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Top Chicago News Stories Of 2013

Mayor Rahm Emanuel . (Credit: Craig Dellimore/WBBM)

Mayor Rahm Emanuel . (Credit: Craig Dellimore/WBBM)

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(CBS) As each year does, 2013 brought its fair share of ups and downs for the city of Chicago.

From a rogue Blue Line car to the death of one of the world’s most respected film critics, 2013 was a wild ride.

Before we turn the calendar to 2014, let’s recount the Top Chicago News Stories Of 2013, in no particular order.

– Hadiya Pendleton Killed At Age 15: Just days before she was killed, 15-year-old Hadiya Pendleton performed with her high school band at the parade for President Obama’s second inaugural celebration in Washington.

Jesse Jackson Jr. Sentenced: Saying he used his campaign fund as “a personal piggy bank,” a federal judge sentenced former Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. to 2 ½ years in prison

Chicago Film Critic Roger Ebert Died:  Famed Chicago film critic Roger Ebert, the central Illinois native who helped popularize film criticism with his accessible writing and multimedia presence, died at the age of 70.

CPS Closes Nearly 50 Schools: The Chicago Board of Education voted to close 49 elementary schools.

– Same Sex Marriage Bill Passes In Illinois: Illinois became the 15th state to legalize same-sex marriage as both the House and Senate passed the Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act.

– Former Illinois Governor George Ryan Released From Prison: Former Gov. George Ryan was released from Federal prison after serving five and a half years for racketeering and fraud.

– Rouge Blue Line Train Crashes: A westbound train with about 40 passengers was standing on the tracks near Harlem Avenue in Forest Park when an eastbound train –  without a controller — traveling on the same track smashed into it.

– Pension Reform Passes: Gov. Pat Quinn signed landmark legislation to reform Illinois’ massively-underfunded pension system, though the new law is certain to face threatened lawsuits by labor unions.

Tornadoes Hit Washington, Il: Washington Mayor Gary Manier said approximately 1,000 homes were damaged or destroyed after a tornado barreled through the city. In a four-hour stretch Nov. 17 across Central and Southern Illinois, 14 of the 24 twisters were classified as “significant,” meteorologists said. Those included two EF-4 tornadoes that accounted for three of six deaths reported in the storms and 127 of 147 total injuries.

Gang ‘Hit Squad’ Targets Chicago Cops: A street gang developed plans to ambush and kill police officers.

– Boy Buried, Rescued From Indiana Sand Dune: A 6-year-old boy suffered critical injuries to his lungs after being buried in the Indiana Sand Dunes.

– Restaurant Icon Charlie Trotter Died:  Iconic Chicago chef Charlie Trotter, whose namesake restaurant set a global standard for culinary excellence for a quarter century, died at the age of 54.

– Blackhawks Win Stanley Cup: In an almost improbable comeback, the Chicago Blackhawks scored two goals in 17 seconds to defeated the Boston Bruins 3-2 for their second Stanley Cup title since 2010.

Chicago Spring Floods: Gov. Pat Quinn declared 38 counties, including Cook, as state disaster areas because of flood damage caused by several days of severe storms and heavy rainfall.