Good snowy Sunday morning, Evanston!

Saturday’s Light the Night event outside the Noyes Cultural Arts Center featured four one-night only installations, including Lightswept (above). Stacia Campbell (with flashlight) and her 10-year-old son Kai (left) created it using a 3D printer and 17 solar-powered lights; each lantern represented features of Evanston. (Photo by Richard Cahan)

Throughout the week, we have been lighting up your email inbox with the people-powered reporting the RoundTable does so well. But in case you missed any of the most important news, here’s a roundup of the most-read stories from this past week, as well as a few new ones for your Sunday reading pleasure.

Credit: Michael Kellams/thatphotodad.com

This is ETHS boys basketball like few ever see. RoundTable photographer Michael Kellams gives us an all-access look inside the program that coach Mike Ellis and his staff have built around their players. One secret: Ellis asks every player to make 1,000 3s and free throws on their own time every week. (Seemed to help Friday when the Wildkits beat Niles West.)

Credit: Zentli

You might miss the new Mexican restaurant in town, Zentli, because it does not yet have a sign at its 1813 Dempster St. location, formerly Curt’s Cafe South. But Zentli is officially open after a two-year wait. Art by co-owner Alfonso “Piloto” Nieves Ruiz has transformed the space.

Credit: everloved.com
Credit: Screenshot

Two members of the Evanston community died in car accidents in the early days of the new year. District 65 employee Renuka Desai, a 70-year-old mother of two, was walking across Howard Street Jan. 5 when she was hit by a vehicle. Sara Saenz, a 52-year-old mother of four, died Jan. 9 in a traffic crash in Rogers Park.

Credit: Submitted

Douglas Wood, an actor, script writer, entertainment executive and award-winning children’s show story editor, rubbed elbows with top celebs (including singer Chaka Khan, above) in the years after graduating from ETHS in 1975. He talks with the RoundTable about his storied Hollywood career and his 2020 novel, Ladies of the Canyon.

We don’t yet know who, but we know someone bought a lottery ticket in the 7-Eleven at 847 N. Dodge Ave. for the Jan. 13 drawing and is now a newly minted millionaire.

Interim Library Executive Director Heather Norborg said Jan. 18 that there are no exceptions to the library’s firearms ban, including the off-duty police officer who drew his gun on a homeless man earlier this month.

Credit: Heidi Randhava

The Rev. Michael C.R. Nabors in a letter to the editor weighs in on the Ryan Field debate: “The project is an incredible opportunity for the Evanston community, and Black and brown people in Evanston, to partner and collaborate with the university.”

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The District 65 School Board Policy Committee reviewed the district’s new goals to measure progress on its five-year strategic plan. RoundTable co-founder Larry Gavin looks at three of the reading goals and also reports on plans for a new K-5 reading curriculum.

In a free mini-course at the library, two Northwestern University doctors talked about the importance of a healthy diet in preventing high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke. The two physicians outlined why everyone should care about obesity. “Your fate is not in your genes,” said Dr. Stephen Devries.

Participation and scores on Advanced Placement exams at ETHS have largely returned to pre-pandemic levels. “We do not know if these scores represent a one-year rebound, a sustained recovery or a new norm,” officials said. Research links AP participation to postsecondary success, so we dive into the data.

The city is rolling out a new Legacy Business Program to support longtime local small businesses. At a virtual First Ward meeting, city Economic Development Manager Paul Zalmezak pointed to signs of hope in downtown Evanston, with a slew of incoming businesses – Big Wig Taco, Devil Dawgs, Egg Harbor Cafe – set to open. “I do want to stress that I think we’re OK.”

The Artists Book House group informed the city it is leaving the Harley Clarke mansion, bringing an abrupt end to its dream of creating a book and literary center in the long-shuttered lakefront building.

Elacsha Madison, interim innovation and digital learning manager at Evanston Public Library, was one of 10 people nationwide to receive the “I Love my Librarian” award. We tell you why.

Evanston author Emily Maloney told the RoundTable about her 2022 debut book Cost of Living, which examines the country’s flawed health care system. She tells the RoundTable how she came to discover the problems and write the book.

Indigenous women face murder rates more than 10 times the national average. A new exhibit at the Mitchell Museum of the American Indian spotlights the “invisibility” that powers the epidemic of violence against Native women.

The RoundTable’s Richard Cahan photographed the Walk for Warmth on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Jan. 18. He talked with some of the nearly 500 participants to ask why they marched, including Cheryl Kendrick (above).

Legendary authors (clockwise from top left) Mark Twain, Susan Sontag, Charles Dickens and Joan Didion all got their start in journalism. Will you be next? Columnist Les Jacobson invites you to consider writing for the RoundTable.

Evanston-based Awe-Sauce has a GoFundMe strategy to help expand its hot sauce production, writes business columnist Isabelle Reiniger. Owner Verzell James told her that business is hot enough that the small company is outgrowing its kitchen space.


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Gina Castro

Gina Castro is a Racial Justice fellow for the Evanston RoundTable. She recently earned a master’s degree from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism where she studied investigative...

Duncan Agnew

Duncan Agnew covers Evanston public schools, affordable housing, City Hall and more for the RoundTable. He also writes long-form investigations, features and the morning email newsletter three times a...

Manan Bhavnani

Prior to joining the RoundTable, Manan Bhavnani covered business and technology for the International Business Times, with a focus on mergers, earnings and governance. He is a double Medill graduate, with...