Evanston RoundTable
Credit: Richard Cahan

Good Tuesday morning, Evanston.

Greetings and best wishes were in abundance yesterday as students entered Evanston Township High School for the first day of school. Superintendent Marcus Campbell and Principal Taya Kinzie (above, photo by Richard Cahan) met Wildkit students and staff Monday morning at the school entrance, 1600 Dodge Ave. “We are excited,” said Kinzie. “We are thrilled to be here.”

Credit: Richard Cahan

Local clergy and the faithful also prayed outside for a peaceful school year. “Education is so important,” said the Rev. Rosalind Shorter Henderson of Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church. “And if you’re in an environment that is full of violence and negativity, it is difficult to learn. And so we believe that if we come and pray … God will be able to give us peace in the school and the children will be able to learn.” The organizing groups, Pray4Peace Evanston and Positive Presence, plan to pray at District 65 schools next week.

Here’s the rest of the RoundTable’s morning report:

Credit: District 65 YouTube

Thanks to expenditure cuts and greater than expected property tax revenue, Evanston/Skokie School District 65 ended its fiscal year with a budget surplus of around $5.6 million. But despite the good news, Business Manager Kathy Zalewski said she is still projecting a deficit starting in the 2024-25 school year if the district does not make any cuts or changes.

Family Focus is hoping to build on its work in childhood development and whole-family support in its next project in Evanston: the rollout and administration of a Latinx welcoming center at the Family Focus building, 2010 Dewey Ave. The program would make the building a resource and community center for new residents of Evanston, particularly immigrants and refugees. The agency is seeking $477,831 from the city’s ARPA funds to complete program funding.

COVID-19 by the numbers: Seven new cases and no new deaths were reported Sunday, Aug. 14, the last day the city updated totals. The seven-day average is 12.3 cases per day.

Elsewhere on the RoundTable website

Credit: Will Allen

The Art of Making Art: Will Allen. Like many others, Will Allen is a college student with a part-time summer job, but arts columnist Jean Cunningham says his real passion is creating – and selling – self-designed steel art sculpture. His works run the gamut from purely artistic to functional metalworks, and from small enough for an office to large enough for the yard.

City appoints Sarah Flax interim community development director. The appointment will be effective Aug. 17, coinciding with the departure of outgoing Community Development Director Johanna Nyden. Flax joined the city in 2006 as the Community Development Block Grants administrator, and has served as housing and grants manager since 2017.

Credit: Amber Danielle Photography

They Do: ‘It felt like a match made in Heaven.’ Elizabeth Krupkin shares the love story of Roshena Clarke and Chris McNeil, who were wed July 2 at the Evanston Ecology Center. The two knew each other in their teens but then reconnected about 3½ years ago. After getting down on one knee in the living room of their new home, Chris told Roshena, “we don’t need anyone but you and me.”

Credit: Submitted

Exceptional Black Muses: A musical journey with an all-Black women string quintet. Exceptional Black Muses is a musical journey that celebrates the artistic accomplishments and contributions of Black female musicians, composers, and bandleaders from the early 20th century to the present day. Two performances, at 7 p.m. Aug. 20 and 3 p.m. Aug. 21, will take place at Fleetwood-Jourdain Theater.

Credit: Joerg Metzner

Picturing Evanston: The Old English architecture of Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary at Northwestern University is bathed in the warm light of the setting sun. (Photo by Joerg Metzner)

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Around the web

Highland Park students seeking ‘some sort of normalcy’ as class resumes after mass shooting. Township High School District 113 administrators have been hard at work since the Highland Park Fourth of July shooting. They are preparing to welcome back students and staff Wednesday after a summer no one expected.

Brewbike puts the brakes on operations after six years. Student-run coffee shop chain Brewbike announced its closure in an early August message to employees, citing an “extremely difficult macro-environment,” among other factors. Co-founded in 2015 by two Northwestern students, Brewbike operated 11 outlets nationwide and employed more than 20 students at its University Library cafe. 

Loyola University might turn part of closed St. Ignatius Church campus into dorms, but neighbors are wary. With the 113-year-old St. Ignatius Catholic Church in Rogers Park newly closed as part of a merger, neighbors are pushing for the church to be used to help the neighborhood, and some are pushing back against a plan for part of it to be used for student housing.

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Alex Harrison reports on local government, public safety, developments, town-gown relations and more for the RoundTable. He graduated from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism in June...