Top 10 stories of 2012 put to your vote

Posted January 2, 2013 at 9:12 pm


The Griggs County Courier picked the tops ten stories of the year. They are listed below in no particular order with a brief synopsis of each story. Do you agree? Perhaps there is a story from the last year you feel should be on the list. Go to our Facebook page and let us know. Just type Griggs County Courier into the Facebook search bar to find us. Vote for what you feel is the top story of the year. Voting will be open until noon on Tuesday, January 8, 2012. Not on Facebook? E-mail your vote to, or drop off your vote at our office in Cooperstown.

Story A

Three Griggs County athletes reach 1000 point milestone.

Shaye Ronningen, a sophomore, at Midkota High School, and Billy Engel, a senior at Griggs County Central, scored their 1000th career point within weeks of each other during the beginning of the 2011-2012 season. Kris Wathne, a senior at Griggs County Central earned his 1000th point on December 13, 2012.

Story B

Griggs County resident celebrates 103 years

On February 15, Marcella Urness turned 103. The oldest Griggs County resident has lived in Griggs County her entire life, with her home being the Griggs County Care Center since 1995. She is looking forward to her 104th birthday next month.

Story C

Entire family arrested in Binford

Hector, Alina, Mason, and Forrest Concepcion were arrested on March 1, 2012 in Binford. Charges ranged from theft of property, possession of stolen property, witness tampering, criminal conspiracy, criminal trespass, burglary, and driving without insurance.

Story D

New providers at Cooperstown Medical Center

Cooperstown Medical Center gained two new providers this year: Dr. Mohan Karki and Trent Bitz, FNP. Karki, originally from Nepal, is a family practitioner. He completed his residency at University of Pennsylvania Medical Center and joined CMC in January 2012. Bitz, a Valley City native, has worked at medical facilities in Fargo and Milwaukee, Wisconsin before returning to his home area. He joined the CMC staff on September 8, 2012.

Story E

Cooper Theatre’s new digital movie projector.

Many local and state groups helped the Cooper Theatre raise the $70,000.00 needed to purchase a new digital movie projector. If the theatre didn’t upgrade to a digital movie projector they would have been forced to close their doors since the industry is going all digital. It was a real community effort to reach the goal.

Story F

Trinity Growers raises crop to benefit charities

With donated land, seed, equipment, and manpower, the Trinity Growers Project was very fruitful. The group was formed from a seed planted by Ron and Laurie Nelson of Grand Forks who owned land near Cooperstown and wanted to raise money for food related charities. Trinity Lutheran Church was approached to head the operation and they pitched in whole-heartedly. With contributions from many business and individuals, Trinity growers gave a total of $42,306.87 to six different food related charities on levels from local to global.

Story G

Farmers give crop to benefit Titans

Area farmers gave portions of their corn crops to benefit the Griggs Barnes County Titan Football team. $15,586.62 was raised for the Titan football boosters.

Story H

Daniel Wacht murder trial

In March Daniel Wacht was found guilty of shooting and beheading Kurt Johnson, a NDSU researcher and Cooperstown resident. Wacht was sentenced to live without parole in August, finally giving Johnson’s family some closure. Due to the gruesome nature of the murder, this trial received national attention.

Story I

Griggs County Courthouse

What to do with the Griggs County Courthouse has been a major question. The current courthouse is out of date and in need of much repairs and upgrades. A $3.1 million renovation bond did not pass in a June vote. In an effort to solve the problem, a new plan was made for a new joint building with an Emergency Operation Center (EOC). The EOC portion of the $3.2 million project would be covered by a $1.3 million grant. A bond issue for $1.9 million was put to a vote in November and failed to pass; the third failed attempt to solve the courthouse problem.

Story J

City and County receive large grants.

Cooperstown received a $250,000.00 Community Development Grant from the state to relocate their water supply wells from their location near the Sheyenne River, where flooding was a problem, to 100 yards north and level with Highway 200.

The Griggs County Sheriff’s Department and responder agencies received $90,000.00 from the 2012 State Homeland Security Grant Program to update much needed emergency equipment. This equipment included an emergency response vehicle, four new Toughbook computers for the patrol vehicles, a new digital radio repeater, and new hand-held and vehicle radios.