Who says reporters can't have fun on the job? Our very own Nikki Davidson turned a few heads when she took on one of the dirtiest jobs there are. By the end of her visit at the dairy farm, she learned barn work isn't easy, but it sure makes for a great story.
And the surprises of 2011 didn't stop there. A powerful tornado ripped through Ontonagon County last August, lifting trailers and knocking down power lines. It was the first in the area since 1988, and thankfully no injuries were reported.
And in mining, a shock to some in the U.P. after Rio Tinto invested in the opening on the Kennecott Eagle Mine earlier this year. The battle continues with court appeals and anti-mining rallies after a judge gave the mine the go-ahead to dig.
This year also brought tears. John Wallace, 59, of Chassell was killed by a grizzly bear at Yellowstone National Park. Friends and co-workers mourned his death at Portage Lake District Library in H oughton where he worked for 17 years.
The world also stopped on a Fall day to honor the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. At Michigan Tech, a special ceremony was held to remember those who died and those who lived.
In unbelievable sightings, a trail camera captures the image of a cougar in Ontonagon County and again in Keweenaw county. The DNR confirmed the same cougar wearing a radio collar traveled through Wisconsin and made its way into the U.P. They said the cat possibly came from South Dakota.UpperMichigansSource - Youtube
And in crime, the worst of the year came in September: an apartment shooting in the quiet West Ridge community in Marquette. It didn't take long to capture the suspect, Tyler John Wolf, 22, who officials said shot and killed one man and injured another .
The year 2011 also came with a struggling economy for Cliffs Natural Resources as the company shut down its renewaFuel biomass production facility in Sawyer. Officials said since initial production, the plant has not performed to design capacity, nor at a production level that justified continued operation.
This year had a spike in bank robberies here in the U.P. One prompted a nationwide search after a man robbed the Northern Michigan Bank at gunpoint in Chocolay Township. The suspect? Justin Dee McLean, 29. He was arrested four days later in Wyoming.UpperMichigansSource - Youtube
Black Friday rattled shoppers in Marquette after several bomb threats were called in to local retailers. Shopping came to a halt for several hours while police searched the area. Bomb devices were never found.
And possibly the best Christmas present one local family could receive. The story of Jacob Stieler hit close to home for many of our viewers. The Michigan Department of Human Services filed charges of child neglect against Jacob's parents, who refused further treatment for their son after medical results showed he was cancer-free. A judge cleared the Stieler's of any wrongdoing.
Not a bad way to end the year.
Check out part one of our series which looked at 10 stories from the first half of the year.
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.