Best Blotter stories of 2012 [PART I]
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:::: SEE ALSO :::: Best Blotter stories of 2012 [PART II]
This top 10 list is based loosely on our traffic numbers, with added consideration given to stories that we think will go down as the year's most memorable (and as unforgettable as photos of Brett Favre's penis and Karen Alloy's naked body are, we don't think they quite make the cut). We'll roll out the list in two installments, each featuring five stories, with an honorable mentions mentioned throughout.
-- Michael Leisner --
Michael Leisner's 15 minutes of fame began in early August when a video of him megafailing while trying to light a box of Cheerios on fire in protest of General Mills' support for same-sex marriage found its way onto YouTube. He leveraged his controversial newfound internet celebrity into an appearance on Alan Colmes' radio show and promised additional videos where he'd further outline his objections to the homosexual agenda, but on August 11, he suddenly died after suffering an apparent heart attack while watching his kids play tennis. Leisner was 65 years old, and we imagine he'll go down as one of the marriage amendment campaign's most bizarre characters.
Honorable mention: The fat Wisconsin TV news anchor flap
-- Tyler Braunschweig hit-and-run --
In June, musician and barista Matt Call was severely injured when a black Jeep Grand Cherokee traveling down Lyndale Avenue South near 24th Street struck him and threw him 20 to 30 feet in the air. The Jeep left the scene without stopping. Security cameras captured clear images of the driver just moments before the hit-and-run occurred, but nearly four months passed before police arrested former University of Minnesota student Tyler Braunschweig,19, in connection with the incident. The criminal complaint indicates a passenger riding with Braunschweig at the time of the hit-and-run urged him to return to the scene, to no avail. Braunschweig faces five years in prison.
Honorable mention: The Stillwater meth-face mug shots people can't get enough of
-- Vikings stadium drama --
What a difference a year makes. Last January, amid concern the Vikings, with no stadium deal in sight, could move to Los Angeles before the 2012 season, the NFL came out and said the Purple would play in Minnesota for at least one more year. After months of speculation about where the stadium would be located, in early March Mayor Rybak, Gov. Dayton, pro-stadium legislators, and the Wilfs unveiled a plan to build a new stadium on the Metrodome site. Two more months of political wrangling followed, but finally, in late May, the plan was approved at the last minute by the legislature and the Minneapolis City Council. The drama didn't end there, however. Just last month, Dayton, upset about the Vikes' plan to charge season ticket holders a fee just to have the right to buy tickets, sent an angry letter to the Wilfs that fueled speculation the "Vikings could be back in play for L.A." That speculation amounted to a whole lot of hot air, but with concerns about whether electronic pulltabs will bring in the amount of revenue state officials hoped for and much left to be decided about the architecture of the new stadium, the stadium promises to remain a hot Blotter topic next year.
Honorable mention: Photo of drunk Vikings fan eating ice cream with credit card goes viral
-- Porn Prom --
When Oakdale senior Mike Stone started tweeting at porn stars in hopes of landing a prom date last spring, we laughed. When Megan Piper and Emy Reyes said they were down, we tipped our proverbial caps in surprise. When Stone's superintendent told him no dice, we shed a crocodile tear or two for him. And when porn prom was reduced to a house party that came and went with a whimper, we can't say we didn't see it coming. But Stone's efforts weren't entirely for naught -- after all, how many other just-graduated-from-high-school Minnesotans can say they starred in their very own Daily Show segment?
Honorable mention: Semen-filled cupcake scandal at Como Park High School
-- John Kriesel vs. the MNGOP --
Perhaps no politician better illustrated the state of the Minnesota Republican party in 2012 than moderate MNGOP Representative and decorated Iraq war hero John Kriesel. Kriesel, a huge sports fan, was a staunch supporter of the Vikings stadium during a legislative session that largely occurred after he announced he wouldn't seek another term. That prompted fellow MNGOP Rep. Mary Kiffmeyer to blast him, of all people, as having "no courage." Kriesel took to the radio to denounce Kiffmeyer for her comment, but that was far from the last time Kriesel would get into it with his fellow Republicans this year. Kriesel, a staunch and outspoken supporter of gay marriage rights, was called a "pretend Republican" by Minnesota for Marriage's Andy Parrish in October, and then days later was called a "piece of shit" by MNGOP Senate caucus staffer Bob Koss for not toeing the MNGOP line. Despite all the flack he's taken from within his own party, Kriesel is one of Minnesota's most broadly popular Republicans and recently hinted he hasn't ruled out a run for governor in 2014.
Honorable mention: The MNGOP's financial train wreck
Coming tomorrow: Part two!