Animal Cruelty, Sexual Exploitation of a Child, More Top Stories 2012

We look back at some of the most-read stories of the year.

As the New Year approaches, we’re looking back at some of the most frequently read stories during 2012. This is the third in the five-part series, which will run every day until Dec. 31. The stories are organized, somewhat, into chronological order. Sign up for Des Plaines Patch’s free newsletter to make it easy to see all of Des Plaines Patch’s Top Stories 2012.

A Des Plaines man was charged with aggravated cruelty after multiple witnesses reported seeing him punch a brown dog in front of his Des Plaines residence on June 7, Des Plaines police said in June.

Law enforcement seized three dogs from the residence, which were made available for adoption. James Robert Wesolaski was sentenced for animal torture and the three dogs were ready for new homes.

A Chicago man was wanted by federal authorities for drug-related charges after he picked up a kilogram of heroin in Des Plaines in May, according to court documents filed by the Drug Enforcement Administration.

Rand Red Hots opened in Des Plaines in June. Its brief menu was reminiscent of the limited-menu, fast-service model perfected by McDonald's, whose first corporate restaurant is just around the corner on Lee Street.

While Des Plaines did not host a fireworks show for the third year since eliminating the event due to budget constraints, there were plenty of displays in other area suburbs to experience the explosive Independence Day tradition.

A former Chippewa Middle School teacher was charged with sexual exploitation of a child and grooming after texting a photo of his genitals to a former student, McHenry County Sheriff's police said in July.

Here are Des Plaines Patch’s Top Stories 2012; we’ll add to this list every day until Dec. 31:

  • Fashion Outlet Mall Coming to Rosemont published Feb. 23, 2012.
  • Police Looking for Driver that Struck Des Plaines Boy published Feb. 27, 2012.
  • Maine West Student Killed on I-90 Remembered for Getting Along with Everybody published Feb. 27, 2012.
  • Driver that Hit Teen on I-90 Not Charged published Feb. 29, 2012.
  • Gingrich: Package Tracking Could Be Used to Locate Illegal Immigrants published March 14, 2012.
  • published April 24, 2012.
  • Former Gardening Center Grows into New Restaurant published May 9, 2012.
  • Update: Police Shot and Killed a Des Plaines Man Outside a Strip Mall published May 14, 2012.
  • More Details: Fatal Shooting Occurs After Traffic Stop on Sunday published May 15, 2012.
  • Woman Found Dead in Front of Police Station published May 29, 2012.
  • published June 8, 2012.
  • Chicago Man Wanted In Des Plaines Heroin Deal published June 14, 2012.
  • Classic Drive-in Resurfaces on Rand Road published June 27, 2012.
  • Fireworks in Des Plaines Area published June 28, 2012.
  • Police: Former Chippewa Teacher Sent Girl Photo Of Genitals published July 5, 2012.

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