way to know how large it would grow. Over 250 cars representing a picture of American automotive history were auctioned off last August in a two-day event that garnered lots of attention. Read the full article>>

Why we’re sharing it now

“The story about a bachelor farmer from Wheaton, Minnesota, who left behind hundreds of antique cars, really resonated with our viewers and readers. It was also a story of his longtime friends, who spent a year organizing the auction following his death. — Kevin Wallevand, reporter for WDAY

Breaking the Silence


(Adobe stock image)
Punyada/chalermchai -

Park Rapids Enterprise, Park Rapids, MN

Bullying has gone beyond heartbreaking for many children who experience fear and terror at school. We covered the stories of individuals that generated conversations and changes regarding bullying and victim blaming in this community and beyond. Read the full article>>

Why we’re sharing it now

"Our series generated a lot of conversation among readers, parents, teachers, school boards and school administrators. Following this, local school districts incorporated additional bullying prevention curriculum into their training and we addressed the victim blaming that was occurring in our communities." — Shannon Geisen, editor of the Park Rapids Enterprise.

Fargo Park District Resignation Saga

The former Northern Pacific Railway Depot in Fargo serves as the Fargo Park District administrative headquarters. Forum file photo

The Forum, Fargo, ND


Uncovering the truth and following where the story led, a more complete story emerged over the weeks and months following the resignation of Joel Vettel from the Fargo Park District. Information that mattered to our community was uncovered and brought to light. Read the full article>>

Why we’re sharing it now

“These articles demonstrate our tenacity to uncover the truth and to follow a story wherever it leads, and it's also the work our members can expect on a variety of issues. We report on issues like this because they matter to our members, our readers and our community.” — Danielle Teigen, deputy editor of The Forum

Plow-Out Turns Pressure Cooker

City of Duluth heavy equipment operator Doug Quade uses an all-wheel drive Caterpillar road grader Tuesday to clear snow on 55th Avenue East in the Lakeside neighborhood of Duluth. Quade has been starting his days at 2 a.m. since the heavy snowfall hit Duluth. (Clint Austin /

Duluth News Tribune, Duluth, MN

Trying to dig out from over 21 inches of snow caused tempers to flare in Duluth as some residents waited impatiently for city plows to perform their work. Giving voice to all sides in the matter highlighted the concerns and constraints facing the community during this snow emergency. Read the full article>>

Why we’re sharing it now


“The article validated that many people were having the same experience and the News Tribune was able to reflect what citizens were feeling. The community response allowed us to get into the conversation — that we were listening, responding to readers/members/residents and getting them the information they needed.” — Brady Slater, reporter for Duluth News Tribune

Hockey Day Minnesota

Lumberjack hockey cheerleaders and fans cheer on the Bemidji High School boys hockey team against Greenway/Nashwauk-Keewatin during Hockey Day Minnesota’s final matchup in Bemidji on Saturday. Jillian Gandsey / Forum News Service

The Bemidji Pioneer, Bemidji, MN

What can we say? Minnesotans love their hockey and no one can cover the event through pictures, videos and written word better than the local newspaper. See all the highlights of the hottest hockey ticket on cold winter days. Read the full article>>

Why we’re sharing it now

"No other media could cover the event, through words, pictures and video, better than the Pioneer. We heard countless compliments from the community on our coverage. It proves that newspapers are really the lifeblood that connect a community,” — Matt Cory, editor of the Bemidji Pioneer

Helicopter Crash


A North Memorial Air Care helicopter that crashed early Friday, June 28, near the intersection of two runways at Brainerd Lakes Regional Airport is covered with tarps. The crash happened about 1 a.m. Friday, with two fatalities reported and one person critically injured. Steve Kohls / Brainerd Dispatch

Brainerd Dispatch, Brainerd, MN

Impacting all of Minnesota, a North Memorial Air Care helicopter crashed, killing 2 and injuring another. Serving a large part of the state, emergency responders, friends and family grieved for those lost and celebrated the recovery of the surviving crew member. Read the full article>>

Why we’re sharing it now

"The impact of this tragic story not only hit the Brainerd lakes area but all of Minnesota. There was the lost lives; the grief felt by family, friends and co-workers; the impact on emergency responders, who held a vigil; and the story of a crew member who survived the crash.” — Matt Erickson, editor of the Brainerd Dispatch

The Mightiest of Them All


Post Bulletin, Rochester, MN


With the longest winning streak in the nation, Caledonia High School Warriors football has infiltrated the area with a culture of improvement and focus. “Getting them involved” was the first step toward engaging an entire community in their success. Read the full article>>

Why we’re sharing it now

“This story shows how much people thirst for local news. We obviously satisfied a deep desire to have this story told, about how a program can win this many games and what's required to make that happen. Readers were fascinated by it and I was just as fascinated by writing it.” — Pat Ruff, sports reporter for the Post Bulletin

No Donation While Kennedy at UND

Kennedy, Mark 3 - trelstad.jpg
Mark Kennedy. Herald file photo.

Grand Forks Herald, Grand Forks, ND

Citing a lack of leadership and confidence in UND’s President Mark Kennedy, the Engelstad family announced they would pull donations until he was removed or left the office. Kennedy has since left UND and Dr. Andrew Armacost has taken on the role. Read the full article>>

Why we’re sharing it now

“Mark Kennedy's troubles at UND were well documented thanks to the hard work of journalists who dug deep to find those stories. The newspaper holds public officials accountable and that work would not be possible without the support of news memberships.” —Sydney Mook, reporter for the Grand Forks Herald

A Tale of Terror

Mary Stauffer looks at a photo of the closet where she and her eight-year-old daughter were imprisoned after Ming Sen Shiue kidnapped them in 1980. The pair escaped after 53 days. (Steve Kuchera /

Duluth News Tribune, Duluth, MN

39 years ago, Duluth native Mary Stauffer and her 8-year-old daughter were kidnapped and held for 53 days. Covering the story then and now, we review how their harrowing story unfolded and how they healed as life went on after their release. Read the full article>>

Why we’re sharing it now

"This article is an example of the storytelling nature that only newspapers and their websites can adequately report. This in-depth nature cannot be told in a 30-second sound bite and needed to be fleshed out in minute detail." — Rick Weegman, reporter for the Duluth News Tribune

Support local journalism with membership

If you’re not already a member, we’re offering a special promotion on annual memberships for a limited time so you can access the best stories across our entire network of sites all year long. Get six months free when you subscribe to an annual membership today at .

By supporting community-based journalism with a membership, you help sustain the future of local news powered by reporters who know and understand your community. With unlimited access to our network of sites along with all the benefits of membership, we are confident you will find ever-increasing value in the information and connection within our articles and content.

All of our Forum Communications brands, locations and employees are thankful for the community support we have always received and look forward to upholding your trust and support in 2020 and beyond.

What To Read Next
Get Local