Best Blotter stories of 2012 [PART II]
Special thanks to web editor and images maestro Tatiana Craine.
It's Christmas, so here's our gift to you: The second part of our top Blotter posts of 2012 list.
:::: SEE ALSO :::: Best Blotter stories of 2012 [PART I]
Hey, beats a lump of coal or paying $200 for a plastic bag full of Brett Favre's pubes, doesn't it?
-- A very bad year for Best Buy --
Best Buy's year got off to an ominous start with a Forbes piece that wondered aloud whether the company is headed for the same fate as dinosaurs. In late March came an announced $1.7 billion loss and a plan to close 50 stores and cut 400 jobs. Weeks later, Brian Dunn resigned as CEO after his "inappropriate relationship" with a 29-year-old female Best Buy employee became public knowledge. News of the scandal also led to the ouster of company founder Richard Schulze, who is now in the midst of an effort to repurchase the company. But the departures of Dunn and Schulze didn't slow Best Buy's decline, at least in the short term -- in August the company announced its profits were down 90 percent from 2011. Given this litany of bad news, it came as no surprise when Forbes recently named Dunn the world's worst CEO of 2012.
-- The Amendments --
The biggest political stories of the 2012 were the two failed MNGOP-pushed amendments on November's ballot. Early in the year, both voter ID and the same-sex marriage ban looked like solid bets to pass. Then Chris Kluwe happened, and on the early morning of November 7 Minnesotans United for All Families and its supporters were celebrating the defeat of the marriage amendment. Meanwhile, following a steady decline, support for voter ID eroded to below 50 percent just before election night. That amendment also went down in a surprising defeat, leaving Republican backers of the marriage amendment and voter ID with not much else to do besides concocting head-scratching explanations about what happened on November 6.
Rachel Agurkis on Twitter
-- The Duluth flood --
Minnesota's biggest natural disaster of the year occurred in Duluth, where an unprecedented June downpour led to flooding that caused more than $100 million in property damage. We brought your two installments of stunning social media photos of the flooding (part one here; two here), but the most memorable image was undoubtedly of a liberated seal who was snapped crossing a street near the zoo after the flood waters set her free (in related news, PETA was none too happy about how the Lake Superior Zoo handled the flood). Days later, Lake Superior still looked as though it had been infused with chocolate milk, though FEMA ultimately denied Gov. Dayton's request for federal disaster assistance to business and home owners.
Honorable mention: Duluth roiled by string of racial controversies in 2012
-- The DRE drug scandal --
In May, Occupy protestors based in Downtown Minneapolis' Peavey Plaza alleged that some law enforcement officers had offered them pot (along with other goodies like food and cigarettes) in exchange for participating in a State Patrol-run drug impairment study. The allegation was met was incredulity -- until an officer came forward to say he watched his training partner give a DRE subject pot with his own eyes. The BCA launched a criminal investigation. Months later, investigators announced they didn't turn up enough evidence to press criminal charges, but the DRE program remains suspended. The scandal and the BCA's investigation into it was the subject of a five-part City Pages series published in November.
Honorable mention: The new Green Giant looks like he just took a bong rip
-- Adrian Peterson is an Indestructible beast --
In Sports Illustrated's opinion, the national sports story of the year is Adrian Peterson's remarkable return from a devastating knee injury. AP spent last New Year's Eve in a hospital bed following ACL surgery. It usually takes getting-hit-in-the-legs-almost-every-play NFL running backs more than a year to return to form after that surgery (if they ever get there), so naturally there were doubts about how well AP would be able to perform this season. But after an offseason that included a brief legal controversy and months of rehab, AP hit the ground running harder than anybody could've imagined, and by November he was slapping little kids in the face in celebration ridiculous TD runs. Suffice it to say we think AP chose an appropriately awesome Halloween costume.
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