11 For '11: Long Valley's Stories of the Year

Plenty to choose from, but we narrowed them down to 11 topics.

As 2011 comes to a close, and the first full year of Long Valley Patch’s existence, Washington Township saw its share of stories from harrowing to heroic.

In no particular order, here are the 11 stories (or topics) that opened our eyes in 2011. The highlighted text will link you to the original articles.

Think we missed one? Tell us in the comments section at the bottom of this article.

What’s the weather like?
Long Valley saw just about all of it this year, from an earthquake that originated in Virginia to an October storm that dumped a foot of snow on the area, to a whole bunch of flooding in between.

No one was injured and , fortunately, but it was a sign of things to come. Just days later, , which battered the northeast (and was later downgraded to a tropical storm), . Then, a month later, . And, once again, a month later, –long before winter arrived.

That’s a tough tot
On March 30, Long Valley’s Gumersell family , landing on his head. –with much thanks to the doctors who performed on him–and he’s back to being a regular kid.

The outpouring of support from the community, however, was immense. hosted a , and neighbors from all around showed up to give their support.

Taking down terrorism
In the dark of night, a group of Navy SEALs landed in a remote location

and about the situation, many rejoicing, while others stayed more reserved.

We are the champions
Winning as a team is one of the great accomplishments in sport. In 2011, saw two of its teams take home state sectional titles.

In March, the Lady Highlanders basketball team, led by Shayna Erickson and Carly Shello, . Just this past fall, . Congrats, ladies, all around!

Women making history
What happens when a group of students turn a school project into the focus of their entire school year? National success, that’s what.

Four female students from West Morris Central, Lorrin Van Evra, Kiera Montgomery, Jennifer Weippert and Halina Malinowski created a documentary , where they . Nice job, ladies.

Changing of the guards
West Morris Central High School, and West Morris Regional High School District, for that matter, saw some major changes in the administration this year, all of which will make an impact for years to come.

, while the . District Superintendent . The search for a is underway.

Police force not just for humans
Why limit the local to just humans? How about adding an animal that can track the scent of a suspect or drug from a distance?

That’s when it approved Kobe, a K9-trained dog, to become part of the police force. .

These old country roads
Washington Township’s roads saw a lot of construction this year, from a stretches of three roadways in the area to be paved, to the in town.

Sections of , Flocktown, and were all paved, and a portion of the was reconstructed after a vehicle crashed into it. Just about everywhere you looked, .

House of Worship tour
One of Patch’s contributors, MaryLynn Schiavi, went on a months-long tour of the area’s churches and temples to see what each had to offer for those seeking spirituality.

Schiavi came across local churches like and , and also stepped out of the area to take in Temple Hatikvah in Flanders and the Tibetan Buddhist Learning Center in Warren County.  

Schools, towns join forces
The , where mayors and council members, in addition to school board officials and superintendents came together to work on the future of the West Morris Regional High School district.

The summit evolved into and gatherings of school superintendents to possibly formulate the best funding formula and path of the area’s school districts. A

That was a close one
This year’s June primary election turned into a months-long battle that ended up in court. Originally, freeholder Margaret Nordstrom by a slim margin, but it was .

On the local level, in the in Washington Township, then vacated by


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