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Hockey and business: Top 15 most-read stories from the Grand Forks Herald in 2021 – Grand Forks Herald

The Herald had loyal online readers throughout 2021, and whether it was breaking news or profiles on local businesses, many stories throughout the year generated a great response from the Herald’s customers.

While the Herald’s newsroom has listed

its top stories of 2021

based on impact to the community and region, general interest and the sheer volume of coverage those stories prompted, digital numbers often portray a different view of what readers felt was most important during the past year.

Generally speaking, business news and hockey coverage ranked among the most-viewed Herald stories from 2021. And sometimes, the most-read stories don’t necessarily fit the description of “local.”

Here are the Top 15 Herald online stories of 2021, based entirely on the number of “clicks” they received.

Starkweather superintendent sends anti-‘woke’ tirade to other school administrators

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Starkweather School in Starkweather, N.D. is pictured on Google Earth.

Photo courtesy of Google Earth

Just last month, Starkweather Public School District Superintendent Larry Volk wrote an email to a mailing list run by the North Dakota Council of Educational Leaders sharing his thoughts on critical race theory and its place in the curriculum.

Read more here.

Manvel couple hit by vehicle in Nashville

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istock photo

During the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame Game weekend, two North Dakotans fell into the road and were hit by a car around 1 a.m. on Saturday.

Jason and Kathy Vasichek were visiting downtown Nashville over late October weekend when they were struck by a motorist. Kathy Vasichek, 52,

later died of her injuries


“They are the kindest couple,” Jason Vasichek’s brother, Shelby, told the Herald after the accident. “Their son is involved in sports, (they do) outdoor activities, traveling. They’re business owners and Kathy is a nurse. They’re the nicest people you’ll ever meet. They’re involved in everything.”

Read the story.

Car crash

A multiple-vehicle crash Friday morning, July 2, 2021, on U.S. Highway 2 in a construction zone about 3 miles west of Grand Forks resulted in one death and multiple injuries. (Matt Henson/WDAY News)

Another crash that picked up a lot of attention was in July. An eastbound semi-truck apparently rear-ended a vehicle, causing a chain-reaction crash that killed one and sent multiple others to the hospital. All told, eight vehicles were involved in the incident.

Read about it.

College Hockey Transfer Board

A college hockey fan favorite throughout the offseason was the transfer board. Complete with regular updates on every move, readers kept coming back to see tabs on their favorite programs.

Here’s a look back on UND’s moves from the summer.

Check it out.

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UND student killed in plane crash


An investigator surveys the site, Tuesday, October 19, 2021, where a UND plane crashed 5 miles southeast of Buxton, N.D.

Photo by Eric Hylden/Grand Forks Herald

John Hauser, a 19-year-old sophomore aviation student, was killed in a plane crash that shocked the UND campus and caused flight training to be postponed. As updates from this story came, many came back to this article which includes video from WDAY.

Read the coverage from that day.

Omaha Lancers players walk out

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This unique junior hockey story caught the eye of many fans as the Omaha Lancers dealt with a crazy period that saw coaches and players walk out in protest.

Read more.

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UND goalie Adam Scheel blocks UMD’s Koby Bender in the NCAA Fargo Regional championship March 27, 2021.

Photo by Eric Hylden/Grand Forks Herald

Go back and re-live the live chat

from UND’s historic five-overtime NCAA tournament game against Minnesota Duluth.

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Photo/ Brad Dokken, Grand Forks Herald

The U.S.-Canada border was a big topic of discussion all year long as leaders debated when the border would indeed open for the first time since the pandemic.

Read some of our coverage.

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The intersection of North 5th Street and DeMers Avenue is blocked off following a multiple car collision on Jan. 9, 2021, in downtown Grand Forks.

Nick Nelson / Grand Forks Herald

Almost exactly one year ago, a high-speed crash in Grand Forks killed three. The five-car crash in downtown Grand Forks occurred shortly after 12:20 p.m. at the corner of DeMers Avenue and Fifth Street.

Read more.

Keeping hunting alive for some


Jerry Voegele, left, holds a magnesium alloy compnent for an AR-10 rifle, while Jordan Sennf holds the rifle. (Adam Kurtz/ Grand Forks Herald)

Roam Rifles made waves in the firearm industry. Their goal being to make a lighter, easier-to-carry rifle that lets hunters range further, or in some cases even make a hunting trip possible.

Read more about the business.


UND’s Grant Mismash (16) and Shane Pinto (22) work to advance the puck as UMD’s Wyatt Kaiser defends in the championship game March 27, 2021.

Photo by Eric Hylden/Grand Forks Herald

Another look back on UND and Minnesota Duluth’s five-overtime saga. This time, the full game recap and reaction from players and coaches.

Back in the live chat, this user was in for a treat.

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Re-live the game felt like it would go on for ages.

Ellice Murphy

Ellice Murphy’s flight home for the holidays was canceled, but she made it back to Roseau with the help of a local semi truck driver.


Another story from December that managed to fit in the top 15. Follow Ellice Murphy’s hectic story back to Roseau, Minnesota.

Give this story another read.


Gordy Linnell, owner of Northern Rifle Accurizing, said suppliers sometimes won’t answer the phone for ammunition orders. Adam Kurtz / Grand Forks Herald

A story on the shortage of ammunition in 2020 stood with readers throughout 2021. Hear from Gordy Linnell, who owns Northern Rifle Accurizing and is a Grand Forks-based gunsmith.

Read more.

Four-day work weeks? Maybe.

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Dusty Hillebrand stands outside Grand Forks Jobs Service, where he is the workforce center manager. Jacob Holley / Grand Forks Herald

This national story with a local twist became a topic of discussion on Reddit and other social media platforms as people debated whether a four-day work week is the way to go.

Check it out.

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This photo licensed for use by the Grand Forks Herald. (iStock/Enterline Design Services LLC)

Garnering a lot of attention from Facebook and other social outlets, this March article on how to apply for pandemic relief for businesses took off as business owners began to share the link with other business owners.

Give it a read.