Hormel Foods Corp. CEO and president Jeff Ettinger addresses the media on Jan. 3, 2013, at Hormel Corporate North about the company’s acquisition of Skippy peanut butter. -- Eric Johnson/photodesk@austindailyherald.com
Hormel Foods Corp. CEO and president Jeff Ettinger addresses the media on Jan. 3, 2013, at Hormel Corporate North about the company’s acquisition of Skippy peanut butter. -- Eric Johnson/photodesk@austindailyherald.com

You Decide: Vote for the top local news stories of 2013

Published 11:25am Tuesday, December 24, 2013

This feature is brought to you by Accentra Credit Union of Austin.

We want your picks, Austin.

The Austin Daily Herald is letting you, the reader, pick the top local stories of 2013.

What had a major impact on Austin? What were the biggest crimes? What were your favorite events? What were the most heart-warming or entertaining stories of the year?

Choose up to 10 stories, and look for the recap Tuesday, Dec. 31, and Wednesday, Jan. 1, in the print and online versions of the Herald. Voting closes at noon on Friday, Dec. 27.

What were the top local news stories of 2013? (Choose as many as 10)

  • Hormel buys Skippy for $700 million, makes it part of plan for growth (18%, 47 Votes)
  • Austinites celebrate as Packers make state basketball title game (13%, 34 Votes)
  • A&W closes after 75 years in Austin; owner also sells classic cars (13%, 34 Votes)
  • I.J. Holton Intermediate School opens (13%, 33 Votes)
  • Special Report: The truth about crime in Austin. The Herald investigates why Austin’s crime rate is so high, and dispels myths about race and crime, and that it’s worse than it was 10-15 years ago (12%, 31 Votes)
  • Hy-Vee announces $7-$10M, 22,000-square-foot expansion (12%, 30 Votes)
  • A record year for Hormel: $526 million in profit; $17 million in bonuses for workers; and a $25-million expansion of its odor elimination facility (11%, 29 Votes)
  • Mower County burns down landmark fair grandstand (11%, 28 Votes)
  • Pacelli Catholic Schools celebrates 100-year milestone (10%, 27 Votes)
  • Young people lost too soon: Family remembers nursing student Lauren Schwab; 27-year-old Austin grad Mark Cavanaugh leaves lasting impression; and family works on late teen Tess Landherr’s bucket list (10%, 26 Votes)
  • Minneapolis food producer Bellesio buys Austin Packaging Co. for $6.1 million after more than 100 are laid off (9%, 23 Votes)
  • Mayo Clinic Health System — Albert Lea and Austin completes $28-million expansion (8%, 21 Votes)
  • Well-known convict Loren Bellrichard goes on the lam; authorities find him in Wisconsin (8%, 20 Votes)
  • Austin City Council fires City Administrator Jim Hurm (7%, 19 Votes)
  • Family, friends shocked after Austin native Michael Tray is shot, killed by police in Minnetonka (7%, 19 Votes)
  • Two former Austin priests among 14 accused of sexual abuse (7%, 17 Votes)
  • Brownsdale police chief charged with sexual assault (6%, 16 Votes)
  • Vision 2020 makes progress with planned recreation center, internet fiber, new bike trails, cleaner waterways and much more (6%, 16 Votes)
  • Business shuffle: Some businesses close (Pizza Hut, Gymocha, Oriental Express) but many more open (Jimmy John’s, Barley’s, Sassy Strawberry, Dusty’s, Enchantertainment, Electric Lair, Mayas Taquerias) (6%, 15 Votes)
  • Craig Seberson allegedly kills his father, Dennis Seberson, then dies after car chase with police in the first alleged murder in Austin in years (6%, 15 Votes)
  • Well-known Austinites pass away: Superfan Paul Lenoch; Dr. Herman Miller; Paint the Town Pink's Barb Nelson; G&G Heating's Jim Grunewald; Tendermaid's Mildred Thatcher; hockey enthusiast Tim Davids (5%, 14 Votes)
  • Austin ArtWorks draws thousands in second year (5%, 14 Votes)
  • Alleged driver Jason Fredrickson, reportedly going 120 mph while drunk, charged one year after fatal crash that killed Jake Moe and Luke Unverzagt (5%, 13 Votes)
  • Oak Park Mall owners pay off $378,000 in back taxes days before it would have lost ownership (5%, 12 Votes)
  • Special Report: An in-depth look at the changes to health care in the area. The Herald finds MNsure is more expensive in the area than anywhere else in Minn. and reports on the hospital's team model (4%, 11 Votes)
  • Watts Cookin’ announces it will close, then that it will stay open after buyer steps forward (4%, 11 Votes)
  • County board limits Auditor/Treasurer Doug Groh’s contact with finance director after verbal abuse accusations (3%, 8 Votes)
  • Philadelphia police charge convicted felon with Austin grad Beau Zabel’s murder 5 years later (3%, 8 Votes)
  • Adams downtown under water, Austin waterways subsiding (3%, 8 Votes)
  • Pastor David DeFor charged with swindling elderly dependent (3%, 8 Votes)
  • Legislative news: Austin reacts as gay marriage is legalized in Minnesota; cigarette tax also hits close to home (3%, 7 Votes)
  • Family, county at odds over custody of Brownsdale child with HIV (3%, 7 Votes)
  • Judge rules with property owners and throws out sewer assessments for some in Lansing Township (2%, 6 Votes)
  • Undocumented students in Austin speak out about U.S. debate on immigration (2%, 5 Votes)
  • The national gun debate heats up in Mower County (2%, 5 Votes)
  • Health and Human Services finalizes remodel and merger (1%, 3 Votes)
  • Monty Python’s ‘Spamalot’ coming to Austin for first time (1%, 3 Votes)
  • Brad Bergstrom to step down as principal; Katie Baskin announced as his replacement (1%, 3 Votes)
  • Mayo Clinic Health System to lay off 82, including 18 in Austin (1%, 2 Votes)

Total Voters: 260

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