Credit: Wendi Kromash

Good Monday morning, Evanston.

Did you miss us? Because we missed you – your feedback, your letters and your photos always keep us going. But we never really left you. We know it has been a difficult week for all and we have been here with you all along, updating you on the important news.

Sorrow still hangs in all our hearts as we go about the day-to-day. One week ago today, seven people celebrating at the Highland Park Fourth of July parade were gunned down and killed, while another 30 people were injured. Highland Park officials are asking us to mark the anniversary at 10:14 a.m. with a two-minute moment of silence. Area churches are also being asked to toll their bells seven times, in memory of the people who died. We bring you that news, and more.

Credit: Wendi Kromash

RoundTable reporter Wendi Komash went out to Central Avenue in Highland Park this weekend to see how people were doing after the Fourth of July shootings. The memorials on Central Avenue, as well as the heartbreak, overflowed at the site of the shootings with flowers, pictures, candles and notes.

Citing the shooting in Highland Park one week earlier, WGN News Director Dominick Stasi said, “We don’t feel it’s the right time” and called off the major block party planned for Evanston’s downtown next month. Stasi wrote earlier this week to the non-profit Downtown Evanston, the group organizing the event for the city.

The City Council announced that tonight at its 6:30 p.m. meeting it intends to appoint Luke Stowe, the city’s Chief Information Office, to take over as interim City Manager. The council will vote immediately after the public comment portion of its meeting to replace Kelley Gandurski, the outgoing interim Deputy City Manager, who recently resigned. Remember, these are both ‘interim’ jobs. Are you curious about how the search for the full time City Manager post is going? Or do you want to be clear about what this type of government means to you? Or do you just have questions? Join us tomorrow as the city and the RoundTable host a discussion with Mayor Daniel Biss at 7 p.m. Tuesday, July 12, at the Morton Civic Center, 2100 Ridge Ave., in the 4th floor Parasol Room. You can submit questions in advance online or in person at the meeting. Those who prefer remote participation can watch live on City Channel 16 or on the City’s YouTube channel.


COVID-19 by the numbers: There were 32 new cases reported on July 7, the last date the city updated its totals, putting the city’s seven-day average at 31.9 cases. There were no deaths on July 7, leaving the total Evanston deaths since March 14, 2020, at 152.


Elsewhere on the RoundTable website

Darryl Cheeks (center) and wife Rebecca (behind his right shoulder) surrounded by nurses who cared for Darryl at Rush University Medical Center at a thank you luncheon. (Photo by Heidi Randhava)

Darryl Cheeks (1968-2022). Darryl Cheeks, 53, was a third-generation Evanstonian, minister, entrepreneur and volunteer who died earlier this year but was celebrated in a service this past weekend. Cheeks, who was a CPA, had a successful professional career in finance. But he was also called to public service as a minister. He served at several churches but also founded both the Soul Food Prison Ministry and Dayenu Ministries.

Straus service honors a man, a ‘mensch’ and a family pillar. Stephen Straus, 88, was remembered Friday morning at the Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation in Evanston, just four days after he was shot and killed at the Highland Park Fourth of July parade. Rabbi Rachel Weiss led the 75-minute service, during which Straus’ family gave glowing tributes, read poetry, sang and called for political action to protest gun violence.

Credit: Pixabay stock image

Elvis shows all the glitz and heartbreak of the artist himself. Doris Popovich reviews Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis, a biopic musical starring Austin Butler as the titular superstar.

Recycling Q&A with RoundTable readers. Evanston residents have questions about recycling, and the Evanston RoundTable is here to provide answers! In response to our recent recycling story, RoundTable readers submitted questions about local recycling. Feel free to submit your own recycling questions and tips to meg@evanstonroundtable.com.

Peggy Tarr: Hacked! Our columnist sends out the warning: Be careful out there in the cyber world! Tarr describes the turmoil a hacker brings when these unwanted actors gain access to your computer.

Repair Café fosters community, promotes resourcefulness. The volunteer-run Repair Café, hosted every other month at the Robert Crown Community Center, offers free repair services and skill sharing to all who attend. Volunteers see it as an opportunity to connect with people across generations, as well as help others get past the perceived difficulty of repairing their own possessions.


Join our team: The Evanston RoundTable is growing! Check out our jobs page for opportunities in editorial.


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Around the web

More than 8 million Illinoisans get drinking water from a utility where forever chemicals have been detected. A Chicago Tribune investigation found that PFAS, highly toxic chemicals which do not break down in the environment, are present in harmful concentrations in 60% of Illinoisans’ drinking water. This includes Evanston, where the chemicals were found in both generic raw water samples and at the water treatment facility at 555 Lincoln St.

Hearing the call of the kayak and ‘river therapy’ in northern Illinois. Kayaking has enjoyed a sustained boom among area residents, turning it from an early go-to socially distanced activity to an important part of life. Regional conservationists are taking note and working to expand mapping and access of lesser-known waterways.

Northwestern becomes the set of a coming-of-age, alum-directed feature film, titled ‘Year One.’ The film focuses on two first-year students struggling with their college experience being far below their expectations. Director Lauren Loesberg, who graduated in 2020, said the film is loosely based on her own first-year experience at Northwestern.


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Alex Harrison

Alex Harrison joins the RoundTable for the summer in between his undergraduate and graduate studies at Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism.