A look back at the top Beaufort stories from 2011

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Santa has come and gone and now his helper elf of year-in-review lists is here with a bounty of top local stories from 2011.

Here's the stories that were the most noted on TheDigitel Beaufort.

News that F-35B was awarded to the Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort.

Life returned to the Port of Port Royal redevelopment deal.

There were a number of somber news stories of tragic fatal accidents, one of a Beaufort teen in Florida, a USCB student that died in a Georgia accident, and a death of a teen at Coosaw Plantation pool.

The 2010 Christmas Eve shooting of Carlos Alberto Olivera by Preston Oates remains in the headlines.

The final Lipsitz family store location closed on Bay Street.

Construction of a rail trail for the old Port Royal Railroad corridor received $1 million in funding and a name, the Beaufort Rail Trail.

News that a book telling the tale of South Carolina's "gentlemen" drug smugglers was published.

Beaufort boxing legend Joe Frazier died at age 67 and Beaufort lost longtime city councilman Gary Fordham.

Gary Sinise and the Lt. Dan Band Concert came to Beaufort.

After much debate, school district leaders decided to axe Shell Point Elementary.

Parking kiosks disapeared from Bay Street.

Funding to improve Boundary Street continued to flow as Uptown came into its own and Bladen Street saw more infill development to complement the region's form-based code redevelopment.

After much debate, construction of a joint Red Lobster and Olive Garden was approved at Boundary Street's Town Center.

The Island Packet has also done some reflection and offers up a somber list of those the Beaufort County greater community lost in 2011 and their own top 10 news story list.

Regardless if your 2011 was sour or sweet, here is to a better 2012!

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