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You Vote: Top 10 Stories of 2011

A retrospective of the Huntington's top stories of the year.

You know it's a busy news year when an earthquake fails to make the Top 10 biggest stories list in Huntington.

With 2011 being a year packed with major news events, it is difficult to narrow the list down to any one event as the headlines came from a wide range of news categories including crime, business, politics, sports, weather and schools.

Major stories that were left off the list include: ; , numerous business and ; violent crime including and ; the in Huntington Station; The Book Revue ; the ; and the .

Our Top 10 Stories of the Year:

Infant, Babystitter Found Dead in Huntington; A one-month-old boy and his babysitter were . When authorities arrived at 4 Lafayette St., they , according to police.

Hurricane Irene: Although downgraded to a tropical storm by the time it made a second landfall after slamming the East Coast, the slow-moving storm pummeled Huntington on the morning of Aug. 28 with heavy rain and high winds resulting and downed trees throughout the area. Suffering for days without power, Huntington residents found ways to make due as workers scrambled to get electricity, phones and cable back online. The and were in full preparation mode long before the left Huntington Station before the storm. | | |

Town Board OKs AvalonBay Zoning; Man Ejected From Town Hall: The Huntington Town Board for the proposed Huntington Station AvalonBay project by a 4-1 vote last June — but not without a fight from some opposed to the plan.

Budget Goes Into Effect By Default; Arts Programs Suffer Big Hits: For the first time in nearly two decades, the Town of Huntington operating budget following the expiration of a Nov. 20 deadline with no preliminary budget approval reached, the — rejected 3-2 by the Town Board Nov. 9 — was put intion effect. The town's cherished arts and cultural society, for years the benefactor of a generous economic climate, found itself in an era of uncertainty as a troubled economy and stagnant property values helped to cause beginning Jan. 1 to arts and non-profit funding which for decades have helped define Huntington.

Gay Marriage Legalized: For the first time, same-sex couples just weeks after New York became the sixth state to legalize gay marriage on June 24.

New and Retiring School Superintendents: In South Huntington, longtime South Huntington School District Superintendent Thomas Shea effective the end of the 2012 school year. In Huntington, James W. Polansky was in June , succeeding John J. Finello, who is retired after 39 years in the district.

Huntington Man Shot In 3 Seperate Incidents; Dies: Cory Culberth, 21, was after being wounded in two previous shootings. in connection with the shootings.

Paramount Theater Opens In Huntington: which was closed in 2009, the state-of-the art facility opened in September on Main Street with a schedule full of big name acts, including Elvis Costello who headlined the grand opening event

Lowe's Pulls Out of Huntington Station: Plans for a 103,000-square-foot home-improvement store and a 26,500-square foot garden center for the vast site formerly occupied by the iconic  were cancelled in November.

Spencer Wins 18th District by 267 Votes: Dr. William Spencer defeated Elizabeth Black for the 18th Legislative District after the Suffolk County Board of Elections completed its tally of absentee ballots Nov. 17. Elections Commissioner Anita S. Katz said that the . When the polls closed last week, Spencer had a 179-vote edge. Spencer's victory keeps the job in Democratic hands since he is succeeding the term limited majority leader, .

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