OakPark.com's most-read stories of 2012

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By Rosie Powers

Digital Editor

1. Maywood man charged in attempted child abductions in Oak Park and Chicago

A 28-year-old Maywood man was charged with one count of kidnapping and one count of child abduction for separate abduction attempts of two Oak Park girls as they walked to school, the morning of Dec. 5.

2. Oak Park principal, staff member likely tampered with tests at Mann School

The principal and one staff member at Mann School are the likely individuals who tampered with state-mandated standardized tests that were given to students at the school in March. District 97 Supt. Albert Roberts addressed the controversy before a packed auditorium of parents in a public meeting held at the school on April 4.

3. Oak Park Village Manager Tom Barwin resigns

Oak Park Village Manager Tom Barwin announced at a village board meeting Feb. 21 that he's resigning from his post after five and a half years on the job.

4. Mann principal search will begin in April

The search for the next principal at Mann Elementary School began in April. Previously, Principal Nimisha Kumar resigned her position at Mann after an internal investigation by D97 found that this month's state standardized tests were inappropriately administered by staff.

5. Val's halla Records struggles to stay afloat

While vinyl is getting new life among the younger crowds, a trend that has Camilletti excited, Val's has to face the fate many small businesses can't avoid: a stack of continuous bills. The store held a "Help Val Keep the Lights On" event Dec. 13 to start the bill-denting process.

6. Former OPRF volleyball coach charged with felony harassment

Former OPRF boys volleyball coach John Kasik was arrested in October for allegedly threatening to kill a Lisle High School volleyball coach and rape the coach's wife and daughters.

7. Oak Park village board OKs Lake and Forest high-rise

By a 7-0 vote late Jan. 9, the tallest building in Oak Park is one step closer to being built. After more than four hours of discussion, the village board unanimously approved a 20-story high-rise that a developer plans to build at the corner of Lake and Forest. That vote overturns a previous rejection of the project by the Oak Park Plan Commission last year.

8. State removes foster and adopted kids from River Forest home in wake of abuse charges

Rob Gaskill, 63, a River Forest resident who, with his wife, has fostered 75 children over 20 years, was arrested Feb. 2 and charged with sexually assaulting two juvenile victims over a 13-year period.

9. Decision on narrowing Madison Street in Oak Park could come by June

Oak Park has been talking for more than a year about the possibility of squeezing the car-dominated stretch, which would take Madison Street down to three lanes from four, in order to add bike lanes in either direction, along with safer crosswalks for pedestrians heading north and south.

10. Oak Park teenager dies of suspected drug overdose

Police investigate an April 8 incident that left a 17-year-old Oak Park boy dead from what they suspect was an accidental drug overdose.

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