Breaking News
More () »

The people who brightened the Land of 10,000 Stories in 2018

We look back at a year's worth of memories.

The season of lights.

What better time to recognize the people who lit the Land of 10,000 stories in 2018 as brightly as Jerry Lageson’s I-35 oak tree: https://kare11.tv/2R2KRgN


Stacey Achterhoff - as Mrs. Delicious - gives Dulutians the privilege of treating strangers to pay-it-forward ice cream: https://kare11.tv/2D86Mkd

Lucy Elliot, a retired educator, converted an old South Minneapolis auto repair shop into play space for neighborhood kids: https://kare11.tv/2KO7UYz

Mark Coen, a former Catholic priest working out of a former Lutheran church in Hibbing, is on a new mission to make caskets affordable:  https://kare11.tv/2znAxeS

Bob Knutson collected 17,000 old record albums in a Red Wing storefront, he now shares - via monthly deliveries - with seniors: https://kare11.tv/2ISINV5

Dennis Frandsen offered free technical college to the entire Rush City High School senior class: https://kare11.tv/2ji89Qw
Jack Carlson fixed up bikes for children with disabilities. Then, a viewer touched by his story fixed Jack's teeth: http://kare11.tv/2GMyP5J

Paul Schulz provided free ice time for hundreds of children in the farm shed his family still converts each winter to a hockey arena, 13 years after Paul's untimely death: http://kare11.tv/2EWnQa1


Franklin Middle School students reminded Super Bowl visitors to pack their “coats, hats and gloves.” http://kare11.tv/2DKPLYU

Ruby Minder, a shy 10-year-old from Monticello, asked for, and got, her Land of 10,000 Stories singing debut: http://kare11.tv/2FNg1af

Seventeen-year-old Ryley Pollock learned CPR and saved a life: https://kare11.tv/2pYaIKr

Eight-year-old Cameron Mack learned concertina and is helping save a New Ulm tradition: https://kare11.tv/2ELVzRT

Fourteen-year-old Sydney Dutton hands out hundreds of flags each year to honor her police officer father, who died on flag day: https://kare11.tv/2Mys4rC

The daily hugs with which Birchwood, Wisconsin’s kindergartners greet each other inspired a viral video:  https://kare11.tv/2Bd5C2H

Stillwater High School students Trey Kruse and Adam Potter first taught their classmates – then the world - friendship knows no bounds.  In 2018, their story was viewed more than 14 million times: https://kare11.tv/2CQVGyd

Monarch butterflies have a true friend in Kay Hamilton.  The Eagan woman has been “mom” to thousands of them: https://kare11.tv/2LWu1N2

Cassie, a yellow lab from Sartell, hasn't taken a walk without her stick in eleven years:  http://kare11.tv/2mcBrBO

George, a gopher tortoise, became the pet of 10-year-old Jeanna Smith.  Fifty-six years later, Jeanna and George are still best friends: http://kare11.tv/2Imz1u2


Jim Spinler, a former garbage hauler from Medford, has spent three decades amassing a collection of more than three-million pop tabs: https://kare11.tv/2M2vVjr

RJ Smith has collected 70,000 golf balls he stores floor to ceiling in a Rochester garage: https://kare11.tv/2lteZng

Whalen hosts Minnesota’s only Stand Still Parade.  On the two-block Main Street of the Fillmore County community, the parade stands still, while spectators walk around it: https://kare11.tv/2LzYr93

Ely hosts the nation’s only canoe marathon.  Participants run 26.2 miles while portaging canoes.  Some of them actually finish: https://kare11.tv/2zLnuSC


2018 marked the 100th anniversary of the Cloquet-Moose Lake fire, the deadliest natural disaster in Minnesota history.  More than 450 people lost their lives, including 14 members of the Soderburg family, asphyxiated in a root cellar where they had sought shelter: https://kare11.tv/2pOvgp4

John Donaldson lost to racism a major league career.  Pete Gordon works every day to make sure Donaldson isn’t also lost to history:   https://kare11.tv/2D2A6aL


Ray “Bubba” Sorenson has painted more than 70 “Freedom Rocks” across Iowa.  In 2018, he brought his first to Minnesota: https://kare11.tv/2LXMidD

Bordered by an international airport, an interstate highway, and a light rail line, Fort Snelling National Cemetery offers a respite to 228,000 souls and the families who visit them: https://kare11.tv/2KYkV3d

The sisters of Skip Schmidt – a casualty of the Vietnam War - welcomed to Minnesota, the son, neither they, nor Skip, knew he had: https://kare11.tv/2GAV0Lx


After three generations, The Huppert Dairy Farm in River Falls, Wisconsin, was among hundreds forced out of business by consolidation and a collapse in milk prices: https://kare11.tv/2rqavAl

St. Paul Park Firefighter Jeremy Bourasa and his wife Krista had their fire station wedding interrupted when Jeremy left to fight a fire: https://kare11.tv/2O1ffKj

Gene Ertel and Janet Skillingstad broke off their engagement as teenagers. Sixty-four years later, 81-year-old Gene, newly diagnosed with cancer, found 82-year-old Janet, and they married: https://kare11.tv/2zXuwTo

Twenty-two years ago, Danny Givens shot, and nearly killed, lawman Art Blakey.  Blakey not only forgave his shooter, he befriended and mentored him: https://kare11.tv/2wm1kUR

Bob Husby purchased an ’85 VW Cabriolet convertible, into which he lifts his wife Kathy, who has Multiple Sclerosis, for summer rides: https://kare11.tv/2JoPu4d

Forty-six years after her young son was hit and killed by a car, Maggie Kron found healing through an adopt-a-highway sign: https://kare11.tv/2yYOrBE

At 72, Denice Juneski and Linda Jourdeans learned they were accidentally switched at birth at the St. Paul hospital where they were born 31 minutes apart – leading Linda and Denice to an unlikely friendship: https://kare11.tv/2Jt0zSz

Land of 10,000 Stories will resume with a new segment on Sunday, January 6 at 10 pm, and continue on Sunday nights thereafter. Thanks to everyone the past year who's kept the Land of 10,000 stories shining bright! 

Watch more of Boyd Huppert's Land of 10,000 Stories below:

On a mobile device you can watch more Land of 10,000 Stories here.

Submit your story ideas to Boyd by filling out the form below.

App Users, if you are having trouble seeing the form, please click here.

Paid Advertisement