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The Top 10 Local News Stories of 2018: #2 and #1

Posted: Thu, Jan 3, 2019 1:39 PM

( concludes its series about the Top Ten local news stories of 2018 in Decorah with this look at the #2 and #1 stories):

#2:  First degree murder charges are rare in Decorah--it's been more than 20 years since the last murder charges were filed.  But during the 2018 Winneshiek County Fair, police were called to the Fairgrounds to investigate a report of windows being smashed in on a parked car.  They then received a phone call that 17-year-old Jacob Seelinger of Decorah and 18-year-old Dalton Adam of Decorah were assaulting a 46-year-old man at his home in Freeport and that the man was now "in bad shape medically,"  That touched off a police search for Seelinger and Adam.  (

The two were captured and jailed.  Six weeks later, the assault victim--David Hanson--died at Gundersen Hospital in La Crosse.  Charges against Adam and Seelinger then were changed to First Degree Murder.  The two remain in custody in the Winneshiek county Jail, awaiting their trial in 2019.

#1:  By far the #1 local news story in Decorah in 2018 was the application by Menard's to build a store in Decorah.  The home improvement superstore had announced its plans in 2017, then submitted a site plan ( which called for a 209,500 square foot store on property off Old Stage Road, behind the current WalMart store.  The location was a controversial one, with opponents fearing the impact the store would have on flooding.

In August the Planning & Zoning Commission voted 4-3 against approving the site plan (  By the end of October, Menards had announced it was scrapping plans for a store in Decorah (