The month got off to a cheery start with council leader James Alexander warning York householders they faced both cuts in services and a 2.9 per cent increase in council tax as city leaders struggled to balance their books.

Snow and icy conditions brought chaos to the region, with a string of crashes leading to roads – including the A1 (M) – being closed.

Families were determined to enjoy the snow, however, bringing their sledges out in force. There was also a snowy setting for the gunnery salute in Museum Gardens to celebrate The Queen’s 60 years as monarch.

North Yorkshire artist Claire Milner revealed how she had made a giant portrait of Marilyn Monroe out of 65,000 Swarovski crystals for pop star Rihanna, and the Environment Agency gave the go-ahead for a £3.2 million upgrade of York’s Leeman Road flood defences.

A search began for 19-year-old Jordan Sullivan, who had last been seen running towards the River Ouse near Acaster Lane on Valentine’s Day. Tragically, Jordan’s body was found in the river a month later.

Colleagues of York Royal Marine David Hart, who had been killed in a bomb blast in Afghanistan in 2010, paid tribute to him as “one of the best guys” at his inquest.

An explosive finale to the 27th Jorvik Viking Festival saw the burning of a longboat at Knavesmire, plans were revealed to close Burnholme Community College – and press photographer Garry Atkinson captured a dramatic photo of Jo Dalgleish and her daughter Lellie, who had decided to donate their hair to a charity which makes wigs for cancer sufferers.

They raised more than £1,500 through their efforts – even though a thief later stole a charity box containing a week’s worth of donations.

There was shock in the music world at the death of singer Whitney Houston; and shock in the media world when Sunday Times journalist Marie Colvin was killed in Syria.

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