HIGHLAND PARK, IL — While New Year's Eve 2020 will be unlike year's past The end of an unforgettable year offers a opportunity to look back on some of the top local news stories from the Highland Park and Highwood area published during 2020.
The year's coverage was dominated by the coronavirus pandemic, which touched the life of every member of the community in some way — from schools to work, from the political to the personal. There have been 1,826 confirmed cases of COVID-19 among residents of the 60035 and 60040 ZIP codes as of New Year's Eve, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health. Some people from Highland Park and Highwood have been among the 716 Lake County residents who have died of the virus during the year, although state officials have declined to release their towns of residence.
In addition to grappling with the impact of the pandemic, Highland Park saw political demonstrations following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis and again after two people died during protests over the shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha. The City Council gave the go-ahead to a new development on the site of the former Saks Fifth Avenue store and later opened the door for the possibility of recreational marijuana businesses, as well as expanded residential development downtown. A local elementary school received national recognition, and local students stepped up to help families in need.
Here are some of the most-read articles published by Highland Park Patch during 2020:
Over 5,000 signatures were collected to "reinstate" a mandatory Holocaust memorial assembly, but administrators say it was never canceled.
Mayor Nancy Rotering called out groups of Highland Park residents who have been violating the governor's order.
Ravinia Festival has operated continually since its 1904 opening, except for 1932–35, when the park was silenced by the Great Depression.
Recent shoreline projects are preventing further erosion and protecting infrastructure, according to the park district.
The five-story proposed Albion at Renaissance Place includes 89 apartments and ground-floor commercial space along Green Bay Road.
Hundreds of demonstrators loudly confronted each other Monday after counterprotesters warned a "militia" was coming to Highland Park.
The City Council approved matching grants of up to $10,000 for restaurants and $5,000 for retail stores to cover COVID-19-related expenses.
High schoolers with experience on service-learning trips organized by a pair of North Shore educators are now serving the local community.
The Highland Park fifth-graders are donating a portion of the proceeds from each beaded mask holder they sell to a North Shore charity.
Indian Trail Named National Blue Ribbon School
For the first time in more than 30 years, a school in Highland Park has won the prestigious U.S. Department of Education award.
Despite a "remarkably successful" hybrid schedule, increasing community spread of COVID-19 is now affecting operations, administrators said.
EARLIER: Most Students Opt For Return To Campus In North Shore School District 112
District 113 board members voiced support for sticking with a "remote plus services" model through the end of this school year.
EARLIER: Highland Park, Deerfield Districts Plan For Return To School
The Lake County Health Department created an online portal for residents to register to be notified when a coronavirus vaccine is available.
NorthShore University HealthSystem operates the regional hospital coordinating center for the north suburbs.
Thank you for being part of the Patch community during 2020, and we hope you will join us in 2021. As always, to contact Highland Park Patch with news tips, comments, questions, suggestions or requests email email@example.com.