For the past five weeks, our newly hired intern, Bob Spoerl, has contributed weekly “original content" stories for this website.

A couple of his stories have been about major issues or events. This week's article is about the local crime rate; in his other stories Bob has covered timely matters such as Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle's “State of the County" address that she delivered at the New Field School, and about local reaction to the CTA's capital planning meetings, where the possible closure of certain established El stations had stirred a lot of concern. (No worries; the meetings focused on long term strategic capital plans. No closures are imminent.)

My favorite stories that Bob has written features two interesting residents of Rogers Park, both of whom have had a role shaping or witnessing cataclysmic events occurring recently in northern Africa.

Several weeks ago, Bob featured one of Rogers Park's Lost Boy's of Sudan, Peter Bul, who had a role in helping engineer an election in his homeland – an historic event, in that the Southern region where Peter and the other Lost Boys are from, managed to declare their independence from the oppressive North.

Then, last week, Bob enjoyed a home cooked dinner with Ismail (Sonny) Ibrahim, owner of Sonny's Food Store on Sheridan and Lunt. (Bob credits Sonny's wife Rowena for making such a fabulous meal.) Sonny was in Egypt during the early stages of the revolution, and witnessed history being made.

Both of these men are tremendously excited about such monumental changes occurring in their respective homelands, and both are proud that they had a role in helping foment this change.

One of the joys of living in a community as diverse as ours is knowing that people like these are our neighbors. Peter and Sonny are only two of a countless number of our neighbors, including business owners, who have fascinating stories to tell. Given the positive response to these articles and similar articles and videos we have posted in the past,we intend to continue to share these amazing stories. We encourage any of you to let us know of interesting people who you think we might want to interview, or submit an interview or You Tube link that you prepare. We reserve full discretion about what we post, but if its a good story, we are excited to have our website serve as a vehicle for telling it.

Why not? It is the people of this community that make this such a fascinating place.