Good Tuesday morning, Evanston.

Nichols Middle School students Penelope Donohue, left, and Casey Martin transport mulch to trees that surround the school at 800 Greenleaf St. They worked last week with TreeKeepers from OpenLands, a nonprofit that helps protect natural spaces in metropolitan Chicago.

Evanston has more than 34,000 trees on city property and the parkways alone. And of course, no trees were harmed in the production of this email newsletter. Here’s your paperless copy of the news of the day:

Credit: Susy Schultz

The Evanston City Council on Monday unanimously approved a $395 million budget for 2023 that includes a plan to put public safety pensions on a 100% funding track. The city will tap $4.49 million in General Fund reserves to pay for the pension decision. Council Member Clare Kelly, 1st Ward, called it a “historic moment.”

Credit: Evan Girard

Evanston Township High School leaders are reconsidering whether to install metal detectors or some other type of weapons detection system. Less than a year ago school administrators said metal detectors weren’t viable at ETHS.

Credit: Richard Cahan

The Family Focus logo is on the site plan concepts for the planned Fifth Ward Foster Park Campus. But Family Focus Chief Executive and President Dara Munson said her organizaton’s role is still undecided as officials discuss building a Fifth Ward school and possibly redeveloping the Fleetwood-Jourdain Community Center.

Evanston Police identified the person found dead Saturday at the Holiday Inn on Sherman Avenue as Nyasia Jennings, a 15-year-old girl from Chicago. “Jennings had been reported as a missing runaway prior to her death,” a Monday police news release said. The investigation is ongoing.

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The perfect holiday gift for any EvanstonianEncountering Evanston History, a book benefiting the Evanston RoundTable Media not-for-profit, features 75 stories from 18 authors. Find out more at the book’s official website and plan on attending the Bookends & Beginnings book launch reception at 6 p.m. Thursday.

The RoundTable’s fall NewsMatch campaign is ongoing. Through Dec. 31, all donations to the RoundTable are being matched by generous national and local partners, so please donate today!

COVID-19 by the numbers: 30 new cases and no new deaths were reported Sunday, Dec. 11, the last day the city updated totals. The seven-day average is 22.1 cases per day.

Elsewhere on the RoundTable website

Credit: Michael Kellams/

The Evanston Township High School boys wrestlers soundly defeated three other schools in the Wildkits’ quad meet at the school’s Willie May Field House this weekend. RoundTable photographer Michael Kellams caught the action.

Credit: Michael Kellams/

ETHS senior Prince Adams delivered another star-studded performance – 24 points, 13 rebounds, 6 blocked shots – but couldn’t prevent the Wildkits’ second straight loss on Sunday as Marian Catholic scored a 57-45 victory.

Credit: Northwestern University rendering

Letter to the editor: ‘Positives are impressive’ for new stadium. Phil Roden supports Northwestern’s plans for a new Ryan Field and says “this stadium and what it brings to the city excites me.”

Credit: Heidi Randhava

This year, Dec. 26 is both the first day of Kwanzaa and the last day of Hanukkah, and the city plans a combined celebration at Fountain Square. Tannenbaum Chabad House will light the menorah at 5:30 p.m. Monday, Dec. 19, with Mayor Daniel Biss, Rep. Jan Schakowsky, live music, an LED robot dancer and Hanukkah treats.

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Around the web

Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office issues new search warrant policy The new policy requires police to follow up on the outcome of the search warrant and disclose any items seized and arrests made.

Chicago’s ‘Walking Man’ dies months after being set on fire. Joseph Kromelis was badly burned in May when someone set him on fire as he slept on Lower Wabash Avenue.

Survivors of East Garfield Park, Highland Park mass shootings speak out in support of ban on assault weapons. A state bill that was partially prompted by the Fourth of July shooting in Highland Park received its first hearing Monday.

Evanston home where the 1980s teen film Sixteen Candles was filmed sells for $1.6M The house in northwest Evanston where the classic John Hughes movie Sixteen Candles was filmed sold in late June.

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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...