2014 in review: Top Twin Cities stories

Cedar-Riverside fire
Crews work at the scene a day after an apartment fire in the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood of Minneapolis, Minn. Thursday, Jan. 2, 2014. Jeffrey Thompson/MPR News

1. Two deadly fires in Minneapolis early in 2014 claim eight lives. A New Year’s Day fire in a Minneapolis apartment building forces residents to jump from their buildings. The fire kills three, injures at least 14, and damages a neighborhood mosque. And a Valentine’s Day fire kills five children. A third of Minneapolis fire investigations remain a mystery, here's why.

2. Young Minnesotans travel to Syria to join radical groups there. At least two men are presumed dead after fighting for ISIS.

3. Twin Cities light rail expansion rolls forward. The Green Line, the Twin Cities’ second light-rail project, opens after years – and years – of controversy. And the city of Minneapolis and the Metropolitan Council struck a deal to allow the proposed Southwest light rail transit project to move forward.

4. Minnesota health officials prepare for a possible case of Ebola, and the epidemic hits close to home for the Twin Cities’ West African community.

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5. The Twin Cities continue to struggle with vast and persistent racial disparities in employment, health, education and other areas including ability to swim and asthma treatment.

6. #pointergate: A KSTP-TV report claims Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges flashed a gang sign while posing with a young black man during a get-out-the-vote effort.

7. After more than a year’s worth of reporting on the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, MPR News’ special report, Betrayed by Silence, goes inside the cover-up led by three archbishops to see how and why the church protected priests who sexually abused children. Hundreds of hours of interviews and thousands of documents make clear that that church leaders knew they had abusers in the priesthood and they did everything in their power to keep the situation quiet. Meanwhile, they reassured the faithful and the media that clergy sexual abuse was a thing of the past.

8. Cell phone video of the St. Paul skyway arrest of Christopher Lollie goes viral, prompting an Internal Affairs review and calls to change the city’s civilian review panel.

9. The Minneapolis police department begins a pilot project testing body cameras on officers. Proponents, including Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges, say the technology will make police more accountable to the public.

10. Two new stadiums are being built in the two largest cities – the Vikings stadium in Minneapolis and the Saints stadium in St. Paul.