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The 11 Most Talked About Stories Of 2011

From a protest that swept New York, the nation and the world, to a social media-based political sex scandal, is taking a look back at the most captivating local stories of 2011.

The Escape Of The Bronx Zoo Cobra

Bronx Zoo Egyptian Cobra Mia
The Bronx Zoo reopened its reptile house after its Egyptian cobra went missing in March. (Credit: Steve Sandberg/1010 WINS)

A slithering sensation captivated New Yorkers - and the nation - after it escaped its Bronx Zoo cage and went missing during the last week of March. In the end, the 20-inch deadly serpent was found lurking in the shadows of the reptile house about 200 feet from its cage. After her safe return, the zoo held a vote as to what the name of the reptile would be. Mia, for "missing in action," took the top spot with 27 percent of the vote. In's exclusive interview, the cobra took a dig at Charlie Sheen and detailed her escape.

The Death Of Osama Bin Laden

Osama Bin Laden Death Celebration Times Square
People in Times Square celebrate the death of Osama Bin Laden - New York, NY - May 2, 2011 (credit: TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)

Photos: New Yorkers Celebrate Death Of Osama Bin Laden

Celebrations broke out across the country just before midnight on May 1, when it was announced that Osama bin Laden, the glowering mastermind behind the Sept. 11 attacks was slain in a firefight with U.S. forces in Pakistan. His death ended a manhunt that spanned a frustrating decade. Hundreds of people sang and waved American flags at Ground Zero in New York, while 'U-S-A!' chants broke out at the Mets/Phillies game at Philadelphia Citizens Bank Park.

The Saga Of DSK

Dominique Strauss-Kahn
Dominique Strauss-Kahn (credit: Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

Before inspiring an episode of Law and Order: SVU, it was a real life trial happening in New York City. Dominique Strauss-Kahn, a French economist and chief of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), was pulled from an airplane at JFK moments before he was to fly to Paris on May 14. He was accused of sexual assault by Nafissatou Diallo, a chambermaid at the Sofitel Hotel in Midtown. The high profile "he said, she said" case continued  as DSK pleaded "not guilty" and resigned from his post in the midst of the scandal. By late August, evidence against DSK  proved to be insufficient, details of Diallo's shady past emerged and her account of the night in question changed several times. Charges were dropped against DSK, who admitted that he had an inappropriate sexual encounter with Diallo, but that it was not violent.

The Resignation Of Anthony Weiner

Anthony Weiner resigns
Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY) announces his resignation June 16, 2011 in Brooklyn (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

#Disgrace: Former Congressman Anthony Weiner resigned after an embarrassing and convoluted controversy surrounding an illicit photo sent from his Twitter account. In what came to be known as "Weinergate," the politician first claimed his account was hacked and the intimate photo of a man's bulging underwear wasn't his. Days later, the embattled representative came clean and admitted that he tweeted the picture, which was intended to be a direct message to a woman in Seattle. He apologized to his constituents and his wife, Huma Abedin, a deputy chief of staff and aide to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Weiner became widely mocked, and a Manhattan costume store even sold a Halloween mask with Weiner's likeness.

READ: Full Transcript Of Weiner's Resignation Speech

The Medford Pharmacy Massacre

David Laffer
David Laffer being led from police headquarters (credit: CBS 2)

It was the most cold-blooded robbery-homicide in Suffolk County history. On June 19, David Laffer entered Haven Drugs Pharmacy in Medford and executed 4 people after stealing drugs from the store. Records show Laffer, who was apparently addicted to prescription painkillers, was a prior customer. Laffer, a former intelligence analyst with the Army, pleaded guilty in September to all charges of committing first-degree murder and robbing the pharmacy of thousands of prescription pills. He was sentenced to life in prison without parole, while his wife received 25 years in jail.

Same-Sex Marriage Legalized In New York

Same-Sex Marriage
Phyllis Siegel, 76, left, and Connie Kopelov, 84, both of New York celebrate their(credit: Stan Honda/AFP/Getty Images)

Celebrations erupted and wedding proposals abounded across New York City just before midnight on Friday, June 24, after Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a same-sex marriage bill into law. In what Mayor Michael Bloomberg called "a historic triumph for equality and freedom," New York became the sixth state in the country to legalize gay marriage, amid opposition from some representatives of the Roman Catholic Church, Orthodox Rabbis and other conservative leaders. July 24 was the first day same-sex couples could officially marry, and the first to tie the knot at the New York City clerk's office was 75-year-old Phyllis Siegel, a retired bookkeeper, and 85-year-old Connie Kopelov, a retired labor educator.

Derek Jeter Hits #3,000

Tampa Bay Rays v New York Yankees
Derek Jeter hits a solo home run in the third inning for career hit 3000 while playing against the Tampa Bay Rays. (credit: Nick Laham/Getty Images)

Photo Gallery: Derek Jeter Reaches 3,000 Hits

On July 9, Yankees captain Derek Jeter hit his first home run of the season at Yankee Stadium - and became the first Yankee player to reach 3,000 hits. With a swift swing of his shiny black bat, Jeter jolted himself into historic company when he homered off Tampa Bay ace David Price and joined former teammate Wade Boggs as the only players to do it with a home run. The ball, estimated to be worth around $250,000 was caught by Yankee fan Christian Lopez, who gave the prized possession back to Jeter.

The Murder Of Leiby Kletzky

Leiby Kletzky
Leiby Kletzky (credit:

An intense two-day search for a missing Brooklyn boy ended in shock and horror on July 13, when the dismembered body of 8-year-old Leiby Kletzky was found in two different locations by police. Shortly thereafter, Levi Aron was charged with two counts of first-degree murder. A handwritten confession made by Aron became part of the public record. Part of the detailed confession reads:

"I went for a towel to smother him — in the side room. He fought back a little bit until eventually he stopped breathing. Afterwards I panicked because I didn't know what to do with the body."

Tropical Storm Irene & Massive Power Outages

Hurricane Irene - Long Island
This sailboat washed ashore when Tropical Storm Irene arrived on August 28, 2011 in Southampton, New York. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Photos: Obama Tours Hurricane Irene Damage In New Jersey

Tri-State area residents were trying to reason with hurricane season in August as a massive storm pounded parts of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. In the days prior to the storm, residents mobbed local supermarkets and wiped shelves clean in anticipation of any power outages. The Mayor issued an unprecedented mandatory evacuation order, and New York City subways were shut down for fear of the heavy and unsafe winds. Hurricane Irene was downgraded to a tropical storm by the time she made it to our area, but still wreaked serious havoc on parts of the Tri-State, leaving some without power for over a week.

The 10 Year Anniversary Of 9/11

A young girl touches a name on the 9/11 Memorial
The 9/11 memorial South Tower pool of the World Trade Center on September 11, 2011. (Photo credit: DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images)

For the families of 9/11 victims, the 10th anniversary of the tragic day brought a new experience at the World Trade Center. The 9/11 Memorial officially opened to victims' families. President Barack Obama and former president George W. Bush, joined by their wives, arrived at the 9/11 memorial in New York City around 8 a.m. The two walked around the reflecting pool, running their hands over the names of those killed, engraved in bronze, before stopping to speak with some of the families of 9/11 victims and dignitaries. reflected on the monumental anniversary with reporter reflections and audio clips from that fateful day.

Occupy Wall Street

Occupy Wall Street - NYSE
This Wall Street worker was forced to break through a line of Occupy Wall Street protesters who had locked arms and blocked access to the New York Stock Exchange area during the protests. (Photo credit: DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images)

In an attempt to spread a message against corporate greed, thousands of people from across the country gathered in Lower Manhattan to voice their frustration with both the economy and Wall Street. The protest, which began on a September weekend, sparked a global movement. "Occupy" groups popped up in cities across the world. While some protestors remain, they were ousted from their base in Zuccotti Park after a court ruled that the First Amendment did not give the protesters' the right to camp out in the plaza indefinitely.

What did you find to be the most interesting or entertaining story of 2011? Sound off below...
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