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Ever since Marco Santi was in high school, he’s had a love for the restaurant business.
Courtney Jacquin

Kayla Fishbein, of Highland Park, earned a top composite score of 36 on a recent ACT test. Fishbein is a junior at Standford Online High School.

Nationally, less than one-tenth of 1 percent of students who take the ACT earn a top score. Among test takers in the high school graduating class of 2014, only 1,407 of nearly 1.85 million students earned a composite score of 36. 

Eric DeGrechie

Vender’s took first place for the Landmark's "How We Met Contest."

Every love story is unique.

To hear Scott Vender tell it, his was love from first sight in Skokie when he first laid eyes on Leslie. Scott entered the couple for The Landmark’s annual How We Met contest this year and took first place. Entries called for how you met your significant other in 400 words or less by Friday, Feb. 5. His story follows:

Colin Hanner

Highland Park resident and the owner of Highwood’s Miramar Bistro, Gabriel Viti, Jr., is one of the very few people in the world who has successfully swam across the English Channel.
On Aug. 7, Viti swam from England to France in 15 hours and 50 minutes.
Growing up, Viti was not an athletic swimmer. He didn’t swim for his high school or college swim team. It wasn’t even until 10 years ago when Viti learned how to swim competitively, for the first triathlon he competed in.
Viti’s string of athletic achievements started when he turned 40.

Jamie Bradley

Highland Park High School grad and Highwood resident Scott Wolf is making his Chicago theater debut this month.
Wolf graduated from Northwestern University with a degree in theater and a double major in psychology in June, and AstonRep Theatre’s upcoming production of “The Lieutenant of Inishmore” at The Raven Theatre in Chicago is Wolf’s first post-college professional production. He also works as an artistic associate at Profile Theatre, also in Chicago.

Jamie Bradley

Less than a year ago, when Amy Mayer was renovating her kitchen, she originally looked into having new cabinets made for her kitchen but found the cost to be high.

“For us at the time, it was a matter of either purchasing new cabinets or doing a renovation,” she said. “There was not enough [money] for both.

She then became interested in the idea of buying someone else’s kitchen and repurposing it.

Derek Wolff

You have to weather the storm to see the rainbow. 

Though Hope Firsel may never had heard this before, her struggle and celebration mirror the simple line. 

Colin Hanner

One day in March 2013, Highland Park resident Terry Grossberg printed hundreds of cards with “HP Forward: Pass It On” on them and sent them to homes across Highland Park.
Whoever received an HP Forward card had to do a random act of kindness for someone else, and then hand the card to the person and tell them to pay it forward. That was the beginning act of HP Forward, a local organization devoted to spreading acts of kindness and happiness throughout the Highland Park community and the greater North Shore area.

Jamie Bradley

Casey Frommer is heading just a drop shot north to play Division III tennis at Carthage College in Kenosha, Wis. 

Frommer, the former Highland Park High School tennis star, said she fell in love with Carthage when she visited. She said with the campus embedded right on the lake, there’s a distinct feeling of Highland Park, and the tennis courts at Carthage were beautiful.

Jamie Bradley

Three years ago, Smashing Pumpkins frontman Billy Corgan, a Highland Park native, had the idea for Madame ZuZu’s Tea Shop and Art Studio in Highland Park. 

“[Corgan] always wanted to give something cultural and creative to the community and also allow there to be a venue where young artists, students [or] anyone who had a talent they wanted to share can come to, without judgment and issues ... We’re open if you’re talented,” said manager Chloé Mendel. 

Colin Hanner