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Good Sunday morning, Evanston.
Two important time bulletins: 1) Daylight Saving Time has begun, so be sure you have sprung forward an hour. And 2), just as important: Today is the last official day for Girl Scout Cookie tables in Evanston. Above, Girl Scouts Samantha Chusid (from left), Ruby Eldridge and Daria Drake make a sale Saturday under Northwestern’s Weber Arch on Sheridan Road. Richard Cahan has the info on where to buy your Thin Mints.
Now, we hope you have time for a roundup of last week’s most-read stories from the RoundTable, with a few new ones thrown in for good measure.
Eleanor Swope, who would have been 85 this February, passed away Nov. 1, 2022, of a heart attack. She’s the seventh Black ancestor applicant eligible for $25,000 reparations grants who has died before receiving any money. Her husband Anthony Swope said his wife, a longtime cosmetologist, had hoped to use the funds to renovate her home, where she styled hair on the first floor.
The Evanston Public Library security guard who was involved in a physical altercation and drew a gun on a man at the library on Jan. 9 has resigned from his post as a patrol officer at the Niles Police Department. After reviewing video footage, Niles Police Commander Kelly Eckardt had recommended Abah Antonio (above right) be fired because of “blatant disregard for firearm safety.” He remains employed as an EPL security officer.
The Starbucks near ETHS is cutting its hours on weekday afternoons over “safety and security” concerns. The Evanston Police Department confirmed officers have responded to disturbances but no recent major incidents at the Starbucks and the McDonald’s on the corner of Dempster Street and Dodge Avenue.
They Do: Allie Payne and Clement Bell dated as students at Evanston Township High School. They both graduated in 1987, but went their separate ways for college and their careers. They met at a business meeting in June 2021 and fell in love all over again. The two married last month.
Evanston Township High School’s special education director will be dismissed from her post at the end of the school year, according to documents obtained by the RoundTable. An ETHS investigation found that Diona Lewis (above) violated ethics policy in her interviews with and hiring of new employees and secretly recorded an investigative meeting with a human resources official. But on Thursday, Lewis wrote the RoundTable to say she was targeted for termination only after she had filed a discrimination charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
Evanston/Skokie School District 65 has seen a precipitous decline in its student enrollment, down more than 1,300 students over the past five years. But while the district has cut teachers, administrative staff has increased from 46 to 60 positions, and spending for administrator salaries and benefits has also risen.
The 95th Academy Awards will be broadcast tonight, and for the RoundTable’s Doris Popovich the Oscars serve as a reminder of the many benefits of going out to see a movie. Watching horror films can boost adrenaline, endorphins and dopamine. Watching comedies decreases stress hormones and blood pressure. “The entertainment value of watching a feature film at a Dolby Cinema like AMC Evanston remains irrefutable,” she writes.
Streetplus, a contractor providing street cleaning and maintenance services to the City of Evanston, has fired three workers and suspended another without pay after video surveillance showed them attacking a man near Fountain Square on Feb. 13. The company is requiring its Evanston employees to take “additional enhanced training.” The Streetplus Clean Team program will resume Monday, March 13.
The City of Evanston intends to award $25,000 reparations grants to between 35 and 80 ancestors in its second round of funding. Sixteen grant recipients were chosen in the first round, with the Reparations Committee ultimately voting March 2 to issue cash payments to two people who otherwise would not have been able to use their grants. But cash payments for others are not authorized for round two.
The five candidates for the Evanston Township High School board discussed their priorities and ideas at a Thursday League of Women Voters forum. Two incumbents and two challengers are vying for three four-year board spots; incumbent Mirah Anti is the only recognized candidate for a two-year seat, so a single write-in vote will give her victory.
A student at Walker Elementary School in Skokie reportedly brought a BB gun to the building during the school day on Tuesday, March 7, Principal James Gray said in an email to families. Gray wrote that police went to the child’s home and recovered the BB gun and there is no ongoing safety threat.
Letter to the City Council: The Evanston Restaurant Association writes in opposition of the proposed Fair Work Week Ordinance: “This is a misguided proposal that would destroy workplace flexibility while devastating a broad spectrum of industries that drive Evanston’s economy.”
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