EditorOne of the events kicking off 2010 in Austin was the grand opening in January of Christ the King High School, located at 5088 W. Jackson.

The school broke ground in the summer of 2008 on the lot of old Resurrection Parish. Students and staff held classes at a temporary location until their school was finally built. The opening of the school-the first Catholic school on the West Side in more than 85 years-was among the notable education stories that highlighting the year. Crime and violence, again, dominated the headlines of most local news. The year also saw new arrivals to the community looking to make a difference and departures of well know people moving on the other endeavors. 2010 also saw Austin and the greater Chicago area lose some notable individuals who passed on into ancestry.

Among the notable events of the year:

Christ the King High School hosts its grand opening on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s holiday.

The U.S. Census Bureau kicks off its spring campaign to get people to fill out their forms to be counted on Census Day April 1. The bureau’s National Bus Tour arrived at a West Side Walgreens on Jan. 4.

The family of missing Austin teen Yasmin Acree marks the second year that she disappeared from her home. She has been missing since Jan 15, 2008.

In January, a group of civic leaders from Austin, the greater West Side and neighboring Oak Park head to Washington D.C. to speak at a congressional hearing concerning community banking in the wake of Park National Bank’s seizure. Located on Oak Park Avenue on Madison Street, the former Park National, and its owner Mike Kelly, was known for their philanthropy in both communities. The bank is currently owned by U.S. Bank.

Haiti is rocked by a devastating earthquake on Jan 12, resulting in an outpouring of support from across the globe. Austin residents and activists stepped up to raise funds and secure donated goods for Haiti’s residents.

Former 29th Ward Ald. Isaac Carothers pleads guilty to federal corruption charges and resigns from his City Council seat on Feb. 1. Carothers, who was first elected as alderman in 1999, agreed to a 28-month prison term.

Cook County Commissioner Earlene Collins easily wins reelection in the 1st district race in the February 2, Democratic Primary. Ald. Toni Preckwinkle also defeats incumbent Todd Stroger in the primary race for Cook County Board president. She would go on to win the office in the November general election.

Families in the E2 nightclub tragedy of 2003-where 21 club-goers died in a stampede-hosted a press conference at MacArthur’s Restaurant in Austin, calling for a federal investigation into the incident.

PCC Wellness Center opens its latest health center at 5425 W. Lake St. Civic leaders, including Mayor Daley, attended the February grand opening ceremony.

A West Side family accused an Austin funeral operator of botching the services for a deceased infant. The family of 2-month-old Messiah Seven Wynn also accused Devell Johnson, former owner of Johnson Funeral Home, of falsely presenting himself as a funeral home director and owner. Johnson disputed the family’s charges and had supporters come to his defense as a reputable funeral operator.

Catherine Elam-Thomas organizes a vigil in March for her late son, Samuel “Red” Thomas, who was shot and killed in the early morning of Jan. 22 outside his West Side apartment. The case is unsolved. Her grandson, Samuel Isaih Thomas, 19, would be shot to death by a known assailant two months later outside her West Side home. The shooter was later arrested and charged.

Deborah Graham is appointed by Mayor Daley as 29th Ward alderman in March. She was serving as state representative for the 78th District at the time of her appointment.

Community news website AustinTalks.org launches via a grant with Columbia College. The site, which partners with Austin Weekly News, uses students and freelance reporters to cover events and people in Austin.

Corey Scott, a 37-year-old Austin resident is found with $1.5 million worth of drugs in his car following an afternoon traffic stop by police in April. He was charged with drug possession and also cited for making an improper lane change without signaling, among other traffic violations.

Camille Lilly is appointed state representative for the 78th District by Democratic committeemen in April to replace Deborah Graham, who was named 29th Ward alderman a month earlier by Mayor Daley.

Austin state Rep. LaShawn Ford calls on the National Guard to help patrol West Side streets in an effort to curb violence.

The Austin Chamber of Commerce hosts its annual Jazz in the Afternoon event at Columbus Park Refectory, 5701 W. Jackson.

The “Austin Is Doing Something” mural at Chicago Avenue and Mayfield is unveiled in a community event in May featuring residents, elected officials and neighborhood leaders.

Bethel New Life turns 30 years old

Michele Clark High School teacher Rosalind Kline-Thomas receives the Golden Apple Award honoring outstanding teachers in the Chicago area.

Austin residents face flooding damage to their homes following a torrential rain storm that hit the city the weekend of July 24.

Bethel CEO Steven McCullough resigns from his post to become chief operating office of the Safer Foundation.

Rob Evans becomes the new principal of Christ the King High School

The South Austin Coalition Community Council celebrates 33 years of activism in Austin; director Bob Vondrasek is also honored for his 32 years with the organization.

Dozens of candidates in December file to run for alderman in the 28th, 29th and 37th wards.

CONTACT: tdean@wjinc.com