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      Memorable U.P. events of 2011, Part 1

      With 2011 coming to an end we decided to take a look back at some memorable events in the Upper Peninsula. Here are some of the stories that we thought were impactful.

      A blazing fire destroys the lodge of a popular ski hill. Big Powderhorn Mountain Resort lost its 40-year-old lodge. Thankfully there were no injuries. Outpour of support followed from the community.

      JenningsBay - Youtube

      A switch to a famous February day when President Obama visited Marquette . The hot spot? Northern Michigan University. And the hot topic? The Wi-Max technology: a development by the university that O bama said would strengthen economic growth both nationally and abroad.

      The year 2011 was also a turning point for NewPage as the company announced the sale of the Niagara Paper mill . The mill had been closed since 2008. The promise of potential business boom is yet to come.

      The John Stamos scandal that rocked 2010 spilled into 2011 as the couple convicted of trying to extort thousands of dollars from the Hollywood actor appealed their case. Scott Sippola and Allison Coss were each sentenced to four years in prison last year. They threatened to sell photos of Stamos with strippers and cocaine, but the FBI said those photos never existed.

      It was a frightening February morning for NMU students who woke up to safety alerts from school officials. A message discovered in a blog threatened to harm students and faculty. The school's response was prompt, but, to date, no arrests have been made.

      NMU Threat Press Conference

      And in courts, a shocking verdict after a Baraga County man accused of first degree child abuse was cleared by a judge. James Thomas Cribbs walked free on reasonable doubt.

      And another incident ended in a prison sentence for Peter Markham, 64, of Manistique. The verdict: Guilty of making terrorist threats and trying to extort city officials. He is to serve between 10 and 20 years in prison.

      The year 2011 was also a deadly year. An Ishpeming man was fatally beaten after a late-night argument with 37-year-old Thomas Arthur Hyttinen. His trial has been postponed until next year.

      This year was a significant one for Grand Marais. After winning the Reader's Digest We Hear You America contest , the 50-year wait finally came to a close when the Grand Marais Harbor received $5 million in state funding , enough to repair and restore their eroding harbor and break wall.

      And possibly the shocker of the summer came in May, after the Superior Bike Fest in Marquette cancelled its annual event. Low registration was the deciding factor after 2010 brought more than 200 racers. This year, only 58 signed up. Some aren't sure what caused low turnout, and some say the economy is to blame.

      Those are some of the events that made the biggest impact in the Upper Peninsula in 2011, but we also have a list of the biggest hits on our website. These the stories that were clicked on and read the most, and be sure to check out our Memorable UP events, Part 2.

      Most read web articles:

      1. NMU Threat 2. Big Powderhorn Fire 3. Amputation Faked for Insurance Money 4. Fatal Shooting in Marquette 5. Obama Visits to Praise U.P. Technology 6. Fatal Crash Closes Mackinac Bridge 7. Names Released in Ishpeming Homicide 8. Parents Fight State Over Son's Cancer Treatment 9. Chocolay Township Bank Robbed 10. Massive Moose Heard Travels U.P. [April Fools' Day]

      Do you have other suggestions? Leave a comment and let us know what your most memorable event was in 2011.