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Superman Sam’s Death Tops Patch’s 2013 Stories

Patch’s countdown of its 10 most read stories for 2013 is complete.

A lot happened in Highland Park in 2013. When Patch took a look at its most read stories, some of which had national appeal. There were some surprises as well.

Please take a look back with us at the most read stories of 2013.

1.         People around the world read about the death of “Superman” Sam Sommer, 8, from leukemia Dec. 15 after an 18 month battle with the disease. He showed the world the true meaning of superhero.

2.         When Michael Jordan decided to auction his Highland Park home it was big news, when no one was willing to meet his minimum price, it caused a bigger stir but when he set a $13 million minimum after not initially establishing a bottom limit it became Highland Park’s second most read story of the year.

3.         What makes an event that happened nearly 70 years ago news today? When Highland Park resident Nathan Firestone told more than 200 people at Highland Park’s Veterans Day observance how he looked his Nazi captors in the eye and said, “Ich bin Juden (I am a Jew),” people all over the country read it. It became the third most read story of the year.

4.         One of Highland Park’s top stories two years ago was the arrest of Oded Orbach for trying to sell arms to the Taliban, shocking his Highland Park neighbors. When he was sentenced to 25 years in federal prison earlier this month, it zoomed to No. 4 on this year’s list.

5.         A year ago the death of Jaclyn Santos Sacramento, 5, was a top story. As the prosecution of Carly Rousso for the death works its way through the courts, interest evoked a lot of emotions when Rousso’s lawyer tried to have four of the six counts against her declared unconstitutional. A story describing the opinion of Northwestern University law professor Joe Maergulies on the issue was the fifth most read article of 2013. The court will rule Jan. 22.

6.         During Highwood’s Pumpkin Festival, Rabbi Michel Sommer shaved the head of Chicago Bears’ Center Roberto Garza to benefit St. Baldrick’s Foundation’s fight against pediatric cancer. At the time, Sommer’s son, “Superman” Sam Sommer, was in remission from his leukemia. Very sadly, Sam lost his battle with the disease Dec. 15. He was 8. Donations can still be made to St. Baldrick’s as well as the Sam Sommer Fund at Congregation Am Shalom. That story will be featured later this week.

7.         The Highland Park Police got an anonymous tip in July, started working with the Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office. The result busted a house of prostitution in Highland Park.

8.         Less than a week before Thanksgiving, a new Highland Park family lost its home to fire. A few days after that, the family expressed its thanks to those who helped.

9.         After a woman was hit by a car in downtown Highland Park on a Saturday evening in October, she was cited for jaywalking and the motorist arrested for driving with a suspended license.

10.       When a Highland Park High School student dresses as Jesus Christ for Halloween, some people were uncomfortable. He was questioned about his costume and sent back to class.

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