Notable Minnesota news stories of the decade

Sen. Dayton
Mark Dayton was elected to the U.S. Senate: Nov 8, 2000. Mark Dayton started the last decade as a U.S. Senator and ended it being elected governor.
Jim Mone/ASSOCIATED PRESS

As 2010 comes to a close, a look back at MPR's coverage of the major news stories of the past decade in Minnesota.

Nov. 8, 2000: Mark Dayton was elected to the U.S. Senate. Mark Dayton started the last decade as a U.S. Senator and ended it being elected governor.

Oct. 25, 2002: Paul Wellstone dies. Wellstone was killed in the midst of a grueling re-election campaign when his small chartered plane crashed near an airport runway on the Iron Range. -- More about Wellstone.

Aug. 22, 2002: Police shooting leads to violent protest in north Minneapolis. A drug raid escalated into a neighborhood riot.

November 2002: Minnesota begins a political shift. Long considered a safe state for Democrats, the state seemed to embrace a new politics in November 2002.

March 19 2003: Bush launches invasion of Iraq. Minnesotans continue to fight in wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. -- Impact of deployments

April 28, 2003: Conceal and carry becomes law. The signing into law of Minnesota's Personal Protection Act makes it easier to carry handguns in Minnesota.

September 2004: No Child Left Behind exposes Minnesota's achievement gap. The tests show the state has one of the greatest disparities in education between the achievement of white students and students of color.

November 2004: Chai Vang of St. Paul shoots and kills six hunters in Wisconsin woods. Vang was found guilty of the six murders, and the attempted murder of two.

June 26, 2004: Light rail finally becomes a reality. Trains on the new Hiawatha light rail line began service from downtown Minneapolis to Fort Snelling -- after decades of debate and planning. -- Northstar Commuter Rail line opens Nov. 16, 2009.

Sept. 24, 2004: Cold Spring school shooting. A 15-year-old boy shot two of his classmates at Rocori High School.

February 2005: Toxic traces series. In 2005, Minnesota Public Radio first raised questions about whether the state of Minnesota acted quickly enough to investigate contamination from 3M chemicals. Two years later, a new 3M chemical was found in drinking water, affecting more communities, and the state's response was questioned again.

March 23, 2005: Red Lake High School shooting. A 16-year-old student shot and killed 10 people and injured seven. He killed himself afterward.

September 2005: Marshall Field stores to become Macy's. For Minnesota, the brand attachment was to Dayton's, which gave way to the Marshall Field's name in 2001.

April 28, 2006: New Guthrie opens - Minneapolis celebrated for architecture. The explosion of new or expanded arts buildings in Minneapolis begin to generate a lot of national and international media attention. --More about other new buildings and expansions.

Feb 13, 2007: The St. Paul is gone from Travelers. The St. Paul Companies and Travelers merged in 2004, and in 2007 the combined company dropped the "St. Paul" in the name.

May 4, 2007: Ham Lake Fire. A federal grand jury eventually indicted a Washington D.C. man in connection the Ham Lake fire, which burned 75,000 acres of forest along the Gunflint Trail in northeast Minnesota.

August 1, 2007: I-35W Bridge collapse. The I-35W bridge over the Mississippi in Minneapolis collapsed during rush hour, plunging dozens of cars and their occupants into the river.

Oct. 1, 2007: Minnesota's indoor smoking ban kicks in. Minnesota outlaws smoking in bars, restaurants and other establishments after contentious debate.

April 15, 2008: Delta acquires Northwest Airlines. Delta Air Lines bought Eagan-based Northwest Airlines, creating the world's biggest airline.

Sept. 1-4, 2008: 2008, Sept - Republican National political convention comes for the first time in a century. The city of St. Paul hosts the 2008 Republican National Convention at the Xcel Energy Center.

2008-2009: Failing economy shuts down Iron Range taconite production. An economic downturn closed every one of the taconite mines on the Iron Range.

Nov. 6, 2008: Passage of the Legacy Amendment. Minnesotans approved the amendment, adding three-eighths of a percent to the state sales tax. The arts receive 20 percent of the funds, and the remainder goes to outdoor projects.

Nov. 2008 - June 30, 2009: Franken/Coleman recount. Republican Norm Coleman conceded to Franken, just hours after the Minnesota Supreme Court upheld Franken's victory in the state's epic U.S. Senate election contest.

May 20, 2009: Red River flooding in Fargo/Moorhead. The National Weather Service reported the Red River dropped below flood stage on May 20, 2009 in Fargo-Moorhead after a record 61 days of flooding.

April 8, 2010: disgraced business tycoon Tom Petters was sentenced to 50 years in prison for running an investment scam that cost investors more than $3.5 billion. Former Minnesota auto mogul Denny Hecker pleaded guilty to federal fraud charges alleging he operated a multi-million dollar scheme to defraud lenders.

April 12, 2010: Target Field opens. The high-tech,multi-million dollar stadium marked a return to outdoor baseball for the Minnesota Twins.

Nov. 8, 2010: A Republican wave. The Minnesota Senate goes into Republican control for first time in more than years. Jim Oberstar, a Democrat who has represented Minnesota's 8th District for 36 years, lost his seat to Republican challenger Chip Cravaack.

Dec. 14, 2010: Somalis settle in Minnesota over the decade. Minnesota becomes the home of nearly one in three people with Somali ancestry in the U.S. Some activists claim there are more. The survey says about 25,000 people with Somali ancestry in Minnesota and about 85,700 live in the United States. -- More about Minnesota's Somali community.

Dec. 10-11, 2010: Record-setting snowstorm, December 10-11. The blizzard was the fifth-largest snowstorm on record for the Twin Cities since 1891.

2000-2010: Eating local food boom. The local food movement is running into the challenge of scale. Can it become bigger and more efficient by creating sophisticated supply and distribution systems, serving farmers and consumers well but without wrecking the value that many people place on using local food?

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