Top ten stories of 2016
BY ALYSSA MEIER
1. Security, engineering blamed for escape - Sept. 22
A lapse in security and adequate construction were listed as reasons an inmate was able to escape from the McLean County Jail in September. Jail staff was advised that a hole in a dormitory ceiling was not a danger to security, as inmates couldn’t get beyond the gap between floors. But William Rawson found his way into the hole, through the facility and out the roof, escaping the jail on Sept. 18 and fleeing in a stolen vehicle to Mandan. The building has since been repaired and Rawson taken back into custody.
2. Commission rules on protests - Oct. 6
Residents who had asked for adjustments to their special assessments left a hearing mostly disappointed, with only one catching a break. Four formal requests were made to the city commission in regards to street, sewer and water projects in the area. Three of the residents had their requests denied, with the only changes made being to the only property designated as an uncapped primary commercial. Commissioners agreed the property, which had been assessed at $36,000 for the 2016 street project, should pay the same rate as primary residentials, lowering the assessment to just under $23,000.
3. Weather sets record for snow days - Dec. 8
The second of two major winter storms within two weeks shuttered areas schools for the fourth, or even fifth, day this year. Washburn and Wilton both used all three scheduled storm make-up days in late November, then were hit by more snow and wind just a week later. Washburn canceled classes again Dec. 6, while Wilton canceled both Dec. 6 and 7. Both schools scheduled meetings to explore options for making up the additional days.