The final weekend of 2012 is here...a good time to reflect on the big news stories of the year now ending.
Jim Olson continues his look at 2012 in Review with a look at the major news of July and August.
A Minot man was accused of killing his three daughters in Wisconsin in July.
Aaron Schaffhausen, a carpenter living in Minot, faces three counts of murder in River Falls.
Authorities say he killed his daughters, slitting their throats in their home while their mother - his ex-wife - was at work.
Schaffhausen's trial is scheduled to being in Wisconsin in April.
A Newburg man was charged with two counts of manslaughter after a horrific accident near Bottineau in July.
Juan Acosta is accused of driving drunk through a campground at Lake Metigoshe, losing control of his truck, and plowing through a campsite.
Two children were killed and a third child and an adult were injured in the incident.
Acosta has pleaded not guilty to the crimes and a trial could begin in the spring.
Late summer brought into focus what local schools were facing with the oil boom. From small towns to larger cities such as Williston and Minot, school officials were finalizing plans to deal with higher enrollments. In Williston, that meant re-opening an elementary school that had, years ago, been shuttered. McVay Elementary was cleaned up, and added on to with temporary classrooms to handle hundreds of new students. At several other schools in the region, construction was finishing up on additions that would allow them to welcome lots of new faces when the school year began.
One person was killed near Tioga when a freight train smashed into a gravel truck in mid-August. The collision derailed about 30 cars of the BNSF train and killed the driver of the gravel truck.
A long-awaited road opened near Williston in late August. The temporary truck bypass route was christened with several dignitaries doing the honors. The route is designed to remove hundreds of trucks from the streets of the city of Williston. A permanent route for the bypass was finalized this week and will begin construction soon. Meanwhile, a second bypass - on the northeast side of town - is also being planned.
A major pipeline company announced plans to team up with a local grain elevator to move more crude oil out of North Dakota. Enbridge and Berthold Farmers Elevator announced plans for the elevator to provide the manpower for the pipeline company's facility just west of Berthold where oil is loaded from trucks to rail cars for shipment to pipelines.
A collaboration between the military and local officials to combat mosquitoes came to a screeching halt in July. Williston officials were notified at the last minute that an Air Force Reserve plane often used to spray for mosquitoes would not be flying because of a legal question about using military aircraft for civilian purposes.
Farmers across western North Dakota got harvesting in late July - and the harvest was spectacular for many. Winter wheat that had been planted on acres that were flooded early the previous year was coming in at bumper crop levels and beyond.
Efforts to recover from the 2011 flood continued in the summer. In July, city and county officials asked the Corps of Engineers to suggest the best ways to protect against future flooding. Colonel Michael Price of the Corps of Engineers said initial studies showed that better management rules and more storage behind existing dams could mean new levees could be much lower than now under consideration for the Minot area.
Meanwhile many of the thousands of people still living in FEMA temporary housing units were getting nervous about their future housing. FEMA reported about 800 families still had no plans for housing beyond the late December deadline to move out. By late August, FEMA officials announced people would be allowed to keep living in their FEMA trailers beyond the December 24th deadline, but they'd have to either purchase their unit, or pay rent of 650 to 950 dollars per month beginning January First. By late in the year, plans were progressing on turning the existing 55th Street FEMA park into a private mobile home park where people could stay in their trailers without FEMA being their landlord.
Mid summer brought the demolition of two Minot schools - Lincoln Elementary went down first, and then Ramstad Middle School met its demise a couple of weeks later.
Ramstad students got some rock-n-roll support this year - a concert by Kansas in the spring, and a chance for choir members to sing with Foreigner at the group's State Fair performance. The hope is that the students will be singing - and attending classes - in their new Ramstad building by the time the next school year begins. With 2012 in Review, Jim Olson, KX News.
Tomorrow, Jim continues his review of the year's top stories, focusing on the early fall.