Below are 30 of the top local news stories of 2011, in no particular order, as suggested by StarNews reporters and editors. We need your help in narrowing this list to the top 10 local news stories of the year. Updates on those stories will be published Dec. 28-Dec. 31 in the StarNews and at www.StarNewsOnline.com.

* Rank up to 10 choices below (#1 is most important, etc.).

  #1 #2 #3 #4 #5 #6 #7 #8 #9 #10
A massive wildfire burns for more than two months in Pender County, burning about 49 square miles in the Holly Shelter Game Land
Battleship North Carolina Memorial celebrates 50 years in Wilmington
Brunswick County loses out on jobs as Project Soccer becomes political football
Brunswick County’s new district attorney clashes with courthouse old guard over traffic court
Community Action Inc. must repay $131,000 in Head Start funds it misappropriated
Convicted kingpin David Crummy again faces drug charges
Crazy weather events (tornadoes, waterspouts, earthquake) strike within weeks of each other in August
Film fans celebrate 25th anniversary of shooting of “Blue Velvet”
Former ABC Administrator Billy Williams found guilty in garage building scheme
Gangs at heart of violence problems in Wilmington nightlife
Historic power shift in General Assembly leads to big budget cuts, vetoes
Hurricane Irene delivers glancing blow to Southeastern North Carolina
Incentives hike, new sound stage help land ‘Iron Man 3,’ the largest production ever to be made in Wilmington
Local banks fall one by one as they are eaten up by larger competitors or brought down by bad debts.
Lots of big names/companies file for bankruptcy due to struggling economy and bad bets during the property boom
Nearly 260 jobs lost as Wells Fargo/Wachovia to close Mayfaire mortgage application center
New Hanover County Commissioner Brian Berger on the defensive after assault charges, suicide attempt
PPD sold to private equity firms, with unknown impacts on Wilmington
Proposed International Terminal/Port in Southport gets dry-docked by state
R.C. Soles accused of taking advantage of troubled teens; ex-senator denies allegations
Snow covers region in January, prompting 100 crashes in a single day
South Brunswick High School senior and football player Marcus Hankins is fatally shot at a party
State approves new annexation laws; Southport and Wilmington annexations apparently halted by residents
State Bureau of Investigation launches probe of former district attorney Rex Gore
The Doolittles, a father and son, hit and killed while bicycling on River Road; the driver is indicted on second-degree murder charges
Virgo Middle School closes, school board votes to try to reopen it as a charter school
Whole Foods officially announces plans for a Wilmington location
Wilmington 10 survivors reunite in Wilmington for 40th anniversary, get greeting and apology from mayor
‘One Tree Hill' picked up for ninth and final season
“Teen Mom 2” star Jenelle Evans' various legal troubles attract national attention
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