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Matt Rourke, File, Associated Press
FILE - In this Nov. 17, 2011 file photo a protester who marched from Occupy Philadelphia encampment at City Hall chants slogans as he and others block the Market Street bridge, in Philadelphia. The “occupation” of Philadelphia and other major cities were among the topped headlines of 2011.

Historic flooding, power outages and the "occupation" of major cities made headlines in 2011. But two words sum up the biggest story of the year: Penn State.

The child molestation charges against a former assistant football coach rocked Happy Valley. The fallout led to the ouster of legendary football coach Joe Paterno and the university president. Two administrators are accused of perjury in the case.

Before that bombshell, it looked like Mother Nature might be the top newsmaker.

Hurricane Irene left more than 900,000 people in the dark. Tropical Storm Lee caused floods that damaged or destroyed tens of thousands of homes and businesses from Tunkhannock to Harrisburg.

And the Occupy Wall Street movement against economic inequality spawned tent encampments statewide in cities including Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Allentown and Lancaster.