Credit: Richard Cahan

Good Tuesday morning, Evanston.

Z-bot, who bills himself as a dancing LED robot, visited the Hanukkah menorah in Fountain Square on Monday night at the lighting ceremony for the second night. The robot’s appearance might seem incongruous with the traditional menorah lighting, but a man in the crowd called out: “He’s a man of light.”

And now, let’s shed some light on Evanston news. Here are the RoundTable’s latest stories:

Credit: Northwestern University

Northwestern University will begin selling beer and wine at Welsh-Ryan Arena. The basketball arena was issued a special liquor license in fall 2019. NU hopes to obtain a liquor license for a new Ryan Field. “There’s some arguments to be said that it’s safer to sell alcohol indoors,” said Council Member Eleanor Revelle, 7th Ward. “But we will be revisiting that whole discussion when Northwestern comes to seek permission to sell in the [football] stadium.”

The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm watch in effect from Thursday evening through late Friday night for several Illinois counties, including the Evanston area. The weather service warns that blizzard conditions are possible and winds “could gust as high as 55 mph.” The Federal Emergency Management Agency has issued safety tips ahead of the expected storm.

Credit: Tembela Bohle

Evanston’s Liquor Control Review Board approved amending the city’s liquor laws on Monday to allow Bookends & Beginnings to sell single servings of wine and beer. But the wording in the proposed change flummoxed city staff and the board. The board also approved liquor licenses for three other downtown businesses.

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COVID-19 by the numbers: 12 new cases and no new deaths were reported Sunday, Dec. 18, the last day the city updated totals. The seven-day average is 19 cases per day.

Elsewhere on the RoundTable website

Credit: Bessie Mbadugha

The District 65 school board approved a 5% increase in bus fees Monday for students attending magnet schools or specialty programs like two-way immersion (TWI) for those learning both English and Spanish. Some students qualify for free or discounted transportation, but the full sticker price is going up to $583 next year.

Credit: PIRHL

Evanston City Council has approved an increase in the fee a nonprofit receives to manage the city’s affordable housing waitlist, which is approaching 600 households. Community Partners for Affordable Housing (CPAH) will receive $50,000, up $7,000. 

Credit: Gabrielle Rivera

Julie Rivera is a longtime graphic designer and artist who makes wall and functional artworks of botanical-based images on hand-dyed fabric. Working with plants and natural dyes allows her to express her creativity and dive further into her relationship with nature, writes Art of Making Art columnist Jean Cunningham.

Recent works by artist Julie Cowan about Abraham Lincoln will be shown at Perspective Gallery, 1310 Chicago Ave., throughout the month of January. An opening reception will run from 4 to 7 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 7.

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Around the web

Search ongoing for Peter Salvino, Northwestern PhD student last seen in Lincoln Park. A Northwestern University graduate student has been missing since leaving a North Side party late Saturday night, Chicago police said.

Cash to gun violence victims: City launches pilot program of grants for funerals, other expenses. Chicago will provide cash grants to victims or the families of those killed in five neighborhoods plagued by gang and gun violence.

Retiring Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White reveals the racism that shaped his legacy. You may know White because his name is on your driver’s license or you’ve seen his tumblers. But there’s a lot more to his long political career.

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