Top Stories of 2012 In Niles

It was a year marked by political give-and-take, steps toward real relief of flooding, honors for schools and passings of some longtime residents. Plus, businesses did fairly well overall.


2012 is drawing to a close, and it's time to take a look back of some of the top news stories in Niles this year.

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1. Niles politics got vigorous. Village board meetings were filled with debate, and sometimes arguments, as issues were hashed out. 

2. In May, a majority of trustees voted not to approve the reappointment of village manager George Van Geem. When they offered Van Geem a buyout package, he asked to negotiate, saying past village managers had received substantial bonuses. That led to the village board discovering that former Mayor Nicholas Blase had apparently  The cars and bonuses were apparently not approved by the board, which would be legally required. That called into question whether this was an unlawful action. 

3. In July, citizen Joe Makula gathered more then 1,000 signatures on a petition to limit the length of Niles politicians' terms in office. The village of Niles fought him in court and won. It would limit officials to 16 years in office. Niles trustees also passed their own term limits referendum, but for three terms as trustee and two as mayor. 

4. In July, the village passed a sales tax increase of 0.25 percent (25 cents on $100), which will help fund stormwater improvements to prevent flooding of homes and businesses in the village.

5. ranked highly on U.S. News & World Report and Newsweek surveys. 

6. Businesses opened in the village, including La Tavola and Ross Dress For Less at its Golf Mill location. 

7. Niles and Park Ridge park districts reacted after a four-year-old boy drowned at a pool in Glenview in July. 

8. Students at Maine East and Maine South high schools had to sign pledges promising they would not participate in hazing after some Maine West High School parents brought lawsuits saying their sons had been sexually abused in hazing rituals.  

9. The Niles village board at mall stores only, to fund infrastructure improvements. 

10. Some noted Niles citizens, and former citizens, passed on (and this is not an exhaustive list; please note others in the comments): Althea Przybylo Kroger. 

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What other news happened in Niles this year? Tell us in the comments!

Harry Gio December 28, 2012 at 03:21 PM
Golf Mill needs to be revamped BIG TIME... The "dead" side of the mall between Target and Sears is DARK and should be converted into tiny and affordable shops to sell smaller items... It will certainly breathe a breath of fresh air for the mall, the big box stores, and most of all, for consumers... How about some sort of Jumping Gym to attract parents with small children? Just a thought.......


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