MINOT, N.D. - 2016 was a year of great growth and change for Minot and the surrounding communities.
State leaders celebrated the opening of the new Minot International Airport, the largest in North Dakota.
“We gather together in this absolutely spectacular building,” said former Gov. Jack Dalrymple.
Minot opened the two downtown parking structures in spite of a dispute between contractors. Main Street in Minot also opened up following months of construction, bringing great relief to the city's downtown merchants.
“I want to thank you for your patience, in helping us restore downtown Minot into the jewel that it is,” said Minot Mayor Chuck Barney.
Developers brought new life to the neighborhood north of Oak Park, with a high-flying trampoline park and work on restoring the old movie theater.
Ward County officials moved into their new office building, and the architects made great progress on the county's jail addition.
Meanwhile, the 4Bears Casino in New Town opened its new event center.
Turning to flood protection, Minot scored a major victory, earning more than 74 million dollars from the feds, along with a better cost-share with the state. The city also made progress on a floodwall to protect the city's water supply.
2016 was the year of the protest.
Though it wasn't limited to the Dakota Access pipeline.
A young lady from New Town organized a protest against lines set to run under Lake Sakakawea.
A borehole project never materialized after residents near Rugby shared concerns about the impact on their land.
In health headlines, Trinity began development on their new southwest Minot hospital, and Sanford opened up its own clinic on the north end of town.
Community members pushed for a methadone clinic to treat the growing nationwide opioid epidemic.
Meanwhile, efforts to expand testing for Hepatitis C struggled, though plaintiffs in a lawsuit settled out-of-court.
The Air Force also announced it will be testing water supplies for PFC's.
A handful of crime stories dominated the headlines as well.
Juries convicted two men of murders--Anthony Campbell in the death of Shannon Brunelle, and Richie Wilder, Jr., in the death of his ex-wife Angila.
Families in Minot were upset when they found out a convicted sex offender slipped through the cracks and gained a position as a mall Easter Bunny.
A former school administrator received a lengthy prison sentence for having inappropriate relationships with teenage boys.
A murder-for-hire scheme with ties to the Bakken brought Dateline to the Magic City.
Meanwhile, Ward County's Sheriff was charged in the death of a former inmate. He'll stand trial in January.
Elections dominated the year, with a new Governor in the capitol.
The #MakeMinot movement won in 2016, meaning Minot's City Council will shrink next year.
Minot also hired a new city manager and planning director.
Of course weather dominated the news as well.
A tornado passed through Rolette County. Dry conditions led to grass fires. And, following a mild previous winter, snow emergencies dominated the last two months of 2016.