Edgeville Buzz

Top 12 Stories That Helped Shape Edgewater and Andersonville In 2019

Another year has rolled by leaving 2019 a memorable time full of success and tragedy. From Andersonville residents making their voices heard to Edgewater falling in love with their first Pet Mayor – a goat named Pax, we start yet another year that will continue to shape our community.

We count down the top 12 stories from 2019 based on readership and social media engagements.

#12 Care For Real Grows

As one of the most loved organizations in Edgewater, Care for Real has worked with are residents in need for 50 years now. As their client list grew so did the need of its operation. This past Spring the neighborhood food pantry underwent much needed renovations thanks to donor support.

#11 Bad Cop

After starting a brutal fight outside an Andersonville Gay bar that sent two men to the hospital with severe injuries, Sgt. Eric Elkins finally resigned from his position with the Chicago Police. After serving with the force for 20 years Elkins had received 35 citizen complaints and twice faced charges of sexual misconduct with underage boys posing serious questions as to why he remained on the job.

#10 Catalytic Converter Trouble

vehicles that were parked on neighborhood streets were victim to thieves preying on their catalytic converters. Thieves have perfected the process of the crime and can sometimes remove the car parts within a minutes or two. They target them because they contain precious metals, like platinum, palladium or rhodium, that are valuable to metal dealers.

# 9 Justice For Man That Was Robbed While He Lay Dying

Eric Hall was a local bartender who had a tragic fall in the middle of winter and fell down a flight of steps at the Loyola red line station. Shockingly, two men robbed him as he lay dying instead of getting the critical help needed that may have saved his life. Now the pair is going to do prison time.

#8 Girl Power Comes To Town, namely Elizabeth Warren and Sonia Sotomayor 

Edgewater and Andersonville have become the stopping ground for many well known American leaders. Potential Democratic nominee for the 2020 presidential race Elizabeth Warren came to town in November to drum up additional support for her bid. In August, Sonia Sotomayor stopped at Senn High School to promote her new book which celebrates the differences in us all and how that makes the world such a beautiful, vibrant planet.

#7 First Prize For First Slice

The well known Andersonville cafe First Slice beat out several hundred businesses from across the nation and earned itself a $10,000 business makeover courtesy of full-service print and marketing shop, AlphaGraphics, and branding, marketing and public relations agency AWE Collective. The cafe caught the eye of the judges by using a unique business approach that not only serves up delicious pies but also helps to feed 700 hungry people in need every week through their self-funded charity. In August, Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor appeared at Senn High for a moderated conversation

#6 Man Banned From Andersonville After Assaulting Numerous Women

Andersonville residents organized and sounded the alarm about about a repeat offender that was victimizing women. 41-year-old Willie Wright was banned this summer from Andersonville after multiple assaults on area women which prompted his arrest and Cook County Judge Donald Panarese to ban him from the neighborhood. Reports mentioned attempts to examine Wright’s mental state but he has been reluctant to accept the help.

#5 Saying Goodbye to Cas Hardware After 40 Years (And Stone Fox After Nine Months)

We said goodbye to many local small businesses this year including a grand run by a small mom and pop shop Cas Hardware as well as the much anticipated Stone Fox that only lasted nine months. It was a stark contrast of small businesses, one that was started by a pair of local immigrants and survived corporate competition like Home Depot and another that opened with much hype but failed to meet its expectations. Other notable business closings were the much missed Maddie Bird, short-lived Velox Coffee, hip hop Furious Spoon, and retail-focused Murray and White.

#4 New Diverse Faces In The Political Landscape

It was the time for fresh diverse politicians to break up the Chicago machine. Not only did we see Lori Lightfoot become Mayor, we saw two local upheavals of long-standing politicians the 49th Ward’s Joe Moore and the 40th Ward’s Patrick O’Connor by Maria Hadden and Andre Vasquez respectively. All three politicians bring more diversity to area politics. Both Hadden and Vasquez ran on progressive platforms campaigning on more transparency and accountability in our government.

#3 Pax the Goat becomes Edgewater’s first Pet Mayor

Bringing a bit of small town fun to the big city, the Edgewater Chamber of Commerce started its first Pet Mayor program to highlight the area as a pet friendly neighborhood and to raise money for local charity. In the end a lovable goat named Pax edged out the competition (four dogs and a cat). They were all winners however by raising almost $20k that went to Care For Real’s Pet Pantry Program which will help fund the program for well over a year. Mayor Pax the Goat gave city kids the opportunity to experience something new as he continued raising money for charity including over $1000 for the Edgewater Dog Park.

#2 Peterson Metra Station Is a Go

A victim of then Governor Rauner, the proposed Edgewater Metra station was put on the shelf. After being in the works since early 2013, new Illinois leadership finally pushed the project through. According to the last information released, the new station will cost around 15 million to build and will include a covered portico and warming area. The design also features a vehicle entrance with a round-about for departing/arriving passenger pickup.

#1 East Andersonville Stands Up To Save Area Trees

It was the biggest story of the year and Edgeville Buzz broke reported on it first prompting 7 different stories that would follow its progress. A huge water main replacement took over Andersonville last year. A needed project to ensure water quality ended up being a nightmare for century-old trees in the neighborhood. The Department of Water Management and the Bureau of Forestry said almost 20 of them would need to come down but residents affected by the plan organized in order to save them. It worked! Initially being ignored, neighbors protested that new technology was available and not being considered. Their voices reached the Mayor’s office and it was decided to begin a pilot program in select communities to test that new technology. East Andersonville is one of them.

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