Nothing like spending two hours in a closed room with your best friends and the Gazette news staff. After battling it out, we came up with our Top Ten stories of the year. If you want to know what they are, tune in around Dec. 31 when we put out our end-of-the-year issue.

For now, here’s Ryan Olson’s Definitive Top Ten Copper Country Stories 2K2. This shows where my heart was (I’ve changed my mind on some). It isn’t the definitive list (not by a long shot). Coming soon, my writing that matches this list.

1. Spring floods wreak havoc on U.P. roads, lives prompting President Bush to declare a state of disaster.
2. House fire at Sigma Delta Chi claims life of student.
3. Americaís first snowhouses open in Hancock and Houghton. 4. After a year of delays and roadblocks, Michigan Tech EnterPrise SmartZone moves forward.
5. Burial battle
6. First payment for 6,275 acres in Keweenaw County land deal; sets in motion one of the largest land deals of its kind in state history.
7. New diseases (Chronic Wasting Disease and West Nile Virus) threaten area.
8. Western U.P. Red Cross dissolved over allegations of mismanagement and embezzlement charges levied on former director.
9. Thousands gather near Ewen as part of national Rainbow Family Gathering.
10. Missing snowmobiler John Buccanero found dead after 17 years.