Glencoe, Community

2023 Rewind: The year’s top 20 stories you read on

Another one bites the dust. With the year coming to a close, do you remember how we got here?

Fortunately, we are a digital newsroom, making it simple to go back and recall the stories that impacted our community in 2023. From the good times to hard times, the tough discussions to the joint successes, The Record North Shore provided public-service reporting to keep you informed.

Below are the 20 most-read stories of 2023 at, as well as addenda from Editor Joe Coughlin (JUMP TO: BEST OF THE REST):


Maureen Wener, of Deerfield, who died in June following a bicycle crash.

1. Deerfield School Board member identified as victim of Highland Park hit-and-run (June 4)

Maureen Wener was struck and killed by a motorist, who then fled the scene in early June. Wener sat on the Deerfield Public Schools District 109 Board of Education. Police made an arrest nearly six months later.

2. A Time To Climb: Origins of jungle gym date back 100 years and to Winnetka (Oct. 25)

This fun piece — primarily a republication of a story from the Winnetka Historical Society — caught the attention of readers nationwide.

3. Small Cheval to replace Depot Nuevo in historic Wilmette building (March 14)

The Record was first to this news that surprised the community. Not only was a popular Chicago burger joint coming to town, but also a popular local restaurant was leaving and a historic local building was being sold. An opening date for the new spot is still not clear.

4. Highland Park High School on lockdown following report of gun on school grounds (April 4)

This frightening news had a significant impact on a community recovering from a mass shooting less than a year earlier. A student was eventually charged with bringing a firearm to school, and the school district eventually increased its security to include weapons detectors.

5. Fired NU football coach — a Loyola Academy parent — to assist Ramblers (Aug. 17)

Another story broken by The Record, this news was picked up by sports and news outlets nationwide. The former Wildcats coach and Loyola parent Pat Fitzgerald, whose son was the Ramblers starting quarterback, volunteered as a coach for Loyola.

6. Body recovered in Lake Michigan off Gillson Beach in Wilmette (Aug. 9)

One of a handful of tragedies to effect the North Shore over the summer, the body was of a Wilmette man who died by suicide.

7. The more the merrier in downtown Wilmette as 3 more businesses will move in (April 18)

Local business news was of major interest to readers in 2023. This story also related to the ongoing changes at Plaza del Lago, out of which several businesses moved during the year.

8. Hit show ‘The Bear’ sets up in Wilmette for Season 2 shoot (April 3)

Who doesn’t love entertainment news? Readers were excited to learn that hit TV series “The Bear” (FX) was filming near Wilmette and production staged in a park district lot

9. Wilmette trustees see the light for Loyola Academy (Nov. 15)

The Village of Wilmette reviewed multiple polarizing issues in 2023, and permanent lights for Loyola Academy’s stadium was a big one. In the end, the measure passed along with a lengthy list of conditions.

New Trier officials nicknamed this space The Canyon inside New Trier’s new athletics facility in Winnetka.

10. Inside New Trier’s $75-million athletics facility (Aug. 10)

A report and photos after The Record took an early tour of the new athletics building at New Trier High School. The major project opened for students and staff prior to this year after just less than two years of work.

11. Beth Hillel exploring sale of its 5 acres in Wilmette (Oct. 3)

A large parcel of land went up for sale in south Wilmette as Beth Hillel Congregation Bnai Emunah announced it was looking to downsize its home.

12. Boy, 16, shot and killed in Highland Park (Aug. 13)

Another tragedy in Highland Park, when a teenage boy riding his bike was shot to death. The alleged offender was a classmate who was arrested the following day.

13. Cyclist ‘in critical condition’ following crash into delivery van, police say (Aug. 23)

In tragic news, a cyclist from Highland Park was hospitalized after a crash into a delivery van stopped the bike lanes. The man — John Kedzy — died three days later.

14. McDonald’s nabs Baker’s Square site — but will Wilmette have an appetite for it? (June 27)

The Record was again first with this land-use story about the fast-food giant acquiring a vacant building in Wilmette. Whether the Village will approve McDonald’s plans for the building has yet to be seen.

15. McDonald’s satisfies Wilmette zoning board — barely (Dec. 7)

More on McDonald’s, which received the support of Wilmette zoning commissioners via a one-vote margin. The decision moved the case to the Village Board with a positive recommendation.

16. Loyola is state-bound after surviving semifinal scare (Nov. 18)

Our first sports story on the list, this one from Neil Milbert recaps the Ramblers’ tight semifinal win over York. Loyola erased an early 14-3 deficit to win and advance to the state championship.

17. Election Night 2023 Notebook: Updates on local contested elections (April 4)

Readers stayed tuned into to this constantly updated piece on Election Night. As part of The Record’s mission to enable civic engagement, we provided live updates all evening.

18. Northfield village manager to stay on but in new role; Village president faces backlash for abusive text message (July 11)

This story was packed overflowing with compelling news, including the town’s village manager backing out of her retirement plans to reach a settlement with the Village and take on a new role. The story also reported the obscene message the village president sent to a trustee.

19. NTHS alumnus allegedly stabbed father to death in Glenview, authorities say (Aug. 17)

Another summer story, this terrible story happened in a neighboring community but the alleged offender was a local graduate.

Larry and Vicky Blanas at Lawrence Deans Bakery, the Wilmette shop they opened 12 years ago.

20. Lawrence Deans, Wilmette Pet on way out of Wilmette shopping center (Sept. 7)

Details on two beloved Wilmette businesses about to depart the same shopping center on Green Bay Road. Not long after, it was announced that the shopping center had a new owner.


Emotions on display as Ishbia family’s plan to raze three lakefront homes to build one moves forward

A significant turning point in the Winnetka lakefront saga was one family’s plan to build a sprawling mansion across multiple beachfront lots. The story sparked changes to the Village Code and played a role in animosity involving residents, the village and the park district.

Northfield Village president accosts Amazon driver reportedly blocking roadway

Another firestarter, this investigation began with a tip from a neighborhood source that was corroborated with police reports and then confirmed by the Village president. It kicked off a hectic year in Northfield government.

Residents prevail in fight for safety measures along Glencoe side street

A success story from reporter Rosie Newmark about neighbors who encourage their village officials to add stop signs and more to make their block safer.

Investigation finds Northfield police officer sent porn to colleagues, entered bogus nicknames in database for 20 years

Another Record investigation, this story provided details on why a Northfield police officer was pushed out, including misconduct that had been occurring for decades.

Local Election Guide 2023: Candidate interviews, election info, voting resources and more

A link that carries multiple stories within it (if added up, the traffic would have been near the top of the pageviews list.), our Local Election Guide earned rave reviews with its independent interviews and candidate database. The interview audio, which was embedded in the stories, was listened to more than 7,000 times in advance of Election Day.

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This article was developed using publicly available information, such as press releases, municipal records and social media posts.

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