Hunter downs rare 'unicorn buck', Canadian Pacific Holiday Train tour, Northern Lights in MN: Week in review

Hunter downs rare "unicorn buck" in Granite Falls. Canadian Pacific Holiday Train stops in Minnesota. Northern Lights visible across the state. Here are the top stories from Nov. 25-Dec. 1. 

1. Minnesota hunter downs rare 'unicorn buck' while hunting in Granite Falls

Chase Mortenson shot the rare buck in Granite Falls, MN. (Photo courtesy of Chase Mortenson) (Supplied)

A Madison, Minnesota man shot a rare "unicorn buck", a deer that has three antlers instead of two, the third coming out of the middle of its forehead. 

Chase Mortenson was hunting on his uncle's farm in Granite Falls, Minnesota. Mortenson says his uncle had seen the rare buck on his property once before. 

2. Canadian Pacific Holiday Train to make stops in Minnesota

CPKC Holiday Train. (Photo courtesy of CPKC)  (Supplied)

A Canada-based railroad company will be sending a decked-out holiday train through the United States, and Minnesota is on its list of stops. 

Canadian Pacific Kansas City (CPKC) railroad company is bringing back their Holiday Train for the 25th year. The train travels across Canada and the United States, making stops in multiple cities with musical guests to perform in the decorated train cars. 

The Holiday Train will be making its first stop in Minnesota at 1 p.m. in Rochester on Dec. 6. The train will be making multiple stops throughout the state from Dec. 6-15. For the full train schedule with times and locations of stops, click here

3. St. Paul asking woman to remove decades of art from boulevard

A St. Paul woman’s yard has captured the imaginations of neighbors and art lovers for decades, but now it’s getting the wrong kind of attention.

Iris Logan’s yard is her 30-year art project, but a few weeks ago a city inspector saw not art, but a potential safety hazard on her boulevard. The city has ordered her to remove just about everything in her boulevard between the sidewalk and the street.

To learn more about the story, click here

4. Northern Lights could be visible in MN on Thursday

Keep an eye toward the sky on Thursday, as conditions are right for a potential Northern Lights show in the Midwest and beyond.

Forecasters say a G3 (Strong) geomagnetic storm is possible for Thursday night after four coronal mass ejections this week. For those wishing to chase the lights, it's best to get away from the metro into more rural spots, away from the light pollution from cities.

To see pictures of the Northern Lights on Thursday, click here

5. Minnesota DNR is again paying for tree cones, seeds 

The Minnesota DNR is paying people for the tree cones and seeds they collect.

The Minnesota DNR is paying people for the tree cones and seeds they collect.  (Minnesota DNR / Supplied)

You can get paid to be out in nature by collecting tree cones and seeds in Minnesota. 

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Forestry Division has a cone and seed collection map on its website, where you can identify drop-off locations near you. Then, call those locations to ask what they're looking for and how much you can make.

"Over the last few years, the number of collectors has decreased and we are in critical need of black spruce cones," said Sarah Ebert, State Forest Nursery manager. "We pay people $100 per bushel, which is about nine gallons of cones. Collecting black spruce now is a great way to earn some cash before the holidays."

6. Small plane lands on road, strikes car in Brooklyn Park

A pilot landed a small aircraft on a Brooklyn Park road and hit a car on Tuesday morning. 

Authorities say a pilot took off from Crystal Airport and during the flight, the aircraft lost power. The pilot had to make an emergency landing on County Road 81 near West Broadway, where he struck a vehicle.  

The driver of the vehicle and the pilot both suffered minor injuries. 

7. Ex-officer Derek Chauvin, convicted in George Floyd’s killing, stabbed in prison, AP source says

derek chauvin new mug

John Turscak stabbed Chauvin 22 times in the law library at the Federal Correctional Institution in Tucson, Arizona, with an improvised knife, federal prosecutors said. (Minnesota Dept. of Corrections)

Former Minneapolis police officer Dereck Chauvin was seriously injured after being stabbed multiple times by another inmate at a federal prison in Arizona on Friday. 

The attack happened at a medium-security prison in Tucson at around 12:30 p.m. local time. This stabbing is the second high-profile attack on a federal prisoner in the last five months. In July, disgraced sports doctor Larry Nassar was stabbed by a fellow inmate at a federal penitentiary in Florida.

To read more of the Associated Press story, click here

8. 20 most beautiful winter towns list includes a spot in Minnesota

Birdseye view of Lanesboro, Minnesota. (Photo by David Brewster/ Star Tribune via Getty Images) (Getty Images)

Travel + Leisure ranked the 20 most beautiful winter towns in the U.S., and a Minnesota town is one of them. 

Lanesboro, Minnesota, located in the southeast of the state, has been ranked 18th. Lanesboro is tucked between the bluffs of the Root River Valley. During the winter, travelers can cross-country ski or snowshoe through the Root River State Trail system.

To view the full list, click here

9. Thanks to academics, five-win Minnesota Gophers awarded a bowl spot

Head coach P. J. Fleck of the Minnesota Golden Gophers huddles with his team during their game against the North Carolina Tar Heels at Kenan Memorial Stadium on September 16, 2023 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images (Getty Images)

Despite a loss to Wisconsin leaving them with just five wins this season, the Minnesota Gophers football team has secured a postseason appearance, thanks to their academic achievements.

This year, a shortfall in "bowl-eligible" teams allowed the Gophers, alongside Football Bowl Subdivision newcomers James Madison and Jacksonville State, to clinch bowl game slots. 

Of the 82 needed, only 79 teams managed to achieve the required six wins for bowl eligibility.

10. Police: 1 killed in Brooklyn Park wreck after Osseo theft

Investigation along County Road 81 on Sunday afternoon. (FOX 9)

A woman was killed Sunday after a rollover crash in Brooklyn Park that police say followed a theft in Osseo.

Officers say they found the vehicle upset down in a ditch. After calling in a tow truck, officers say a woman was found dead underneath the vehicle. A man in the vehicle fled from the crash scene, but he was quickly found. 

Police said the vehicle had been reported stolen in Minneapolis and had apparently been involved in a theft from a Napa Auto Parts store in Osseo.