For better or worse, the one thing about being an online newspaper is knowing exactly which stories hit a nerve with our readers and those that barely made a ripple.
It will probably come as no surprise that many of the best-read stories on Plainfield Patch were those that had to do with crime, but there were also a few surprises.
Don't worry — if you're disheartened by the fact that so many sad stories made the cut, check back for our roundup of our favorite feel-good stories of the year. We'll also have a roundups of editor's picks, top business stories, best blog posts and more, so stay tuned!
- Teenage Boy Charged With Massive Plainfield Schools Job Site Hack: Past and present District 202 job applicants were alarmed when they found out someone obtained unauthorized access to a third-party site used for job inquiries; local police departments and the FBI later determined a 14-year-old boy from Joliet was behind the so-called "hack."
- Joliet Man Dies in Crash One Day After 4-Year-Old Boy Dies in His Pool: Tragedy struck twice in as many days when, a day after 4-year-old Justin Gore drowned in his swimming pool, a 47-year-old Green Trails Drive resident died following a car crash.
- Missing Plainfield Teen Found Safe: A parent's worst nightmare had a happy ending in September when 14-year-old Maddy Cannon was found safe hours after being reported missing from her home in the Farmstone Ridge subdivision.
- : Three people were arrested after a raid on a Plainfield home netted a cache of heroin, cocaine, guns and dynamite.
- Three Killed in Semi Truck Crash Near Oswego: In one of the most heartbreaking stories of the year, three former District 202 students died when their car was hit by a semi-truck at Route 126 and Sclapp Road; perishing in the accident were 19-year-olds Brian Herrera and Tyler Montgomery and 18-year-old Alexis Banuelos.
- Plainfield Man Held in Girlfriend's Death in Wisconsin: A Plainfield-area man, Brian Cooper, is accused in the death of 21-year-old Alisha Bromfield. The expectant mother was killed while she and Cooper were in Door County attending his sister's wedding.
- Plainfield Woman Undergoes Surgery Following Crash: The community rallied around Tamara Watkins, the Plainfield mom hurt when an alleged drunk driver struck her vehicle at 127th Street and Route 30 in January.
- Police: Man Shot During Home Invasion: Police said a Main Street apartment was targeted in August when several assailants demanded drugs and money before engaging in a struggle with the residents — one of whom was shot in the altercation. Two men were later arrested in the incident.
- Plainfield 18-Year-Old Facing Charges of Sexually Assaulting a Minor: Jason Minger was arrested in late May and charged with assaulting a young boy; investigators said additional charges were pending against the Plainfield teen.
- Police: Plainfield Man Tried to Kidnap Woman at Knifepoint: Erin Johnson, 19, is accused of attempting to force a woman into her car in an alleged attempt to steal the vehicle. Thanks to a neighbor's intervention and her own bravery as she fought back, the woman was able to escape.