Top 10 stories of 2011

10.) Orange County Fair. The fair shattered its attendance record and ended — at least for now — the legal and political battle over its ownership.

9.) "Snoopy House." A house known for its annual holiday display of Peanuts characters was lost to foreclosure, but the iconic decorations found a new home at Costa Mesa City Hall.

8.) Fun Zone merry-go-round. The treasured carousel at the 75-year-old Balboa Fun Zone galloped away for a museum expansion and high school students protested the changes.

7.) Newport Harbor High tragedy. A motorist now charged with driving under the influence hit and severely injured student Crystal Morales, 17, outside Newport Harbor High School earlier this month.

6.) Coast Highway wreck. A high-speed, wrong-way car crash in January claimed former Corona del Mar High School track star Julia "Julie" Allen and two other motorists, Christopher De La Cruz, 49, of Laguna Niguel, and Linda Burnett, 69, of Santa Ana.

5.) Fallen tree. A blue gum eucalyptus fell in September on 17th Street and Irvine Avenue, killing a motorist, Haeyoon Miller, 29, of Tustin.

4.) Rhine Channel Dredging. Crews finished dredging the Rhine Channel in Newport Beach in November, completing the project more than a month ahead of schedule.

3.) Irvine 11. Ten of 11 college students charged with interrupting a speech by the Israeli ambassador to the United States were convicted on two misdemeanor counts in September.

2.) Superintendent charged. Newport-Mesa Supt. Jeffrey Hubbard was charged with a third felony and given a vote of no-confidence by the teachers union but has maintained not only his innocence but the steadfast support of all but one school board member.

1.) Costa Mesa outsourcing. The decision to lay off nearly half of the city's work force, and the suicide of a troubled employee who expected to lose his job, became a part of the nationwide debate over pension reform.

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