Skokie 2020 In Review: Developments Approved, Businesses Accused

Jonah Meadows

SKOKIE, 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 in and around Skokie 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.

Since the start of year, there have been 3,335 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 97 deaths among Skokie residents, according to the village's health department. In Lincolnwood, there have been 1,812 confirmed cases of the virus and 43 deaths among residents, according to the Cook County Department of Public Health and medical examiner's office.

But COVID-19 was not the only thing in the news in Niles Township this year. Find some of the most-read articles published by Skokie Patch during 2020 below.

Niles West Band Director Wins Illinois Teacher Of The Year Award

By giving every student a chance to stretch their talents, Justin Johnson represents "the very best of Illinois," Gov. J.B. Pritzker said.

Justin Johnson moved to Illinois from Tennessee in 2012 to become director of bands at Niles West High School in Skokie. He was named the 2021 Illinois Teacher of the Year Wednesday. (District 219)
Justin Johnson moved to Illinois from Tennessee in 2012 to become director of bands at Niles West High School in Skokie. He was named the 2021 Illinois Teacher of the Year Wednesday. (District 219)

D-219 Administrator Awarded Severance Package Worth Over $88,000

Less than 10 months after a divided board gave him a raise and contract extension, Assistant Superintendent Eric Trimberger has resigned.

Police Union Rep 'Threatens' Not To Help Schools: Board Members

As the D-219 board debates cutting cops from Skokie high schools, a union representative warned officers would not respond "for any reason."

Niles Township Serves Over 6,400 People, Distributes Groceries

Volunteers distribute groceries to families in need every Wednesday in Skokie and Morton Grove.

Niles Township operated a pop-up food pantry from March to May. (Niles Township)
Niles Township operated a pop-up food pantry from March to May. (Niles Township)

Spending Cuts Reduce Skokie's Deficit By Nearly $5 Million

The village faced a $10.2 million budget shortfall for the fiscal year beginning May 1, according to staff.

North Shore Rabbi Ran $22M Nursing Home Ponzi Scheme: Prosecutors

The head of a Skokie-based company and religious congregation faces 10 counts of mail fraud in connection with the scheme, prosecutors said.

Sherman Dodge Violates Consumer Fraud Act, Attorney General Says

The Skokie car dealership is accused of engaging in "ongoing and continuous" unfair and deceptive business practices after agreeing not to.

Construction Resumes On 8000 North Project In Downtown Skokie

More than seven years after the village demolished the former site of Desiree Restaurant, a long-delayed development is rising in its place.

Construction on a mixed-use development at Lincoln Avenue and Oakton Street in Skokie began in fall 2018, stalled for much of 2019 and recently restarted after a new developer secured financing. (Village of Skokie)
Construction on a mixed-use development at Lincoln Avenue and Oakton Street in Skokie began in fall 2018, stalled for much of 2019 and recently restarted after a new developer secured financing. (Village of Skokie)

Social Media Riot Threats Preceded Old Orchard Mall Fortification

Officers from 25 law enforcement agencies were alerted to warnings of impending looting in Skokie on the first night of Chicago's curfew.
AFTER: Over 300 Looters At Old Orchard Was 'Credible Threat,' Police Say

Greenhouse Marijuana Dispensary Ready To Open To Public In Skokie

Skokie's first recreational cannabis retailer held a grand opening in September featuring actor and weed farmer Jim Belushi.

Deal For 8-Story Hotel In Downtown Skokie Approved By Trustees

The developer must buy Annie's Pancake House and transfer it to the village, which pledged up to $13.5 million in TIF funds for the project.

In December, the Skokie Village Board approved a development agreement to build a 142-room hotel and conference center at 4930 Oakton St. (via Village of Skokie)
In December, the Skokie Village Board approved a development agreement to build a 142-room hotel and conference center at 4930 Oakton St. (via Village of Skokie)

Amazon-Friendly Industrial Development To Replace Skokie Foundry

Village staff anticipate the new development will provide over 170 new jobs and an extra $475,000 in annual property taxes when complete.

North Shore Hospitals Receive First Doses Of Coronavirus Vaccine

NorthShore University HealthSystem operates the regional hospital coordinating center for the north suburbs.

The first doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine are unloaded from a UPS truck on Dec. 17 at Glenbrook Hospital. (Jon Hillenbrand/NorthShore)
The first doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine are unloaded from a UPS truck on Dec. 17 at Glenbrook Hospital. (Jon Hillenbrand/NorthShore)

Thank you for being part of the Patch community during 2020, and we hope you will join us in 2021. As always, to contact Skokie Patch with news tips, comments, questions, suggestions or requests email skokie@patch.com.

This article originally appeared on the Skokie Patch