What ranked among readers as the top stories of 2013 at OakPark.com? The local elections in April drove a lot of traffic. After that it was Mother Nature, crime and commerce. Our list is based on Google Analytics reports that ranked articles according to the number of clicks received throughout the year.
1. Oak Park's next president: Anan Abu-Taleb
An American Dream became reality for local restaurateur Anan Abu-Taleb the night he won the village presidency. "This victory is most gratifying because it came from you," the president said in a speech the night of his win. "It's a victory for all those who believe that Oak Park's best days are yet to come." Abu-Taleb earned a 58 to 42 percent victory over his opponent John Hedges.
2. A look at who's running in the District 200 race
All 15 candidates in the District 200 school board election were given a survey by Wednesday Journal back in January to gauge their views on issues facing Oak Park and River Forest High School. Based on the infographic created on each candidate's responses some of the biggest concerns were fiscal issues, the achievement gap and test scores.
3. Flooding drenches area, closes local schools
As rain fell on Oak Park and River Forest on April 18, about 5 inches of water accumulated in the area over a 24 hour period—enough to flood streets and basements. River Forest, hit much harder by the rain, experienced multiple road closures. Area schools in Oak Park and River Forest also closed for all or most of the day.
4. Elections 2013
Wednesday Journal took a look at Oak Park and River Forest presidential candidates, as well as District 200 candidates, and their stances on big issues such as fiscal budgets, property taxes and business growth using infographs and Cover-It-Live Coverage.
5. Wednesday Journal's 2013 endorsements
Anan Abu-Taleb won Oak Park village presidential election, but Wednesday Journal endorsed John Hedges for the spot. The Journal also endorsed Cathy Adduci for River Forest village president.
6. Fenwick teacher wins Jeopardy! Tournament of Champions
Colby Burnett, a World History teacher at Fenwick High School, won the Jeopardy! Tournament of Champions back in February; winning the $250,000 grand prize. Burnett also won the Jeopardy! Teachers Tournament in November 2012.
7. Four cellphones stolen by force, one from 9-year-old girl in Oak Park
An iPhone was snatched from a 9-year-old on the playground of Hatch School around 7:40 p.m., one of four cell phone robberies reported within one week in early June. Four Chicago teens, ages 12 to 14, were arrested in relation to the incident.
8. Politics, business stir Oak Park village president election ethics debate
The Oak Park Ethics Ordinances began raising questions about entrepreneur Anan Abu-Taleb on his run for village president about a month before the election. His opponent John Hedges challenged that there was a conflict of interest on the part of the Maya del Sol owner over liquor license ordinances.
9. Berwyn woman catches her robber, loses job and apartment
It is unusual that a victim of a robbery would catch his or her robber the next day. But Nerieda "Nelly" Juarez did. Juarez was robbed by Jeremy Seeman during her shift at a Roosevelt Road 7-Eleven. She spotted him the next day after he had robbed another person of $40. Her husband called police and Seeman was later arrested.
10. Peekaboo Playroom to open in Oak Park
Ana Schreiner and Cindy Alvear, mothers and educators, open Peekaboo Playroom on Marion Street. Their goal was to make both education and playtime accessible to children from new-borns to toddlers.